Friday, December 26, 2008

How Do We Effectively Recruit Top Executives

Q: What are the steps in developing an effective executive selection process?-

A: Finding superior performers is a challenge for any organization, especially at the executive level. There are many factors to consider, so we have highlighted some key steps to take when engaging in an executive-level candidate search:

  1. Define and understand both the organization and the job. Talk with members of the executive team to define the organization and identify the company's strategic direction. Be sure you fully understand the job's requirements by implementing a benchmarking process that uses assessments to "let the job talk" and remove personal biases. You also need to know the details about the working environment, expectations, requirements and objectives of the position.
  2. Seek out resources to use in your candidate search. In addition to networking and word-of-mouth, there are many great online tools to source candidates. Create a plan of action that covers all bases, from posting online job ads to using popular networking sites.
  3. Screen your candidates. It is important to gather information about your candidate that they may not convey to you in an interview scenario. Consider a pre-employment assessment that coordinates with the job assessment and allows you to compare the job and talent in the same areas. Also, conduct an initial phone screening with each applicant to ensure interest in the position, confirm salary requirements and ask questions that validate their resume. After you screen the candidates, create a short list of "prime candidates" to pursue further.
  4. Meet with the prime candidates for an in-depth interview. It is best to meet with prime candidates in person, but at the very least, schedule an hour long phone interview. Allow time to explain in their background and experience in their own spoken words and ask behavior-based questions that require them to share examples from past experiences.
  5. Choose the best candidate for the position. After all of the screening and interviewing, you should be ready to select your new hire. Be sure you consider all the information, including resumes, interview notes, assessment results, and so on.

Once all of these steps have been completed, you can feel confident that you have found the most qualified, best-suited candidate for the position and the organization. However, your process shouldn't end there. Be sure you have a concrete onboarding and development plan to build employee engagement to secure retention.

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