Insights

Inside the Mind of Top Executive Talent

Posted by Reed Flesher

The executive search process can be improved with one simple exercise: learning how top executive talent thinks. Getting inside the head of the talent you want to hire will show you exactly how to conduct your executive search.

How Top Talent Approaches the Job Search

Most top talent begins looking for their next opportunity while still employed, and sometimes quite happily employed at that. You could even say that top talent never stops looking for a better opportunity than their current one, since they see changing jobs as one of several ways to advance their careers.

What does this mean for your executive search process? For one thing, you may need to find them rather than relying on them to find you. Already-employed candidates don’t always read job postings because they don’t have a whole lot of time to devote to job-searching. They may hear about your position from a colleague in passing or be contacted by a recruiter (you) directly to see if they have any interest in a transition.

If you can get them interested, you should make it easy for them to apply. The less effort they need to expend, the more likely you can get them into your process and start moving them forward. Having a mobile application is a good step, and making it as short as possible is even better. You can collect more detailed information later in the process when their interest level is (hopefully) higher and you are pretty sure they will be a finalist or your first choice for the position.

Another aspect of recruiting the already-employed that you must consider is privacy. A candidate needs to know that their interest will be kept confidential so their current employer doesn’t find out that they are looking elsewhere. Using encrypted systems online and shoring up your cybersecurity is not taking it too far to ensure that a data breach will not expose candidates’ names publicly or allow any of their personal data to get out into the public eye where their current employer could see it.

Negotiating With Top Talent is Key

For most open positions, you may have set job duties, compensation, and benefits, but top executive talent isn’t interested in a cookie-cutter position. They have developed enough expertise that they know what they’re worth to a company. Your team will have to engage in often delicate negotiations in order to give top talent what they need to consider the idea of moving jobs to be worthwhile.

It’s important to listen as well as talk when interviewing top talent. If you don’t find out what top talent needs in compensation and benefits—especially benefits—you may end up seeing them walk away before the end of the process. Top executive talent has specialized needs that vary greatly from person to person. Asking what they consider non-negotiable will give you an idea of whether they would be a good fit for your company.

Executive leadership is crucial to your organization, so it’s important to decide how flexible you can be in giving top executive talent the benefits they want most. In some cases, top talent will even take less compensation if it means they can have flexible work hours, work off-site, or have other benefits they consider to be important for their career or for their work-life balance.

Thrive TRM can track all of your contacts with top talent so that you don’t let anything slip through the cracks in this important process. Contact us to learn how we can help your in-house executive search team get the top talent that you need.

Inbound Recruiting