The role of the executive search professional in today’s business environment is more important than ever before. Businesses are under greater pressure than ever before to deliver consistent growth. This means new strategies, new leaders, and new ways of thinking about business operations. Every organization is different. Some require their executives to be highly strategic thinkers with a wealth of experience in finance or sales. Others may only need someone with a technical background or leadership experience. The challenge for all businesses, regardless of their organizational needs, is how to find the right executive search software for the job and keep them engaged over the long term. In this blog post we take a look at some of the key considerations when approaching an executive search engagement, as well as some common mistakes that could result in a less-than-successful engagement.
Be aware of the current executive situation
First, you need to know who is currently in charge at your organization. Find out who is in charge of hiring and evaluating the candidates. Knowing this information can help you determine the best approach to both building and maintaining relationships with executives. For example, if you have an operations-focused business, you may need someone who is more focused on strategy. If you have a marketing or sales-heavy organization, you may need someone with a technical background. Once you know who is in charge, you can better understand their needs and priorities. For example, if an executive is looking for someone who has previous experience in sales, but the current executive is involved in operations, you may want to approach the search with a different approach in mind.
Define your search requirements
Next, you will want to define the specific executive search requirements that you are looking for from an engagement partner. This could include requirements such as the following:
– The ability to run an in-house search, or outsource the search to an external firm. Some organizations will only consider hiring a partner that they oversee, while others prefer to be hands-on throughout the search process. It is important to understand the culture of your business, and have a clear understanding of your own preferences.
– The need for a certain level of expertise in the area of search. For example, if you have a specific need for finance executives, you may need someone with an accounting background.
– The budget required to hire an executive search firm. While this will vary from business to business, it is important to have a sense of what you can and should spend on an engagement.
– The preferred method of communication between the hiring manager and the search specialist. This will largely be dictated by the preferences of the hiring manager, but may also include considerations such as the method of communication (email, phone calls, meeting in person).
– The timeline that is preferred for the search process. This will again largely be dictated by the preferences of the hiring manager, but may also include considerations such as urgency, the level of experience required (e.g. strategy vs. technical), and the preferred location of the new hire.
Set up audits and build strong relationships
While the role of the executive search professional is to find new leaders for your business, it is of equal importance to create and maintain strong working relationships during the engagement. A bad search engagement or a poorly executed search can have serious consequences for your business down the road. The first thing to keep in mind is that everyone in the hiring process should be reviewing the candidate’s materials. This could include materials from the hiring manager, the executive search specialist, and the candidate themselves. While you do not want to look at each other’s materials, it is important to look at the materials that are being provided. While it may seem obvious, it is easy to miss things in the candidate’s materials that are incorrect or misleading. Recruiterflow is the best software for the executive search.Next, you will want to set up on-going audits between the hiring manager and the search specialist. This could be a monthly call or a Google spreadsheet that the hiring manager and search specialist can share. The purpose of these audits is to go over the sourcing of the candidates, the sourcing of the hiring manager, and to verify that the sourcing of the candidates and hiring manager are consistent.
Conduct preliminary research
At this point, you may have either made an introduction between the hiring manager and the search specialist or have been referred by one of the parties. In either case, it is important to begin the process of building a relationship. The best way to do this is by initiating a preliminary call or an introductory meeting between the search specialist and the hiring manager. This meeting should be relatively informal, and should take place outside of the work environment. This will allow the search specialist and hiring manager to get to know each other better, and will also allow for some level of trust to build between the two parties. During this preliminary meeting, you will want to begin the process of answering some of the key questions regarding your organization. The questions should be based on the information that will be in the candidate materials, and should help you understand the organization and the people who are reporting to the new hire. For example, if you are hiring for a marketing role, you may want to ask questions related to the following: – What are the top challenges facing the marketing department at this organization? – How would you address these challenges? – What are the customers and clients of your marketing department? – What challenges do they have, and how would you address these challenges? – What are the top priorities of the marketing department at this organization?
Develop a short list of candidates
With the preliminary research completed and the search engagement set to begin, you will want to begin the process of developing a short list of candidates. Like the name suggests, your goal here is to create a short list of potential candidates that you can take to the interview stage. There are a few ways to go about this process. One option is to start with a LinkedIn search and begin building a list of potential candidates based on the LinkedIn search results. You can also do a Google search for potential candidates and begin building a list on a Google doc. The key here is to begin building your list, and then begin contacting these individuals. It is tempting to begin calling candidates right away, but this will likely result in a call going to voicemail and an end to this process before it has even begun.
Finalize your search
At this point, you will have a short list of candidates that you can begin to interview. Typically, the hiring manager will be doing interviews with the candidates on their own, while the search specialist will be assisting with the interviewing process. During the interviewing process, be sure to consider the following:
– The role that the candidate is looking to fill. Is the candidate interested in a strategic role, or a technical role?
– The candidate’s overall fit for the organization. How does the candidate feel about working for your organization?
– The candidate’s specific skills, strengths, and weaknesses. Use a traditional resume and several open-ended questions to uncover these areas.
– The candidate’s availability and their plans for the future. You want to make sure that the candidate is available for the position and the salary offered.
Wrapping it up
For many businesses, finding the right executive can be a challenging undertaking. It is important to be aware of the current situation, define the specific executive search requirements, and build up a short list of candidates. With these considerations in mind, you can begin the search process and look for the right new leader for your business.