How to Streamline the Hiring Process for Mid-level and High-level Executives

Some of our clients fall into the trap of developing a long, arduous hiring process, especially when hiring for mid-level and high-level leadership roles. In theory, it makes sense that an intense process is more likely to weed out the inadequate candidates while also allowing an extensive range of stakeholders – all of whom will be affected by the hire – to have their say.

In reality, “more” of a hiring process doesn’t necessarily translate to better results, and balancing due diligence with efficiency is essential.

More Input Isn’t Always Better

In general, the first few interactions between candidate and company are the most important for gathering the information necessary to make a hiring decision. Additional interviews could increase the predictive accuracy (of how well a candidate would work out or not) by small amounts, but they do not make a significant impact. Ultimately, the minor benefits of the longer process do not outweigh the hassle and the cost, including the risk of losing good candidates who would self-select out of an elongated process.

Excessive pickiness on the part of hiring managers can lead to a similar problem: costly unfilled roles with great candidates dropping out due to frustration. Research from the Harvard Business Review found that “pickier hiring managers did not pick better performers, while leaving a higher number of roles vacant for longer.” Unfilled positions lead to higher costs and more stress on existing employees.

It is understandable to seek extensive input for a crucial position, but it often results in creating excessive hurdles that cause highly qualified candidates to remove themselves from consideration. When recruiting for mid and high-level executive roles, it is natural for the hiring process to require a relatively thorough assessment, particularly when compared to lower-level positions. However, the same fundamental principle applies: if the number of interviews or the duration of the process becomes excessive, it becomes detrimental to all parties involved.

Re-Evaluate Your Interview Process

To streamline your executive hiring process, re-examine what you’re doing with an eye towards efficiency. Standardization can be a valuable tool for streamlining hiring, and it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing individuality. Consider standardizing the structure of interviews, which can improve fairness and put candidates on an even footing. Similarly, standardizing interview questions, the candidate evaluation process and scoring can make the process more efficient. This can provide ways to ensure interviewer feedback is well-organized, easy to understand, and easy to aggregate. Finally, consider revamping your pre-interview processes. Pre-screening can cut down on “wasted” time by covering the basics before the main part of the process. With effective procedures in place, teams can ensure maximum efficiency once the actual interview stage is reached.

Partner with External Recruiting Firms

To optimize the efficiency of your recruiting and talent acquisition, consider partnering with specialized search firms such as NW Recruiting Partners. Executive search professionals possess expertise in talent acquisition, similar to how companies excel in their respective domains. This partnership enables broader candidate outreach and engagement, enhances efficiency, and ultimately yields superior outcomes.

An executive search firm can provide a wider pool of candidates , including targeting candidates who are not actively job-searching but could be the perfect fit. Outside firms can conduct outreach to candidates who work for your competitors, when at times, it’s not appropriate for you to contact them directly. Your search partner can take the repetitive, time-consuming parts of recruiting off of your internal teams’ to-do lists. Plus, they’ll pre-qualify candidates to ensure that the top candidates are the only ones presented to internal teams, and they’ll help with the hiring and onboarding process to ensure things go smoothly.

If you want to add efficiency to your executive hiring strategy, NW Recruiting Partners can help. Contact us to learn more about our search solutions, tailored just for you.