A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Search Process

Initial interview at an executive search firm 

Renewable energy is among the most competitive job markets right now. The industry continues to grow as advancements in renewable energy technologies open new avenues of applications. However, it’s not easy to find talented individuals with up-to-date knowledge in the various subfields of the industry. Finding qualified candidates for executive positions is harder still.

We were fortunate enough to get in touch with a representative from Whitham Group. This renowned executive search firm has been in the renewable energy industry for over twelve years. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of Whitham Group’s time-tested renewable energy recruiting process.

Step 1: Outlining Basic Requirements

In an initial meeting, a representative from the company looking for candidates meets with the executive recruiters and outlines their basic recruitments. The executive recruiters also collect information about the company’s philosophy, goals, culture, and other fundamental corporate aspects.

Step 2: Thorough Company Analysis

In this step, renewable energy recruiters use their experience in the industry to perform a deeper analysis. They aim to gain more insight into the company culture and identify the areas a new executive may improve. The executive recruiters may speak to many individuals in management roles of the hiring company in this step.

Step 3: Candidate Profiling 

Executive recruiters then make profiles for the ideal candidate for the company. They include all the required skills, qualifications, and experience in this profile. The profile also includes other personality traits, such as the management style of the ideal candidate. These are determined based on the company’s culture and the areas where a new executive can offer improvements.

Whitham Group also ensures that the company is a good fit for the candidate—not just vice versa. Candidates for whom the company’s culture suits well are more likely to stay for the long term. Thanks to Whitham Group’s effective recruitment process, around 79% of the candidates they chose for their clients have stayed with their respective companies for the last five years. Not only this, but around half of those even got promoted.

Renewable energy recruiters going through a resume

Step 4: Developing a Search Strategy

Executive search firms spend years building relationships with companies and organizations in their industry. They also regularly go to different industry events and conferences looking for talent. This leaves executive recruiters with various paths to reach the top talent in the job market. In this step, the executive recruiters develop a strategy to reach all the suitable candidates in their databases and other sources they have access to.

As a leading headhunter in renewable energy, Whitham Group has been exhibiting at Solar Power International for over six years. For the World Energy Innovation Forum, they partnered with Tesla to strengthen their relationships in the industry. The firm currently has 18,000 candidates in its database.

Step 5: Identifying Potential Candidates 

Once a search strategy has been developed, executive recruiters start identifying candidates that meet the ideal character profile. They leave some margin in the profile to give candidates the benefit of the doubt and to extend their pool of options. The steps that follow filter any candidates that don’t belong.

Step 6: Initial Interviews 

The executive recruiters conduct interviews to determine how well the candidates meet the requirements and fit the company. The recruiters thoroughly assess the candidate’s qualifications, experience, personality traits, interests, and preferences in job roles. The executive recruiters then present the client with a list of candidates they consider a good fit for the company.

Whitham Group also allows their clients to suggest changes in the search strategy if they’re unsatisfied with the candidates. The pool of candidates is readjusted to meet the client’s needs better.

Step 7: Comparative Shortlisting 

In this step, the executive recruiters work with the client to choose which candidates to consider for the next round of interviews. All the candidates are compared in terms of how well they meet the requirements. Personality traits and preferences of the candidates are also considered to ensure they’ll stay with the company for the long term.

Whitham Group can also thoroughly check all the references provided by the candidates if the client wishes. A short list of candidates is created that the client wants to hire, and these candidates move to the final round of interviews.

Executive recruiters finalizing an interview

Step 8: Offers and Negotiations

In this step, the client conducts interviews with all the candidates to get to know them better. The client and the candidates also negotiate salaries in this step. The executive recruiters may be a mediator in this process, but the client can also choose to handle the interviews themself. Once the client has chosen a candidate they’d like to hire, the onboarding process begins.

Step 9: Assisted Integration

The executive search recruiting firm will assist the company in the onboarding and integration process, ensuring they’re briefed on the various aspects of the company and the roles they’ll play. The degree to which the executive recruiters are involved in this process depends on the client’s wishes and the agreements made.

Whitham Group’s recruitment process is composed of 24 different steps. For simplicity, we included only the most general steps in this educational post.

Hire Experienced Renewable Energy Recruiters Now!

Whitham Group is a San Francisco-based executive search firm specializing in all areas of renewable energy recruiting. The company has built lasting relationships with countless organizations and candidates in the renewable energy industry.

Want to find the top talent for your company? Get in touch now!