Executive recruitment, or recruiting for C-level or top management positions, is conventionally outsourced to specialized search firms, especially by large-enterprise organizations. However, the changing talent landscape and advancing technologies make it not just possible, but also beneficial to handle executive recruitment in-house. Skim this list of frequently asked questions to decide if now’s the time to develop an internal executive recruitment team in your company.
Why is executive recruitment often outsourced?
Speed and a deep pipeline are two reasons executive search firms are traditionally used. They maintain networks of VP- and C-level talent so they can find interested, qualified candidates quickly. Also, executive recruitment used to be a demand that organizations had only intermittently, so outsourcing was cost-effective.
What’s changed to make executive recruitment more attainable in-house?
Several trends are changing the landscape for hiring corporate leaders:
- More frequent need for executive hiring. With last year’s record rate of CEO turnover in the U.S., high M&A volume in healthcare and other industries, and a faster pace for organizational restructuring and spinoffs, today’s companies face executive recruitment demands more often.
- Emerging generation of leaders. Millennials at the upper end of their generation are moving into leadership roles, and they do business differently. They’re tech-savvy, collaborative, connected online and experienced with digital recruiting.
- Advancing TA technologies. New hiring platforms give recruiters the ability to build the relationships and the hold face-to-face conversations needed in executive recruitment with ease and the convenience of no travel required.
Why should I consider building an internal executive recruitment team?
A primary reason is to reduce outsourcing costs. If you have the technology and TA team bandwidth for executive search and hiring already in house, you may be able to reallocate agency dollars to a different budget priority. In addition, your team is best positioned to share your organization’s brand and strengths as a leader-level career move in order to improve quality of hire. Handle executive recruitment well and you’ll elevate your talent brand credibility with a highly-networked group, too.
What hiring technologies are a must-have for executive recruitment?
Your candidate experience is a critical driver of accepted job offers, so deploy technologies that help you create the ideal executive-level candidate experience.
The interviewing platform you’re using to hire across your organization will have several useful applications for executive recruitment:
- Live panel video interviews – Most executive recruitment is a series of live conversations between the candidate and various members of the C-suite, facilitated by you. An advanced video interviewing platform lets you hold these ongoing talks virtually, so your candidates and your leaders can participate from any location. It also enables closer collaboration within your hiring team. With interviewing software, both sides can go farther down the path to identifying good fit before anyone gets on a plane, or even comes across town.
- Automated scheduling – executives have busy schedules and no time setting up meetings. Give candidates the power to fit your interview into their schedule with your interviewing platform’s self-scheduling tool, or better yet, with your AI-enabled virtual recruiting assistant. Scheduling is quickly completed, and you build a technology-forward impression of your organization with key talent.
- On-demand video interviews – this is a simple, minimal-time-commitment strategy to give younger leaders the opportunity to check you out as the right team to join as you gather some information from them. Use it to plant the career-move idea, and cultivate the relationship over time.
Keep in mind that with executive recruitment, quality in the experience of engaging with your company is equal to or even more important than speed.
What are some of the challenges in recruiting for executive positions?
The obstacles will vary by industry. Some of the most common ones include the limited, highly-competitive talent pool, and difficulty in scheduling interviews. You’ll run into a range of comfort levels with technology: Some in this talent pool can’t live without their enterprise systems, while others have always had an assistant to handle online work. In addition, VPs and C-suite candidates can afford to take your hiring process at their own pace, so you run the risk of lost revenue the longer a position goes unfilled.
What do experienced executive recruiters focus on to build success?
These strategies can help you elevate your performance and avoid costly mistakes:
- Gain the trust of your current C-suite members and VPs. Their confidence in you (or lack of it) will show to your candidates. It can impact their impression of your company as an organized and united team.
- Do your homework. Be sure you have a crystal-clear understanding of the industry, the specifics of the role, and the challenges the candidate will be expected to solve.
- Notch up confidentiality. While you have a process and practices in place to ensure confidentiality for all candidates, go next-level in this hiring scenario, especially if you’re in talks with candidates who are currently employed. Remember that C-level turnover makes headlines and causes ripples that go much farther than turnover in most other positions.
Finally, be consistent. Maintain a specific recruiter’s dedication to a specific candidate as much as possible. Executive recruitment is high-tech, high-touch work that is highly dependent on the long-term relationships you build.
If you want to learn even more about recruitment, check out
2019 Recruiting Trends That Will Change How You Hire to stay ahead of the competition.