Sixty-three percent of CEOs in a recent global survey said they were concerned about the availability of key management skills. Fifty-six percent saw critical gaps in their ability to fill senior leadership roles in the coming years. Only 22 percent considered their talent pipelines promising and just 19 percent said they found it easy to attract top-performing candidates.

How can you best manage your executive talent acquisition process? You need to effectively spot leadership potential and then hire and retain people who have it.

Best Executive Hiring Practices

Gauge the potential of executive candidates by completing an accurate assessment of their levels of innovation, creativity, insight, engagement and determination. Look for:

  • Motivation: This is defined by a fierce commitment to excel in the pursuit of unselfish goals. High-potential candidates have great ambition and want to leave their mark, but they also aspire to larger collective goals. They demonstrate deep personal humility and continuously invest in improving in every possible area.
  • Curiosity: Your best future leaders are those with a penchant for seeking out new experiences, challenges, knowledge and feedback. They possess a natural openness to constant learning and change.
  • Persuasive vision: This goes hand in hand with the effective use of logic and emotion to connect with people. It includes the ability to gather and make sense of information that suggests new possibilities.

Working With an Executive Search Firm

A specialized executive search firm can help you narrow the field and deliver talent that can pass a rigorous hiring process. Find a firm that best represents you and your company culture in an effective, honest and ethical fashion.

  • Consider a search firm’s knowledge of your specific industry. Ask for references and testimonials. Deep dive into the strength of their databases and networks. Assess the depth of their geographic reach. Evaluate criteria for alignment with your business standards and company culture and strategy.
  • Be sure the firm understands your business and the position you seek to fill. Contact a few individuals who have been placed by the firm and get their perspective. Ask how their job opportunity was presented to them and about their recruiter’s business acumen and honesty.

Make sure the recruitment firm you are considering places high priority on these key aspects of candidate vetting:

  • Sourcing: Your firm should leverage an extensive resource network that encompasses industry research, candidate databases and Internet tools to identify the target market.
  • Screening: This is evidenced by adeptness at qualifying potential candidates after conducting first-tier interviews. Potential hires on your firm’s short list should already have been thoroughly evaluated and your recruiter should be able to discuss their resume, qualifications, strengths and motivators.
  • Evaluation and selection: Follow-up communication is critical to a solid relationship with your executive recruitment firm. A strong partnership cultivates ongoing dialogue on such essential topics as the competitiveness of your salary structure, incentive programs and market perception.

The executive search team at BrainWorks is laser focused on solutions and results. Our vast industry knowledge, extensive professional network and proven experience will enable you to accelerate and streamline your talent acquisition process. Contact us today to learn more.

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