Let’s explore the standard executive search process from start to finish. Assuming you are looking to replace or hire a c-level executive or hire a senior manager for your team using an executive search firm. The executive search process will be slightly different if you’re looking to staff an individual role, build a whole team or conduct a confidential executive search. However, all searches have a common foundation at their core, so let’s unpack the common structure in the executive search process.
Establish your Search Requirements and Priorities
First, you will need to identify what the role entails. This includes nailing down job responsibilities, qualifications, and preferred skills. You will also want to understand the company culture and values clearly. With this information in hand, you can develop a candidate profile and job description. This is valuable to both those in your team carrying out the search and the external executive search firms.
This should be done as a leadership team. If you don’t have a detailed job description prepared, the search firm will help you develop one. They may ask questions for more detail to ensure they have the best information to conduct the search process on your behalf. The priorities in an Executive search for a CTO or CFO, Can differ immensely based on your company’s need for a leader, and how your leadership works together. Don’t overlook this step and do it as a team.
The next step in the executive search process is establishing the search strategy to source candidates.
Develop your Executive Search Strategy
Next, it’s time to begin sourcing candidates. This will be done through a variety of methods including online job boards, social media, employee referrals, and headhunting by executive search firms.
The executive search consultants you are working with will provide their expertise on the best strategy to find talent for your business according to your budgeted salary and the requirements of the role. The executive search consultants will manage this part of the executive search process on your behalf. They will start sourcing candidates from various sources and begin the screening process.
The executive search firm will conduct phone, video, and in-person interviews with each candidate during the screening. These interviews focus on getting to know the candidate and their qualifications and assessing their fit with the company culture.
The search firm will make sure these candidates fit the criteria needed by your company and pass on the top candidates to your leadership team to interview.
Could Executive Search Benefit your Business?
Interview most qualified candidates
After screening, you will invite your top candidates for in-person interviews. This is where the current leadership of the team gets more involved so they can make an informed final decision. These interviews should be conducted by key members of your selection committee or a panel of interviewers and focus on behavioral questions. The goal is to get a sense of how the candidate would handle themselves in various situations.
These meetings are generally scheduled by the executive search firm.
Select successful candidate
Finally, it’s time to make a decision and extend an offer to the candidate of your choice. Executive search firms will typically handle negotiations on behalf of the client company. However, you may want to be involved in this step as you build your relationship with what will be your newest team member, and even in this case, your search partner can help you navigate the process.
And that’s the executive search process! If you would like help with an executive search please contact me and I can connect you to an executive search firm that specializes in your business industry and in your region. Not sure if an executive search firm is right for you? Try my quiz to see if executive search can help your business. Alternatively, you may want to know what does an executive search firm do.