Executive Recruitment: 5 Things to Consider Before Hiring

Filling a senior level management position requires time, energy & money. Consider these when embarking on an executive recruitment process.


Christine Chartrand

VP Consulting Services

Monday, June 16, 2014


When a company is looking to fill a senior level management position, it can be a very grueling process that requires a lot of time, energy and money.

Why is this executive recruitment so demanding and typically outsourced? Because qualified upper-level employees don’t just reply to job postings online, they are found!

Here are a few things to consider when embarking on an executive recruitment process.

1-Knowing the industry

This can consist of anything from the most current talent requirements of the industry to new ground-breaking technologies, to knowing what is making people leave and what is motivating them to stay.

Having a wide range of contacts within a field of specialty is also crucial in understanding trends and networking in order to get referrals, understand different standpoints, and discover who’s making a mark in the industry and who’s falling short, sort of like an executive recruiter’s gossip circle if you will.

Being industry savvy requires research, continuous learning and keeping your knowledge up to date when it comes to executive recruitment.

2-Building relationships

Remember when I mentioned that the most qualified high-level employees are not replying to job posts but are found? Well, in order to find the best you need to build strong connections with the best and see your collaboration together as unique and with the purpose of creating him/her a career plan, and not simply filling a vacant position.

You must take the time to get to know these people, support them and uncover their needs, not only for the present but also for the future. They must feel like they are getting personalized attention and not just a number in your repertoire of clients.

It is also important to maintain a connection with these clients, even after fulfilling a position. Doing check-ins, and monitoring their progress as well as their success will only strengthen ties and your reputation for being a committed executive recruiter.

You manage things, you lead people.

– Grace Hopper, US naval officer

3-Understanding natural reflexes

When embarking on executive recruitment, there is the obvious gathering of information (ex. experiences, CV, references, degrees, training etc…). Nevertheless, at the very core of human potential lies their natural reflexes, their driving force, the personality traits that are innate and make us who we are.

Knowing your candidates means knowing their natural strengths and motivations, and at the same time, knowing where they might be less natural, areas where they have to push a little harder because they are going against the grain.

Better yet, understanding the job requirements and comparing these expectations to your clients’ personality profile can help you determine where their strengths are aligned and where they might feel less natural in order to create a developmental plan specific to their needs.

Using a psychometric test will provide you information about the candidate that is not always obvious in written or in an interview. This can also help detect potential burnouts and the capacity to handle the stresses that go hand in hand with positions of this stature.

4-Recognizing organizational culture

Now that you know your client inside and out, executive recruitment also means understanding the culture of the company that is seeking to fill an upper management position. How their employees interact, their behaviors, values, visions, the social norms and even management styles can all be part of an organization’s philosophy.

In creating a benchmark for success within an organization, we can determine the likelihood of a candidate fitting within this culture, and subsequently, where he/she will have the tendency to deviate from the norm. This can also help distinguish between two companies that are offering similar positions. Sometimes a person is better suited to lead a specific team, within an organization with specific values, that offers their employees specific incentives. It just goes to show that there are no “bad” personality profiles, but rather personality profiles that are better suited for specific organizational cultures, roles and environments. It is up to you, the competent, skilled executive recruiter, to find that fit.

5-Knowing what it takes to be a leader

In executive recruitment, we are not talking about just filling any position, we are typically talking about upper level positions, where one must manage a team, and even manage a team that is managing another team.

One might be very good at managing the fine details of a project, at having a vision and knowing the steps to take in order to make that vision a reality. But when it comes to the human side of things, are they able to influence people, motivate them to work at a common goal, be someone that others want to follow? These are all aspects of leadership, and it is up to the person in charge of executive recruitment to detect these skills and make them a reality.

Executive recruitment is really about knowing your candidates inside and out, and being able to align their true potential with a crucial position and organizational culture that will allow their strengths to shine.

With the help of a psychometric test to support the already knowledgeable and competent experts in this industry, the perfect candidate for the job will be right at your fingertips. Begin the process of uncovering one’s true potential now!

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