Executive Search – the process

Executive Search – or headhunting – is a proactive process where we approach relevant candidates directly. The process looks like this:


The basis


Job and competency profile

If you have not already developed a job profile we can aid you with this. We ask challenging questions to get to the core of what is really important and/or critical. Through a competency workshop we aid you to identify the competencies that are critical for success.

Assignment description

The assignment description is our governing document – as well as being the information we give out to interested candidates (depending on confidentiality). We go through lengths to describe your organization as open and honest as possible – covering the current state, the scope of what is to be achieved, future challenges, culture and context in the position at hand.

Target list

The target list contains the external organizations we will scan to identify candidates, based on an analysis of the job and your own organization. We develop it for you, looking at competitors, adjacent business and industries etc – always requiring your approval and input. It is crucial to be thorough and structured in order to achieve qualitative research.


Contact and interviews



Research is mainly done online today however some candidates are not found through LinkedIn and social media – traditional research is still needed. We primarily contact candidates over the phone to present your case and probe for interest. Confidential assignments are anonymized as needed. Telephone interviews are competency based with predefined questions and behavioral indicators. Qualified candidates will be invited to a first ability test which they have to pass at a predefined level in order to take the next step in the process. When working with partners we still control interview questions and assessment tools used.

Assessment tools

As a minimum we always use an abstract reasoning ability test as well as personality- and motivational drives questionnaires. We use assessment tools from Hudson (BAQ, MDQ, RAT’s) or Saville Consulting (The Wave) for this purpose. All tools show high validity and have solid scientific foundation. They can all be linked to competencies and are continuously scientifically reviewed. Linking tools to competencies results in being able to rank candidates and measure them against each other.

Competency based interview

Stardust Executive always develops an assignments-specific competency based interview guide. Through open questions we ask for examples from the candidate’s own experience. Answers are scored against predefined behavioral indicators. The grade for each competency in the interview is added to the grades from other tools used.

Deep interview

When working with partners for research and first competency based interview we always carry out our own deep interview – always competency based, the candidate is scored against predefined behavioral indicators.


End phase



3-4 shortlisted candidates corresponding to the selected competencies are presented thoroughly with CV, results from interview(s), tests, analysis. We provide an overall picture where you can compare the candidates towards each other and review their detailed results.

Client Interviews

The client interviews the presented candidates. For this purpose we can provide you with structured interview guides and behavioral indicators to score the candidates against.

Assessment Centre

An assessment centre for the final candidate is included in the price. However, more candidates can be assessed in the same way should you wish to add this. The assessment centre is a full day of simulation exercises, tests and role-play where the candidate gets to demonstrate concrete behavior in different situations. Stardust Executive are partners with Hudson R&D center in Belgium – through this partnership we have access to some of the best simulation exercises on the market, for different needs, industries, levels and tasks.


We conduct thorough reference interviews that are structured and competency based. All our findings are collected in a document where you can see a clear summary of our impressions but also the answers to our questions, word for word. We can also offer to conduct a more thorough background check as a separate service, should you need it. We partner with some of the most trusted and discrete companies in the business.


You hire the most competent and qualified candidate.


Start of employment



Many companies do not find the time for a proper introduction – this can cause inefficiency during the start of the employment. We offer an extra service to start a coaching program during the start of the employment. The newly hired manager thus has a coach to provide structure, help to untie knots and contribute to solutions to the arisen problems. Read more about our coaching programs here…