25 years in the executive search profession has taught me a simple but great lesson :
You will never hire great candidates unless you are interviewing great candidates!
So the $100,000 question is how does a busy executive meet these great candidates to interview?
Here is how you can consistently meet the best future candidates:
Trade shows and conferences. This is our favorite method to get to know who is who in the automotive community. If you are already spending the time and money to go to trade shows, make a point of seeking out people of interest and spend a few minutes with them. See what they are all about. Add them and their information to your database. Note their strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, career desire, professional appearance, knowledge of industry, energy, drive and contacts.
Every top executive I know keeps some type of database on people they meet. More than one top executive has communicated to me that this habit in a major reason for their own success. Executives are known for who they hire and develop. It will benefit your career to become known as a great “people finder”.
Asking colleagues for recommendations. This is how we fill most assignments. Many of you reading this have likely been contacted by us asking for a referral.
Remember: Once you do meet good people, put them in your contact database with relevant information for future use. Every top executive I know does this!
Have a written description of position that you can email to people, listing
- duties and responsibilities
- reporting authority
- advancement opportunity
- why is this a good company to work for?
- other information that makes this an attractive opportunity
Asking the trade associations for recommendations. The leaders at trade association are very well connected. Most trade association leaders will know potential candidates. It is possible that an association leader may view such a request as a conflict of interest since they represent the interest of all members.
Many trade associations also have monthly newsletters and magazines that allow you post open positions.
Remember: You will never hire great candidates unless you are interviewing great candidates!
Asking current employees who they know. They will know the good employees from previous positions. Offer a monetary reward for to non-executive employees who help recruit good employees they know. Managers and executives usually do not receive monetary rewards for helping recruit employees, it is usually considered part of their job.
Your website attracts a lot of traffic. Nearly all websites have an “Employment” tab listing open positions. This can be a very good source. We recommend that your job postings include some “sell”. Too many positions are just title and a job description. Take the time to sell the benefits of the company, position, future opportunity, etc. This selling component will make your website a powerful sales tool for recruitment.
Posting positions. This is our least favorite because it only attracts people who are looking and you will mostly get boatloads of unqualified resumes. Specific periodicals and websites are better than generic ones.
Executive search firms. Of course I am biased here! I tell clients to use us when:
a position is very important and they want to be sure that they have thoroughly searched the industry for the best candidates
- the position is confidential and they want a thorough search conducted privately
- they have used their resources and do not feel they have turned up a strong enough candidate
- multiple positions such as 12 Field Sales Reps or 10 Credit Underwriters to staff a new facility etc. Multiple positions are very taxing on Human Resource departments and a good executive search firm can be very helpful sourcing candidates
- when you need a candidate quickly. It helps that we have over 10,000 candidates in our automotive finance/dealership database to start!
TIP: An executive search firm should be well known in your industry, respected and very connected. Additionally the firm should know your industry well, attend trade shows and understand the position you are filling.
Hope this helps your recruitment endeavors.
Continued success !