Improve Executive Hiring Success Rates

Here at Sheer Velocity, we have always done things a little differently. Our approach focuses on transparency and tenacity in meeting your specific recruiting needs. The majority of our clients have worked with us on multiple assignments and have been with us for more than a year. Part of the reason for our success is our diligence with candidates after they start the job which improves executive hiring success rates.

A 2017 Harvard Business Review article noted that, “Almost 60% (of executives) reported that it took them six months—and close to 20% said it took more than nine months—to have a full impact in their new roles. Less than a third said they had received any meaningful support during their transitions—a big problem when you consider that more than 80% of this fortunate minority thought such support had made a major difference in their early impact.

We’re honored that our practice leader for Executive Integration and Onboarding is Michael Burroughs. Michael is a globally recognized thought leader in the field of Executive Integration. In fact he wrote the book on it before most recruiters had even considered the impact it has on retention of new hires.

We recently revisited a 2014 interview Michael did with CEOWorld Magazine and wanted to share the points Michael made then that are just as relevant today.

An important yet still too often overlooked idea is that, “The selection process is only half the challenge. What organizations do to ensure their new leaders achieve the right results quickly, avoid costly mistakes, and build key stakeholder relationships early, has a direct impact on their long-term success.” If you still practice the ‘sink or swim’ mentality for new executives, you’re tangibly hurting your business.

Michael conducted numerous case studies in creating best practices for executive integration. At a minimum, he recommends the following for an effective executive integration process:

  • Begin before the new leader’s start date
  • Be overseen by an experienced executive integration facilitator coach
  • Directly include input from the new leader’s boss, peers and direct reports regarding the “must happens” in the first 90 days
  • Extend beyond the new leader’s start date to anywhere between 90 days and one year

A new leader’s speed of integration has an impact across the organization. For those firms that don’t have a formal process in place, the question asked of their retained executive search firm is, “How long is this going to take?” Per Michael, “Feedback I occasionally get when checking in with a hiring manager on the progress of a new leader is: “We’re happy at this stage with our hire, but we had expected to see results sooner than now.” Common feedback that I get from the candidates I place—candidates who have not been properly integrated, that is—is “I’m drinking from a fire hose! There is so much that needs to be done…” An effective new leader integration process can shorten this assimilation curve considerably. Everybody wins.”

A final thought from Michael on retention, “Loyalty to organizations is increasingly rare these days. It has to be earned. One way to do this is to invest in your new leaders’ success from the moment they accept your offer. The chances are very high that no other organization will have ever done this for them.”

Executive integration is as critical as finding the right person for the position. One without the other leads to disappointment for everyone involved. To learn more about our Executive Integration and Onboarding practice, send us a note and we’ll work with you on your specific needs.