We all like our CXOs to be ‘dynamic’. It’s something of a cliché, but it’s going nowhere. Because this particular buzzword is rooted in real business.
Entrepreneurship is characterized by constant innovation and upheaval. For progress to be achieved, businesses and the individuals who lead them must live and breathe change. To be dynamic is, above all, to be flexible; to be responsive and resourceful and always ready to adapt when the situation requires.
All C-level executives know that rigidity and resistance to evolving customer demands are preludes to insolvency. Being flexible is about understanding what your customers want and bending over backwards to make sure they get it from you before the competition catches on.
So, when sourcing that next CXO, you expect a good selection of flexible, dynamic and resourceful candidates. But can you say the same of your recruiter?
Executive recruitment needs to evolve
When businesses need talent, they need it urgently. However, inefficient recruitment processes are delaying critical decisions and creating missed opportunities.
This is because the executive recruitment industry has become lazy. C-level consultancy firms have become too accustomed to inflated fees with insufficient competition. This stifles change and leads to an outdated, inflexible service. It’s strange to consider this fact while executive recruiters are called upon to support some of the most innovative and adaptable businesses around the world.
So, what needs to change?
The three steps to flexible executive recruitment
Flexibility comes down to breadth and speed of service, as well as the willingness to offer what clients actually want, not just what is most lucrative:
1. International reach and local knowledge
Businesses should not be confined to one territory and neither should their recruiters. C-level recruiters should have proven experience to meet the challenges of cross-border placements – this includes the ability to find the right local talent anywhere and seamlessly coordinate the process across time zones.
2. An extensive database of qualified candidates ready to move
Too many time-sensitive opportunities are delayed or missed entirely due to lengthy notice periods. Finding available talent before it is required is the key to rapid appointments.
3. Interim to permanent as the situation requires
Most recruiters favor permanent over interim placements because they earn around double the commission for the same amount of work. But the flexibility of interim brings many advantages for clients in particular circumstances. Many projects require an injection of talent for limited periods or on a test basis; product launches, setting up in a new territory, restructuring a division and so on. Clients should not have to compromise on choice or quality simply because the requirement is for a limited time period.
Recruiters should offer both interim and permanent with payment services during the interim period and the flexibility to move from interim to permanent as the situation requires.