31 August 2022

The Timberseed Guide to Graduate Executive Search Roles

Graduate Executive Search Roles

Are you wise beyond your years?

Do you have bags of natural curiosity, finding yourself quick to spot the little details – with a bright personality and the ability to hold your own across multi-channel teams, management, and clients of senior levels?

Then a role as a Graduate Executive Search Consultant is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your abilities, against a backdrop of sector-leading businesses and prominent figures.

In this role, you’ll be pulling on a wealth of industry knowledge in order to place executive talent – often at C-Level – with your client company, showing plenty of initiative to make smart choices that will innovate – and elevate – company structure.

At Timberseed, we’re all about people power. It’s kind of our deal.

That means we source exceptional individuals who go on to progress, develop and make their mark within some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking technology start-ups, companies, and more.

As market-leading graduate recruiters, we offer graduates from top 10 universities – especially those from Russell Group Universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge – access to our exclusive career portal.

This boasts roles with market-leading clients in some of the most rapidly-developing and lucrative sectors around.

Our team is on hand to provide one-to-one support, featuring tried and tested tips, practical guidance interview training to make sure everything – from your CV to that crucial first meeting – shows off your unique talents.

If you’re ready to start your executive search career, there’s no one better to get you there than us.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s just a few of the hundreds of happy graduates who have found their dream job with Timberseed.

So, what is Executive Search Practice? 

Excellent question.

In short, when it comes to placing candidates further up the business model and in seniority within a business, the recruitment process looks a little different than normal. When dealing with executive level talent, such as Directors, CEOs or at ‘C Level’, an organisation will choose Executive Search Recruiters to help them source the best people.

Because of the huge impact these positions can have within an organisation, many companies choose an Executive Search business or specialists to handle this responsibility, rather than doing it in-house.

Finding candidates who can fill this criteria, with relevant experience and often niche expertise needed to lead an exceptional team in their respective fields, can be tricky for internal HR.

That’s where Executive Search Consultants, or as they are sometimes also known, Associates, come in.

Unlike traditional processes that use external talent pipelines, executive search requires a bit more finesse.

In order to source people suitable for high-flying executive roles, this method requires Executive Search Recruiters to consider candidates over a longer length of time – which could be anywhere between a month and a year.

Using a winning combination of analytical thinking, project and time management alongside fantastic communication, the aim of the game is to find exceptional leaders for your client.

Sound like your kind of challenge? Send us your CV and unlock amazing career opportunities today. 

What sort of role can I expect within the Executive Search sector?

As the job name suggests, a Graduate Executive Search Consultant becomes the most crucial point of contact between a search agency and a company.

This exciting role spans across industries, facilitating client requests, starting a bespoke search process, and constantly feeding back with your discoveries during the process.

First starting as a Graduate Executive Search ‘Researcher’, those who excel and thrive within this role can then progress and become a Consultant – utilising over four years experience to go above and beyond for clients.

As you’ll be dealing with experienced candidates and business professionals, you’ll be showcasing your maturity and determination to succeed. It also requires you to think both creatively and analytically, seen through your ability to research and find solutions of all kinds throughout the process.

You’ll become an industry expert in regard to your clients’ field of operations.

That means you’ll know exactly what to look for when it comes to discerning the best people for the company you are sourcing for, spotting that something special that will supercharge their company framework and operations.

A day in the life: what are the responsibilities of a Graduate Executive Search Researcher? 

As a Graduate Executive Search Researcher, you’ll be met with a varied and exciting schedule. If you’ve got a love for talking to people and helping them reach their full potential, stretching your negotiating muscles, and having a stellar eye for detail, no two days will ever be the same.

But what else will you find yourself doing?

Client communication 

As the voice of your client in the field, you’ll ensure that you understand – and carry out – what they need when it comes to recruiting amazing C-Level candidates into their business.

As part of an Executive Search firm, you’ll familiarise yourself with the quality and high standards your clients expect, searching for these qualities in the talent you research, prospect, and pass on.

You will be required to attend client briefings and meetings both in-person or over the phone to ensure you get the full scope of their needs, such as client skillsets or desirables. So excellent notation skills, a sturdy pad, and an attentive manner are very helpful!

Searching for The Good Stuff 

The clue is in the name.

As a Graduate Executive Search Consultant, you’ll use a number of search techniques and methods to tap into relevant markets and talent pools. Whether you’re prospecting from internal databases, mapping industries, or discovering candidates from external sources, you’ll be responsible for finding a range of candidates for your client to consider.

Separating the best from the rest

Now for the exciting bit.

You’ll go on to make contact with a number of identified candidates from your prospected long-list, inviting them to your own screening interview – either in-person, over the phone, or through video call – to qualify them against your client brief.


You will then collate your findings into a list, which will then be presented to your client as strong contenders for their chosen roles.

Manage interviews, applications, and more 

Some things work better together.

You’ll be working alongside your client’s internal teams to make sure that any ‘paper trails’, such as outstanding administration, paperwork, invoicing, and communications are completed and tracked correctly. This requires excellent time management skills and the ability to think fast, as you will also be in charge of conducting a range of candidate interviews at the registration or application stages, in line with their job search strategies.

You’ll also be tasked with handling the negotiation offer stage too, where your communication skills will really have the chance to shine.

You might also be required to input your own industry knowledge and key insights to help clients elevate their overall offering. This is crucial when it comes to future candidate sourcing – both internally and externally – and allows you to step up to the plate and make a huge difference.

Who doesn’t love the spotlight?

Target hitter – and general go-getter 

While you’re at it, you’ll be using your analytical smarts to actively push your clients to recruit talent that will improve their business. As well as placing successful candidates, you’ll be offering support and advice to the Client Services Director or Sales Director to enhance overall output, hit sales targets in regards to fulfilled business, and partner with new and exciting clients.

So how do executive search agencies make revenue – and where do you fit in?

When clients approach an agency to source talent, the ‘fee’ is usually totaled against a portion of the prospective candidate’s first annual salary, excluding any commissions or bonuses. Often, this fee is paid in two instalments as part of a retainer – where they are paid half of the fee at the beginning of the search and the rest once the clients’ requirements have been met.

As a Graduate Executive Search Consultant, you’ll aim to keep as many clients on ‘retainer’ as possible to ensure that revenue is steadily rolling in, as well as keep an eye out for new business that can invigorate the income flow.

For those of you motivated by targets and who are keen to impress, there are plenty of lucrative incentives in store.

Already sold?

Get in touch with our team of dedicated recruiters today, to find out how we can match you to your perfect role in Executive Search.

Can I work remotely? 

Although there may be options for this role to be carried out to the full-effect outside of the office environment, you’ll likely find yourself working alongside your colleagues at the office of your client business or your agency’s location.


What is the average salary for a Graduate Executive Search Consultant?

Let’s talk cash.

Newly graduated candidates successfully placed as Executive Search Consultants can expect to receive between £30-35k within their first year. However, those who are keen to prove themselves and consistently meet – and power through – financial targets will earn further commissions, bonuses, or even both.

This is set to bring your complete earnings to anywhere between £35-£50k within the first month alone. Those who continually impress and succeed within the role can go on to make £75k to £100k by year three.

As such, this is an excellent career for anyone looking to push themselves in a highly lucrative – and sought-after – role.

What skills or qualifications do I need to match Executive Search Consultant opportunities?

At Timberseed, we focus on the existing qualities that make you an excellent candidate for a whole host of roles we have on offer. That’s because you’re more than the paper your CV is printed on.

Although excellent candidate experience can do a lot of the legwork when it comes to Graduate Executive Search Consultant jobs,  we keep our eyes peeled for a range of skills that can be transferred to your ideal career. These are:

  • Analytically-minded 

As an Executive Search Consultant at any level, you’ll be dealing with big clients and even bigger C-Level talent on offer. It’s your job to diligently comb through and source the best of the best – which requires considerable attention to detail, excellent judgement, and the ability to make – and sometimes prove – the solid reasoning for your choices. You’ll take pleasure in playing the long game, keeping up the same high standards throughout to make great selections to present to your clients.

  • Top-notch communicator 

Within Graduate Executive Search Roles, you’ll be doing a lot of talking. For social butterflies, this means you’ll be using your excellent interpersonal skills to relay information, answer questions, network, outreach and discuss your work and strategies with a huge range of people. From clients, candidates, and both internal and external business teams, you’ll be constantly connected to individuals of all kinds of seniority and experience.

Your spoken manner will be fantastic – as the ‘face’ of your client – which should extend to your writing skills and ability to hold conversations over the phone, in-person, by email, or on any other channel.

  • Target smasher 

As the standard within recruitment and similar industries, targets are always present. Perhaps this is an overall financial target your company has set or a number your client is keen to onboard – you’ll see these challenges and instantly put your thinking cap on. You’ll be motivated by these focuses and use them to inform your work, helping you plan, pivot, and implement any strategy moving forward in order to meet – and smash – through them.

Candidates who are dynamic and keen to make a difference will thrive in this fast-paced environment, using these as benchmarks to elevate their output and deliver amazing results.

Plus, it also does well in boosting your OTE – ‘on target earnings’ – including possible commission.

  • Cool, calm and organised 

Are you quite the plate-spinner? A Graduate Executive Search Consultant will be expected to manage multiple candidates on behalf of their clients, as well as handle and initiate the interviewing and negotiating process throughout – in addition to general communications and frequent liaising with the company. If you love nothing more than figuring out the best process to tackle information and love the thought of managing your own client streams, then you’ll fit right in.


What sort of role can I expect within the Executive Search sector?

In Graduate Executive Search Roles, you can anticipate a role that serves as a crucial liaison between a search agency and client companies. Initially starting as a Graduate Executive Search Researcher, you’ll progress to become a Consultant, overseeing bespoke search processes and providing ongoing support to clients. Your responsibilities will involve facilitating client requests, conducting candidate searches, managing interviews and applications, and offering industry insights to enhance client offerings.


What is Executive Search?

Graduate Executive Search Roles involves sourcing top-tier candidates for senior-level positions within organizations, such as Directors and CEOs. Unlike traditional recruitment processes, executive search requires meticulous attention to detail and a longer-term approach to candidate sourcing, often spanning several months to a year. Executive Search Consultants utilise analytical thinking, project management skills, and effective communication to identify and engage exceptional leaders who align with their client’s requirements.

Can I work remotely as a Graduate Executive Search Consultant?

While there may be opportunities for remote work in this role, you’ll primarily collaborate with colleagues at either the client’s business location or the agency’s office. While flexibility may exist depending on the specific circumstances and arrangements, the nature of the role often involves direct interaction with clients and candidates, which typically necessitates working from a designated office space.

Are you ready to find yourself as a Graduate Executive Search Consultant? 

We think so, too.

At Timberseed, our team is on-hand to help you find the role that suits you down to the ground. Whether you’re looking to expand your talents and upskill or are searching for your dream job, we take into account your future plans and goals before setting off on our search.

We offer a bespoke service that’s as unique as you are.

Ready to discover what you can do? Get in touch with us today or give us a call on 020 3030 5045.