Hiring for an executive-level role can be one of the more challenging positions to fill for any organization.
It’s a big decision that requires plenty of consideration. Not only does executive hiring force your company to decide the type of top-level leaders to best represent the organization, make decisions, and communicate with stakeholders, but finding and securing the right executive hire will require a specific recruitment approach.
You might be wondering, who would hire in turbulent times? Amidst numerous hiring freezes and layoffs, there is a huge opportunity for scaling companies to hire strong and dedicated leaders that will help form decisions in the current pandemic as well as position the organization for long-term growth.
Top talent is always in high demand. And if you’re looking for executive-level professionals who possess expert leadership skills, you’ll have to do the work to find them. Here are three tips to consider as you begin your search:
1. Expand your search
How many successful roles has your executive team placed? While your C-suite may have the best intentions, they typically scout talent from their own limited networks and envision someone who mimics their own ideal leadership qualities.
If you want to scale up, build a team that inspires, and drives serious change, it’s better to leave it to the experts to find the best candidate for the role. Not only will a recruitment agency seek out the best hires for the role but they will actively acknowledge workplace diversity, or lack thereof.
2. Communication is Key
We understand that your team is busy; but if you want to hire the best, you need to make time for input from all levels. Allowing your team to weigh in on their criteria before the hiring process begins is the best way to ensure the ideal candidate will fit the specific needs of the company.
How will the person interact with the team? What does success look like in 5 weeks or 5 months? Gathering feedback and expectations from your current executive team and president, although rarely involved in the actual hiring process, could alleviate future stressors since expectations are communicated.
The greater the detail supplied to the recruitment firm, the greater your chances they’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. This includes any key skills, personality traits, or specific knowledge.
3. Reframe the hard sell
With the current pandemic highlighting the importance of virtual communication, it poses an opportunity to connect with candidates and demonstrate the type of leadership philosophy your business has taken on during these new times.
Once a recruiter has presented their top candidates to you, set up virtual lunches or coffee conversations. Keep a loose agenda and set your expectations to learning more about them on a personal rather than professional level.
Keep in mind, building a relationship takes time. As much as you are interviewing them, the candidates are also interviewing and vetting you. Consider providing a pre-recorded virtual office tour, information about your company culture, branded swag, or other ways that would let a candidate actively experience your company, rather than passively reading about it. It’s important they feel connected to the team and your mission, and are able to picture themselves leading the organization before accepting any offer.