How to Approach Executive Recruiting


by vested

You’re well into the financial year, and your company is firing on all cylinders, realizing excellent figures and performances.


Everything is looking up, and things couldn’t be better. You have a very able team that makes that possible, but alas, the unpredictable happens. Out of the blues, a senior executive, who was a vital cog in your machine, decides to call it quits. Now you find yourself looking at unprecedented recruitment for a position of great significance.

To say that the search for an executive-level replacement is a challenge would be an understatement. You are working to beat the clock to ensure the vacancy doesn’t derail your business’ progress, as well as prioritizing a particular combination of know-how and personality. You have to find a good solution and find it fast!


Recruiting senior management can be a headache, but the following pointers can make it less of a hassle: 


Have a market map to consult to give you a feel of what you’re up against

A market map is essentially an overview of the prevailing circumstances in the market, both from a competitive and talent-seeking perspective. It may be in the form of a chart, PowerPoint presentation, or excel spreadsheet, you name it, which depicts data about the competitive landscape and your talent strategy. Such a map can help you anticipate future hiring needs, seeing to it that you don’t start from scratch in case of a sudden vacancy. 


Your market map and talent pipeline are no doubt important, but they are of even more critical significance when you’re talking about an executive role. It will give you information regarding what similar companies are offering for such positions- could be accommodative work hours or appealing bonus plans- so that you can work out a better deal. Several companies typically court senior executives, and unique benefits can go a long way in making your job offer stand out.


Have your best person on the recruitment job 

The interests of executives usually lie well beyond monetary concerns. They take a lot of things into consideration and make a move depending on the company ambition, and how it could further one’s career.


So aside from what he or she has to gain from a financial point of view, such people need to be assured that your business is the right place to grow their careers. They need to see that your company’s mission and vision are in line with their own; that your business is always looking to achieve and do more. 


Have your hiring manager schedule a sit down with such a candidate, so that he or she can figure out the latter’s concerns and offer the above assurances. What’s more, a physical meeting with a high-ranking employee also proves that you’re taking the applicant seriously. That is quite important in a market place where most companies mostly communicate via emails. 


Know where to look

The strategies you’ll use to scour for executive candidates are a lot different from the tactics you’ll implore for other less significant positions. For example, you’ll not just need references from anyone; you’ll need referrals from executives they’ve previously worked with or the opinions of other high-authority workers. 


In terms of where to look, a great place to start is LinkedIn. With a generous selection at your disposal, you can build a vast network and curate managers from well-established profiles. Other great platforms include Behance and GitHub, which offer a selection of specialized executives with specific skillsets. 


Be patient but persistent

Give candidates the time they need to make up their minds. It’s a huge decision, and so they may need a couple of days to work things out. In that time, they may look for renegotiations, or if everything is up to his or her liking, the applicant may want to meet the prospective team to determine if they are an excellent match. 


The candidate may also look to get the hang of things with office visits to see how and what makes your business tick. So always be available to tend to a potential executive hire or see to it that they are well taken care of during this phase. Liking test-driving a new car, they are working out how you go about your business and are imagining life in your company. 


While it’s essential to give the candidate enough time, be sure to issue regular follow-ups if they are too quiet. Find out any concerns or questions that they may have that still have them on the fence and sort those out.


Sometimes a good hire is right under your nose

Who says you have to hire externally every time a senior position opens up? Before you look beyond the building, access the options you have within that office. Sometimes, the best person for the job is already on your payroll, and you needn’t look any further. In fact, statistics indicate that a veteran insider might be better suited for management roles compared to a more accomplished outsider with little knowledge of your business and its workers. 


The best thing about hiring an insider is that you are familiar with their track record and know what it is they’ll bring to the table. You also know how to best appeal to them to make the switch, which results in little downtime. Additionally, insiders are familiar with the flaws and strengths of their colleagues and are perfectly poised to get the best out of the team. 


Moreover, this type of hire can boost morale and productivity in your company. It gives employees that motivation to go the extra mile, knowing that their efforts may be rewarded. So aside from filling some big shoes, you’ll also improve your business’ output.


People skills also matter

Lastly, a good executive must have excellent people skills. Academic qualifications, experience, and abilities aside, the best executives should be easy to get along with.


They’ll be taking on a leadership role so they must be able to relate and communicate well with the workforce, which is the most crucial resource for any company. 

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