Where to Start? First Questions to Ask in Executive Search

March 21, 2017


As a top executive search firm, we are constantly striving to connect an organization’s leadership needs with the right candidate’s leadership abilities. However, before the interview process can even begin, it is important for any company to confirm their needs assessment:

1. Do You Have a Clear Sense of Values?

It is crucial that everyone is on the same page. Creating a list of company values will help associate what is needed from this position to achieve what the company considers to be success. Discussing the value of the future and how the company will grow can also ease prospective candidates who may be on-edge about leaving the security of their current position.

Successful executives want to be a part of an organization that is forward-thinking in their objectives.

2. Has the Hiring Manager Defined the Position?

Copying and pasting from last year’s job description will only show the lack of effort on your part. Review and update the description with clear details that are agreed upon. We define this as a ‘success profile’ which determines the basic outline of an ideal candidate. This includes level of education, certification, experience, skills, personality traits and management style. It is important to really evaluate what is needed and provide a detailed description so both you and the candidate know what is to be expected.

3. Do You Know What Type of Skills or Characteristics You Need for the Position?

One question to ask is what level of person do you need? For example, are you needing a Controller, CFO or Shirt-Sleeve CFOTM. The answer is always different depending on the situation. Try to agree on three skills that an ideal candidate would have to be a successful leader for the rest of your team. Focus on these traits when developing questions for your candidates so that you can easily evaluate which ones do fit the position.

 A few other questions to consider when developing your search game plan:

  • How critical is the position?
  • Is it a newly created position?
  • When does the person need to be on board?
  • What have you learned from the success and failures of previous employees in this role?
  • What is the cost-benefit of using an external search firm?

We understand that your time is valuable, so make it easy and let a leader in c-suite executive search find the candidate most suitable for your company. Contact us today!

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