Executive Recruiting

Executive recruiting is much more in-depth than traditional recruiting.

Selecting an Executive Recruiter

When evaluating candidates for an executive recruiter role, always ask about workload. In a normal recruiting lifecycle, a single recruiter might handle 15-20 positions at any given time whereas an executive recruiter might only balance two to three roles.
Make it a point to ask candidates the differences between a senior recruiter, an executive recruiter, and a senior partner. If the reply is experience and proficiency, then this signals that the candidate is inexperienced. It’s not a wrong answer to say more experience, but someone who understands the role should be able to explain the key differences between a director, SVP, or CEO recruiting efforts.
An executive recruiter should be able to articulate how an executive recruiting process is different. How is it different recruiting for a CEO position? A great candidate will give examples of recent placements. This is a function with a very high amount of variability because your performance is extremely easy to measure. It's like hiring a soccer player and not knowing how they played last season, or how many goals they made. We should know, if it's something they’re open to share, the amazing talent they placed.
Avoid closed questions whenever possible. Ex: Do you like working in a high-growth environment? How many people are going to answer no to that question? Zero. It's not a good filter and they know exactly how to answer. Talk about what they did, not about what they liked. If you talk about what they like, then have them trade different things off, that might give some signal.
Meet with benchmark candidates to understand more about their experience. You might have a really hard time leveling and that's normal. Many startup teams have never done the job or hired someone like that before. Don’t waste time with declining candidates because that's not fair to the candidates. It will cause a lot of calls, and a lot of frustration with your internal team because of the misalignment of candidates. If hiring teams don't get smart about what a really good person looks like and how they work, it will result in time wasted.
It is very complicated to get a great person to move through a new company. It involves strategizing about what their family would think, it's about sending messages in your compensation. It is an extremely complicated process. It's probably one of the most complex things you’ll encounter in any company.