How to Measure the Success of Your Executive Search Strategy

Executive Search Strategy
Table of Contents

Creating an executive search strategy is essential to finding the right senior leader and ultimately the success of your organization. In fact, according to The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), “failure rates for senior executives are high—and getting higher. The rate of CEO turnovers [for example] for a variety of causes has been increasing lately, and research shows that CEOs appointed in the past 25 years are three times more likely to be fired than CEOs appointed earlier.” To that end, we’ve prepared several best practices to help ensure the success of your executive search strategy. 

Define Your Goals and Metrics

Before you can measure the success of your executive search strategy, you need to define your goals and metrics. What are you trying to achieve with your search? Is it to fill a specific position within a certain timeframe? Or, are you looking to improve diversity within your executive team? Once you have defined your goals, you can begin to set benchmarks and determine specific metrics that will be used to measure overall success. These may also include time-to-hire, candidate quality, diversity metrics, or others.

SHRM states “It may be useful to think in terms of seven basic performance imperatives that researchers cite for organizational executives: cognitive, social, personal, political, financial, technological, and staffing.” Consider ranking each of these qualities and giving them a weighted value. Each of these “performance imperatives” should be integrated into each phase of the hiring process from job description creation, to sourcing, to interviewing and beyond.

Track and Analyze Candidate Sources

One of the most important metrics to track when evaluating the success of your executive search strategy is candidate source. It’s impossible to look back on how you’ve successfully attracted high-quality executive candidates, without tracking where they come from. The goal is to fine-tune your executive search strategy by refocusing your recruitment efforts on the most effective channels and improve your overall recruitment ROI. Some common candidate sources to track include job boards, social media, employee referrals, and executive search firms. Consider using an applicant tracking system (ATS) or software to monitor candidate sources and analyze the data to make informed decisions about the future of your executive search strategy.

Evaluate the Quality of Your Hires

Another important factor to consider when measuring the success of your executive search strategy is the quality of your hires. Are they meeting the expectations and requirements of the position? Are they fitting in well with the company culture? Are they staying with the company long-term? These are all important questions to ask when evaluating the success of your recruitment efforts. Consider conducting performance reviews and gathering feedback from managers and colleagues to assess the quality of your hires. This information can help you make adjustments to your recruitment strategy and improve the overall success of your executive search efforts.

Monitor Time-to-Hire and Cost-per-Hire

It’s important to pay attention to the time it takes from when a job is posted until you find the right candidate. A long recruitment process can devalue your organization in the eyes of potential candidates, and ultimately impact your ability to hire top talent. Similarly, keeping track of the cost-per-hire (the amount spent per successful hire) also provides valuable insight into how efficient and effective your executive search strategy is. Monitoring these two key metrics can help you identify areas for improvement and continually optimize your recruiting efforts for increased success.

Solicit Feedback From Hiring Managers and Candidates

One of the best ways to measure the success of your executive search strategy is to solicit feedback from both hiring managers and candidates. This feedback can provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of your recruitment process, as well as areas for improvement. Ask hiring managers about their experience working with your team, the quality of candidates they received, and any challenges they faced during the hiring process. Similarly, ask candidates about their experience with your organization, the recruitment process, and any feedback they have on how to improve it. This feedback will help you make data-driven decisions and continuously improve your executive search strategy.

Partner With A Contingency Executive Search Firm!

External executive search recruiters have direct experience finding, vetting, and placing candidates who meet specific requirements. You will find that having a second (unbiased) professional opinion from an external recruiter is invaluable. Plus, recruiters typically have access to a much wider pool of talent, which often results in the quick placement of quality candidates. Investing in a contingency executive search firm is actually very affordable and will allow you to remain focused on all of your other important business priorities. Explore our contingency executive search services here or feel free to reach out so we can discuss your hiring requirements!

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