Recruiting an Executive Search Firm in Procurement: 7 Questions to Ask and Evaluation Criteria [PRO]

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Talent makes procurement happen, and executive search firms play a critical role in bringing new talent into organizations. But when it comes to recruiting senior talent, few procurement teams we’ve spoken to take anything but a relationship-driven or ad-hoc approach to selecting executive search firms. The same relationship-based approach is also common with senior HR staff, CFOs and even CEOs, who often lead the selection process with executive search firms when they plan to hire a new chief procurement officer (CPO).

At Spend Matters, we are big believers in evidence-driven approaches to decision-making, as one can see through our SolutionMap methodology. In the case of procurement talent management and recruiting, this often starts with selecting the best possible executive search firm, especially hiring a CPO, VP and director-level talent. We recently assisted in the hiring of an executive search firm, but when tried to find an evidence-driven set of criteria for assessing such firms, we came up short. So we created a model ourselves, following the general theory suggested by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kanheman for optimal firm assessment.

In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, we share our framework for selecting executive search firms that specialize in procurement, using an evidence-driven model to support the best chance for positive outcomes. The frameworks comprises seven RFI questions to ask potential executive recruiting firms, scoring criteria for each question and a scoring matrix.

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