What Are The Steps of the Executive Search Process?

The Executive Search Timeline & Process for a Better Hiring Experience 

When a critical management position becomes available in your organization, it can be a challenge to know where to start looking for their replacement. In this post, we take a closer look at the executive search timeline in order to help you effectively and efficiently find the best talent fit for your company.

What is Executive Search? 

Executive search is a specialized process used to identify, assess and place critical talent that deliver the results while exemplifying the culture of the company. This method looks for a perfect fit for both the candidate and the company. By choosing this approach, you can also tap into a passive talent pool that may not currently be looking for new roles –– giving you an upper hand. Over time, a company may develop a long-lasting relationship with an executive search firm that continuously recommends high-potential candidates. 

Executive Search Timeline 

When looking to fill critical positions through an executive search partner, it is important to have a timeline in place. This will keep both parties focused on finding and placing the ideal candidate in a timely manner.     

The length of time it takes to find and fill an open executive position greatly depends on the current hiring market, along with the industry and the complexity of the position itself. When you sit down with an executive search firm, be sure to talk about when you would like to have the position filled. They will be able to give you a reasonable answer for your particular industry. 

In our experience, clients can expect to start interviewing qualified candidates within 45 days of starting the process. In over 90% of our searches, the deals are closed within 90 to 120 days of our start.   

The Value of Executive Search Services

Quite simply, the search process for qualified candidates can be lengthy –– draining your hiring team's time and resources. For those who do not have the ability to invest in these efforts themselves, it is recommended to hire an experienced executive search firm who can act as an extension of your team. Ultimately, this proves advantageous as their expertise and ability to fully commit to the search process cuts the time-to-hire significantly. 

Our Proprietary Process at Kinsley Sarn 

At Kinsley Sarn, we have refined our process to deliver extraordinary talent for our clients. Let’s take a detailed look at our process and how it can give you the upper edge on the war for talent.  

1. Company Assessment and Analysis 

Before we can begin to look for candidates that align with your values and needs, our team takes the time to research and understand all aspects of your company. We assess the requirements for the position and the key traits of high potential employees within the company. During this time, we will typically perform site visits, discussions with stakeholders, and interviews with key leaders to get a comprehensive view of your organization from within.

2. Design a Candidate Profile 

When looking for someone to join your team, you want them to have the same enthusiasm for working for you that you have for adding them to your team. This is where a candidate profile can help express the position in a way that excites candidates and engages them in the opportunity and company. This profile should convey the company’s identity and culture, outline key deliverables of the position, and the value the company provides. 

Learn More: Crafting an Engaging Candidate Profile

3. Target and Identify Candidates

By looking at the information outlined in our candidate profile, we start to actively search for exceptional candidates we deem fit for the position. During this time, we hold a client meeting where we present a pool of potential candidates. This helps us determine if we are finding the right types of candidates for the client. If we are, we will move on to the next phase of the process. If we’re not meeting the desired results, we refine the search to source additional candidates aligned to the client’s feedback.    


4. Candidate Interview and Assessment 

Our three-part interview process assesses their performance history, values and competency, and potential of fit for both the client and position. After completing the assessment process and gathering well-qualified candidates, we then inform the client of our findings.

Related: 7 Qualities to Identify Exceptional Candidates in an Interview

5. Offer and Placement 

Once we have interviewed and assessed the candidate, we help in the final evaluation and selection of the best-fit candidate. This could offer development, negotiation, and reference checking. After we have selected a candidate, the involved parties are informed. In many cases, the relationship ends here –– but our process includes transition support to improve employee retention rates. 

6. Transition Support  

The key to a seamless onboarding process is supporting the new hire along the way. This is especially crucial to the success of management positions. 

When you partner with us, we provide your new leader with workshops, assessments, and coaching sessions to help them assimilate to the new environment, teams, and workload. Each transition period is designed to meet the leader's specific needs, allowing us to identify areas where the new hire may need additional guidance navigating the change.   

To learn more about our proprietary process and service offering, visit our Executive Search page,

Partner With Kinsley Sarn 

For more than a decade, Kinsley Sarn has been a trusted advisor for organizations seeking to successfully add valuable talent to their teams. Our team of former corporate executives has a diverse set of experiences that span across a wide range of industries. This knowledge allows us to customize the process to meet your individual needs.

If you would like to work with our team of highly skilled executive search professionals, simply contact us by clicking the button below and filling out the short form. Once our team has received your information, we will reach out to further discuss your hiring needs in detail.

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