Frequently businesses need to replace an underperforming member of their leadership team. Just firing or making them redundant can be tremendously costly and potentially lead to litigation. The abrupt removal of someone in a leadership role would create a gap that would leave a lack of guidance in those areas of their business. Terminating an executive’s employment may do more damage than not having the current leader there, so many companies choose to do a confidential executive search. What is a confidential executive search? And how do you conduct a confidential executive search? Let’s find out!
What is a Confidential Executive Search?
A confidential executive search is when a company looks for a new executive to replace a current standing executive. This is done without the present standing executive knowing to avoid a leadership gap. Having no leader is more often worse for the business than temporarily retaining the current one.
Why is this done?
On average, it takes 76.6 days for a C-level executive to be replaced following an unexpected departure of an executive. Often this crisis appears with only 3-4 days’ notice. Could your business afford to operate with its CFO or CTO for this amount of time? Probably not, even if they are underperforming.
How to do a confidential Executive Search
Doing a confidential executive search without the help and expertise of an executive search firm is exceptionally challenging.
Publicly posting for the role may make the current standing leader aware, causing them to leave sooner than planned and leaving you in the exact position you were trying to avoid… being leaderless. This rules out traditional recruiters.
This means confidential head-hunting carried out by your leadership or an executive search firm on your behalf is your only real option. Trying to do this internally is a tremendous use of resources that comes at the expense of what the involved executives should be focusing on. As mentioned previously, it takes on average 76.6 days to replace a C-level executive in an emergency. Can your CEO, CIO, CFO, or whoever would carry out this search afford to give up this much time to find talent while keeping it secret? Most likely not.
Could Executive Search Benefit your Business?
Work with an Executive Search firm
- Finding out your precise needs in your replacement
- Searching for candidates in their expansive network using a process that ensures confidentiality
- Convincing passive candidates to consider the opportunity, even though not all of the information can be shared
- Using legal instruments, such as an NDA, when necessary