Planning to reach out to recruiters – but you’re not sure how to find recruiting firms that seek candidates at your level?


With a simple search, you can locate and build relationships with executive recruiters – as long as you understand how recruiters work.

Recruiters are tasked with finding an optimum candidate, based on career history, specialized knowledge, industry experience, education, and other factors as specified by the HIRING company. They are paid by the client company – so their loyalty to you is limited to how well you fit their client requirements.

You can ask trusted colleagues for recommendations on a recruitment firm in your industry or city, and access public lists such as CEO World’s Top 100 Best Executive Search Firms.

It’s a good idea, though, to expand your recruiter network beyond your immediate location, using these methods:


1 – Locate Recruiters Using LinkedIn.

how to find recruiters on linkedinExecutive recruiters are easily found on LinkedIn with a few simple search techniques.

First of all, get familiar with the site’s Search function (which will make your life easier throughout your job search).

From any page in LinkedIn, use the top search bar to enter a search string (use quotes, such as “Recruiter CFO” or “Executive recruiter”), hit Enter, and you’ll see a long list of results. Select People in the drop-down area at the top.

Next to each user shown in your search results, you’ll see the option to Connect or Message these contacts, depending on your connection level. You can further sift through these results by selecting All Filters at the top; depending on your membership level, you’ll see parameters such as industry or location. 

LinkedIn automatically shows contacts who are in your network by default (you can change this order using Filters).

It goes without saying that you should read the recruiter’s LinkedIn Profile as a first step before starting a conversation.


2 – Access Recruiter Websites & Lists via Online Search.

Nothing’s simpler than just hitting Google to find anything, including an executive recruiter. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re finding the right type of firm or recruiting consultant for your situation.

One notable point: many recruiters work nationally and globally. Therefore, a recruiter need NOT be in your location. Keep this in mind during your search.

Google searches for recruiters will often yield too many results (case in point: a simple search using “IT Director recruitment agencies” turned up more than 350 million results, some of which included recruiting jobs or articles, plus actual recruiters).

To avoid sifting through this volume of results, you’ll need to be selective in specifying parameters, adding filters to help remove specific websites. For example, you can eliminate recruiter job listings by including as a search parameter, which will take all recruiting job listings from Monster out of your results.

As an example, “COO recruiter (manufacturing OR production)” will show recruiters who source COO jobs and candidates in manufacturing and production settings, while removing results shown on and


3 – Find & Use Executive Recruiter Directories.

executive recruiter listingsIn your Google search, you’ll discover executive recruiter listings or groups on various websites.

These directories, which are often arranged by industry and geographic region, offer a wealth of recruiter information.

You’ll need to invest considerable time to research these companies against your criteria, with a close review of the candidates and career levels sought by each agency.

Suggested recruiter directory websites include: and Your Google results may turn up additional recruiter company listings.

No matter how you find a recruiter, it’s best to provide a short introduction via social media, email, or the recruitment firm’s website, such as:

I see that you recruit for healthcare executives; I’m a hospital administrator looking for my next move and would like to find out if I’m a good fit for your client requirements.“.

Some companies will may also expect you to forward a resume during your initial contact.


Locating knowledgeable executive recruiters and recruitment agencies can be a valuable step in your job search – as long as you approach this task with diligent research and realistic expectations.