Woman keeping a secret

How to do a Confidential Executive Search

Experience in Executive Search
0 + yrs
Executive & Senior Positions Filled
0 +
Of my searches, were confidential, leading to a termination of an incumbent following a successful search
0 %

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

Executive search consultant are experts in this process. They take on the responsibility of:
  • 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
Given the executive search firm’s experience in confidential executive search, they will be faster and more effective in finding the talent you need while mitigating risk to your company. While the current standing leader keeps things running, your remaining leadership can focus on their core duties.
Need help with your executive search? Please do not hesitate to contact me. Personally, I have conducted over 35 confidential executive searches, and Boyden has conducted thousands worldwide. Boyden has offices in over 43 countries with industry and functional experts that can find the right talent for your company. I can personally help you or connect you to a member or group of our global search team who would be best suited to help you with your confidential search.
Robert S Travis About Me page

Need Expert Executive Search Help?

As a Managing Partner at Boyden, I can provide you with personal assistance, introduce you to another partner, or assemble a specialized global search team who would be best suited to assist you and your organization with the specific executive search needs.

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