A hiring mistake at the executive level can have a significant impact.
Studies have indicated the failure rate for executives who are starting at a new company ranges from 30 to 40 percent after 18 months, according to a Harvard Business Review article on the topic.
Losing a leader barely a year and a half after a company invested the time and money on an executive search can derail business plans, affect productivity and morale — and require the company to launch another potentially lengthy recruitment effort.
Without making changes to its process, there’s a reduced chance the second attempt will be much more successful.
What can companies do to hire better executive candidates?
The traditional recruitment practices are often simply not enough. Interviews can provide some information about a candidate’s approach and management style; contacting references the person provided may also offer some guidance.
For a thorough assessment of a candidate’s strengths, weaknesses and ability to generate results, though, companies need to conduct a deeper due diligence investigation that includes:
- Information obtained from former associates that indicates the candidate’s ability to work with clients and internal teams
- Individually tailored questions that pinpoint concerns or issues that were raised during the interview process or through psychological testing
- A cross-check between references the candidate provided and due diligence results
Getting All the Facts
The data an executive due diligence investigation can uncover is invaluable; you’ll get a stronger sense of whether or not the candidate will be able to perform well in the role.
The process can uncover good traits, experience and other elements the candidate possesses — as well as bad — which employers can use as leverage to find out more about the person.
Obtaining accurate information, however, can prove to be challenging. The person reaching out to the candidate’s references needs to locate applicable sources; develop the right questions to correctly confirm the candidate’s specific skill set and conduct a thorough interview to ensure the information that is procured is worthwhile.
Some HR department members, understandably, often don’t have the availability or the resources to manage the entire executive due diligence process.
Outsourcing isn’t uncommon in the HR industry — as the Society for Human Resource Management notes, HR functions are some of the services organizations are most likely to outsource, for reasons such as cost savings and freeing HR professionals up to focus on other efforts.
Outsourcing the due diligence process to an external provider who specializes in due diligence work can supply employers with comprehensive information they can use in their hiring process that extends far beyond basic reference checks or a quantitative-based reference checking solution.
As a result, many HR teams are turning to service providers for help — which may also encourage references to speak more openly and honestly about the candidate.
To find out more about how Talent Intelligence’s Executive Due Diligence service can can provide you with critical insight beyond named references provided to ensure that your next high-level hire is as complete as possible, tell us a bit about your recruiting needs using this form.
For more information on improving the recruiting process for various levels within your organization, check out our blog posts on smarter social media recruiting, creative ways to find new talent, CEO–based executive searches, revolutionary recruitment campaigns and improving your tech recruitment practices.