Tag Archive for: Executive Search

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Copyright © 2023 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

With the rise of digital networking and job search platforms, it may seem like recruiting the right candidates for your company has become easier. However, many businesses still struggle to find the right candidates, especially for senior or executive-level positions. This is where headhunters come in, helping to expand a company’s network and reach, in addition to talents acquisition.

Headhunting, also known as executive search, focuses on placement of qualified candidates for senior or executive-level positions. These candidates are often passive job seekers, meaning they are not actively looking for a job but may be open to new opportunities if presented and “sold” with the right offer.

Collaborating with headhunters provides numerous advantages that justify the additional HR cost. It goes beyond matching talents with a company’s values and encompasses intangible benefits such as receiving HR advice and the latest insights from headhunters, who often have extensive industry knowledge and connections. Additionally, working with headhunters provides access to new networks and contacts that may not be easily accessible when conducting recruitment independently or in-house.

Here are just a few of the benefits that headhunting can offer:

Access to Top Talent:

One of the most significant benefits of engaging headhunters is their ability to connect businesses with top-tier talent who are not actively seeking job opportunities. These individuals often hold high-level positions in other organizations, making them challenging to identify through traditional job search methods. Headhunters possess extensive networks and relationships with professionals across various industries, granting them access to a pool of qualified candidates who may be an ideal fit for a company. Furthermore, headhunters possess the skills and expertise to identify and attract passive job seekers who might not actively be seeking a new role.

Tailored Recruitment Approach:

Unlike conventional recruiting methods, headhunters adopt a tailored approach to recruitment. They work closely with companies to comprehend their unique needs, requirements for the position, and company culture and values. This understanding enables headhunters to identify candidates who possess the necessary skills and experience and align well with the company’s culture, ensuring their potential to contribute to its long-term success. Moreover, headhunters can conduct in-depth assessments and evaluations of potential candidates to ensure the right fit for both the role and the company.

Read more about tailored recruitment approach: https://wisenetasia.com/talent-acquisition/search-process/

Saving Time and Resources:

Recruiting the right candidates, particularly for senior or executive-level positions, can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process. Partnering with headhunters alleviates this burden, allowing companies to focus on their core business functions. Headhunters assume the majority of the recruitment process, including sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates. They also handle negotiations to ensure that companies acquire the best talent available. Consequently, this saves time and resources, empowering companies to concentrate on their core functions and achieve their goals more efficiently.


Confidentiality is often a paramount concern when recruiting for senior or executive-level positions. Companies strive to avoid unnecessary disruptions or uncertainties among their existing staff and may prefer to keep their recruitment efforts concealed from competitors. Headhunters possess the expertise to conduct searches discreetly, ensuring confidentiality and minimizing disruptions. This becomes particularly crucial when replacing a CEO or other senior executives, where discretion is essential.

Professional Expertise:

Headhunters are industry experts with extensive knowledge and experience in recruitment and talent acquisition. They possess a deep understanding of the job market, industry trends, and the skills and qualities required to excel in specific senior or executive-level positions. Leveraging their expertise, headhunters can provide valuable advice and guidance to both candidates and clients. They assist candidates in comprehending the role’s requirements, expectations, as well as the company’s culture and values. Clients benefit from insights into market trends, compensation packages, and others.

Headhunters Facilitate Expansion of Client’s Network and Reach

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of working with a headhunter is the ability to expand your company’s network and reach. By working with a headhunter, you can tap into their extensive professional network and connections, which can lead to valuable business opportunities and partnerships.

In addition to connecting you with top talent, headhunters can also introduce you to other business leaders and professionals in your industry. This can provide your company with a competitive edge, as you can learn from others’ experiences and build relationships that can lead to new business opportunities.

Furthermore, working with a headhunter can help you gain a better understanding of the job market and industry trends. This can provide valuable insights into the skills and qualities that are in high demand, as well as the compensation packages and other benefits that are necessary to attract top talent.

By expanding your company’s network and reach, you can also increase your brand visibility and reputation in your industry. This can lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty, and other benefits that can help your company achieve long-term success.

Choosing the Right Headhunter

While there are many benefits to working with a headhunter, it’s important to choose the right one for your company’s needs. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a headhunter:

  1. Look for a headhunter who specializes in your industry or niche. They will have a better understanding of your company’s unique needs and requirements.
  2. Research the headhunter’s track record and reputation. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients to get a sense of their level of expertise and professionalism.
  3. Consider the headhunter’s recruitment process. Make sure they take a tailored approach to recruitment and have the skills and expertise to identify the right candidates for your company.
  4. Ensure that the headhunter has a thorough understanding of your company’s culture and values. This will help them identify candidates who fit well within your company and can contribute to its long-term success.
  5. Finally, make sure you feel comfortable and confident working with the headhunter. Communication is key, and you want to work with someone who is responsive and easy to work with.


In today’s competitive business environment, finding and retaining top talent is essential to achieving long-term success. While traditional recruiting methods can be effective, working with a headhunter can provide a unique and valuable service that can expand your company’s network and reach.

By tapping into a headhunter’s extensive professional network and expertise, you can gain access to top-tier talent that may not be actively looking for a job. You can also benefit from their tailored recruitment approach, professional expertise, and high level of confidentiality.

Choosing the right headhunter is essential, so be sure to do your research and find someone who specializes in your industry and can provide the level of service and support that your company needs.

Overall, working with a headhunter can be a valuable investment for your company, providing access to top talent, expanding your network and reach, and helping you achieve long-term success.


February 2021

Head of Innovation for an Accelerator Hub in Jiangsu providing funding and infrastructure support for Singapore companies expanding to China in the areas of biomedical science, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing


February 2021

Successfully placed the role of Freight Forwarding Sales Director, China for a multi-modal Transportation and Intelligent Logistics Park in Chongqing under Singapore-China (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Framework, integrating land, rail, water and air transportation at western part of China

January 2021

Successfully placed the role of Senior HR Manager, Singapore for a real estate asset management company

September 2020

Successfully placed the role of Senior Investment Manager, Singapore for a real estate developer in Singapore

WiseNetAsia Knowledge Center
Copyright © 2020 WiseNet Asia Pte Ltd.  All Rights Reserved

Updated in October 2022


The rules of engagement when it comes to the firing and hiring of company executives can be perceived to be very “executive” in its execution as they are usually spared the ignominy of being informed of their soon-to-be-terminated contract status. Just like the hiring process, the firing process is most times shrouded in secrecy. This secrecy is carried out to, sometimes—outlandish heights, such as procuring an iron-clad non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to ensure the executive scouting process is kept confidential.

That said, there is more to the intent behind outsourcing the recruitment process than embarking on a face-saving, and blushes-sparing exercise for a soon-to-be-fired executive. Most often, the process begins with a call from a recruiter or a recruiting firm with the recruiter electing to discuss an opportunity with the candidates in the most confidential terms. Usually, this implies a withholding of information such as the name of the company and other details of similar nature in terms of the candidate’s prospective employer.

The reasons for this are manifold. It may range from internal incumbency (as the soon-to-be-vacated role is still being occupied) to competitive reasons. While companies might from time to time, ply the unfamiliar routes of having to secure the services of a recruitment firm due to factors such as lack of time, improving the quality of the hire, and unavailability of in-house hiring expertise; when it comes to executive recruitment, strict confidentiality and an extensive network of candidates is needed, along with the right experience in negotiation.

Confidential executive search – Key steps

As with most goals, it all starts with a clear definition.  You commence your search by defining the scope of qualification you expect of the soon-to-be-hired executive. Concepts like the job role, the job description, and specification should be considered in the event that you want an employee with niche skills, or a one with a one-size-fits-all ability. You should also know the right recruitment agency to hire through a credible process.

Hiring a temporary staff would mean that you secure the services of a staff recruitment agency. For executives, you might want to look at the services of an executive recruitment agency. You also want to make sure they are affordable and competent. Competence for executive recruitment agencies can be measured by their testimonials, social media presence, and professional associations.

If the recruitment agency does not have such information on their company website, you may proceed to ask for a commendation letter or client reference to testify to the capabilities as a competent recruitment firm. The role of these validations cannot be over-emphasized, given that the executive role is one that could make or mar an organization. Thus, a wrong fit is too much of a risk that you don’t want to take.

Upon finding the right recruitment agency for your executive search, job details like performance expectations, job descriptions, remuneration, and other specifics associated with the job are communicated to the recruitment firm to begin its search.

Roadblocks and Hacks

With employers open to remote hiring job candidates from anywhere in the world, some first interviews are conducted online.  The initial first rounds of interviews are crucial for exchange of information between recruiter and job candidate.

With online interviews, it is more challenging for recruiters to draw out information during a confidential executive search

However, for the recruitment agency, one task that is a derivative of online interview is the task of making the candidate feel safe enough to divulge as much information about his or her qualification over the phone. This is because candidate information is deemed highly confidential and sensitive, especially for a high ranking role like that of an executive.

The key here is for the recruiter to secure the trust of the candidates through various tactics. One of them is to venture into an information trade-off where the recruiter relinquishes just about enough information to secure the confidence of the candidate who, in turn, gives back information about themselves in exchange until a compromise is reached.

Key Success Factors of Confidential Executive Search

Another rationale behind the requirement of secrecy is that it is the moment such an executive discovers that he/she is about to be laid off; this person may become disinterested at work. The person may try to put the company in an unfavorable spot out of a new-found animosity towards the company. Such an executive may try to influence the company’s commercial activities in a way that suits his/her personal agenda rather than that of the company.

This is why one key factor for attaining success with a confidential executive search boils down to skills that are demonstrated by the recruitment firm’s competence and experience. This factor is a non-negotiable one because securing executive talent means the company is vulnerable and that only recruiters with expertise can navigate such perilous waters with the company coming out unscathed.

Another touchpoint is the uncanny ability to negotiate. This is just as important for any recruiter, but most important for executive recruiters because form the get-go—the telephone/audio/video conversation, the recruiter’s negotiation skills would be put to the test. Clearly, the recruiter has the unenviable task of having to extract information from the candidate, most times with the candidate being understandably reluctant due to:

  1. The sensitive nature of the information being required of them
  2. The anonymity of the hiring company

Moving on, for executive recruitment hiring companies, the ability to leverage the synergy between the search consultant and the account manager from the beginning of the assignment to its end is of equal importance. This is to guarantee a uniformity of purpose and objectives while attempting to land these executive talents.

In today’s interconnected galaxy of information, the requirement of secrecy can be quite tasking to fulfill. However, the importance of keeping matters of executive recruitment as top secret cannot be whittled down.  For executive recruiters, it is the key element to protecting the integrity of the hiring company and the recruitment process while not compromising on whatever progress that may have been made on the recruitment front. That said, it is also worth mentioning that while there may be no foolproof plan for a successful executive confidential search, the key insights that we have shared with you are more than capable of keeping your executive confidential search from veering off course.


July 2020

Closed the position of Senior Business Development Manager, Singapore for the business department of a China real estate company

May 2020

Successfully closed the position of Finance Director, Singapore for a real estate company in Singapore with regional presence


May 2020

Closed the position of AGM HR, Malaysia for the country HR of a US MNC in manufacturing

May 2020

Successfully placed the role of Head of Investment, Singapore for a newly setup real estate fund in the South East Asia market

April 2020

Successfully closed the position of Head of Human Resources, China for a Sino-Singapore logistics joint-venture group originating from the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI).


April 2020

Closed the position of Operations Manager, Singapore for a real estate company listed on the Singapore Exchange