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  • February 5, 2019
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Recruiting senior hires? Top methods used by Executive Search Firms


“Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats…” – Jim Collins


The key to the success of a business is having the right talent in the right positions. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, over 80% of employee turnover can be attributed to poor hiring choices. This is attested by a similar research conducted by the US Department of Labor which states that the cost of a bad hire is at least 30% of the employee’s first-year salary, and this number increases as the position becomes more impactful to the business.


Identifying the right people for a job vacancy is tough and finding one for a leadership position is even tougher. The next “leader” that you hire will be making decisions crucial for driving the future of your company, hence it is important that you identify the right person for the job.


In this article, we show how executive search firms in Singapore look for senior hires – learning and practicing some of the methods used by executive search firms can help you improve the quality of your senior hire and avoid costly hiring mistakes.


Developing a wide network

Hiring senior executives involve a more diligent process compared to recruiting mid-level professionals. Strong senior level candidates are typically not actively applying for jobs – in order to get to them you’ll need to employ your resourcefulness and often times, your creativity. The process of shortlisting possible candidates typically begins with executive search consultants looking at their existing network. Consultants at an executive search firm invest a lot of their time and effort on building their network of candidates, getting to know them professionally and even personally.


Some executive search firms conduct regular research to find out what attracts professionals, so consultants know how to position your company in front of candidates. Because of their deep market knowledge, they would also be able to pinpoint areas where you can improve to make the role more attractive.


So, look within your existing network or leverage on employee referrals if the search process is not a confidential one. You can approach current employees, alumnus, investors, board members and other stakeholders in your search.


Acquiring Deep knowledge in the job and the industry

Developing deep knowledge for the role and industry you’re hiring for is extremely important. This allows you to hold meaningful conversations with the senior-level candidate so that you can develop deeper understanding of his or her career aspirations and extrinsic and intrinsic motivations.


Besides continually building their network of talent, executive search consultants also constantly speak to them and learn about developments in the industry and the jobs in the industry. Often times, they are up-to-date about happenings at individual companies. Such knowledge places them in good position to understand where to find suitable candidates and how to approach them.


To up your recruiting game, you got to be open to learning new knowledge about your industry and gain a deep understanding of what makes these senior level executives tick. Continuously honing your communication skills also helps when approaching them.


Be discrete and maintain confidentiality    

When it comes to recruiting senior hires, maintaining a high level of professionalism and confidentiality is extremely important. This is especially so when you want to:

  • Replace an existing underperforming senior executive
  • Approach someone from a company that your organisation does business with
  • Approach someone from a competitor company

Be sure to contact the candidate via their private email address or contact number. Alternatively, such executive recruiting may be best left to executive search firms instead of your inhouse recruiting team.


Recruiting senior executive is different from the typical hiring process and requires advanced recruiting methods. When hiring senior executives such as senior managers, directors, vice presidents and c-level positions, it can be valuable for your business to use an executive search firm whose primary focus is helping you find a professional with a mindset that fits the culture of your company and the skillset to make it thrive.


To learn how an recruitment agency can help you fill a senior management vacancy in your organisation, get in touch with us here.

Contact us today.