Executive Recruitment – 3 Things You Need To Know

Executive recruitment has been an enigma for decades. Cerius Executives helps companies faced with an instant need for executives. With a database of vetted and proven interim executives and management consultants, we are the solution for short and long-term strategic consulting needs of companies. Cerius is a thought leader in innovative methods for matching the right executive to each company situation. In this article, we share some of insights.

Competency based recruitment is very common in executive recruitment. Unlike an administrative or programming role, administering an online test is not going to be used to test whether an executive has the skill sets they say they have. Instead, it is common to use alternative means of demonstrating it.  Through anecdotes, interviews and reference checks confirming an executive has the skills they say they do is one of the easier elements of executive recruitment. The challenges present themselves either at the beginning or the end.

Executive Recruitment Need to Know #1 – What Skills Sets Are Needed?

Many times we are faced with clients who don’t think beyond the tasks, duties and responsibilities of the position. When what matters most, however, is the outcomes the role needs to achieve. The outcomes the individual needs to achieve is the one of the most important aspect of the role rather than the typical job description. Determining the skills an executive needs in order to achieve those goals and proving they have achieved those types of goals in similar situations before, then becomes the basis for narrowing the initial field of prospects.

When thinking through the skill sets and background, consider the direction of the company and where it will be one year from now. Hire for what you need and where you want to be tomorrow, not today.

Once the skills and type of accomplishments have been determined, competency based interviews and reference checks can easily confirm the validity of their CV, resume or profile.

Executive Recruitment Need to Know #2 – Culture Matching

In our years of experience, we have come across circumstances where two executives with similar backgrounds and the same skills were placed in similar assignments, yet one would be successful and the other wouldn’t. The difference in performance would be a result of incompatibility in culture matching.

At the executive level, culture match issues arise primarily with the CEO. This is especially seen when working with Founder CEOs whom are resistant to working with people who’s work style varies greatly from their own. Often, it is as if a different language is being spoken and the incoming executive needs to be able to not only speak it but also interpret for the rest of the team!

Recruitment is not a science, however science can be used in combination with the more human elements to create a compare and contrasting picture.  Is the picture same across the board for all interactions and data points or are there inconsistencies?  If there are inconsistencies, do they make sense?

Executive Recruitment Need to Know #3 – Caring at a human level

We need to discern the corporate culture of the client company, not just at an intuitive level but by using assessment tools and methodology, and then match it our executives. Sometimes you find management consultants in recruitment jobs that don’t care at a human level for the candidates, nor for their integrity. It is unfortunate because of instances like these that give the executive recruitment sector a bad name.

Like most companies, we like to work with individuals and clients who are honest, trust worthy and have a personal commitment to the outcome of the situation they are involved in.  It is more about the impact they can make rather than the money they can make.   This seems to be one of the most common attributes. In turn,  candidates want to be treated the same way.

Candidates are as much concerned with the process they will go through to get the position as they are the position itself. They are looking for a process high in integrity and which respects them and their time. Rather than put our clients on a pedestal and shun our candidates as material transactions, we consider both to be equal.    Communication and transparency is as important to the candidate, particularly executive candidates, as it is to the company.

Many CEOs and business owners have gotten to where they are at my gut and instinct.  A word of caution though is that same gut and instinct that has made them money in the past can be the very thing that costs them greatly when hiring an executive. They certainly still have their place when matching culture and work styles but consistency in the hiring process and multiple points of comparison can be just as invaluable.

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