Recruiting top executives is both costly and time-consuming. It is also a highly specialist task. It requires a distinctly different approach from recruitment for different tiers of positions. This is because you cannot simply search for a CFO in the same way that you can for a data entry specialist, or even mid-level manager. What each top executive role needs will be distinct, unique, and require a highly defined skillset and experience base. This is combined with personal and business acumen that fits the objectives of the organisation.
The current unemployment rate in the UK is 4.5%. Yet, there are significant problems recruiting top-level executives, and finding the right skills at the right time. Finding this top level of talent, which also matches your organisational goals and culture, is very hard indeed.
This conundrum gets worse when standard recruitment strategies are involved. A typical process involving advertising opens up key issues: a) spreading the news to a sensitive marketplace that you have change on the cards, and b) opening the floodgates of candidates meaning you cannot see the wood from the trees. By using job advertisements, recruitment agencies, and job board postings, you can quickly become stuck, wading through mediocre talent that doesn’t hit the spot. Casting the net wide in this way may prove futile compared to an accurately pitched single line.
If you use typical recruitment methods for your top executive roles, you take the power out of your hands and put it firmly with the candidates. Whilst this works when Person A, B, and C, these can all be worthy employees in mid-level positions that can be moulded and developed, it’s dangerous when you need a very precisely-matched individual that already demonstrates the skills you need. Even if, amongst the sea of applications, the golden individual exists, there is the risk of missing them because of the ‘noise’ of all the other applications. By the time you even identify them, they may have gone elsewhere.
If you turn recruitment on its head, and instead you become the active seeker, rather than enticing the active candidate, then you narrow the pool, but find exceptional passive (not actively looking candidates. These candidates are specifically identified from market research and networking in your industry niche.
In our experience, instead of lengthening the recruitment process, this makes executive search much speedier, because time is apportioned more appropriately. Time is not wasted wading through the quagmire of applications, but instead is invested directly in the role through intelligence gathering. By being able to present an opportunity to passive candidates, recruitment for top level executives has the upper hand – they choose the right candidates – those who are actively displaying the acumen and skills wanted, instead of selling them on a CV.
Headhunter firms bring other benefits to top executive recruitment, making them the most sensible choice.
In the majority of recruitment methods, both applicants and employers vie for attention. Both are considered equally. This can, and does, work at most levels. However, it doesn’t work at the executive level. At this level – for the secure assurance that the company objectives will be met, and that success will be driven by the incumbent executive, the power at the recruitment stage must reside solely with the organisation. They need to be in the driving seat. However, they also need to delegate the time-consuming nature of being in the driving seat to a skilled specialist: That’s the headhunter.
The headhunter firms and the organisation looking to recruit top executives work in partnership throughout the complete process. This allows for careful and accurate candidate selection, but also an approach that can maintain the confidentiality of the organisation until the last possible moment.
Furthermore, companies benefit from using headhunter firms because of their prolific and adept networking. Whilst organisations are busy focusing on their objectives, a headhunter will always be developing their knowledge of the marketplace and the industry. They are the impartial eyes and ears who know what is going on where, and precisely who is displaying certain skills, racking up particular experience, and potentially open to a new opportunity.
If you’re looking to recruit top executives in your organisation, then choose Eagle Headhunters. We specialise in top executive recruitment with a focus on your organisational goals and industry idiosyncrasies.