4 Reasons to Work with a Boutique Search Firm


As competition floods the job market with people who were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic and others who chose to leave their positions due to burnout, it can be tough to find the needle-in-the-haystack applicant who’s the perfect fit for your team. As the great COVID churn continues to increase turnover across organizations, one way to ensure you’re getting the strongest candidates is to allow a third party to manage the process while you stay focused on pursuing your mission.

But how do you know which search firm is right for your needs? While we can’t speak for all boutique firms, here are 3 reasons from our first-hand experience that a boutique firm will save you time and ensure your next hire is the best fit.

1. They understand how important every hire is. One of the biggest fears people have about using a search firm is that a third party won’t understand or appreciate the values, culture, or needs of your organization as well as someone from the inside. However, small firms know this better than anyone because on a small team, every person wears multiple hats and is therefore critical to organizational success.

Also, boutiques uniquely understand the struggle of maintaining culture as teams grow. Since many small firms were started by one or two people and grown from there, they understand the importance of careful selection for candidates with unique skills and interests but similar values to your culture. Personality and skill diversity is critical on a team because it allows new perspectives and ideas to be considered, but everyone should be driving toward the same mission.

Tip: When hiring, you need people who carbon-copy your culture, but don’t carbon-copy your talent.

2. Boutique firms are niche. As we like to say, focused effort brings focused results. A niche focus ensures the firm spends all of their time and energy in one area, making them specialists who know your industry in and out. Boutiques have the unique opportunity to develop skills and connections that larger firms don’t have the capacity to develop in the same detail as a focused firm.

At Vanderbloemen, we understand this on a deep level because we were one of the very first search firms in the Christian space, so we have an unmatched institutional knowledge with over 180+ years of ministry experience on our team.

Jesus said, ‘Nobody can serve two masters.’ We take that seriously and have built a singularly focused team. This isn’t a side gig for us. We’ve intentionally taken a different approach in building our organization than any other Christian Search Firm. We believe that the best way for us to help you find your key staff is to have full-time, in-house employees dedicated to helping you do just that. Our employees’ full-time focus is to help you build and align your team to your organization’s purpose.

3. Speed wins. When working with potential hires, speed is everything. Job seekers are eager to engage with potential employers and have in-depth questions throughout the hiring process. This is difficult for a church or organization to manage in-house without a specialized recruiter, but for a firm – addressing these questions and concerns are our top priority. Boutiques in particular can work with unmatched speed because we don’t have as much red tape holding us back from responding to our clients and candidates.

At Vanderbloemen, we also have a unique strategy of sharing all of our candidates amongst the recruiters. Rather than siloing our team members and searches, our staff works together, meaning anyone you work with on our team has access to the same candidate pool which we’ve been growing since 2010. We’ve invested significant resources into building a scalable database that houses and updates our database of 90K+ candidates. Since our consultants don’t work on commission, our database is shared among our team to ensure that every client has access to the best candidates for the role. Our collaborative nature allows us to share tips and resources in a way that other firms don’t have the bandwidth to achieve.

4. Boutiques offer high-caliber connection and results. Boutiques often act like a family, and when you become a client, you become part of that family. Leaders of small firms are able to emphasize and enforce mission easily because they personally know and work alongside each member of the firm. This transparency and connection allows leaders of boutiques to continually refocus employees on the firm’s mission: serving the client by matching people with their passions. Because every staff member is always focused on their purpose and mission, we value the process, our relationships with clients, and the potential hires we bring you. Boutiques have an unmatched ability to truly understand your needs on a personal level.

At Vanderbloemen, we have grown from being 1 person with a vision to staff the church, to building a team that created systems and processes matching the sophistication of larger firms, without scaling to the size and complexity of a larger firm. Each of our hires are carefully vetted for value-fit and culture-fit to ensure service excellence is the united spirit of our team.

We’re here to help staff the church in every form: non-profits, Christian schools and universities, values-based businesses, and churches of every size. Our heartbeat is having the opportunity to match people with their passions and connect organizations with their top leaders. If you’re looking to expand your staff or fill a critical role, we’d be honored to partner with you in that process. Connect with us to get started finding your next team member.


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