Executive Search Guidelines for Better Recruiting, Part One

By Maurice Gilbert, Founder and CEO of Conselium

Finding just the right candidate to fill an opening, one who not only meets the requirements of the position but is an excellent cultural match for your company as well, can be a difficult process. To help refine this process, here are ten points identified by executive search firms which are essential to conducting thorough recruiting procedures.

First, before the hiring process can properly begin, you will need to expand your candidate pool to encompass as many talented individuals as possible in hopes that one among them will be the perfect match. Unfortunately, while the candidates that answer your ads may be valuable, relying solely on this method of candidate search is highly insufficient, as the candidates you are really looking for may already be employed and not currently looking. In order to reach out to these and other individuals, you will need to begin developing a broad, professional network which can be tapped into when a candidate search comes around. Your best tool in building a network is your employees. While these individuals probably already have a number of professional connections which can be tapped when necessary, further networking opportunities can be developed by encouraging your employees to participate in industry relevant conferences to make connections. The ultimate goal here is to have a pre-developed and wide ranging network of potential available whenever necessary.

Second, many executive search professionals suggest that, when conducting their own searches, employers should be looking for the perfect candidate, a sure bet. This they define as someone who has done the job before. The best way to tell if a candidate will be able to do the job put before them is to see how well they have handled it in the past. Therefore, whenever possible, employers should look for an individual who has held the same position, with the same responsibilities, and in the same type of environment. If the candidate was able to succeed within these parameters before, then you can be assured they will do so again.

One of the prime places that you should be looking to source candidates from, and one which often goes overlooked, is from within your own company. Creating promotional opportunities will not only allow you to drastically cut down on candidate search and hiring efforts, but will also create a positive incentive for your employees to work for, and is thus recognized as being one of the key tools in a good employee retention strategy.

When trying to attract candidates who may already be employed elsewhere and unsure as to whether or not they are really looking for a change, it then becomes your job to sell the candidate not only on the position, but on your company as well. In this regard it is important that an effort be made to make your company appear not simply as a good or great employer, but as the best. This will mean taking a careful look at the way your company presents itself via internal branding, as well as examining a number of important employee related policies about retention, recognition, promotion, reward, retention, etc.

It is also important that employers include their current employees in the hiring process as they can, a) be used as a networking tool, b) be helpful in the reviewing of candidate resumes, and c) assist in the cultural assessment of a candidate during the interview process. A company’s employees are their most valuable tool, and failing to use them during this difficult process is only wasting a great deal of potential and making things unnecessarily complicated.

Five more professional recruiting tips can be found in the second half of this article.

Published by Conselium Executive Search, the global leader in compliance search.  

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