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Recruiting for the C-suite is in many ways the same as recruiting for any other position, but it comes with some different challenges. It’s important to put a lot of care and consideration into your recruiting process for any position, and it’s imperative in the case of a C-level search. Hiring the wrong executive has the potential to make a huge impact on your team and your organization’s bottom line.

If you’re looking to add a new exec to your team, these tips may help your process go smoothly.

Plan Ahead

Be very clear on the job requirements and characteristics you’re looking for – and which are the must-haves. Think about which cognitive and/or personality-based assessments may help you identify whether candidates fit your success and job fit pattern.

Look for Passive Candidates

Many top executives are already employed and may not be actively looking for a new position. However, surveys show that 97% of senior candidates want recruiters to find or approach them for relevant positions. Searching for candidates with the background and skills you need may be the best way to find the right fit for your team.

Do Your Research

Take the time to learn about the companies or organizations your candidates work for. According to Purple Ink’s Director of Talent Services, Peggy Hogan, “It’s important to understand the scope of work the candidate has had. Understand the number of employees, their number of direct reports, products or services, the revenue of the company, challenges in the market, etc.”

Talk About the Value of the Position

Professionals at the C-level are often looking for more than just a great salary. Explaining what they’ll learn from the position, how it will impact their career, and how they’ll make a difference may seal the deal with your dream candidate.

Roll Out the Red Carpet

Be willing to go above and beyond for on-site interviews with executive level candidates. Make sure they have face to face time with the CEO, board of directors, and/or other members of the leadership team. If they’ll be relocating, set them up with a realtor who can show them some housing options, sell them on the city, and tell them about school systems and other amenities. Factor in a tour of your facility, a meal, and some break time between interviews. Overall, your goal should be to create a positive and red-carpet interview experience. You and your team are in woo mode, giving a realistic preview of the opportunity and its challenges while selling the culture and opportunities.

Don’t Ask for Free Advice

Having C-suite candidates make a presentation to company leadership during the hiring process can be an opportunity to observe their strategic strengths, ability to present, and awareness of the position’s top priorities. “Be careful to keep this a positive candidate experience and not just a guise for free consulting,” says Peggy Hogan. The focus should be on the candidate’s skills, not on generating free ideas for solving your company’s issues; keep it very high level and make sure all candidates have the same data and guidelines. 

There’s a lot to consider when you’re hiring a new executive. If you could use some help creating a great interview experience, reach out to Purple Ink – we’d be glad to assist as you make a plan or pitch in during your hiring process.

Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily is Purple Ink’s Director of Marketing. She enjoys being able to exercise both her creative side and her analytical side, and as a Learner, loves helping to create new services and tactics and discovering the best ways to share them with the community.

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