Businesses that need a new chief executive officer, a new chief financial officer, or a new chief operations officer – to name a few, often seek out executive search consultants to assist them in conducting the executive search. More often than not businesses use executive recruiters for these high-level positions because they want an outside perspective to manage the search process as opposed to using their Human Resources departments to conduct and manage the search.
I thought it might be helpful to offer 3 keys for businesses to conduct an effective executive search based on my experience as an executive recruiter.
Develop A Strategic Planning Process For The Search
Simply put, it’s imperative that you are able to define where your business has been, where it is now, and where it needs to go. I’ll be a bit more specific here. Conducting an objective evaluation of your business’ ability to accomplish its objectives in the past, its ability to accomplish its present objectives, and its ability to effectively map out strategies and objectives for the future growth of your company will assist you in defining the type and kind of executive you need to recruit for your company.
It also helps you to evaluate how well previous executives in these positions have performed in achieving their respective goals and objectives for the business, which leads me to discuss the second key to a successful executive search.
How Well Did The Prior Executive Perform
Similar to developing a strategic plan for the business, it is important to develop a plan for success with the new executive. Part of this planning process will involve an evaluation of the prior executive’s ability to achieve her/his goals and objectives. This process provides the business with an opportunity to understand what is needed to change/support the environment in which the executive needs to operate.
For instance, was the previous executive given all the tools necessary to ensure that these objectives could be successfully achieved, or was the executive set up for failure by not having the tools that could assist in success? Tools in this instance might include personnel, technology, physical facilities, and equipment. Once this information is developed the business will have a much better understanding of the type of executive who is needed for the position.
What Attributes Are The Ingredients For Success?
I ask this question with businesses so that I can identify decision-making talents, motivators, and behavioral tendencies for the prior executive in order to understand whether or not these attributes were effective and whether they continue to be desired or not in the next executive. This analysis is developed with the input of the senior leadership in the business in a facilitated discussion with the executive recruiter. If you are interested in understanding how these factor into an assessment, feel free to take this complimentary EQ assessment.
The format for the facilitated discussion involves looking at the position’s essential functions and identifying –
- What types of thinking and decision-making talents are required for the person in the position. For example, is it preferred that the executive have a balanced or social decision-making process?
- Does the position require someone who is driven by altruism or theoretical motivators, for instance?
- Does the position need someone who is outgoing, persuasive, or perhaps someone who pays great attention to detail and is a perfectionist?
- What knowledge, skills, and abilities will be necessary for an executive in this position?
- What level and type of experience are necessary for an executive in this position?
Will These 3 Keys Ensure Success?
For the most part, the answer is yes. It’s important to involve other company executives in the planning process so that the executive recruiter is well-informed about the company and position profile.The time spent in following these 3 keys to a successful executive search will be well worth the effort.