Executive Recruiting | State Of The Union: Today's CEO

Collectively CEO’s from major organizations ESPECIALLY from publicly traded organizations walk a very tight line.  They know, there is actually little they can do outside of analyst expectations that would potentially be viewed negatively and send their stock price on a tail spin.  


Its no wonder that the feeling most staffing functions get is they're recruiting efforts are perceived with certain distain.  After all, its no secret that majority of executives prefer to use a retained agency to recruit for them rather then using their internal staffing functions... This is often at the director level and above.  By the time you reach the CXO level the perception of internal staffing has been greatly diminished in terms of its ability to deliver strategic candidates. 

Most CEO’s are not concerned with how to do staffing better but rather concerned with “Why it’s not working.”  VP’s and heads of staffing rotates much like a head coach from a major league team.  Bringing with them their select managers and key recruiters from their previous organization.  Most of these VP’s are also out of touch with the tactical of recruiting the best candidates.  They are forced to hire from outside of the organization, often as contractors, to supplement their efforts.  This cycle has continued since the late 90’s until today.  

This patterns is about to be faced with 3 primary obstacles that are going to send many major organizations into the preverbal dark ages of talent.  If what they say is true...that a top performer can bring as much as 10 times the value of even an average employee...then some organizations are about to leave others completely in the dust.  

Problem 1) Authenticity: just because your organization has a twitter/Facebook account does not mean you are being real.  Automated tweets from your RSS feeds of your jobs and press-releases is not what the best candidates are looking for.  You need 1:1 employment branding (more on that specifically later).  In my opinion, traditional employment branding is dead in the water for $50,000+ salary roles. 

Problem 2). Speed:  Staffing is slow.  They are slow to find the candidates, slow to get them engaged, slow to interview, slow to hire, and slow to on-board.  I am aware in major organizations that it takes time.  I think thats bullshit.  In a company of that size, they have the resources to but streamlines in place that fast track the candidate process.  Do you know what kinds of candidates slow processes loose?  Only the ones that other companies want.  

Problem 3). Disconnect:  The leaderships, especially the CEO’s second highest priority next to revenue is elevating the companies human capital.  A best in class organization that is hiring the best candidates in the space, treating the envelop pushing kindness, and paying them double take salaries will elevate the companies sales, perception, and ranking in almost every category.  CEO’s need to simply give a shit...and not because share holders are in their ear...but because caring should be in a CEO’s DNA.  

I hate it when authors create problem statements that resonate but leave you rabbit holing through a book or paper trying to find the answer.  So here are short answers to the problem statements.  I will still elaborate later in the book, but if you are a CEO reading this it will give you enough information be be able to confidentially throw this book at the leadership that is supposed to be running your staffing yelling “WTF.” 

1) If you want authenticity, be authentic.  First, know you cannot control your message any longer.  If you marketing and PR disagree fire them, they are out of touch.  You gain authenticity by 1:1 employment branding.  This is achieved not by your VP, Director, or front line managers.  This is achieved by your hiring managers and your recruiters/sourcers.  Each hiring manager/recruiter should spend at minimum 2 hours a day on social branding.  The first hour is on creating relevant content to the space they are recruiting for.  If the recruiter is not familiar with that space he or she should create a blog interviewing