- Choose someone who will truly impact your business
- Arrange an introduction if possible
- Make sure they’re excited about your company
- Have reasonable expectations about their help
- Offer equity in the company
- Never be afraid to ask for help
In 20 years of executive recruitment and as a headhunter, I’ve been asked many times what is the process to oversee an executive search and there’s seven primary steps.
The first step is to create a position profile. This is meeting with the recruiter and the client company to get a thorough understanding of what the job or opportunity is about. I generally like to use a tool such as what are the three objectives or six objectives you want this executive to achieve that you would pay them a bonus on or work for them to meet their bonus requirements. That’s going to clearly help you craft that position profile.
Next is to compile a target list of companies and executives. These would be places where someone might work or have worked in the past that might have some of the industry expertise you’re looking for or actual executives that you know that could be benchmarks or executives that the recruiter can network with to find that one in a million candidate that you’re looking for to bring on the best.
Next, the recruiter takes your opportunity and markets it to that target list. So you may make the opportunity based on the information that you provided that’s appealing to solicit interest from these top executives in the world that may not be looking for a new job. They may be just working great at their job by their current employer who is keeping them happy because they recognize their talent, so the recruiter will be marking opportunity to make it appealing for them to consider.
Next, the recruiter is going to assess that talent. He’s going to look for the functional expertise, the industry expertise, and the culture fit with your company and bring that talent forward for you and you’ll meet with that talent and hopefully select one.
And the best one there you’re going to do more intensive reference checking. You may have done initial reference check earlier during the assessment but now we have a finalist, we’re going to do deep reference checking. And what I like to do is I like to do references what I call them back channel references. These are the reference list that the candidate may have given you but these are people that a good recruiter knows that would know the candidate, and I generally like to ask, what would this candidate’s detractor say and who would they be. So I’m looking at what’s my worst case downside scenario with this candidate because I know they’re going to do a great job but I want to know what’s the worst I can expect.
Then, you’ll negotiate an offer so we want to put a win-win offer together that they’re going to accept and you’re going to feel comfortable with and your recruiter can help you with that. They know the market and what the industry standards are.
And lastly and finally, you want to help onboarding. The recruiter is going to make a smooth transition for this person to exit their current company and resign and joining your company and coming on and have a successful career.
Those are the seven steps in the executive search process