Harvard Business Review reports that executives change companies every 3.3 years on average. This statistic suggests that some organizations are actively recruiting for replacements most of the time. Executive searches can take up huge chunks of management time. This time should be spent on productive activities.
Think about it. How much time and what is the cost of recruiting for an executive-level position; you can do the math. In a recent Robert Half survey, 41 percent of hiring managers and HR professionals who hired the wrong person estimated the financial loss of that miss-hire to be thousands of dollars.
Attempting to avoid the expense of a successful executive search firm is a mistake that frequently results in a bad hire or a missed opportunity to recruit a far more qualified prospect. The ultimate cost of not using executive search? As much as five times the search firm’s fee.
In-house recruiting consumes valuable management time. An effective executive search will bring clarity and focus. Here’s why. Reviewing a deluge of résumés and cover letters is an overwhelming task. It takes hours to glean one or two qualified candidates from a pile of hundreds of resumes (ask any internal recruiter or HR manager). Finding the right candidate becomes a matter of luck, not expertise. The result? Employers too frequently settle for less-than-optimal candidates. In frustration, they grab onto the nearest thing to a qualified applicant and move on.
Professional executive recruiters focus on your requirements and the expectations you have for your new hire, while you concentrate on the key priorities of managing your business. Your recruiting experts will pre-qualify all prospects to reduce your selection to a manageable number of well-suited candidates. Only then do you conduct interviews and make a final hiring decision.
A recruiting teams extensive and expansive networks provide a significant source of potential candidates for your search. A recruiter’s network can bring gainfully employed executives to the table, whereas internal initiatives, such as internet based postings, tend to bring unemployed job seekers. Recruiters spend much of their time talking with associates, contacts, former clients and others who know what’s going on in your industry. To be a leading executive recruiter requires staying abreast of the latest activities, personnel transitions, success stories and knowing who may be ready for a career change.
Confidentiality and Discretion
Successful executive recruiters maintain the confidentiality of their clients and the candidates they recruit for them. Confidentiality is critical when replacing an incumbent executive; tactful strategies need to be put in place to maintain order. Contacting potential candidates requires subtle handling and communications. Your recruiter must discreetly inquire about a candidate’s interest, while being careful not to divulge more information than necessary. Divulging too much information could compromise the confidentiality of a highly sensitive situation.
Research begins in consultation with your management team to determine precisely what type of executive will be needed to move the business forward. If the position is open because a long-term incumbent has departed, it may be necessary to determine what changes need to be made. The recruiter will spend time on location to define the culture, communication style, metrics for success, level of pressure and other key elements of the employer’s environment. Understanding these factors aids in identifying candidates who possess the best possible fit.
Research continues as your recruiter develops a slate of candidates. Candidates come from recommendations, contacts within the industry, friends, other clients and even former placements within the industry.
Once a list of interested candidates is created, research continues with background checks and industry queries intended to reveal more information about the candidates’ capabilities and capacity for growth.
After the candidates are fully interviewed by the executive search firm, a slate of three to five candidates is developed. The recruiter schedules and facilitates interviews with the management team to make the final decision.
Once a decision is made, the recruiter will follow up with additional training and interaction to help the new executive adapt to the new environment.
Dise & Company
Dise & Company is a successful executive search company with over 25 years experience in successfully placing top executives. Our executive search whitepaper describes the process and advantages of using professional executive placement services to fill critical vacancies.