It’s a truism that an organization is only as healthy as the people whom it is made up of. With this in mind, attracting and retaining quality talent is an essential element of success from the top floor to the front lines. Leadership, however, is especially vital as their contributions affect every aspect of the company. Identifying and obtaining top executive talent is key. While the process of finding and attracting top level executives is in some ways similar to the hiring process throughout the company, its special nature does require a special approach.
Four facets of a comprehensive executive talent search
The Usual Factors
Before we discuss ways in which the executive search is unique, let’s make note of ways in which it is not. Much like everybody else, highly qualified executive candidates want to be well compensated. While offering a competitive salary and benefits package will not guarantee you access to the best of the best, failing to do so will greatly reduce your appeal. For top leaders, a good salary is not only an opportunity to ensure their economic stability, but also serves as a measuring stick indicating that their talents are valued by the hiring company. Furthermore, phrases like ‘work life balance’ and ‘good company culture’ have become buzz-terms for a reason; they are just as important to the CEO as they are to the intern.
As Janis Joplin famously sang, ‘you got to try just a little bit harder.’ While nobody should be hired for any role without careful consideration, this is especially true for top executive positions. The search is, by nature, more involved and, in the case of many larger companies, takes place on an ongoing basis. A carefully analyzed talent pool should be cultivated and maintained for potential hires. While rank and file positions are often filled primarily by candidates actively seeking jobs, those conducting executive searches should not hesitate to proactively approach qualified candidates who are not currently seeking a move to tempt them with opportunity and compensation. More important hiring decisions also call for more stringent interviewing and vetting processes. What’s more, this involved search is often time-sensitive. As a result, these top-level recruitments often necessitate increased involvement from a competent and established executive search agent who is capable of managing the process.
Legacy and the Rock Star Factor
After an 86-year drought, David Ortiz led the 2004 Boston Red Sox to a World Series championship. He will never pay for a meal in Boston again. In 2006, Rod Brind’Amour captained the Carolina Hurricanes to the Stanley Cup championship during the franchise’s 9th season in the not-quite-hockey-hotbed of Raleigh, North Carolina. He was last seen waiting in line for coffee at the local Starbucks. Sometimes the thing isn’t the only thing.
Natural leaders want to make a difference. They want to occupy a position that allows them to contribute to memorable change. They reach excellence because competition is in their blood. Will the corporate structure allow them to rise above the level of yes men and women? Is the company considered ‘cool’? Will they have a story that will sound impressive to grandchildren, journalists or the next board of governors they interview before? Presenting the position as an opportunity for magnifying one’s talents will attract the type of proactive and innovative candidates which can truly alter the course of an organization.
Go Global and Value Diversity
While it makes sense that most people are looking for a job somewhere in the general proximity of the place they lay their head at night, some positions are worth moving for and, if you are offering a truly worthwhile opportunity, enticing someone to relocate is very doable. Furthermore, approaching the candidate search with a spirit of inclusivity and diversity is not only good ethics but broadens the talent pool, truly giving you the best opportunity to find the ideal prospect. You’re looking for a special candidate to fill a critical role and there’s no point in placing geographical barriers on that search. As a member of the CFR Global Executive Search organization featuring 58 offices in 30 countries, Goldbeck Recruiting is able to go those extra miles to locate your perfect fit.
Finding the right executives to guide your organization forward is paramount to success and growth and is worth the extra effort. The old adage ‘anything worth doing is worth doing well’ certainly applies.