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Executive Search: How to Attract a Top Candidate

The HR industry is thriving, with a growing pool of executives and business leaders driving the field forward. And if you’re looking to find the right executive for your HR team, you’ll need to learn how to present yourself as the ideal employer.

By now, your recruiting team probably understands that the best executives don’t have to search for a job. The key to a successful executive recruiting strategy is to think like a marketer: develop a clear brand image and connect with prospects long before they’re ready to switch jobs. Focusing on these key strategies will help streamline your executive hiring process—and attract the best candidates for your business.

Understanding Your Target Audience

When it comes down to it, recruiting is selling; you’re trying to sell candidates on why they should work for your company. A core component of your recruiting strategy should be to understand your target audience—and the aspects of your enterprise they’ll be appraising. When going through the executive search process, your target audience will be seasoned HR professionals who value insight into your company’s values, vision, and trajectory.

Knowing who your audience is will help you present your company (and its selling points) accordingly. What opportunities do you have to offer for these executives? What sets you apart from the competition? With these details, you can construct strategic messages that resonate with prospective candidates and present your organization in the best possible light.

Using Employee Networks

What better way to attract top talent than by using your most valuable asset: your employees! The leaders and employees within your company have valuable connections—and may be able to suggest great candidates who align with your company goals and culture. The key here is to educate your employees on exactly what your business is looking for in its upcoming executives.

Consider sharing your vision of an ideal candidate for this position with your employees. Often, this is just the push employees need to leverage their professional network—and attract suitable candidates for the role you’re looking to fill. You can also incentivize employees to spread the word about your open position through gift certificates, monetary bonuses, and other rewards.

Building Relationships

If you’re looking to hire an accomplished HR executive, you’ll need to build a strong relationship with them first. (That’s partly why reaching out to passive candidates in advance of an open position is so important.) Relationships take time to develop, along with a deeply personalized approach. So once you’ve identified a few promising candidates, it’s key to tailor your recruitment efforts around their needs.

Relationship-building is especially important when engaging passive candidates. If you push too quickly or strongly with your pitch, you may come across as desperate. The more strategic approach is to get to know each candidate first—and understand what they value in an employer and workplace. This personalized approach will help you perfect your recruitment strategy (and filter out ill-suited candidates) before you ever put a job offer on the table.

Being Transparent

As a company, it’s your responsibility to be transparent and clear about what your executive role entails—and what it can offer candidates. Finding top talent is essential, but that should never compel you to exaggerate benefits or aspects of the role. That approach will compromise your company’s integrity in an industry where trust and relationships are everything.

Here’s the bottom line: being open and honest about your expectations from the beginning will help you attract and keep a great HR executive. Remember, the quality of your character matters just as much as the compensation or benefits you offer. Candidates worth their salt will appreciate your transparency—and give you a fair appraisal based on your merits.

Connect with Top HR Executives Today

At HR Personnel Services, we’re dedicated to finding the best HR professionals for your executive role. We’ve delivered exceptional executive candidates for businesses of all sizes since 1995, being recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Recruiting Firms” for two years running.

We know that it takes an HR professional to find an HR professional—and we’re committed to finding candidates who are prepared to make an immediate impact on your enterprise. If you need to fill an open executive HR role for your business, be sure to contact us today.

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