When you’re looking to hire a C-level candidate, there are really only a few viable options. You can farm the hiring out to HR (or do it yourself) utilizing postings on online job boards, scouring LinkedIn for that 24-karat resume, and maybe asking your professional network about any likely prospects. Or you can hand it off to a recruiter specializing in C-level placement.
For best results, choose an executive recruiter. Here’s why:
Your Next Hire is Their Priority
Hiring someone who’s going to have a significant role in the direction and future of your business is one of the most important and specialized decisions you can make. Given this, it’s important to assign the task of finding the best person for the position to someone who can really make it a priority.
They’re Specialists in Your Industry
It’s also imperative that you work with a recruiting firm with years of experience specializing in your field. If you’re hiring for an upper management ecommerce position, the recruiting firm specializing in ecommerce recruitment already has the lay of the land. They will also have the sourcing skills necessary to find and determine elite, C-level talent, in addition to their knowledge of skilled people in the industry and those looking for a new position.
They Know Where to Look
Candidates are going to be picked for a recruiter’s shortlist not just for the relevancy of their experience but as the best culture fits. As long-time occupants of the space you’re hiring from and for, recruiters are often in a better position to make objective decisions with the best interests of both your company and the potential hire at heart. In addition to selecting candidates with personalities and practices in line with your business, a strong recruiter is able to assess and find superior talent. After all, the best fit for the role might not come right to you, but be found via an experienced recruiter who knows where to look and who to look for.
They Have a Specialized Approach
This is in no way to suggest that hiring managers or the HR personnel responsible for finding candidates aren’t good at what they do, or are bad judges of character—usually it’s just the opposite. The problem is with attempting to apply the traditional “post ads, rank resumes, interview candidates, hire the one who seems best” system to find the best C-level candidate to propel your business forward. Adding an executive to the team is a pretty personal and crucial hire for your company and therefore warrants a specialized approach.
If you are acquainted with any executive recruiters, there’s a fair chance you’ve heard something like “The best candidate for the job is already working somewhere else.” What distinguishes this from so many other commerce axioms is that it happens to be true. The people with the skills, drive, shrewdness, and acumen to fill a C-level position are not going to have gone unnoticed. In fact, it’s likely they’re gainfully employed somewhere else, happily moving another business (other than your own) forward.
They Find the Truly Qualified
If the hiring for your analytics position, for example, is handled from within and without the benefit of an analytic recruiting authority to select the best from the rest, you’re going to be inundated with a range of resumes. There will be a subset of those resume-submitters who know they’re punching above their weight but decide that they’re going to win their dream job by impressing the hirers into considering them via moxie, persistence, and sometimes the creativity of their pitches. Those pitches can include calls, emails, LinkedIn overtures, visits to the office—anything they think will get attention. And good for them. It does show moxie. It just doesn’t qualify them for an executive position. An experienced C-level recruiter will be able to sort through these candidates and focus on facts over charm to find those who are truly qualified for your executive role.
It’s Their (Only) Job
And while the HR personnel assigned to the candidate-vetting is sorting through that landslide of resumes and fielding calls and messages and walk-ins from eager applicants, it’s not as though the other obligations and responsibilities of an HR department go away. They’ll be putting out fires and mediating conflicts and very possibly dealing with less critical hiring decisions all while looking for the next member of upper management.
That said, when you’re looking to add a leader to your executive team, take the time to consider not only who you want to hire, but how you’re going to find them.
BrainWorks is a thought leader in the business of finding executives and placing them where they will drive success. Recognized as top-tier marketing analytics, customer insight, ecommerce, big data, data science, and CPG recruiters, BrainWorks has developed a suite of proprietary recruitment solutions, including their Talent Acquisition Process (TAP), Talent Evaluation Processes (TEP), and Seven Traits to Assess Results (STAR) system.
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