The top-performing c-suite executives you are hoping to recruit are sometimes the same targets your competition is vying for. This rivalry to attract the top talent in any field can be tight, especially when the leadership talent pool is limited. There is no one-size-fits-all approach that guarantees success. However, identifying and engendering specific attributes desirable to executives will make your position more appealing to these candidates.
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1 – Compensate Competitively
It’s hard to sidestep this one. No matter how you look at it, providing competitive compensation to attract talented individuals at any level is essential. When hiring for an executive-level position, this is a vital topic to address. The tug-of-war over the best candidate can be won or lost over the bottom line.
One of the first figures that any potential candidate will likely hones in on is the salary. If your annual compensation for the position is not competitive with what other local industry leaders are offering, you may not attract seasoned leaders. Instead, you may become inundated with inexperienced talent who hope to grow into the position. Offer a competitive starting salary that grabs their attention instead of giving them a reason to explore other avenues.
Be prepared to scrutinize your benefits package both before you begin recruiting and as a part of the negotiating process. Balancing work and life is challenging for top executives. Expressly talking about ways the company supports this goal may alleviate some concerns. Paid leave, deferred compensation plans, life insurance plans, stock options, and bonuses all factor into the final equation. What you may not be able to offer on paychecks, you might be able to compensate for through other means.
2 – Make Them Feel Important
The interviewing process can be impersonal and complicated and requires a certain level of formality. However, when the business of the day is finished, take the time to get to know executive applicants on a more personal level and let them get to know you to ensure their vision is aligned with your company. Taking them out to dinner or golfing allows you to ask broader questions about the person you are considering hiring. Find out what their aspirations are and what they are passionate about. What achievements are they most proud of? The answers to this question could be pivotal to the process.
Top-level executives seek positions that further their career goals. Regardless of whether the position is a vertical or lateral move, offering continuing growth options is imperative. Attracting the best executives will, in large part, be dependent on your ability to provide the best opportunities. Discussions about who your new executive will work alongside and which exciting new initiatives and projects they will be leading are vital to illustrate the impact the position can have on their career.
Investing time and money into training and career-building opportunities can be a benefit to all. Budgeting for employee development tells the employee that you value their contributions. As they learn and grow, your organization will reap the benefits of improving your leaders’ skills and knowledge.
3 – Be Open and Honest
While recruiting a new executive feels very much like making a sale, be careful not to give them a one-sided view of the company. Set clear expectations and goals from the beginning about what you are looking for in a new executive. Show them the big picture. What is the business’s mission, and where would they fit in attempting to fulfill that mission? What are the strengths and hurdles the company faces moving forward? Allowing them to see the good and the bad will help them see their niche and how they can put their talents to use. Finding the best fit is all about identifying someone who can play to your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses.
4 – Simplify Recruitment
Hiring for c-suite executives positions has far-reaching effects within an organization. However, including too many people in the process can at times make it excessively long and confusing for everyone. Go the extra mile to ensure your candidate has the best experience possible. As the recruitment process usually takes months, be conscious of their time. Unless they are unemployed, the executive you are interviewing has obligations to a current employer as well as family and friends. The time they spend traveling and interviewing with you is an investment on their part. Match their commitment to the process with your own. Be accommodating and respectful of the demands on their time. They may have reservations about taking a job with your company if the interview process is chaotic.
5 – Make Your Company Stand Out
Every business does things a little differently. Make sure that applicants understand what makes yours unique. Why do you do what you do, and why is it important? While money and stock options are important, other factors may sway a candidate to work for one company over another. In some cases, it comes down to the connection that one feels with the company culture, morale, or beliefs. Before they even walk in your door for the first interview, candidates will research your company. The information they find on LinkedIn, your corporate website, or Facebook page can give them a good idea of what you are all about. Make sure these online sources portray your brand and messaging correctly.
6 – Hire an Executive Recruiting Company
The easiest way to navigate the waters of hiring a new executive is to partner with a company that specializes in this process. Executive search firms often have years of experience finding the right executive for the job. Intimately acquainted with the executive job market in your area, these recruiters know what top executives expect. They can help you define your open position, revamp compensation as needed, and streamline the entire hiring process. You may be surprised to find they already have executive contacts that would be perfect for your company before you even get started with the search.
Attracting the best executives can be competitive. Making simple changes in hiring new executives can help set you apart from the competition without breaking the bank.
For more information, contact us at Diestel Executive Search. We have been serving the greater Salt Lake City area since 1997 and have the connections and unique understanding of the local market to deliver the high-impact leadership that will drive your organization forward.