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Sharpening Up Your Executive Search Recruitment

Oakstone International Executive Search sharpening up your executive recruitment

We are privileged to operate in a world where excellence is the norm. Our clients are leading software companies that are shaping the future.

They embody and redefine best practice in their sector. They push the technological envelope in ways their distant predecessors could never have imagined – let alone accomplished.

And yet some persist in making life unnecessarily onerous for themselves when it comes to acquiring their most precious resource. People.

Some (but not all) that fall into this trap are start-ups and other small companies. And by ‘small’ you can forget the government definition. We mean sub-500 employees.

This is what some companies fail to grasp…

Alignment Of Objectives

You’ve heard all the tired old clichés – ‘on the same page’, ‘same hymnsheet’, ‘ducks in a row’ – so why do some hiring managers still fail to get it right?

The hiring manager…the recruitment manager…the EMEA VP…the worldwide sales VP…the CEO: you must all be aligned in your objectives and criteria when recruiting.

You are hiring pivotal sales people to drive your crucial sales numbers.

So you must be absolutely unified in your requirements. This is critically important.

Good conference calls early on and impactful first meetings are essential if you are to put fundamentals like this in place and lock them down.

We are deadly serious about this. Start how you mean to go on.

Specify The Role Precisely

You would be stunned how many companies fall down on this one.

Sure, the sales director is pretty certain what they want from any new star player. After all, they’ve been in the business for years. Since the year dot. Got the trophies and scars to prove it.

Ditto the EMEA VP, the worldwide sales VP, the CEO – but have they codified the role? Have they actually written down and set in stone what they need?

Often not.

Sounds familiar? It should – failure to specify the role precisely stems from the aforementioned alignment issues.

Specify The Timeframe Precisely

You won’t be surprised to learn that an imprecise timeframe is another symptom of poor alignment.

It’s what happens when the sales director, EMEA VP, CEO et al fail to co-ordinate their diaries and make proper time for interviewing.

Hiring mission-critical sales performers takes between three and six weeks. Sometimes two months. Occasionally even three.

So don’t think you can rush this or wing it if your days are rammed.

Get your people to co-ordinate your diaries. Block out the time. Set milestones – and stick to them.

Every day that slides is a delay in hitting your next sales target. You never get that time back. So don’t waste it in the first place.

Execute Your Interviews Smoothly

Anyone joining your company needs to buy into your vision. You’re selling your company to them – as much as they’re selling themselves to you.

That means wheeling out your best heavyhitters for the interviews.

You must sell the star performers your vision. Be positive (but don’t overhype it). Qualify each candidate properly, precisely and systematically.

Don’t be vague. Don’t play powergames to keep them on their toes.

  • If it’s no…tell them.

  • If it’s yes/maybe…tell them.

Don’t leave them hanging. Whichever way it goes, make sure their experience of your company is a positive one.

Word soon gets around. So make sure it’s a good word.

Managing The Executive Search Process

Getting this process right is what we do for a living. Our clients entrust us with their most important hires.

They expect us to ask challenging questions to make sure the process runs smoothly from the start.