Even if you've literally started your business from the ground up, at some point you develop the need for an executive staff--and whether you refer to them as CEO or CFO or give them less flashy titles, finding the right mix of personality and qualifications to fit these positions can be one of the biggest challenges of running a business. Without a leader who is firm and respected but who also gels with the rest of the staff, you could find yourself dealing with higher levels of employee turnover and job dissatisfaction, and choosing someone who simply isn't equipped or qualified for the position could jeopardize your business. Read on to learn more about the best ways to get a great group of applicants for your next open C-suite position.
Have your employees put feelers out
While this isn't true for every business, for many, the best judges of the qualities and skills the top applicant will need to succeed are your own employees. Not only will your employees have a good concept of the type of personality that works well in this position, they'll know what types of skills are needed in order to handle the various rigors of the job. If you're able to give your employees a heads-up that you'll have a need for a new executive within the next few months, you may find yourself with so many viable leads and talented potential employees that you never even need to advertise the position.
Use an executive search or headhunting agency
If the circumstances under which you're looking for a new executive-level employee are a bit more circumspect and you're not able to let your employees know, or if you're in the best position to assess the qualities and qualifications your best candidates will need, you may want to employ the services of a headhunting or a nonprofit executive search firm like Scion Executive Search if you run a nonprofit. Headhunters operate much like matchmakers for technical or specialized jobs where sifting through 300 or more resumes simply isn't an option, and can save you a tremendous amount of time and effort in the employee search process.
When you contact a headhunting firm, you'll be asked to provide some details about your organization, the position description and responsibilities, and what you're looking for in a candidate. The firm will then begin funneling qualified applicants to you after already going through the preliminary screening process to check qualifications and match skills, ensuring that everyone you interview for this position is bona fide qualified.