In today’s economic climate, C-level executives hold dynamic roles that can generate growth and success within an organization. Likewise, they also have the potential to decrease company market value when they aren’t fully capitalizing on their roles and responsibilities. Unfortunately, comfort and complacency among high-level executives are some of the biggest downfalls of 21st-century companies.
Bringing fresh, top talent into your company’s executive team will lead to innovation that can help you keep up with industry changes. Most importantly, it will help you stay competitive and aggressive in your approach to sales and growth. Whether an organization is filling a vacant position, implementing a significant strategic shift, or expanding its executive team to include an entirely new role, too often in-house hiring processes or contingency recruiters result in bad hires.
Ever heard of the saying “timing is everything”? There’s nothing farther from the truth. And luck has nothing to do with it, either. Making the right strategic hire is rooted in investing the right time, energy, and resources into the search process so that your company can identify, target, and hire the perfect candidate. Working with an executive search partner lies at the foundation of making successful pivotal, high-level appointments.
Think about it this way: an executive search firm will take the time to get to know your company and its needs, pain points, and culture in a way that you could not replicate. You could not take the time to learn the complexities of successful c-level hiring processes. Executive search firms approach hiring an executive for your team with the same accuracy, expertise, and thoroughness with which you approach your work. While hiring personnel may be taxing on your workload, executive search firms have built a career around fostering solid company and candidate matches.
In competitive and continuously changing markets, no business can afford to hire someone who’s “good enough.” Executive search firms can alleviate the pressure of finding the right fit for your company by allocating the proper resources to the process from start to finish.
Here are some of the essential ways executive search firm can deliver the highest-quality game-changing c-level candidates to your company:
One of the fundamental differences between contingency recruiters and retained executive search firms is where and how their services end. Even after finding the right candidate for your company, executive recruiters work with both the company and candidate to ensure that the integration goes smoothly, which can be crucial to a company’s continued success.
Shawn Cole, President & Partner of Cowen Partners Executive Search, says, “In unstable economic conditions and uncertain job markets, as we see now, executive recruiters play an integral role in ensuring companies have the resources they need to find and hire the right leadership discreetly. Unlike most hiring processes, we then actively facilitate and support the candidate’s transition into their new position, which is critical when it comes to sustaining company performance and operations.”
You can trace this divergence in retained executive search firms and contingency recruiters back to the pay structure of each. Contingency recruiters are paid when someone signs a company contract, whereas retained executive recruiters are paid in advance to research, find, and transition the perfect candidate into your company’s position. Knowing that you will have an experienced third-party support system to focus on helping both sides make the change takes the pressure off the preexisting executive team.
Hiring the first person to apply to an open position is a surefire way to end up with the wrong fit for your company’s needs and culture. Trying to recover from a bad hire is even more daunting than finding the right person in the first place and can take valuable time and resources from other areas of your business operations. Meanwhile, hiring internally adds to potential complacency pitfalls. These are exceptionally costly mistakes when hiring for the C-Suite and senior leaders who take on the task of mitigating pain points, developing a long-term growth strategy, and becoming an inspiring and communicative leader in your company and industry.
Often, there’s only one right candidate for high-level positions. Every company needs a unique set of skills and experiences in their new team member, just as each candidate thrives in different professional environments. The process of finding that one-in-a-million candidate involves utilizing connections from diverse industries and sifting through hundreds of potential people. Most often, the perfect candidate is not actively looking to move companies, which means they require concentrated attention and convincing.
The challenges of hiring such high-level, dynamic executives are unique. Maintaining discreetness for both the company and candidate throughout the process is essential, particularly if a company is publicly traded and news about leadership changes will result in stock price fluctuations. Executive search firms are also armed with a working knowledge of dozens of industries and have the benefit of looking across various sectors to identify the best possible fit.
Perhaps most importantly, they are familiar with the processing of incentivizing candidates. They understand how to sway a passive hire away from their current position towards a new opportunity. From market, company, and candidate research to wooing the right professional to ensuring a seamless transition, it is vital that companies do their due diligence when making significant hires.
If you need to make a critical executive or leadership hire for your company it is best to find an executive search firm with the experience and necessary resources for your search to be successful.
Cowen Partners is a national executive search and consulting firm. Our clients are both small and large, publicly traded, private, and non-profit organizations.
With our proven processes and guaranteed results, we have successfully placed hundreds of candidates in industries including technology, commercial real estate, healthcare, financial services, sales and finance.