The process of recruiting a C-level executive requires certain tactics and strategies that, in many ways, differ markedly from the procedures used to locate lower-level employees. As with so many things, though, this is a concept that few people deny but so many fail to use as a guide to action.
Executive recruiting requires a unique approach—but what might this be? While we don’t have a step-by-step guide, we do have some suggestions that you should keep in mind as you hunt for top-flight executive talent.
Understand Executive Compensation – For most jobs out there, compensation is a fairly simple matter: You have a salary, a certain number of vacation days, and maybe a 401(k) plan as well. Not so with C-level positions. In these rarefied heights, executives typically angle for more than just a paycheck—they’re looking for perks and various other types of compensation. This compensation can take many forms, including stock options, flexible scheduling, retirement packages (the so-called “golden parachute”—often necessary to entice an executive to accept a potential career-killing position at a troubled company), life insurance, car rental service, gym memberships, and anything else that might attract high-quality candidates.
Whatever the nature of the executive compensation package in question, you need to know all about it and be prepared to discuss it in detail with your candidate(s). Never forget that for C-level positions, these perks aren’t just “icing on the cake”—they can easily make the difference between success and failure in your recruiting efforts.
Shorten the Hiring Process – As we’ve noted in the past, executive recruiting involves somewhat longer timelines than other positions, partly due to the need to accommodate multiple rounds of interviews and partly because of the inherent difficulty of finding qualified personnel at this level. At the same time, you need to do everything within reason to tighten the window of time between initial contact and the final decision. Your dream candidate may be considering other offers, and unneeded delays could encourage them to go somewhere else.
Make Sure the Team Is Unified – If multiple recruiters will be meeting and/or communicating with the candidate, make sure that everyone is on the same page regarding deadlines, appointments, and all other relevant information. Nothing screams “unprofessional” like contradictory messaging—will a decision be made this week or next month?—and C-level candidates usually have too many options to be willing to tolerate your confusions. Here’s another instance where your applicant tracking system can help, by organizing all your recruiting materials in a single centralized location.