Executive search, it’s a team game!
Executive search can appear to be accessible only to an elite group of recruitment professionals. Recruitment professionals who have graduated from the fee-chasing agency world and into the more prestigious arena of retained and exclusive search. As Katrina and I both started as agency recruiters, we were interested to learn from this week’s guest, Lewis Maleh, if the myth was actually the truth or did we simply have a massive agency-induced inferiority complex about this haloed ground of recruitment.
Lewis, like us, started his career agency-side before he established his own Executive Search company in 2010. It is intriguing to learn why he set-up his own business and that he was “keen to start my own business again”. Lewis decided on Exec Search because “you tend to start a business in something you are good at”.
In the first part of the show, we also cover why a client should select Exec Search as opposed to a contingent supplier. We discuss why Lewis thinks “the hidden cost in recruitment is candidate retention” and how “incentives govern behaviour”. He also explains why it’s a fair exchange if “The client commits money, I commit my time”. Lewis encourages his clients to think of the partnership as a “Team game”.
It’s all about storytelling!
It was also really interesting to discover how he made the transition from agency to Exec Search, and how he framed his new proposition in the eyes of previous clients. He tells us “all the people that knew me before, wouldn’t use me for Exec Search” because “you get known for certain things”. Persistent and confident in his proposition, Lewis continued, “it’s all about approach” and being able to “represent a client to the market” through effective storytelling.
Focusing on Lewis’ comments about storytelling, he tells us how important it is as “people buy into me, my story, my values, and my journey” and then reframes this in the context of a candidate and his understanding that “they want to know, is the next chapter of my career going to be in this company and what’s the story going to be”. So it’s important for him to “structure everything around storytelling”.
To close, Lewis tells us “I think of my business as generating content”, “I don’t sell anything, advertise. I just create content that I think my network and community would be interested in”.
If that wasn’t enough, you’ll hear Lewis talk about:
- The definition of Executive Search
- Why confidence is key when pitching retainers
- Why continual learning leads to success
- Where to start on your content-generating journey
- Interviewing for emotional intelligence
- Gamification of psychometric assessment
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