want the demands of an executive role,” Walters says.
10 Be an employer of choice.
As contrary as it may seem,
there are talent wars. “The candidates are also interviewing
you, your team, your culture
and compensation. Talent goes
where they deem their future
fits best,” Paullin says.
11 Build a culture that attracts—and
“Provide top-notch leader-
ship, training and personal
development, and have a
mission that is both exciting
and engaging,” Anderson
says. “Have low tolerance for
nonperformers who dimin-
ish morale and cause the
stars to carry more than their
share of the workload. Have fair finan-
cial packages and incentives for above-
The deal makers or deal breakers
aren’t only about money, Gioia says. It’s
often about work-life balance. “Small
employers have an advantage over big
companies in flexibility. That’s their
trump card,” she says.
12 Search continuously for talent. Hiring too quickly can
be fatal, as can being overly selective
and not hiring anyone. “Waiting until
you are desperate to look for someone
is a huge mistake. As desperation rises,
standards fall,” Anderson says.
The solution? “Companies should
always be looking for talent,” says Melissa
Mounce, a recruiting leader for consulting
firm Aon Hewitt. One strategy that isn’t
used enough is employee referral programs. “Employee referral programs can
yield the highest-quality results because
your employees have a vested interest in
bringing you the best,” Mounce says.
13Make a (proactive) plan.
If your company knows it will need technical sta; in the future, lay the groundwork today. For example, two years ago
Tim Hebert’s Atrion Networking Corp.
started an apprenticeship program, hiring individuals with great character, attitude and aptitude (for technology) but
almost no technical skills or experience.
“They are trained to become network
and systems engineers supporting technology by Cisco and Microsoft. We have
hired 17 network and systems engineers
through this process, and they have been
some of best-performing hires at that
level,” Hebert says.
“Just going to the job boards is reactive. A company needs to be proactive,”
14 Capitalize on social media. At least 75 percent of
employers are using social media in
the hiring process, Gioia estimates,
and that number is growing.
“Social media is changing how
companies and candidates find each
other. People are getting savvier about
using social media to get in a company’s doors. People contact their
friend in a company, who then points
them to someone in the company,”
LinkedIn is amazingly powerful,
Flora says. “We market open positions
through LinkedIn groups and have
highly qualified responses from that. We
also practice direct marketing through
LinkedIn, searching for qualified people
that might be interested in or know someone for the position,” says Flora.
Need Help … Finding Help?
Without a doubt, entrusting the task of filling your sta; to an outsider is no small
thing. Maryanne Rainone, senior vice president and managing director at executive
search firm Heyman Associates in New York, o;ers these questions to ask when
evaluating a potential search firm:
• How do you assess candidates? What similar searches have you personally conducted? “You want to know not only what the consultant’s firm has done
over the years, but what the consultant who will lead your assignment has done
recently,” says Rainone.
• What are the steps in your search process and
who will be responsible for each one? “You need
to know not only the details of the search firm’s methods, but who is really going to do the work each step
of the way.”
• How long will the search take and when will we
see candidates? “Get commitments that the search consultant can later be measured against,” says Rainone.
• What steps do you take to develop a diverse slate
of candidates? “Ask for details about the search process
that show the consultant’s experience and skill in identifying candidates of all backgrounds,” she says.
• When and how do you check references and
how will this be conveyed to us? “Look for two levels
of reference checking: verification of credentials and
preliminary referencing even before the candidate is presented as a finalist; and full
vetting of references and a report before an o;er is made,” says Rainone.
How much you’ll pay varies, but for an executive-level position a recruiting firm
generally will want a fee equivalent to about 30 percent of the candidate’s salary
for the first year.