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The Best Way to Hire Executives

These 7 tips will help you hire a top 2% executive

Executive Search | Executive Recruitment

Hiring an Executive is one of the most important strategic decisions you can ever make in your business. Take a moment to think of the major listed companies you know about. Now think about how dramatically these businesses change based on who is running them.

The same principle applies to your business. If you have the right people in charge, the business will grow, prosper and soar. If you have the wrong people in charge your business will stagnate, become conflict ridden or even go bang. We have seen this many times, and if you think about your own career, we are sure, you have seen it too.

So how do you hire a top Executive?

Here are 7 tips we have used in our Executive Recruitment practice. They will help you in your Executive Search activities.

1. Define the Role Strategically

It amazes us how often we get job specs from companies where the role is not properly defined. We always say recruitment is like match making. Let’s say I assume your ideal partner is blond with blue eyes but you actually like them darker with brown eyes. So I send you blond and blue eyed partners. You then look at these partners and go ewhhh… Or maybe you feel a bit desperate, so you date the ewhh partner anyways. Either way, I have sent you the wrong person.

The same principle applies when hiring executives, but even more rigorously. You need to think about the KPIs of the role. The corporate objectives you want this person to achieve. The kind of culture you want their division to have. The business challenges this person must be able to overcome. And, many many other factors.

If you get it wrong, there will be hell to pay in the business. If you get it right a new heaven of growth and prosperity.

2. Write a Recruitment Role Description

A recruitment role description is slightly, but significantly different to a HR job description. We have seen cases where HR people Google job descriptions. Surprisingly, it is actually quite common. There is a problem with this approach and all forms of templatised approaches to recruitment. It is just not specific enough for what you need.

It is important to understand the difference between a job description and a recruitment role description. The key difference is that a job description defines what the person does in the role everyday. While, a recruitment role description is a marketing document designed to attract the right person to the role.

This is a key. You need your role description to attract the right person, and to be unappealing to the wrong person. Even if you head hunt or do Executive Search, you still need to send the prospective candidate a role description. So the more enticing it is, the more likely you will attract the right person.

3. Market the Role

It is a myth that Executives don’t apply for jobs online. They do. We have had many instances of finding Top 2% executives through online marketing. However we ran big campaigns targeting 95% of the market?

Alternatively, you can head hunt for the right person. But be warned. Head hunting is expensive. A person who leaves a job on average wants a min 20% salary uplift. And they are more than likely eligible for a salary increase sometime in the future. They may also have share options which many not be maturing soon. Finally, they may be happy in their job and wary of risking a wrong move.

This does not mean they can’t be attracted to your company. They can be. But you must be prepared to be very generous.

Oftentimes, if you are skillful in your marketing you can attract an equally good candidate who wants to earn a salary within your range. But, it does take marketing skill. Copywriting expertise and sales ability.

4. Interview Against your Role Definitions

Too often we see companies and hiring managers assessing candidate’s based solely on their CV. This is a grave error. Some of the best people we have ever seen had poorly written CVs. And some of the worst had brilliant CVs.

You can’t assess a candidate with just a CV.

What you need to do is first attract a large pool of applicants. Min 100 or even more if possible. You then need to pre-screen these people based on the role criteria. Then you need to filter down to a smaller pool of say top 5% candidate. Then you interview and find the top 2% people you will send to the hiring manager.

The filtering process needs to include a variety of assessments such as competency based questions (Not templates, but vs the role criteria), behavioural assessments, strategic presentations and personality assessments. This is a lot of work, but how else can you be sure that the person really is good?

Once you have completed this process, you can send your top 3 people to the hiring manager for interviewing.

5. Hiring Manager Interviews

It is important to ensure that the hiring manager has a clear idea of what they want in their mind. This process must have already been completed in step 1.

You hiring manager must then assess the candidate against their role criteria. They can do this using competency based questions, role plays, behavioural assessment and even work assignments. You want to see how this person will be on the job, what their work ethic is like, if they have EQ skills and if they are structured and organised.

This process should be finalised with a psychometric assessment which confirms your impressions on the candidate.

6. Job Offers

It is important to make a job offer quickly after interviewing. If you like a candidate hire them. If you don’t regret and move on. It is so common for company’s to leave candidates hanging. This creates a bad impression of your company and can really frustrate candidates. You don’t want a good candidate turning down the offer due to perceptions of company incompetence.

Further, it is important to make a competitive offer to the candidate. Nobody leaves a job for the same money. So, don’t think you can hire a good person for peanuts.

7. It is a Lot of Work – But we can help

Hiring top executives is a lot of work. We know, we do it every day. But considering the importance of the role it is worth the effort. In fact, it is non-negotiable.

That is why you may want to consider using a professional Executive Recruiter for your next executive hire.

Dawning Truth has the best Executive Recruitment and Search process in the industry. Contact us today for a free consultation on your next executive role.

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