Too many searches using executive recruiters fail, often before the recruitment process even begins. In some cases, managers, eager to quickly fill an opening, hand the assignment over to the recruiter before fully thinking through their needs, and recruiters, hoping to please, jump into the search unprepared.
In my experience, successful recruitment includes six essential elements. Unfortunately, typical recruiters employ only 3 or 4 of these.
Here’s what’s needed to guarantee you hire the right person, one who is able to make an immediate contribution and what you should demand of your executive recruiter:
1. Fully understand your organization: where have you been and what brought you here; where are you going and how do you plan to get there; what are your short term and long term challenges and how will you meet them? Answers to these basic questions, often found in your strategic plan, provide the recruiter critical information essential for finding the right person. Remember, a candidate, inexperienced in addressing your challenges is likely to fail and a good recruiter knows that.
2. Know what kind of person you need to hire: what will he or she look like; who will be successful in your organization and who will not? Develop a clear candidate profile that answers these questions. Remember, this is not a beauty contest. Your recruiter needs much more than a job description to find the right person.
3. Know where the right person is located: it is frequently the case that the best candidate is employed and not looking for a new job. That’s why utilizing recruitment ads only, do not work. Make sure your recruiter does not reshuffle resumes from previous searches, but actively seeks out candidates that fit YOUR profile and needs.
4. Put candidates under a microscope: you need to know everything about the person in front of you. Make sure they meet all your needs. They must match your profile and that means multiple interviews with tough questions, conducted in multiple settings with lots of eyes on the candidate. And don’t short cut references. You should never find that the person you hired is different from the person you interviewed. Your recruiter should be asking the hard questions. Your recruiter works for you, not the candidate.
5. Be clear about expectations: Before extending a job offer, be clear with the candidate about your expectations and goals and know whether your candidate has the ability and the desire to meet them. On the other side, be sure you know what the candidate’s expectations are of you. Remember, it’s a two way street. Make sure your recruiter is able to facilitate this process.
6.Provide post hire coaching: the job isn’t over when the hire is made. Great executive recruiters provide a “100 day plan” that includes executive coaching for the new employee and his/her boss. You want a smooth transition and many candidates need support to ensure he/she will hit the road running. This is a critical element of the entire process.
Finding key managers is probably the most important responsibility of any executive. Make sure your recruiter provides you the essential help to find and retain the right person. Working with an executive recruiter requires confidence and trust, earned from having a winning a track record.
Other posts you might want to read:
- Recruitment: the 5 pillars of a strong recruitment brand
- Recruitment: Getting a “yes” to every job offer
- Recruitment: Landing Your Next Manager