How to become an Effective CEO Headhunter

Any experienced headhunter worth his/her weight in gold, will tell you that recruiting a CEO is a completely different ball-game from recruiting any other member of an organization. CEOs occupy the ultimate seat of authority because the buck stops with them. A CEO is the ultimate authority for everybody who is a part of his/her organization, including the HR department.

A lot of organizations with well-settled CEOs who know the ropes too well, already begin grooming their replacements and have succession plans well in place before leaving their own firms. But if your organization isn’t one of those that plan ahead, then the burden of finding your firm’s next leader may fall entirely on you.

So how do you as a recruiter choose your own leader? The future of your organization may depend on you. Having a CEO who is a bad fit for your firm can be detrimental to its progress.

Explained in detail below are CEO recruiting tips to help you as a recruiter prepare yourself for the task of finding the next leader for your organization, regardless of whether you’re recruiting a CEO temporarily or permanently.

Planning is Everything

The plan for executing the recruitment of the ideal CEO for an organization should be hatched by the collective leadership of all senior directors, board members as well as HR professionals. The first step would be to identify the skills and qualities that would make a candidate the ideal fit for the CEO’s position in your company. Following this strategies to go about executing this recruitment plan should be devised.

Devise a Strategy for the Effective Assessment of Candidates

Using your outgoing CEO, by leveraging their experience and observing their performance in the organization, will give you an idea of what skills and qualities the ideal CEO for your company should possess. Going through your outgoing CEOs track record to identify where they did well and could have done better will aid you in making the right choice.

Involve Your Current CEO in the Process

The plan for executing the recruitment of the ideal CEO for an organization should be hatched by the collective leadership of all senior directors, board members as well as HR professionals. The first step would be to identify the skills and qualities that would make a candidate the ideal fit for the CEO’s position in your company. Following this strategies to go about executing this recruitment plan should be devised.

Don’t Ignore Potential Candidates Within Your Company

Considering chief executives from within your company, who’ve learned the ropes to running the organization, over the years that they’ve been there, is also sometimes a worthy alternative. Many of these chief executives who have worked closely with the outgoing CEO over a number of years have a better idea than any outsider will, of what it takes to effectively run the organization. They are most often well-exposed to the nuances and subtleties involved in making the right decisions and make for excellent CEOs themselves.

Seek Third-Party Opinions

Assuming you’ve shortlisted a few candidates and all of them seem to be equally good, seeking the opinion of the former associates of these candidates might help you to gain some information about the candidate, other than what they wish to make apparent. Third-party opinions are useful in determining certain characteristics, habits or behaviors of candidates that you might otherwise never be able to find out until after a few years of hiring them, by which time, it is often too late.

Rely Only on Trusted Sources

Choosing your resources carefully is always a must when considering the opinions of a third party. These resources unless chosen properly often spread misinformation because of their ulterior motives. Another trick that might help you gain some certainty on information provided about a candidate, is to verify the same with another source. Thus not only is choosing reliable resources crucial but also finding two separate sources who will corroborate each other’s information.

Sell Them the Future of Your Company

The best candidates always need to be sold on why they should join your organization. For such candidates, a heavy pay package isn’t the only thing they’re looking for. Working for a prestigious organization means everything to them. Unless you’re prepared to sell them the brilliance of your organization, these candidates are most likely to go elsewhere. As a CEO headhunter, you should not only be prepared to gauge the candidate’s aptitude but also be prepared to have your organization/firm gauged by the candidate. Thus, selling them the future of your company, it’s vision, goals, and achievements will make sure they are aware of the prestige that comes with becoming its CEO.

Choose for the Long-Term

Finding the ideal candidate who is skilled in everything you’re looking for, as a recruiter, isn’t enough anymore. Thinking about your organization’s long-term goals and plans are crucial in determining the sort of CEO you will need. Consider the skills a CEO will require, five years down the line, when your company has grown by leaps and bounds, and the entire scale of operations far exceeds the present. Therefore, recruiting a CEO who has the ability to adapt and expand his/her skill set as the circumstances and needs change, is the best thing you as a recruiter can do for your organization.

Keeping an Open-Mind

Every experienced headhunter eventually realizes over the course of his/her career that the “ideal candidate” does not exist for any job role. As a recruiter keeping an open mind in judging candidates and preparing yourself to accept that there will be flaws in every one of them is important. Choosing a candidate with the least flaws is also not always a good choice. A candidate with more reworkable flaws is always better than one with fewer serious flaws, as the ability to change signifies the ability to learn on the job and adapt, which are skills that every good CEO has in his/her arsenal.

Considering the above points will ease your job as a recruiter, searching for the ideal CEO for your company and also help you make the best decision for your organization’s future, growth, and expansion, possible.

Show Comments