Examples of executives placed by DC executive recruiters

Choosing the right executive search firm, or head hunter, as they’re also called, is the second most important decision you’ll make when hiring for a top position. The most important decision, of course, will be who to hire. But, how do you know which firm to choose? Washington D.C. teams with such firms and top notch candidates. If you haven’t needed to replace an executive yet or you’ve conducted searches yourself in the past, use the following Nels Olson strategies to choose the right firm for your company now.

Tap your network. Ask the senior executives currently in your employee what companies they sought employment through in the past or used at a previous employer. Ask your colleagues and industry organizations for recommendations.

Let your fingers do the walking. Recruiter directories provide an exhaustive list of possibilities. Visit RileyGuide.com for a list of free directories. Try your library for a database subscription to RecruiterRedbook.com, SelectRecruiters.com, and BlueSteps.com. With hefty charges for the top directories, your library card can save your small business big bucks. Also, check some of the free directories like onlinerecruitersdirectory.com, recruiterlink.com, i-recruit.com and searchfirm.com.

Social media. Check Ecademy.com, Doostang.com and LinkedIn. Use a keyword search to locate profiles. On LinkedIn, you’ll find about 90,000 recruiters and most list their niche on their profile.

Niche markets. You’ll probably have compiled a short list. Most recruiters specialize. For instance, Isaacson Miller specializes in science and health placements for universities, research foundations and government. It recently closed the search for the executive director of the American Board of Ophthalmology. The ABO chose Dr. Charles Bartley who assumes duties beginning January 2017. Isaacson Miller also handled two searches for American University, helping it discover its Dean of Education, Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, and its Dean of the Kogod School of Business, Dr. John Delaney. Both assumed duties in July 2016. You might find Boyden helpful if your niche area includes aerospace, Intelligence or defense; aviation; government; or security and risk management. The company also conducts searches in other areas, but does not reveal its closed searches. JDG Associates Ltd. specializes in government, health and science searches. Although it also does not list the results of its closed searches, currently it’s assisting the National Marine Fisheries Service, a unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, search for a Director of Scientific Programs and Chief Science Advisor.

You’ll find Washington D.C. full of recruiter options. The legwork will be finding just the right recruiter for your company. The perfect head hunter though is more likely to help you find the perfect candidates.