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Executive Search Firms: A Thinking Person’s Guide To Hiring the Best


Choosing a new chief executive for a company is an incredibly important decision, as it could make or break a small business or even a large corporation. As such, companies looking for guidance on hiring the top executives for their boardroom should work with the best executive search firm.

The guide below provides plenty of information about hiring the best executives to help your company succeed. Check out the top five tips about the executive hiring process below. If you still have more questions, you may benefit from working with the best executive search firm.

How to Hire the Best Executives For Your Boardroom

When it comes to hiring the best executives, it’s important to start with a company’s existing network. The best outcome includes finding someone who has attended events and truly invested in one’s company. There’s a greater chance that the next CEO of one’s corporation is already within their network.

Furthermore, the most successful organizations have a succession plan in place even if their executive director is not planning to leave the company anytime soon. A CEO search firm would recommend having a successor in place with overlap so that the current CEO can train and develop a relationship with the future executive.

Top Five Tips From Leading Executive Search Firms

CEO executive search firms provide the following five tips for hiring the absolute best executives for your boardroom. These tips include:

  • Creating an evaluation system
  • Evaluating the current CEO’s strategy for a succession plan
  • Seek references and use comparative data on CEO candidates
  • Maintain confidentiality
  • Add succession planning to the corporate culture

1. Create an Evaluation System

The Harvard Business Review recommends a company incorporate an evaluation system that combines the strategic needs of the organization with the candidate’s performance and capabilities. The evaluation methods a company uses should include important factors like:

  • Execution skills
  • Team building
  • Integrity and ethics
  • Shareholder return

2. Evaluate the CEO’s Strategy For a Succession Plan

Retained executive search firms also emphasize the importance of evaluating a current CEO’s strategy and plan for succession. What is the current CEO doing to plan for the future generation of corporate leaders?

Ensure the other company executives hold the CEO responsible for a succession plan and provide a reward system that will guide the actions of the chief executive officer.

3. Ask for References and Use Comparative Data on CEO Candidates

Boards should not hand off the entire process of vetting CEO candidates to CEO executive search firms and other third parties. Directors should check references for each CEO candidate. Furthermore, they should seek comparative data from former bosses on the CEO candidates. That data could provide the final answers that directors need to decide on the final applicant.

4. Maintain Confidentiality

Top CEO candidates could potentially drop out of the running if their identity is revealed on a larger scale and their current companies find out their plans. As such, maintaining confidentiality during the executive search process is essential.

5. Incorporate Succession Planning Throughout the Corporate Culture

When building a corporate culture, add succession planning as a major feature. Executives may need performance incentives to produce the succession planning system. The program should include top executives coaching and mentoring middle-level and lower-level managers to foster a succession plan.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Headhunting Executive Search

Below are several common questions about the headhunting executive search and relevant answers.

What else might a company consider when hiring top executives?

There are numerous things to consider when hiring top executives. Some factors to consider may include the budget you have and the salary available, the knowledge and skills a candidate needs to have to succeed, and how every candidate compares to each other.

How can one hire a good CEO?

The best ways to hire a good CEO include networking using a company’s database and not doing it alone. Use an executive search firm to find the best CEO available. Also, a company would benefit from having a CEO search committee.

What is the best recruitment process for an executive?

The top practices to use when recruiting an executive include:

  • Defining the job requirements in a clear manner
  • Ensuring everyone on the hiring team are on the same page and understands the hiring objectives/strategy
  • Requiring mutual respect on both sides of the hiring process
  • Recruiting candidates without focusing solely on their reputation or high-level status

Final Word

The best executive search firm will help you properly evaluate executive candidates for your company’s board. However, company leaders should not leave the vetting process to solely third parties. Check references and use comparative data.

Board members who follow the tips above will ensure excellent executive candidates become their next company leaders and bring their corporations greater success.



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