5 Executive Search Firm Myths We’d Like to Bust

When it comes to executive recruitment, misconceptions often run rampant.  Despite the value that dedicated senior living recruiters bring to the table, some senior care organizations still question whether a search firm is the right choice when it comes to a high-level executive or C-suite search. 


So, let’s tackle five of the most common myths about executive search firms and debunk them.


Myth #1: All Executive Search Firms Are the Same.

Not all search firms are the same. Actually, executive recruitment firms can be very different from each other. For example, some will only work on a retained search. That’s when a recruiter is paid an upfront or on a scheduled fee and works on an exclusive basis, meaning they, and only they, will be working on the search. Other search firms offer both the retained and contingency search models. A contingent search means recruiters only get paid when they find a candidate that you hire.


Also, many executive search firms focus on serving a number of industries while others may be exclusive to one industry such as senior living.  A senior care organization would be best served by an executive search firm exclusive to the senior living / long term care industry.  It’s best to do your homework.  Gather information to make sure an executive search firm fits with your specific industry and talent needs. 


Myth #2: Posting a Job Opening on Multiple Job Boards Will Find the Same People That an Executive Recruiter Would Present.


With an abundance of digital job boards available on the market today, many organizations assume that posting their position to a site like ZipRecruiter or LinkedIn can help them find their next executive hire. If that’s your method, you’re undoubtedly missing out on some of the best talent that the senior living industry has to offer. The best fitting executive and C-level professionals are not usually found that way since 70% of the workforce is passive talent. Passive candidates are individuals who are currently employed and not actively looking for a new job, but who may be open to a good career opportunity if one came along.


Consequently, there’s a lot more that goes into a high-level search than surfing the internet and posting ads on job boards or LinkedIn. Executive recruiters have a network of those hard-to-find, in-demand, and high-level industry professionals not normally found on job boards. Their industry specific relationships have been forged over many years and include thousands of senior living candidates, both active and passive. By partnering with a reputable and proven senior living executive search firm, you will gain access to a comprehensive network of carefully vetted industry candidates. In addition,  these candidates can also calltol your organization’s story to passive candidates which may help attract better candidates.


Myth #3:  Hiring an Executive Search Firm is Expensive and Not Worth the Money.


You’re probably asking yourself, are executive recruiters really worth it? Well, the real risk is making a poor hiring decision on your own.  Bad hires are very costly. The average cost of a mismatch is up to 30% of an employee’s salary according to the US Department of Labor. However, it’s even more when you consider the loss of productivity and decrease in employee morale, especially if your staff must pick up the slack.


A senior living executive recruiting firm can provide significant assistance with active and passive candidate attraction, selection, and vetting. The fee charged is an investment to assure a solid candidate, proven selection process, and positive outcome. In addition, many executive search firms offer a candidate retention guarantee. They will find a replacement if the new hire departs within a specific period of time after starting the job.


Myth #4:  Searches for Senior Management & Executive Positions Take a Long Time to Complete.


The key to a successful search in senior living is to commission search professionals who specialize in or are directly from the industry. These industry-savvy recruiters know how to engage senior living leaders and thereby develop and present only high-quality candidates in an acceptable time frame. Plus, given the talent shortage in the industry, clients can’t afford to wait or extend the search process since it may cost them the most high caliber candidates.


Myth #5: Executive Search Firms Only Provide Permanent Placements.


Many senior living executive search firms not only provide permanent placements but offer interim coverage as well. Interim leaders can be invaluable when a business is facing change or requires immediate support. For example, senior living interims are seasoned industry professionals who can hit the ground running, work well with your staff, keep teams and timelines on target, provide the skill sets needed for a fixed period of time, allow hiring managers the time needed to find a permanent hire, and have the experience to manage business disruptions.


An experienced senior living and long term care executive recruiter can be a game changer for industry organizations seeking to hire top executives and C-Suite talent. There’s great value in their process to identify, engage, screen, interview, and hire the right leadership for your senior living organization.




Julie Rupenski is the Founder & CEO of MedBest Recruiting. Since opening its doors in 2001, Julie has grown MedBest into an award winning, multimillion-dollar national firm, garnering impressive awards including INC 5000 2021 and Tampa Bay Fast 50 2021!  This year, Julie was named as one of the “Top 100 Women Leaders in Tampa 2022″ by Women We Admire.


MedBest has gained national recognition due to Julie’s industry expertise and high level of success. Julie has an in-depth knowledge of the senior living industry.  She previously worked in operations for both senior housing and senior living prior to founding MedBest. Today, Julie and her industry-savvy team of recruiters, make it their mission to place exceptional industry executives in senior living positions where they have the greatest impact.


Julie’s industry articles and interviews have been published in Provider Magazine, Argentum Quarterly, LeadingAge Magazine, McKnight’s Senior Living, Florida Senior Living Association, Florida Health Care Association, Florida Assisted Living Association, LeadingAge Florida, LeadingAge Indiana, LeadingAge Oregon, Virginia Assisted Living Association and the Pennsylvania Health Care Association.


Julie earned her degree in Gerontology at the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida and continues to cultivate her career through senior living conferences, forums, trade shows, and expos.


MedBest is an award-winning national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry. For more than two decades, we have connected senior living organizations with exceptional senior living executive talent for both permanent and interim roles. MedBest was named as one of American’s top companies by Inc.5000 plus we are a Tampa Fast 50 Company!

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