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At the centre of every great business is the leadership team, essential for the business to run smoothly and efficiently. An executive search graduate career will encompass elements of both recruitment and management consulting. Searches revolve around more senior level than normal 'contingent' recruiters. Executive search aims to focus on finding individuals who are of a managerial, board level and above. It is about identifying, researching and assessing the leaders of organisations to ensure they can offer your clients the expertise to reach the firm’s goals.

Whilst creating excellent relationships with colleagues and clients, your focus will be creating market maps of different industries and networking amongst senior leaders. You will then assess potential candidates' backgrounds and CVs, before deciding if they are eligible for a particular role. Working within executive search, you would expect both the company that you work for and the candidates that you are aiming to hire to be high calibre with extensive experience within their field.

Most executive search roles will require travel to client sites, sometimes internationally, and office hours would be approximately 08:30am - 17:30pm. Flexibility will be required to attend clients' dinners and events.

Average Executive Search Graduate Salary

Executive Search Graduate Career Path

To begin an executive search graduate career, you will need an exemplary academic history and high levels of involvement in university life.

Many graduates are surprised at the varied content an executive search graduate career has to offer. The core skill of networking is paramount to being a successful researcher. Furthermore, the managing of relationships and the three-way sales technique required between client, consultant and candidate ensures a varied and engaging workload. You need to be a tenacious operator capable of building long standing relationships and providing a value added consultancy service. You will train to become a market expert in your field.

Qualifications and Skills Needed

What proportion of candidates as a percent we place into Executive Search graduate careers and the typical qualities graduate employers look for.

GRB Placements for Executive Search by Degree

Typical Candidate Attributes

Qualifications and Skills Needed: Requirements would include:

  • 2:1 or above (equivalent) in any discipline. Humanities based subjects would be desirable
  • Previous office experience, ideally in a customer or client facing capacity
  • High attention to detail
  • Strong research skills
  • A global mind-set

Individuals seeking employment in executive search or selection should also be:

  • Excellent at communicating, both verbally and written
  • Tactful and highly articulate
  • Analytical and methodical
  • A good judge of character
  • Motivated and results driven
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent organisation skills

Sources for Further Information

The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants: