When you have an opening on your executive team, you know how difficult it can be to find the best possible candidate to fill the role. Not only do they need to have the requisite technical skills, they also need to fit your company’s culture. Finding the proverbial unicorn is not impossible, but there are executive hiring challenges that executive search firms can help you navigate.
When you think about your business long term, you want scalable, predictable growth. Good to Great author Jim Collins said, “…the single biggest constraint on the success of my organization is the ability to get and to hang on to enough of the right people.” I’m sure you agree with his sentiment.
The number one issue in the Conference Board’s survey of Global CEO’s is the failure to attract and retain top talent. In fact, 82% of companies don’t believe they are recruiting highly talented people, and of those that do, only 7% believe they can keep the people. These numbers are even more staggering when you realize that high performers at the executive level are 800% more productive than average performers according to McKinsey and Company.
Today’s cloud based business landscape enables global interconnectedness at scale. And as technology continues to evolve, your need for digitally fluent leaders becomes greater. The ability to adapt and learn quickly as the market changes is imperative to success. Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) research identified the following challenges for leadership hiring:
Lack of diversity at the leadership level
While there has been an improvement in the middle and lower hiring tiers, the c-suite and boardroom still lacks diversity. Today’s executive teams should reflect the global nature of the world we’re in.
Lack of succession planning for retiring baby boomers
As baby boomers retire in large numbers, generation X and millennials will need to step into their leadership shoes. Unfortunately, these leaders are not being developed quickly enough to fill all of the openings that are out there.
Competition for talent
This has led to an increase in competition for the best talent. Some organizations may have strong onboarding programs, but most do not, and may find themselves in a hit or miss conundrum if they don’t identify candidates who are not only qualified, but fit their culture.
Mismatch of skills
Never before have we experienced such rapid change in the workplace. Leaders of tomorrow must be digital experts, have high emotional intelligence capabilities, demonstrate flexibility and lateral thinking, and be comfortable in uncertain, constantly changing conditions.
Hiring for executive level positions is not about finding people who emulate your vision and values. It’s about finding talent that brings their own point of view and skills to the table. Creating a culture that other people want to contribute to and grow is how you can best your competition for the top candidates.