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Why Work With a Boutique Firm?

Hiring a new C-Suite or Senior financial leader for your organization is a daunting task; and in the current candidate-driven market, it can be difficult. Moreover, if you make a mistake, it’s very expensive and time-consuming. Perhaps you’re considering outsourcing the search; if you’re thinking about working with a search firm, you’ll need to decide between a large firm or a boutique firm.

A large firm may be appealing at first: there’s brand recognition, and they’ve probably got a long list of big-name clients. However, you may have more success with a smaller firm, for the following reasons.

  • Specialization: Smaller firms are more likely to specialize in a certain industry or functionality. They will know a lot of people in their area of expertise, and you’ll benefit from that knowledge.

  • Communication and Personal Touch: The team at a boutique firm will be involved in a search at all stages and communicate directly with their clients, from the first meeting to post-hire follow-ups. Most boutique firms will collaborate with you and advise you on the best approach. The team you meet at the kickoff meeting can learn about your organizational culture and be able to help potential candidates understand it. Larger firms may delegate work to associates who are removed from client contact.

  • Time: Smaller firms will have more time to devote to your search. Your search will be prioritized and you won’t get lost in the shuffle.

  • Agility: Boutique firms are more nimble; they will customize the search process to meet your specific requirements and are more able to adapt the search if needed.

  • Hands-off policies: Executive Search firms have moral and contractual obligations not to recruit from active clients. Larger firms have extensive active client lists, meaning lots of great candidates that they can’t recruit. Smaller firms will have fewer active clients, and therefore a larger pool of potential candidates available for consideration.

  • Fill rate: Larger firms can afford to leave some searches unfilled. Smaller firms are more likely to complete every search, no matter how difficult; they tend to be more invested in a positive outcome.

If you’re considering hiring a search firm to assist with C-Suite or senior finance roles, we'd be happy to talk. Email Paul, Brent, Troy, or Tara, or give us a call at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.

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