One of the most significant challenges executive recruiters face is maintaining a robust talent pool and making sure critical roles are not empty for long. Of course, with any hire, speed can’t come at the expense of quality. That’s especially true for executive hires, who, when placed, influence the direction of their respective organization and its overall success.

Here are three ways to accelerate your executive placement without taking recruiting shortcuts that impact your quality of hire.

Speak to Subject Matter Experts

Savvy recruiters and hiring managers know that hiring for executive roles represents a unique challenge. When hiring an executive, take the time to understand exactly what the position entails, as well as what kind of business and leadership acumen the organization will need from the person who fills it. This conversation needs to go beyond conversations about the particular skills a potential candidate should have. The right cultural fit is important with any hire, but that is only amplified when placing an executive candidate. Not sure where to start? Consider reaching out to your network to speak to people who have a similar role and ask them questions to familiarize yourself with the skills needed in the position and what type of person would be suitable for a business at your current stage and industry.

Create an Internal Talent Pipeline

A talent pipeline should be internal as well as external. Do not just focus on those who are currently in senior roles. Pay attention to the performance and potential of those who are waiting in the wings. Partner with talent management to make sure there are internal learning and development opportunities that are consistently offered. Encourage high-potential employees to train and develop on their own time. This can save you time and budget in having to recruit externally if you already have mission-ready talent at your disposal when a top executive leaves their role.

Look for Good People at Struggling Companies

According to executive search consultant Eric Herrenkohl, another company’s bad fortune may be good fortune for recruiters. Pick up the Wall Street Journal and look at companies who are currently underperforming and identify top talent in the role for which you are sourcing. When organizations start to take a downturn, it’s likely that their executives will be more open-minded to other opportunities.

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