Employees leave your organization for various reasons. And you probably have a recruitment system in place to fill the positions they vacated. But, if your opening is for an executive-level position, you’re usual processes may not be enough. You need to step up the game. Here are the right strategies you need when hiring executives!


The Right Strategies When Hiring Executives

Do your research

When hiring executives, research is essential. You have to be prepared well. What is the position and what does it require? What problem does filling the position solve?

Take note that there’s often a misalignment between what candidates put in their resumes and what you’re looking for. And, since you’re hiring executives, they have more demanding functions. This means that you also have to consider leadership competencies such as strategic thinking and planning, vision and goal setting, problem-solving, and decision making.

So, do your research. Create your candidate persona—the ideal executive in your mind that will not only have the qualifications for the job but also fits your industry and company culture.


Look internally

Hiring for executive positions can be exorbitantly expensive. And, because of the high demand for skilled leaders, by the time that you’ve found a talent, they may already be considering numerous offers from other companies.

So, one of the directions you could take is to look internally. Of course, this option has its own pros and cons. While you don’t incur the hiring costs, you do have to invest in your employee’s development so that they could be fit for their new role.

On the other hand, hiring executives internally means that you won’t have to worry about the “adjustment period” you’ll get if you bring someone new to your organization. Your employees know how things work, why things are the way they are and have a better understanding of your company. This post from Profiles Asia Pacific gets into detail the pros and cons of internal development for succession planning. And, in case you have a hard time promoting, it’s a tell-tale sign that you should upskill your workforce.

Here’s another strategy: you could also look internally for possible candidates. When recruiting for executives, networking, and utilizing connections are great courses of action. Among your employees, find someone who knows what you’re looking for and can suggest people who can fill that position.


Be professional and discrete

Contacting potential executive employees needs the highest level of professionalism. You can’t come across as dubious even in the slightest. This professionalism also includes discretion.

When you’re looking to replace an executive, not being discrete may cause the outgoing employee to be disengaged, and might even cause problems for their replacement. Or, they could try to influence the recruiting process, directing the selection to find someone to continue their “legacy” instead of actually finding the best talent for the job.

Maintain confidentiality throughout the process, and prefer to contact them through private emails or online networks, as what a 2014 Experteer study found to be senior candidates’ preference.


Provide an exceptional candidate experience

In today’s workforce landscape where recruiting is a challenge and there’s a talent shortage, you, as the employer, need to set yourself apart from the rest. One thing you could do is to provide an exceptional and engaging candidate experience. Your executive recruiting should also benefit from this.

Remember that your target candidate may also be entertaining other offers. Engaging them will help you stand out among your competitors. Read more on how to engage your candidates like a superstar recruiter in this blog post.


Know their motivator

Once you’ve established contact with your candidates, determine what motivates them. It’s the key to attracting them into your organization and making them accept your offer. At the same time, it’ll also be one of the factors to make them stay.

You could use assessments to uncover your candidate’s motivational factors. For example, personality assessments are often used not only to find out a talent’s strengths and weaknesses but also to learn the secrets to motivating them.

Or, you could get in-depth during the interview. One approach you could take is to be direct and ask your executive candidate what motivates them. However, this may lead to rehearsed answers. To discover what drives them, the co-founder and CEO of Thumbtack, Marco Zappacosta, advises you to ask this question: “What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?”


Determine their job fit

Since recruiting executives can be challenging, there’s a pressure that once you make the decision, you have to make sure that it’s a success. This is where job fit or job match can help you.

Taking into consideration job match in your executive recruitment can help you minimize hiring mistakes, identify strengths and limitations, target developmental needs, and improve job satisfaction and productivity. You can read more on how to assess job fit in this blog post.

Finding and hiring executives is no easy task. You have to have the right strategies and go the extra mile to attract and make them accept your offer. With the strategies listed above, you’ll be closer to targeting the perfect fit.