How to Recruit the Right Executives


Last year, many executives opted for early retirement while others were let go from their companies due to financial cutbacks. More than a year later, the economy is bouncing back and businesses are trying to recruit quality leaders only to discover that hiring the right executive is more challenging than ever. The consequences of making a bad hire at the executive level can be felt across the entire organization. The wrong leader — especially in the C-suite — can have lasting repercussions that continue long after they’ve left your company. Here are just a few potential outcomes:

  • Lost Productivity: A bad executive may lead their team down the wrong path in pursuit of goals not aligned with the company as a whole. Bad leadership and the wrong attitude can also bring down an entire team’s morale and productivity. All the time and money spent recruiting, onboarding, and training an executive hire will have to be reinvested which ends up costing your organization six to nine months of the desired position’s salary.

  • Bad Reputation: Many times a bad hire can quickly ruin your company’s reputation. Negative reviews on job review websites can affect your ability to recruit top candidates, regardless of level. Turnover at the executive level also sows seeds of discontent and dissatisfaction into your workforce.

  • Decreased Value: Effective leaders determine company success and shareholders often react negatively to executive turnover, especially if it’s unexpected. If your business is service-based or project-based, a bad executive hire and changes in leadership could also impact customer satisfaction and retention.

Strong executives are vital to any business. They bring innovative ideas and energy that help your organization evolve. Businesses need strong leaders to ensure they not only evolve but stay ahead of the competition. With the proper practices and partners in place, you can make the right executive hire to help propel your business forward. The following tips can help you recruit, close, and retain the right leaders in the current environment:

  1. Know your company: Make sure you understand your company’s culture, values, workflows, and weaknesses. Then, practice how you communicate it. Hiring a good fit means they need to want to work at your company. This requires setting accurate expectations during the interview and hiring process.

  2. Know future goals and challenges: Similar to knowing the business, you should know where it’s headed. Identify your company’s goals. Then, consider the challenges your organization, industry, and sector will face in the next five years. This will help you determine the ideal experience and expertise of the type of executive hire who can get your company to the place it needs to be.

  3. Be clear about your remote work policy: According to a recent survey, 55% of the workforce wants to be remote at least three days a week. A company’s remote work policy is now a key consideration for candidates, so determining how often you need your executives to be in office (and whether it is negotiable) will help set expectations and ensure long-term success.

  4. Maintain momentum: Once you’re in the hiring process, make sure it doesn’t drag on. A slow process can frustrate candidates and cause you to miss out on a good hire. When you find the right person, be decisive and clearly identify the next steps. In this way, recruiting is like sales: Time kills all deals.

  5. Lean on networks and partners: The best hires aren’t always those looking for a new job — the right person for the job may be an internal candidate, a referral from an employee’s network, or a product of outbound recruitment. A talent partner who has the experience, expertise, and existing relationships can help you uncover the perfect candidate, even if it’s someone who isn’t raising their hand.


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