Hiring for an executive level role is one of the most challenging positions to fill for any organization. This isn’t like hiring for your typical candidate. Whether it’s the CEO or CFO, this person will steer the company, drive the culture, and make decisions that directly impact the business.
That’s why you need to approach this hiring process differently. This isn’t the type of role you post on a job site and expect the CEO of Nike to apply for. If you want someone who encompasses impeccable leadership qualities and can back it up with impressive accomplishments, then you’ve got to do the work to find them.
Talented top-level professionals are always in high demand. In this case, the candidate holds the power, not the businesses looking to hire them. So if you’re looking to add to your executive board, here are 3 things to consider when undergoing a search.
- It’s all in the approach.
A study found that 97% of senior candidates in a company want to be ‘found’ or ‘approached’ by headhunters for relevant vacancies. In other words, this isn’t the time for your executive assistant to randomly message people on LinkedIn. If you want top performers, they expect to be treated as serious candidates from the get-go.
- Take it from the top.
While typically the founder or president are not involved in the hiring process for new staff, for a role of this magnitude, everyone needs to weigh in.
It’s important that the recruitment firm knows all of the skills and personality traits the current executive team is looking for. Communicating this from the beginning will ensure that the firm knows exactly what to look for.
- Avoid the hard sell.
Just like you wouldn’t ask someone to marry you within 10 minutes of a first date, you don’t want to offer the candidate the job straight out of the gate. Expect to invest in building a relationship first.
Once the recruiter has presented a few candidates to you, meet for a casual lunch. Don’t go in with an agenda. From where they grew up to the last place they vacationed, that first conversation should be about getting to know them on a personal level.
Can you picture this person fitting in well with the rest of the team? Are they easy to talk to? These are all important personality traits to gauge from the very beginning.