Perfect your Executive Recruiting Strategies


Attracting the best talent can certainly help any organization gain a competitive advantage. Recruiting the right employees can elevate business practices, increase revenue and set the business up for long-term success. So, how is this best approached? By employing smart techniques and excellent executive recruiting strategies. 

The right management plays a vital role in helping companies reach organizational goals in a market where finding a cutting-edge strategy is tricky. Top talent amongst C-suite executives can be difficult to find, yet they play an important role in helping firms achieve their objectives.

According to a McKinsey and Company study, CEOs are responsible for 45% of a company’s operations and performance.

This guide will reveal some of the most effective methods for hiring for these positions, enabling firms to pass the reins of leadership to the brightest minds.

What is executive recruiting?

Executive recruiting is finding and hiring people for the company’s top jobs.

In executive recruiting, the goal is to find and hire executives like senior managers, directors, vice presidents, CEOs, and other high-level company officers. C-Suite recruiting is a term that is sometimes used for executive recruiting.

This is because the titles of the top executives in senior management usually start with “Chief.” Examples include Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operations Officer (COO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

Executive recruitment strategies

Executive search is also called search and selection or headhunting. These terms refer to a proactive way of hiring people. An executive search stands out because it looks for candidates in an atypical way. This method makes it easier to find the best, highest-level workers for different businesses.

It’s always up to the leader to set the company’s direction. CEOs try to reduce strategic uncertainty by focusing on the options with the strongest business cases.

For instance, small organizations and agencies are less interested in reporting since they grow gradually but with TimeTrack Reporting, management can quickly get an overview of all the tasks completed thus far as well as the team’s performance.


TimeTrack Reporting

Streamline your recruiting process

Executive-level talent usually don’t have the time or interest to undergo a slow, messy hiring process.

You will need to ensure that your strategy, techniques and methods are timely and effective from the first contact to closing the deal and getting the new employee on board.

Beware of competing forces who are also seeking the best executives. Move too slowly and you may miss your chance. Formulate a personnel plan representing a consolidated strategy for hiring the best people for all senior-level positions, while keeping an eye on future expansion.

Go through the process as if you were the person applying. Where are the problems, and how can they be fixed? If the process for hiring executives isn’t perfect at any point, fix it. Don’t leave candidates in the dark.



Recruit through your existing hiring team

Small to medium-sized organizations (500 employees or less) often require these positions just a few times per year, if at all. It may make sense for these organizations to rely on the existing recruiting team to find great employees.

The obvious advantage is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel by relying on current processes. On the other hand, because these positions are so time-consuming, your current recruiting staff may lack the time or resources needed to assess executive-level prospects adequately.

To get the best out of your recruiting team, work on agile goal-setting to ensure that plans are based on context, intrinsic rewards, shared goals, and adaptability.


Tips for recruitment

  1. Team training

If the team of recruiters don’t have much experience hiring executives, the easiest thing to do is give them more training. Finding a virtual course or webinar for your team could be enough training. Or you could look for mentors from other companies who can help them through the process.

  1. Appoint a team leader

Teams do best when one person is in charge. Team leaders can delegate tasks, keep track of everyone’s deliverables, manage deadlines and troubleshoot when necessary.

  1. Engage other company executives

Even if the hiring manager already has a recruitment team, advice from other organizational leaders is always beneficial. While they may not be team members, the CEO or other department heads can assist in identifying and developing candidate profiles, skills and talents.

Form an internal executive recruitment team

If you have more than 500 employees, your business will likely need to fill C-suite positions fairly often. So, the cost might be enough to make you consider doing your executive recruiting.

But the cost isn’t the only thing to consider when hiring people inhouse. Even though outside recruitment firms work hard to learn about the company culture, no-one knows the company better than those who work there.

When recruiting good leaders, it’s vital to ensure they’re up to speed on the latest trends and technologies. Excellent managers know how to leverage technology to fast-track processes. For instances, every company benefits from an automated tool that takes the headache and stress out of allocating shifts. TimeTrack Shift Planner creates and defines a wide variety of work areas for your locations. Thanks to the assigned colour markers, you never lose the overview and can plan properly.


TimeTrack Shift Planner

Recruitment planning tips

To get started, you don’t need a large recruitment team, but you will need a few members to design a hiring process. This includes creating ideal candidate profiles and determining which additional team members could contribute to the hiring team.

Candidate pipeline

Inhouse recruiters should consider creating a talent pool or pipeline to identify future leaders. This might be a pipeline that recruits from within or the team could devise strategies to grow the pool of qualified candidates.

A pipeline will also assist you in determining the milestones and benchmarks in the executive recruiting process, allowing you to track and report your progress to senior leaders.

Potential executives may already be working for other companies. Passive recruiting can help you build a pool of potential candidates and get in touch with them when you’re ready to start your active search.


Executive search firms might be costly, but they can be an excellent option for mid to large-sized organizations with unique employment needs. For example, the opportunity could be a specialist position or your company may want to keep the executive search discreet.

Furthermore, a search committee typically has greater professional networks, which means your organization might benefit from its resources and find prospects you might not have otherwise considered.

Job and industry

Doing your homework is a crucial stage in executive hiring. You must thoroughly prepare to locate and hire the greatest executive for your organization. Begin by compiling the ideal job description. Feel free to use job description templates, but adjust them to your specific requirements.

Then, envision your ideal executive candidate and develop a candidate persona. Define the type of candidate who is a good fit, not only for your C-level role, but also for your company culture.

Discretion and confidentiality

When approaching potential C-level prospects, show the utmost professionalism. According to Experteer research, executive candidates prefer to be contacted via private email address or online networks. When approaching possible executive candidates, assure them that you will retain secrecy and discretion throughout the process.

Employee referrals

Networking will always yield some valuable insight. Make use of the relationships and networks of your company’s existing leaders. Find someone who knows your desired executive candidate or who can recommend a few executives who are a good fit for the position.

Extend your efforts to maximize personal contact, social media links and employee referrals. Consider your current employees, alumnus, investors, board members, and other key stakeholders in your leadership search.

Stand out

The executives you may be pursuing are probably being pursued by other companies as well. As these people are in high demand, they have probably seen and heard everything. You need to be different and go the extra mile.

Show how much your company cares about them and wants to hire them. Make sure they can talk to your CEO or director in person. Demonstrate the company culture, what makes the organization special and how they might fit in.

3 common recruitment mistakes

Choosing a search firm based on upfront cost

  • A retained executive search firm costs more upfront than a contingency search firm to hire for a key leadership role. Cutting costs in the short term could put the business at risk in the long run.

Prioritizing vetting before beginning the interview process

  • Due to the pressure of making the proper hire, a hiring manager may over index the vetting process and not spend enough time convincing the candidate to take the job. It’s a highly competitive talent market and the prospects are probably looking at various options.

Avoiding compensation and benefits talk

  • Whether you have a strict salary budget or some wiggle room, the hiring manager should have an open “numbers talk” with the best candidates early on. Make this a standard approach to ensure a smooth negotiation process.


Executive recruitment involves discovering, interviewing and hiring top executives. Many companies typically hire executive search firms to handle this process. When hiring top personnel quickly, executive search firms are especially useful, but never discount the value of inhouse input.