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Executive Recruitment: How to Hire a Great Executive for Your Business

15 min read
executive recruitment

To lead a company to profitability and growth, you need a group of talented executives at the helm. But how do you attract top talent?

Executives with great management skills, impressive educational credentials, and strong track records are in demand. You need more than an average hiring process to attract the best and retain them.

Here are some tips for successful executive recruitment.

Create a Positive Corporate Culture

For prospects with many employment options, corporate culture is a strong deciding factor when choosing job offers. No matter what industry you’re in, top executives spend a lot of time at the office and with colleagues. They want to join a team where they will feel appreciated, listened to, and fit right in.

You can’t change your corporate culture to fit an individual candidate. It’s better to find people who will fit in with your style and vision.

However, certain aspects of internal culture have become priorities for top candidates, especially millennials. People on the upward swing of their careers are interested in upward mobility, flexibility, and autonomy.

Salaries are important to young professionals, but so are benefits like the ability to work from home, child care, diversity, and professional development. Job seekers also look for companies with a social conscience: they want to be part of something that is making the world a better place.

Many companies claim to have a healthy “work-life balance,” but the top executive candidates will research your corporate culture to see if you put your money where your mouth is.

Let People Know How Great Your Company Is

Your corporate culture is key to your recruiting, so it must be made clear to people both in the company and outside of it. It will do you no good if the only people who know how great it is are the people who work for you.

Your recruitment objectives should be woven into your overall company strategy for growth. Your marketing and branding must be aimed not only at potential clients or customers but to potential employees as well.

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When you design your website, potential executives are a key part of your target audience. Keep them in mind when you create messaging and graphics.

Include human resource stories as part of your public relations pitch. You want to engage media in stories about how happy your employees are to work with you. Whether it is snacks and ping pong tables, women in top positions, or a flexible policy on remote work, you want to establish your reputation as a great place to work.

Make Your Employees Brand Ambassadors

If you really want to become a talent magnet, develop your own employees to be brand ambassadors.

People trust their friends. That’s why, despite all of the most sophisticated analytics and marketing technology in the world, word-of-mouth is still reliably effective.

If your current staff likes where they work, they will tell their friends. Their LinkedIn connections will see their happy, positive posts. They will inquire when they see news of promotions, opportunities, and raises.

Engage your employees in the growth of your company. Offer incentives to recruit others to join the team. Approach your best executives and see who they like working with or who they admire amongst your competitors.

Sometimes even the smallest things can boost staff morale. Daily snack time is a huge hit in companies of all sizes. It shows the company cares for its employees’ health and well-being, and it encourages people to get away from their desks and mingle.

Great swag is effective, too. When your executives are out on vacation or coaching Little League and they are wearing your branded sweatshirt or hat, they will attract attention. “Oh, you work there?”

That kind of attention can create connections which may bring you your next star executive.

Keep Close to Alumni

You may not believe it, but alumni can be excellent sources for recruitment as well. When you are looking to hire executives, your former executives may be able to steer you in the right direction.

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You can maintain positive relations with former employees who leave on good terms. You should encourage people who leave to pursue other opportunities, because they may either return or recommend other people of value.

People who once worked with you also know your culture and systems. If they have left on good terms, they may recommend your company when they meet others who they believe would do well with you.

Pay Attention to Onboarding

Recruitment does not stop upon the act of hiring an executive. During the early weeks of employment, your new exec may be trying you out to see if your recruiting was an accurate representation of what it is like to work at your company.

A structured onboarding process is key to keeping that executive in place at your workplace. Statistics show that high percentages of employees stick around when they have been through a carefully set up orientation program.

Your new executive must be given time and resources to learn the ropes in her new environment. She should be introduced to both superiors and peers, so she can bond with teammates.

If an executive has an initial positive experience at a new job, they are much more likely to stay, work productively, and pass along the news of your excellent corporate reputation.

Executive Recruitment: Get the Best by Being the Best

Your executive recruitment efforts may make all the difference in your company’s ability to grow and succeed. You have to do more than just hire a great staffing company and take recruits out to a fancy restaurant. You have to create a workplace where top talent will want to go and stay.

Create an inviting corporate culture so that your current employees will entice others to come aboard. By investing in your people, you are more likely to reap the rewards of a great workforce.

For more tips on succeeding in business and in life, keep reading our blog.

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