The C-Suite is one of the hardest candidate groups to attract. They are generally the most experienced talent pool with the most job options. In addition, the size of the C-Suite talent pool is much smaller than lower-level candidates. The size of this talent pool along with the fact that executives need to be an especially good fit from a cultural standpoint makes recruiting the right person even harder.
From an organizational standpoint, you need to position your brand in a way that attracts the top executive talent.
Understanding the C-suite
To begin the process of attracting your next C-Suite superstar, you need to understand the make-up of the C-Suite. The C-Suite consists of a series of executive roles within companies such as senior managers, vice presidents, directors and chief executives. The most senior of these roles start with “chief” in the title.
The C-Suite is typically made up of the following as examples:
- Chief Executive Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Chief Information Officer
- Chief Technology Officer
- Chief Information Security Officer
- Chief Human Resources Officer
You need to begin your executive search by knowing what it means to be in each of these roles. The executive roles in any organization set the company culture and shape the overall strategies that drive company success. In order to find your C-Suite superstars, recruiters need to identify candidates who have had success with similar size and growth-stage organizations.
Be able to sell your industry
You may end up hiring an executive that previously didn’t work within your business’ industry. What you’re looking for instead is a proven leader who can take your business to the next level. To attract this type of leader, you need to position your industry as dynamic and your business as growing within that industry.
Executives want to be in a position to make a real difference in the businesses they are hired to. Show C-Suite candidates your plan to gain market share and differentiate your offering from your competition. Explain how their background is a perfect fit to take your business to the next level.
Find out what motivates a C-suite superstar
When a C-Suite level superstar is available, you need to know what makes them get up every day. What is it that excites them from a career perspective one day to the next? Some are motivated by money, while others focus on the impact they can make in a business.
Finding out what motivates them is the main job of top staffing agency recruiters. Ask them what accomplishment in their career they are most proud of. If their answer is something about revenue achievements then you know money is the main driver for them. If they focus on market share or growth in employee count, you know they value impact.
This knowledge will help you during negotiations with the candidate. You want to structure their role within your organization so they are constantly motivated to achieve. For someone who is money-focused, consider tying revenue growth to their compensation. If you find your C-Suite superstar, tailor the role to their needs and motivations while ensuring they serve the business to the best of their ability.
Rally the troops to help sell the culture
A C-Suite level superstar is not going to come into an organization blind. They will want to know who they are working with and what the culture is that they are getting into. You need to rally your troops to sell the culture of your organization to ensure it is a good fit for the candidate you desire.
Have the rest of the C-Suite join you and the candidate for lunch, or for a night out at a dinner or sporting event. It is these types of settings that a team bonding scenario can turn into an opportunity to land that dream candidate.
Attracting a C-Suite superstar takes an effort that goes beyond the role of the recruiter. Sure, the recruiter needs to do his or her research on the industry, the role, and the organization. It also means bringing in the rest of the C-Suite though to try and show why that individual should join the team to help bring the company forward.
About the Author:
Matt Shealy is the President of ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
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