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Six Effective Ways to Recruit Senior-level Talent to Your Firm

Your company is thinking about, or in the process, of filling a SVP, EVP or similar-level position. How the candidate during the recruitment and interview process is critically important to assuring you have the best and motivated candidates ready to accept the position on your terms. Below are six essential recommendations that Eric Kercheval & Associates suggests to their clients in order to attract and close on the best-of-class senior-level talent:

1. Clearly communicate the company's vision, mission and goals. This information is vitally important for the candidate to hear and understand. There should be no ambiguity, fuzziness, hype or hyperbole in articulating this. Make sure all team members who are part of the interview loop or hiring decision-making process are all on message. Nothing spooks a candidate more than sensing your senior management team is not on the same page. It is surprising how often this is the case.

2. Clearly communicate the role the candidate will play in achieving the company's, mission and goals and spell this role out in the job description. Make clear the candidate's fit within the senior-management organizational structure. If the person is being brought in to fix problems, be up-front about what the problems are and what caused them. And be up-front about any company weaknesses or problems that the candidate will find out about within the first 30-60 days. Believe me, they certainly will!

3. Clearly communicate the expectations you have of the candidate at the three-, six-, nine- and twelve-month milestones. Also clearly communicate and outline the evaluative criteria that defines success at each milestone. If compensation incentives are attached to such milestones, clearly communicate the formula by which the incentives are derived.

4. Program into the interview process a number of feedback points when the candidate will be required to communicate/respond back to you their thoughts about the interview process, the job description, mission, goals, expectations, etc., so that you are able to evaluate the candidate's critical/strategic thinking, listening skills and communications abilities.

5. At this level of hire, have the CEO or President of the company involved in the initial meet-and-greet process. This strongly communicates to the candidate the importance of the position.

6. Execute a well-orchestrated interview process first by providing the candidate with meeting/interview agenda and/or company info packet ahead of the interview date. When the candidate is in your offices, keep the interview process running on time. Instruct your key interviewers not to take phone calls or check email (or their handheld devices) during the interview. If possible, provide your interviewers with "key evaluative criteria" outline sheets (to guide the interview process) and a means to communicate their evaluation of the candidate back to the primary decision maker(s) promptly.

Always remember that any candidate (regardless of level) will evaluate the company and job opportunity based on how the recruitment/interview process is handled. If handled well, efficiently and professionally, the candidate will be far more inclined to seriously consider, and hopefully accept, the position on your terms. Conversely, if the process is handled poorly, the candidate will likely lose interest quickly and move on to other opportunities with your competitors.

Your recruitment and interview process should be a powerful public relations tool. Every candidate who interviews with your company, regardless of the outcome or position level, should walk away from process impressed casting a favorable halo over your company. Let them spread the good word.

Eric Kercheval & Associates is an executive recruiting and mergers/acquisition advisory firm with over 20 years of providing marketing services and digital development companies with search and M&A services. Please go to our website for more information this subject and to learn more about our recruitment and M&A advisory services or email Eric Kercheval at:

Newsletter Update: 2/1/12

"Attracting Top Senior-level

Talent to Your Firm"

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