Clear… and not so Clear
The need to fill an executive role is often clear. A CFO is retiring, and a replacement must be found prior to their exit, or the CMO of a company has moved on and the company is in need of a new leader. In cases like this, you know a change is coming and you have time to ramp up, assess the needs of the organization, and begin a search to fill the upcoming vacancy. These types of needs are easy to understand and quick action must be taken to maintain this vital role.
Another common scenario is more complex to address. As a company grows the leadership team will typically take on more and more responsibilities. Determining when to bring on someone new is not a simple task. Even after an entire team has agreed they need to expand and have outlined the responsibilities of the new role, it is not uncommon to delay beginning a search. Sometimes a contributing factor to the delay is financial in nature. If the company is investing in a new senior leader to manage an already growing business, when will the impact of their hire be realized in the form of increased productivity and profits? How long will it be before their role pays for itself?
Sometimes senior leadership feels that things are running so well at the company they don’t want to risk destabilization. It is well-known that the team needs to expand- everyone is at full capacity- but things are so great the leadership is paralyzed by the thought that a new hire will change things. They will wait until something breaks, knowing that the workload is not sustainable, but playing it out because operations are running smoothly, and the energy of the company is overwhelmingly positive.
Although these concerns can be a deterrent to moving forward, it is not usually the primary reason for inaction. Most businesses recognize the value of adding to a leadership team and know the investment in a great hire will pay off. The most common reason for delaying or foregoing hiring a necessary team member is how overwhelming the process can feel to a busy company owner or leader, who is usually just trying to keep their head above water each day.
Investing in an executive search firm may seem expensive, but the benefits are exponential.
It is a monumental task to attract, recruit and hire a top-level executive and for a successful placement, even more time must be invested to truly articulate the organizational culture, goals, and values of the hiring company. The process is strategic and time-consuming. Outsourcing to a team of expert professionals who will invest hours of work into a thoughtful search process can expedite and improve your results while saving you valuable time and energy. At Acumen, our searches average 7-10 weeks.
Finding Your Unicorn
There are unique nuances to each role, organizational situation, company culture, etc. Creating a job description for a position you need to fill and posting it, or even reaching out to professionals who have successfully performed the role elsewhere, does not guarantee a perfect placement. Working with an executive search firm to identify and flesh out the requirements of the job, your company culture, vision, and goals; and creating an ideal client profile that will meet your specific needs is a fantastic way to find candidates that will help you elevate, scale, & thrive.
Once you and your recruiter have identified the qualifications and qualities of your ideal candidate, the real magic of working with a recruiter becomes evident. It is a common mistake to assume that once you post a well-crafted and thoughtful job description, the talent will find you. If only things were this easy! A good recruiter will save your organization, leadership team, and HR Department time by culling through applicants who find and apply for your job posting, but they will more importantly invest the bulk of their time in identifying and reaching out to targeted candidates likely to be an excellent fit for the job. This aspect of recruiting combines hard work, research, tremendous people skills, and a bit of luck thrown in. It is time-consuming and highly valuable from both a time and cost savings perspective. Delaying a critical hire is far more expensive than you might imagine. The table below effectively demonstrates the financial benefit of partnering with an Executive Recruiter like Acumen.
The Power of Moving Forward Companies or company leaders who recognize they need to hire a new executive but are stuck in a state of inaction will feel a huge amount of relief once they boldly move forward and take action. Taking risks and overcoming fear are synonymous with growth. Partnering with an Executive Recruiting firm requires a great deal of trust, even when they have proven their value in the past. At Acumen, we understand and respect this trust, and are experts at helping our clients explore their culture and goals, identifying their needs, and bringing the ideal candidate aboard. Paying a search firm to help you with this process is an investment in power, forward motion, and success.