Imagine that an executive search that you’ve been conducting hits the wall. The CEO or Hiring Executive calls you in for a full accounting. You walk into the office. He closed the door behind you. In that very moment, you become painfully aware that your job and your reputation are on the line. He gives you the third degree. With each subsequent question, you get smaller, and smaller, and smaller until you completely disappear . . .
The CEO asks:
- Why don’t we hasn’t this position been filled?
- Have we run out of potential candidates or are there still more people we need to recruit?
- Do we need to change our search strategy?
- What do we need to do to close this search?
If “I don’t know” is the first answer that springs to mind in response to most of the above questions, then you and your searches are at risk. Quite simply, they lack due diligence. In fact, when I think the words “I don’t know” in my head, I hear Bill Cosby’s voice impersonating a young child as he lampoons his children’s frequent use of the phrase.
You must be able to justify your recruiting work from a strategic perspective. You cannot simply detail how busy you’ve been or how hard you’ve worked. You must think strategically about how you would answer the above questions and then manage your searches accordingly. You must “nail down” the facts as you know them. To offer due diligence, you must aspire to map candidates at each of your primary target companies to determine how many you have identified and how many you have left to surface.
I’m presenting training webinar on this topic this coming Wednesday July 14th Recruiting Smarter: Search as Investigation. (The training is free because Dice is sponsoring the virtual event with their friends at HR.com.)