Why Your 2019 Hiring Process Needs to Start Now

Written by EO Executives on Oct 01, 2018

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Why Your 2019 Hiring Process Needs to Start Now

You may have been thinking about hiring a potential CEO, Managing Director or HR Director, with plans to have them on board and ready to start next financial year, but have you considered how this process will play out from a practical perspective?

Heading up the HR practice at EO Executives, I am privileged enough to work with some of the most influential business leaders in the UK supporting them on their hiring needs.

These are forward thinking, innovative business leaders who are contributing to the ever-evolving business world but when it comes to hiring, can often forget about the sourcing process and time involved in hiring high potential business leaders.

Whether I am partnering with start-ups/ SME’s or FTSE organisations, I need to ensure that they are all hiring the most impressive and suitable leaders for their individual businesses.

What hiring challenge do they all have in common?

One common hiring mistake I see made repeatedly, is for business owners/ hiring managers to start an executive search on their own. The best business leaders are in high demand and many of whom, are happy within their current roles. As passive candidates, they are unlikely to be attracted to a poorly executed recruitment process.

Without a well-structured strategy and vision for talent attraction, the hiring process will easily become difficult to manage. For a CEO or MD, managing a business is challenging at the best of times, let alone managing a crucial hire alongside the day-to-day running of a business. Especially when you want to conduct a rigorous process and hire that in demand business leader.

Unless you strike lucky and manage to find candidates through your direct network, what you may have initially perceived as a cost saving exercise will soon become a drain on your resources and most precious commodity- time.

That takes us on to the next element. If you are aiming for your next senior hire senior to be in post by the next financial year, you need to take into account that a successful in-depth search takes time to conduct. Plus, top talent will likely be on a 3-6 month notice period.

So, when do you need to start the process? Well- you actually don’t have as long as you think.

Who should you partner with?

Whilst some business leaders may be anxious about engaging with a search provider, you should do your diligence and ensure your search partner has a strong reputation and can also provide you with case studies and success rates on similar roles. You should also look at the company’s value proposition and ask them to demonstrate how their proposition can do these three things:

 1: De-risk the hiring process, 2: Increase ROI and 3: Represent your brand.

Ultimately, your partnering firm needs to understand the journey your business is going to embark on and why you want to make the hire.

You may wish to partner with a specialist in specific industries and role functions. By concentrating on a segment of the market rather than trying to cover the whole market, these consultants can bring deep relationships with top talent within each niche. When going to market on behalf of your brand, the consultants can use their networks and knowledge of the hiring market in that sector to identify the individuals that are of the highest value to your business. 

What is your hiring strategy?

You will need to know exactly what you are looking for from your new hire. Why are you hiring in the first place? What does success look like?

Start by thinking about the key qualities and skills the successful candidate will need to have. Staying focused will also help when you discover a candidate who ‘wows’ you but doesn’t fit in with the requirements of why you are actually looking to hire.

Go to market with a clear strategy. You need to make it clear what you are looking for and ensure that your search partner understands your business goals. Once you have a clear strategy, collaborating with a search firm who aligns with your goals and understands your business will be crucial. A Search partner should truly be an extension of your brand and if they are not passionate and excited about the opportunity, how will they be able to ‘entice’ that passive talent?

How does the search process work?

Your search partner will have a process that helps them to identify great talent. Through EO Executives own process we are able to identify and access the top 8% of talent within the market. These candidates represent the best possible people who exist in the passive candidate pool (they are in a role but could potentially be open to a move). Being specialists in our field, EO Executives have the knowledge and expertise to access this passive pool, which gives both ourselves and clients a significant advantage over recruitment businesses who rely heavily on active talent pools.

At EO, we are acutely aware that every time we go to market, we are representing our client; their brand and their EVP (Employee Value Proposition). We also know that there can only be one successful candidate, who must be a great fit for both the role and the business.

The talent that will be identified are typically busy and happy in their roles, therefore the search provider should take time to understand your company’s DNA, strategic vision and your employer branding. This is crucial so that they can position your business in a compelling way when they approach the target candidates.

Identifying the right leader for your business 

If you want to source the right leader for your business, you will need to understand the importance of hiring based on behaviour and cultural fit. After all, if you are hiring someone to build the future of your organisation, you need to ensure they align with your vision. They will need to be an advocate and inspiring influencer for other employees. If your business is an SME at an early point in a journey, this leader will be the initial touch point for attracting and enticing external future talent and potentially be a key face of your business.

During your interview process, you may want to ensure that you are hiring both on experience and behaviours. 

Keeping to the process is key

Ensure that you stick to time frames. Have a set date of when you need someone to start and agree this with shareholders/stakeholders and work backwards. Be realistic here. You need to factor in the time to identify great talent but also time to interview, negotiate an offer and then work through the inevitable notice period, which can typically be three to six months plus for the right business leader.

Even if you start your process in the next few weeks and work with an organisation such as EO (who tend to shortlist quicker than most at 6 weeks) and make an offer by the end of 2018, you are unlikely to have the successful individual on board until March 2019 at the earliest!!

With a recent survey by The Open University reporting that a staggering 91% of organisations struggled to find talent with the skills they required in the last 12 months. The growth potential and efficiency of organisations has been severely limited, but could also have a significant effect on the bottom line.

Your Next Step

Don’t leave your hiring for next year too late!

If you are looking to hire your next Executive and would like to explore this in more detail, please visit to EO Executives website here for more information. Alternatively, please get in touch directly for a confidential discussion 01962 893 300.

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