If you’re looking to recruit you can either advertise for candidates or you can search for them. So what exactly does Search entail and how does it enhance your applicant pool?

Advertising is just that – you advertise the position, usually online and/or in the newspaper and wait for a response. This reactive strategy does work but it has its limitations:

Firstly, you’re relying on the ideal candidate being in the position of looking for a job, seeing the advertisement and responding to it. Secondly, there may be some sensitivities around the role, therefore broadcasting a vacancy in the public arena might not be possible.

The other way to recruit is to Search. This proactive approach is usually carried out when there is typically a scarcity of candidates. It’s also used if you want someone for a role that has specific technical or leadership requirements.

Using search allows you to approach candidates who may be very happy in their current role and might not have even considered other job opportunities. It also allows you to track down those hard-to-find and uniquely skilled candidates, that only a successful search firm is truly capable of doing.

At Sheffield, when recruiting for a particular role, we utilise a combination of strategies:

We look at where candidates might currently be working - chances are the ideal candidate is working for our clients’ competitors or for a firm in the same industry.

We also head online and:

We create specific search parameters on LinkedIn. Using our on-house LinkedIn Recruiter licenses, we have unparalleled access to candidate profiles globally, and can run a series of specific candidate searches based of detailed parameters taken at the briefing meeting.

And if the ideal candidate is not on LinkedIn? That’s where …

Our rich database plays an important role. Leading the recruitment arena for over 50 years in 3 centres means that we have built a robust database that has been honed, refined and updated over the years. Within this database is a mass of rich information on people that may be appropriate.

Tapping into our own database allows us to …

Source our own connections and ask them who they’d recommend for the position. This has the added benefit of gleaning rich information on potential candidates and assessing their reputation in the marketplace.

So, as you can see, advertising and using LinkedIn is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to searching for the right candidate.

Next time you’re looking to hire, don’t just advertise for a candidate, Search for them. And ensure your recruiter not only has the capability to do so, but also has the reputation for being good at it.


In conjunction with our extensive historical knowledge and ongoing mapping of the executive landscape, we develop search strategies which proactively identify the best and most relevant talent in the field. Our dedicated in-house research team supports our trained consultants in fine-tuning the search strategy to the particular needs of each assignment. Furthermore, we provide additional in-depth evaluative advice through psychometric and behavioural assessments, lending additional value and rigour to your decision-making.



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