Advice for Hiring Executives
There are a few things that our clients can do to help facilitate an outstanding business partnership with DSP. Here are a few tips:
Focus on Communication
- A search is a fluid and dynamic process. Regular, candid interchanges between the client and the search partner will facilitate a better search. Frequently, as the search progresses, you are refining what your needs and expectations of the role are; communicating these changes in a timely fashion is critical.
- “Not interested” is not good feedback on candidates. Take the time to tell your search partner why you are not interested. The more specific the feedback, the more likely future candidates will be on the mark.
- Communication with the search firm should not fall solely to the HR person. It is critical for the hiring executive to take ownership of both the process and the feedback. Projects tend to move in a more efficient way when the line executive is directly involved.
Select Your Interview Team Carefully
- The best candidates will not need the job you are interviewing them for. Be sure your interview team includes people who excel at selling your organization.
- People who could have an ulterior motive for not liking candidates (perception that a strong hire will push them more or possibly block them from growing) should not be included in the process.
- We find that behavioral interviews tend to provide the best interviewing experience, for both clients and candidates. The key to receiving a unique perspective on the candidate you are interviewing is to avoid discussing the same information with different people in the interview process. Provide specific guidance for each individual interviewer in terms of what they should try to accomplish. Hold early preparation & planning meetings with the interview team to establish who will probe what topics, and avoid redundancy in discussion topics.
- Establish as much flexibility in your compensation parameters as possible and speak candidly with your search partner about compensation. Search firms report on the market by sharing candidates’ compensation information. If your compensation parameters are not giving you access to the best candidates, be prepared to either adjust your compensation parameters or the selection criteria.
- Discuss how your company will be willing to negotiate leave behind (equity, unpaid bonuses, etc.) and relocation expenses for the incoming placement. Relocation expenses are a key factor in the decision making process for many candidates.
- Account for differences in cost of living. Relocating can sometimes mean drastic changes in cost of living for candidates. Do your homework to understand the relationship between their compensation and cost of living, and use that information to understand the candidate’s perspective.
- An experienced executive recruiter will have the market knowledge to inform you if you are setting an unrealistically low compensation package for the position you are filling.
Make the reference checking process meaningful and explain areas of concern
- As a part of our search services, Discovery Search Partners manages the reference checking process. Some of our clients, however, do wish to check candidate references on their own, or work together throughout the reference checking process. We are happy to accommodate any combination of reference checking, in order to provide the most thorough perspectives on candidates.
- Communicate any concerns that surfaced in the interview process and ask the recruiter to specifically cover those concerns with references.
- Take the time to understand who the candidate listed as references. Ask why people were and were not included in the reference list (i.e. if a candidate worked for a company for 15 years and no longer works there, it would be a red flag if they are unable to list references from that company).
- Put all feedback in perspective. Bad feedback from an employee who worked with the candidate ten years ago might cause you to scrutinize the candidate more carefully, but should not cause you to deselect the candidate. Think about how much you have grown or developed over the last ten years.
Use objective tools like PRO-DEVELOPMENT™
- Objective leadership development tools, such as the PRO-D suite (provided to our clients on request, in conjunction with TAI Inc.) allow for further insight into how a person will fit with your team.
- Understand if you are looking for someone to fit right in or shake things up. Assessment tools can help you develop an on-boarding plan.