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Client Advice

The 5 key steps in recruiting high performance best-in-class executives

By Peter Wharton

Recruiting executives can feel a daunting task. After all, these leaders will effectively make or break your company!

The main difference between hiring executives and non-managerial staff is that most executives don’t actively look for jobs as they are already in employment, so you won’t find them constantly browsing the web for vacant C-suite positions. Consequently, companies need to hone their art of finding and approaching prospective candidates for executive roles and establishing long-term, trustworthy relationships with them.

When a company needs to fill an executive role, sourcing the promising candidate isn’t the challenge - getting them to sign on the dotted line is. Make sure you demonstrate high-level professionalism by maintaining confidentiality and being discreet when contacting executive candidates. Contacting them this way protects their reputation and privacy while giving them the cushion time to consider a response.


So what are the key five steps in recruiting high-performing executives?

Step 1, you need to ask more than

"Who's right for this role?" First, the existing leadership team needs to ask and answer initial questions such as these:

  • Why are you adding this role?
  • What direction do you hope this role will take the company?
  • Why is it mission-critical at this moment in time?
  • How will the person in this role interact with existing leadership?
  • What will their success look like in the first 6 months?
  • The first year?
  • What does the ideal candidate need to have done before in their career?


Step 2 Define Your Ideal Candidate’s attributes such as

Cognitive skills, Creative thinking, Problem-solving, Intelligence, Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Multicultural awareness, Social awareness, business acumen, Finance management, and Organisational management, if they are strategic, or innovative.


Step 3 Choose Your Hiring Committee
Aim for a hiring committee of 4-7 people. Choose individuals who can accurately assess those traits which you previously deemed critical in your new leader. Where it may be beneficial to assign specific competencies you want each member to dig into.


Step 4 Streamline your process.
Executive-level talent has neither the time nor the desire to be mired down in a clunky, disorganised hiring process. From the first interview to sealing the deal and onboarding, be sure your strategy, systems and methods are timely and efficient. You can – and will – lose your best prospects if your competition outruns you.


Step 5 Properly Evaluate & Select Candidates

Particularly when recruiting executives, you’ll want a stringent method for evaluating and choosing potential hires. Define in advance the Interview questions, evaluation metrics for during the interview (such as key skills and competencies), must-haves versus nice-to-haves and follow-up schedule.


Using the five steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to recruiting excellent executives.  If you’re still looking for an executive search firm don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]

It has come to our attention that clients and candidates are being contacted by individuals fraudulently posing as Antal representatives.  If you receive a suspicious message (by email or WhatsApp), please do not click on any links or attachments.  We never ask for credit card or bank details to purchase materials, and we do not charge fees to jobseekers.