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A lot has changed since the days when posting an ad in the classified section or throwing a “Help Wanted” sign in the window were the preferred methods of hiring new employees. For many positions, job board websites such as Monster, Indeed, and even Craigslist have become the go-to spots for job seekers. But what about when it comes to higher-level positions—what happens when a company needs a new CFO or CMO? How do companies handle executive recruiting? Related: 3 Executive Resume Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make According to PierceGray, the answer is simple: Executive search firms. Companies are now outsourcing the task of executive recruitment and hiring to third-party executive search agencies. These agencies’ hiring processes are similar to those of any company and are divided into three general stages:

First they meet with the company.

Before they begin recruiting, agency representatives must meet with representatives from the company to get all the necessary info about the position they’re looking to fill (e.g., job details, position requirements, and candidate eligibility). This conversation will help the agency come up with a strategy to find qualified candidates.

Then they search for candidates.

Executive recruiting agencies have a wide range of tools and resources at their disposal to help them research qualified individuals. By using these tools to research potential candidates and then marketing the position through personal communications between themselves and the candidates, they are able to find a pool of applicants that they then bring in for interviews.

Finally they select finalists and bring the new hire on board.

Following their interviews with candidates, the executive search firm will meet with the hiring company to essentially compare notes about each candidate. When a final decision is made, the search agency will double-check the candidate’s background information and qualifications. When it’s time to officially welcome the new executive to the company, the recruiting company will work with the company and the candidate to bring the candidate on board as a member of the team. Now that they’re able to enlist the help of executive recruiting agencies, executive recruitment has never been easier for companies. Since hiring agencies are so well versed in the executive hiring process and have all the necessary tools for success at their disposal, working with agencies to recruiting executive candidates is often the easiest way for major companies to find themselves suitable and qualified new executives.

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