If you are considering using an RFP process to request information from executive recruitment firms, we have made the process easier by compiling the most commonly asked questions. Before hiring an executive search firm, you should ask:  

  • What is the history of the search firm?
  • Is the search firm a corporation or a partnership?
  • What percentage of the firm’s business is related to executive search in my industry?
  • Identify similar executive searches performed in the past three years.
  • Identify professional fees, expense estimates.
  • For how long do you guarantee your placed candidate?
  • Do you have overall client satisfaction scores from surveys of past organizations for which you have conducted searches?
  • Describe how you perform organizational assessment/interviews and determine culture, to define a good fit for candidates.
  • How many searches is the proposed consultant working on at this time? Please list.
  • What board education will you perform regarding compensation/benefits for the search? What is your estimated range of compensation/benefits to find capable, experienced candidates for the position?
  • Describe the phases of the search with specific timeline expectations.
  • How would you suggest treating internal candidates in this process?
  • Will all candidates receive face-to-face interviews by the search executive before interviewing with our team?
  • What can our board expect regarding the diversity of the candidate slate? Explain how your firm seeks a diverse group of candidates. (Provide the percentage of diverse candidates placed in all searches for the last three years.)
  • What is your opinion of behavioral/psychological testing? If you feel that aspect of candidate assessment is of importance, what is your recommendation regarding its use?
  • What are your personal or organizational differentiators for this search?
  • The treatment/handling of our healthcare executives is important to us. What specific tactics do you employ to ensure candidate retention and satisfaction?
  • What do you do differently for spouses as part of the search process?
  • What role do you recommend that physician and administrative staff leadership play in the search process?
  • How do you handle the contract negotiation phase with the candidate of choice?
  • Please describe your off-limits policy.
  • Do you permit a candidate to enter more than one search at a time (parallel processing)?
  • Is your firm a member of the Association of Executive Search Consultants and do you follow its Code of Ethics?