Companies around the world are adopting new ways of operating to keep their businesses moving forward in these unprecedented times. New protocols to protect workers are in place for essential manufacturing and services operations. Businesses are shutting down executive offices and moving to a “work from home” scenario. Yet this has not stopped many of our client companies from still recruiting senior executives.
Companies need strong leaders, especially in times of turmoil
All of us are keenly aware of the difficult decision companies are making to reduce their workforce. However, there are critical roles and functions that must remain in place. CEOs, CFOs and CHRO’s are grappling with how best to position their businesses in this downturn. They want to come out of the gate strong in the inevitable upturn.
Many of our client companies are forging ahead with C-Suite recruiting
While some current clients have determined that placing searches on hold is the best decision, others are forging ahead. We are convinced that companies who stay committed to completing searches underway and even starting new assignments are gaining a big advantage when it comes to talent.
This has inspired us to think differently about the process. “Business is usual” gets thrown out the window when clients have to make offers and candidates have to accept them without ever having met each other in person. If you’re in need of a C-Suite recruit now, there’s more we can do to get you comfortable.
Additional steps to our recruiting process offer an extra level of trust
A given, then, in this new process is that all interviews are done via videoconference. However, there are some additional steps that add more rigor and discipline to the recruiting process. These go a long way to gaining the trust and confidence both clients and candidates need to get across the finish line.
- We advise broadening the interview panel for finalist candidates to include key players beyond the hiring manager and lead HR executive. These key stakeholders are tapped from different parts of the organization to conduct interviews that are guided by distinct topics and limited in time. This allows for deeper dives into critical skills, experience and leadership attributes and also ensures that candidates don’t feel like a broken record, repeating the same information over and over again. Viewing candidates through these complementary lenses result in a much better understanding of how well they will fit in with the team
- We also suggest online psychometric testing earlier in the process. We’re talking about off-the- shelf products that don’t require a big commitment in terms of client cost or candidate time, but offer a useful and valuable window into default behaviors. Looking ahead to on-boarding, they also shed light on the areas where the new executive may need more support
- Lastly, we recommend multiple, deeper discussions between the hiring manager and the chosen candidate that essentially start the on-boarding process even before an offer is accepted.
This new process isn’t theoretical, it’s working
Just yesterday we were able to place a C-Suite executive over the finish line, a relief to the client and a thrill for the candidate. The entire process for this CFO search was conducted remotely, including interviews and assessment, offer and acceptance, and on-boarding. And we’re in the final stages on a CEO search because of the open communication and decisiveness of both the client and the finalist candidate.
Challenges always present opportunities. Companies who think creatively – and differently – will be able to upgrade their talent by still recruiting senior executives. The companies who press pause will lose the candidates they’ve put on hold and end up behind the curve.