Executive Search Must Identify Talented People for Critical Managerial Positions




"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield." - Mahatma Gandhi


Executive search referred to by some as "headhunting" is a recruitment strategy that organization can adopt when it finds there are not many people of the right qualities to fill senior key management positions. You cannot avoid doing this when the situation requires you to do so. This is something that organizations will have to resort to when looking for scarce talents.

Your organization may headhunt the next CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and so on.

However, remember that doing so may cause ripples among organizations where the targeted candidates are working for. The question is whether or not you are ready to face this situation. Tread carefully when conducting your recruitment exercise.

When to Make Use of Executive Search

Use this method in the situations mentioned below.

  • You find that there are not many people who possess the qualifications, skills and experience that you need to fill key management positions.
  • You know that the people having such qualifications, skills and experience are not looking for a change in their job.
  • Your organization wants to ensure maximum confidentiality in the recruitment of capable people for key positions.

This means that you need to conduct some research on the availability of potential candidates in the job market. Do this discreetly.

Executive Search Process

Ensure that you carry out the following.

  1. Clearly define what your present problems are, for example, your needs for additional expertise among your senior management team.
  2. Determine whether you want to use this method of recruitment.
  3. If so, look for the right consultant.
  4. Consultant conducts systematic search.
  5. Consultant conducts interview and prepares confidential report for each candidate.
  6. Consultant presents candidates to your CEO and / or board.
  7. Probe further. Conduct negotiations with further referrals to consultant if necessary.
  8. Selected candidate is offered appointment.
  9. Close file or re-start process if you decide that none of the candidates satisfies your organizational needs or the successful candidate decides not to take up the offer.

You need to determine how critical are these people in your management team. Ask: "What will happen if I do not conduct the recruitment now?"

If you use a consultant, ensure that you choose someone who has the right expertise and background knowledge of what your organization needs.

Ask further whether the new executive can provide added value to help you to better compete in the industry that you are presently engaged in? But remember not every organization can get a Steve Jobs.


'Executive Search': the right strategy?

It has been said that this method of recruitment is not cheap.

It was also criticized as being not truly effective in finding the right people that organizations want in order to accomplish their objectives.

But in spite of this, it is still very popular among large organizations.

We can further say that this method is time-consuming. You may have to interview the candidates in order to satisfy yourself that the candidates recommended by the consultant have the right qualities for the positions.

However, you may have to use this recruitment method when circumstances require. Remember that it will not always give you the talents that you need. To do this more effectively, you need information.




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