How to Hire C-level Executives

Every company faces a unique set of challenges when hiring C-level executives. This uniqueness needs to be balanced while making itself more appealing to certain world-class executives.

Here I will show you some of the best practices you should carry out during your search and the limitations you need to consider before and during your search. Finally, we will then explore each role individually.

Skip to my C-level Executive Role Specific Hiring Guides

What C-level role Are you looking for?

Depending on the life cycle of your business, your next C-level hire may not be obvious due to the nature of your business. For example, if you’re a start-up, should your second or third c-level hire be a CEO, CFO, CTO, CIO or even a CHRO?

If you’re developing a piece of software, this may produce more value for your business to have a dedicated technology lead, such as a CTO. If you’re growing a telesales/customer support agency company, HR and employee management is going to be the biggest challenge in your business, so maybe a CHRO should be your next leadership member, instead of a full time salaried CFO.  Possible a part time CFO, or outsourcing the function to a third party may be prudent.  Decisions need to be made to allow for more growth for your business.

Don’t do the search Alone

It is also essential to integrate some consideration of the competitors to your business into your search process. Are there companies you want to avoid? Are there companies you would like to focus on recruiting from because you perceive there to be a match for the type of people they employ? These types of thoughts our best addressed at the beginning of a search process so that your search firm can apply its resources most effectively for you.

Finding enough good candidates

These limitations are why many businesses rely on executive search firms. By outsourcing the recruitment efforts, your company has a much better way of objectively assessing any candidate being considered for a position. A search firm will often recommend that you allow your internal recommendations or referrals to be vetted against other external candidates that the search firm will identify. This ensures your company is hiring the absolute best person for the critical role or roles at hand

Plan ahead to avoid being leaderless

On average firms only have 3.5 days lead time with unexpected CEO departure leaving them without a CEO for 75.7 days. This can shake a company up, leaving great uncertainty throughout the organization and costing the company thousands if not millions in revenue. This is why if you want to replace a current standing executive, it’s best to do it confidentially. This will minimize the disruption in leadership as much as feasibly possible.

This can often mean you need to recruit a new executive before the previous one leaves. This can be hard to do through your company network given the active role the executive may have in it. So often It requires the help of executive search firms who specialize in gathering a range of candidates or even whole teams confidentially, while the current teams maintain operation to minimize leadership down time and instability.

Need Help Hiring your Next Executive, or Conducting a Confidential Search?

Please contact me! I have over 25+ years of executive search experience as a Managing Partner at Boyden.  I can help you find your next executive or full leadership team. I can also connect you to an executive search partner who specializes in fulfilling your specific needs, in any country and industry.

Robert Travis Executive Search Managing Partner at Boyden

How to Hire Each C-level Executive Role

Find Expert guidance on conducting a search for each of the executive roles below:

C-level Executive Role Specific Hiring Guides :

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How to Hire a CEO

The CEO is a hard role to hire. You need to find someone who believes in the business and product or service. Someone who has good ideas for its future, while ensuring the team they build can execute. Let’s learn how to hire the right one for your business. - Read More

CFO working with CEO

How to Hire a CFO

Here, we talk about how to hire a CFO and the special things you need to think about when hiring for this position. Because the CFO has so much power over the business's finances, they can be one of the hardest people to hire. - Read More

CHRO being hired

How to Hire a CHRO

CHRO is in charge of a company's human capital. They come up with policies and systems to identify, develop and retain top talent. How do you find a world-class human resources leader? Lets learn how to hire a CHRO - Read More

How to Hire CMO

Your CMO must be an expert in your primary marketing channels, as well as understand your industry, niche, and customers, as well as other potential customers. Given this, it is frequently necessary to find someone with a specific set of skills and experience in order to succeed - Read More

How to Hire a CTO

Hiring the right CTO for your company is critical. You don't want to find someone who only knows how to solve your technology problems, but someone who understands how to do so in the best way possible using the most up-to-date tools available with security as a primary concern. - Read More

CIOs data

How to Hire a CIO

Your next CIO needs to build the systems to capture, manage and proliferate the data from across your business. This means they need to have a deep understanding of your business and industry, as well as the technology which could power it. - Read More

CRO working with CMO and CEO

How to Hire CRO

The CRO is often one of the shortest tenured people in a leadership team. With the duty of merging the capabilities of the marketing, sales, and technology team to find synergies to grow revenue and grow it fast! - Read More

Physical and digital security

How to Hire a CSO

Responsible for both the physical and digital security of your business. Your next CSO needs to know how to install strict security protocols and systems and make sure they are maintained. The priorities in security differ greatly from a SaaS, manufacturing, mining, or hospitality business. Finding the right one is essential. - Read More

How to Hire a CISO

The CISO is in charge of making sure your company's digital assets are reliable and secure. With crippling fines for data leaks in today's businesses. A strong CISO adds immeasurable value to your brand and financial position. - Read More

How to Hire Senior Management (7+ guides!)

Your senior management, the people who execute your executive’s vision. All require a high set of skills depending on their area of expertise. Here we explore how to best hire them and deep dive into key roles - Read More

COO talking to CEO

How to Hire a COO

When a business reaches a certain size, it needs a visionary and a leader to help it scale up its operations. How can you locate the COO who can maximize the growth potential of your company? - Read More

Robert Travis Executive Search Managing Partner at Boyden contact me

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As a Managing Partner at Boyden, I can assist you personally or refer you to a member or group of our global search team who is best suited to assist you and your company's specific executive search needs.

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