Executive recruiting firms in the banking industry can be invaluable for placing your next executive.

Between changing regulations, FinTechs, and the talent shortage, banks are facing a number of serious headwinds.

Effective leadership is crucial to navigating these changes and achieving business goals. However, study after study shows that roughly half of all new executives fail in 18 months or less.

There’s no doubt about it – placing the right executive can be a serious challenge. But the right search partner can make all the difference.

If you’re looking for a partner to assist with your next search, here are three things to look for in an executive recruiting firm in the banking industry.

Picking an Executive Recruiting Firm in the Banking Industry Tip #1 – Experience and Knowledge in Your Area of Banking

Anyone can say they know banking. But the industry is so varied that you need to make sure your search partner will understand your specific situation. It’s an important consideration when picking an executive recruiting firm in the banking industry.

A search partner with experience working with Fortune 500 banks might not be well-versed in the challenges facing regional banks, and vice versa. That’s not to mention online banks, who face unique challenges of their own.

To learn how well a search partner understands your niche, ask open-ended questions. Ask for their opinion or ideas on how banks can navigate current challenges like digital banking – or how they’ve seen other companies deal with the talent shortage.

If you ask thoughtful questions and pay attention, you’ll soon get a good idea of whether someone truly knows your niche.

Picking an Executive Recruiting Firm in the Banking Industry Tip #2 – Find a Partner with a Broad Network

Naturally, a wide network gives you access to more candidates. That’s a great thing to keep in mind when choosing an executive recruiting firm in the banking industry. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If a company has a broad network in banking, it means they have a lot of connections to tap for brainstorming and problem solving.

As an example, maybe you’re wondering how to improve your mobile banking experience for your customers or struggling to find the right candidates to execute that initiative.

A search partner with many different contacts in the field can reach out to others to ask how they’ve dealt with similar challenges. This is invaluable for spotting potential pitfalls or roadblocks far in advance and can be crucial to a successful search.

Lastly, a wide network is a good sign that a search partner is trusted by others in the field. It’s always encouraging when someone has taken the time to build long-term relationships.

There’s never any harm in asking for references, either!

Picking an Executive Recruiting Firm in the Banking Industry Tip #3 – Consider Their Capabilities

Another point separating a great search partner from the rest is how they find candidates. Do they have a rolodex of candidates from prior searches? Do they leverage LinkedIn, Indeed and other online platforms? When picking an executive recruiting firm in the banking industry, consider how your access to different talent pools will affect your search.

Here at Qualigence, we use our in-house research team (the largest in the United States) to find candidates that other companies are missing. This gives you a huge competitive advantage and can allow you to hire the people your competitors can’t afford to lose.

You’ll also want to explore how a search partner assesses candidate fit. What questions do they ask you – and what questions will they be asking the candidate? How do they get to know you and your business? Do they ask hard questions about your goals, challenges, situation and culture?

The best search partners don’t just connect you to quality candidates; they serve as a consultant that helps you refine and clarify your business strategy.

The most effective search partners will also use behavioral analytics to get a better understanding of what drives each candidate. These tools can help a search firm understand the chemistry of your team and predict how a new candidate will fit into that.

Success Starts With Placing the Right Candidate

Leadership is everything. But you can’t get the right leader without picking the right search firm for YOUR bank. When comparing executive recruiting firms in the banking industry, you ultimately have to pick the firm that meshes best with your organization.