17 January, 2019 | Category

The key to attracting and recruiting A-Grade executive talent is to have a comprehensive A-Grade recruitment process that maximises ROI and minimises risk. The A-Grade Recruitment workflow developed by Checkside can take around 100 man hours to complete, and includes over 30 sub-steps fitting into the following four stages:

  1. Design and Scope
  2. Search and Attract
  3. Screen and Select
  4. Onboard and Retain

Laying the foundation for a successful executive search

This article focuses on the ‘search and attract’ stage of the overall process, which can only come after a rigorous design and scoping process.

The design and scope stage takes the guesswork out of the search process so you can focus on attracting talent that can meet the key outcomes and competencies that have been identified for the role.

Find out more about the design and scope stage in our eBook 20 questions you need to answer before your next executive hire.

At the conclusion of the design and scope phase, you will have a solid foundation for your executive search, comprising:

Search and attract

Finding A-Grade people is never easy, but it’s not impossible. You need to understand where A-Grade talent ‘lives’, what they are looking for and how to reach them.

Companies that are great at recruiting know how to build and manage talent pools that they can tap into at short notice, but this requires dedicated time and effort. And running alongside any recruitment process should be an employer branding strategy to position your company successfully to the talent you are after.

Technology plays its part in attracting talent, but this is just a piece of the puzzle and the following should be considered as part of your total search strategy:

1. Targeting

The importance of the passive market cannot be underestimated, neither can your headhunting strategy. It’s often your best play, but you need to be organised. Leveraging talent pools, creating a target list of potential candidates and agreeing on the messaging and approach strategy is critical. Any lags or drags will hurt you.

2. Digital messaging

A combination of tools can be considered when messaging people online or via social platforms. It’s important to remember that each platform is unique and a ‘one message for all’ approach is unlikely to be as effective as applying filters and personalisation where you can (it’s worth getting expert help here).

3. Leveraging internal networks

Ideally, your team (and board members) will become a search party when it comes to finding talent. With a clear view on what an A-Grader looks like, you may be surprised by the depth of relevant talent your company is already connected to. An internal candidate referral and reward program may also be a relevant strategy.

4. Leveraging external networks

Your external advisers and stakeholders will often have a vested interest in helping your business succeed. Your one-page summary and a succinct messaging strategy can help them help you.

5. Advertise on select job boards

Whilst this is unlikely to have as much impact as a good targeting strategy, job boards can sometimes add ‘unknown’ talent to the candidate pool. The danger is that you will fill your pipeline with B and C candidates who don’t fit. You need to be as specific as possible when going this path.

Final Thoughts

An employer branding strategy to position your company successfully to the talent you are after should run alongside any recruitment process. This should include how you are different in a way that matters to A-Grade talent (such as your underpinning archetype and your employee value proposition (EVP) – things you provide for employees that they really value and might not expect to get with other employers.)

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