How do executive search firms find candidates?


Finding good candidates is one of the main recruitment challenges facing companies today. This is especially true when there is a labour shortage. Recruitment represents an even greater hurdle when a company is seeking to hire top-tier executives and business leaders. For more than five years, PIXCELL has been solving this problem for businesses by guiding them through every step of the recruitment process.

The above question is a pertinent one and warrants a good answer. In this article, our Montreal executive search firm shares the key to our success in finding candidates who possess the expertise and experience sought by our clients.


Everything you need to know about our executive recruitment methodology


We should get one thing straight at the outset: senior positions are rarely filled through a job posting. Moreover, the best candidates generally are not actively looking for positions. This is why we are considered a headhunter firm: we take the initiative of seeking out candidates who meet the unique criteria for the job. Here is how we do this.


Our best asset: our experts


Our Montreal headhunter team is our most important asset, and without a doubt our most efficient one. Due to their experience in the business world, the consultants at our executive search firm understand the market and cultivate strong ties with its main players. Every case we take on is assigned to a given specialist based on his or her expertise in the targeted industry, whether that be information technology and digital transformation, manufacturing and engineering, public or parapublic, or retail and distribution. For every one of our clients, our headhunters draw on their vast network of business connections to pinpoint potential candidates and guide our searches.

Our Quebec headhunters at PIXCELL also benefit from an international network made up of local recruiters in more than 30 countries. While PIXCELL already stands out among other independent firms across leading Canadian markets, our experts can also take on international talent search mandates thanks to our position as an exclusive Canadian partner of CFR Global Executive Search.

Leveraging technology


Our experts use Boolean operators to perform sophisticated web searches. We scour not only professional social networks such as LinkedIn but also industry-specific resources such as professional associations, alumni associations and boards of directors. We also consult business publications, expert blogs and similar materials. In short, we pursue every path that may help us find specialists in an industry. To further improve our executive search results, we look beyond a potential candidate’s business sector or current place of residence. Given the dizzying amount of content on the web, our recruiters’ expertise in Boolean search techniques proves essential to obtaining relevant search results faster.


Looking beyond a single industry


In highly competitive industries, the executive search process initially targets the talent of close competitors. However, in most cases, the process proves more complex, especially for positions such as president and CEO. We need only look to history: the most successful hires over the years have involved crossing the bounds between industries and identifying the skillsets that can be transferred from one field to another. Take the example of John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple, who was president of PepsiCo before that. Having been a leader in the food and drink industry, he clearly possessed consumer market knowledge that was equally relevant to the IT sector.

A candidate with experience in another industry can bring a fresh perspective to a company and a new approach to overcoming market challenges. The headhunter team at PIXCELL evaluates all recruitment opportunities based on the unique needs of clients.


Creating connections


After performing in-depth research, the consultants at our executive search firm contact potential candidates. Whether they are passive candidates or are actively seeking employment, we take the time to discuss their ambitions and abilities with respect to the position in question. These interactions also allow us to identify whether candidates have the leadership qualities that our clients value.

We also have access to a pool of executives that is continually updated and improved by our headhunter team. This list of candidates contributes to agility of our executive search services and allows us to maintain important business relationships.


Are you looking to recruit the right executive for your company?


When you work with PIXCELL, you are provided with a list of candidates who are fully qualified for the position you are seeking to fill. Our research process has proven successful time and again. Reinforced by our rigorous candidate assessment process, our approach ensures that we select the candidates who are best equipped to meet the challenges facing your business.


Are you looking to stand out to our executive search firm?


If you want to get yourself noticed and take your career to the next level, make yourself visible to recruiters:

  • Keep your skills and your work and educational experience up to date online, notably on LinkedIn and within industry-specific associations and groups
  • Actively participate in events connected to your industry, for example, you may choose to serve as an expert on a panel discussion
  • Publish content on websites relevant to your industry demonstrating your expertise and market knowledge


You can also send us your resume.


So, how do executive search firms find candidates?


It comes down to a combination of factors, namely, extensive market knowledge, a solid network, precision internet search technologies and, finally, the ability to identify and hire a leader. The executive search process varies from case to case. The methodology we employ at PIXCELL is not set in stone: we are always adjusting our approach so that it best serves our clients’ interests.

It is for this reason that the largest companies rely on our executive search services. We are in an ideal position to find the most qualified candidates. Our clients come to us to resolve an issue at the executive level of their companies and, through our recruitment strategy, we find the optimal solution for their unique situation.

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