How To Hire Executives

2 years ago •

Hiring talent at any level can come with its own difficulties and pitfalls. However, it is even more important to consider every avenue when hiring executives. You need to think carefully when hiring at this level, as this can have a huge impact on your organisation as a whole. Keep reading to learn more about how to hire executives and how CNA International can help you with niche recruiting.

What counts as an executive position?

Executive recruiting, or C-suite recruiting, covers a range of positions that usually have the title “chief” attached to them. These include positions like your chief executive officer (CEO), chief operations officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO), among others. While hiring the right employee is always important, these positions are filled by people whose decisions can steer the direction and culture of your business. This is why it is worth putting extra time and effort into considering how to hire executives and prioritising finding the best talent.

Tough competition

You aren’t the only organisation looking for the freshest talent for your C-suite positions. As you move towards the top of your field, the scope of candidates understandably narrows. In order to recruit executives for your positions, you need to stand out from the crowd and offer better culture, benefits packages, and growth opportunities. Not only that, but those in executive positions have been in their fields for a long time and know exactly what they want from their workplaces – they are unlikely to settle for less. Assessing your company culture is essential when recruiting executives.

Headhunting “passive” talent

Another common issue when it comes to hiring for executive roles is that many in C-suite positions are already comfortable in their current jobs. This narrows the field of recruitment even further and means that you are seeking to recruit passive rather than active candidates. Headhunting these professionals is the best way to appeal to them and discover whether you have enough to offer them so that they will make a move – this could be a pay increase, a new challenge, or more autonomy over their workflow. Many candidates at this level prefer to be found by interested parties rather than seeking a new position themselves.

Changing expectations

When you are recruiting, you need to think about the upcoming demographic for executive positions, as well as employee expectations in general. Millennials are moving into these roles and when you are advertising, you need to think about appealing to the changing attitudes that younger executives possess. For example, millennials leaders value collaboration and openness in their workplace, so seek out these qualities and be prepared for roles to evolve accordingly.

Network, network, network

Personal recommendations might not always be the best way to hire talent, but when it comes to executive positions, referrals and  networking can lead you to find potential candidates you may not otherwise discover. For example, you might be headhunting from similar organisations, but you wouldn’t necessarily find those who are not currently employed, are self-employed, or who are working on a consultancy basis. Networking and events can be an excellent way to access this field of potential talent, as well as looking on social media and platforms relevant to your area of business.

The personal touch

Most candidates working at this level do not want you to go through their professional channels to approach them – as this can compromise their current role. Be careful and discrete in your approach, ensuring that you contact them through personal forums such as email addresses not associated with their current workplace, and social media accounts that aren’t business based. This can also show that you have taken the time to get to know more about them and that you are looking for them specifically, not just anyone at their level.

Ask tailored questions

To find the best executives for your C-suite positions, you need to find out what drives them so that you can more accurately appeal to what they want and where they see their careers going. By asking what accomplishments they see as their most valuable and building a more personal relationship with them before you begin trying to advertise your position to them, you are more likely to create a rapport that will make them want to work with you.

Don’t rush

We have all been in a position where we have panic-hired a new member of staff due to needing a role filled ASAP. This is never the right approach, but especially when it comes to executive-level candidates. Take your time when thinking about hiring executives, as the process can be long and extremely delicate. You need to be patient and not expect immediate responses or answers, as moving from one executive position to another is no easy decision, and your organisation is the one that must impress and convince, not the other way around.

On average, hiring a new CEO can take at least six months , and this time is spent reassuring, convincing, and stepping back to let your potential candidate make their own mind up. The wait will be worth it in the end – and if not, you have a highly effective system for recruitment going forward, and a new connection that could pay dividends in the future.

How to hire executives with CNA International

Hiring executives is a challenging and time-consuming process that you may not have all the skills and time to pursue. If you are seeking support with your talent acquisition, then CNA International can help you. Our mission is to provide the highest level of service to our clients to place the right candidates with the right organisations. Focusing on sourcing the best senior staff, we work to help you fill your positions internationally. Get in touch if you want to begin a conversation and find out more about developing your career or finding the right staff.

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