Transparency is Key in Recruiting Executive Leaders

Learn how to be transparent in recruiting strong, dynamic and innovative leaders to your organization from an expert in executive search. Recruiting talented, energetic and innovative executive leaders to help guide your organization requires a finely tuned process. While offering an enticing and challenging role may get candidates to raise their hand for the opportunity, it is the organization or recruiting firm’s responsibility to help candidates build an accurate portrayal of the position so that they are not only attracted to the position but will also remain committed to the role. “While there may always be some confidential information that is better not to share right away, there are a number of areas in which organizations should be prepared to be transparent with candidates during the recruiting process,” said Julie Zuick, Grant Cooper Senior Consultant.

Suggested to Share with the Candidate During the Recruitment Process

Zuick shared information hiring organizations should consider sharing with candidates during the hiring process.

Culture — Organizational culture, such as the company’s expectations, experiences, philosophy and values that guide behavior, is essential to share with anyone joining your team. “One of the ways in which we add the most value to the executive search process is evaluating candidates for cultural fit,” Zuick remarked. Establishing that an executive leader’s values align with the organization will help ensure job satisfaction and increase retention, as well as put the organization on a path to success. If a candidate will be expected to try and shift or change culture, it should be communicated early and often.

Key Players — Recruiting candidates to top leadership positions at the organization can be helpful as they evaluate the opportunity. If possible, provide an organizational chart that emphasizes the structure of the company and how each person contributes to achieving the organization’s mission, vision and values.

Process — What key processes drive the organization to success? Sharing precisely how much room there will be for innovation in a role, as well as established processes and ability to grow and change is pertinent. Candidates will want to know how much change will be expected and whether it will be supported by leadership, peers and those reporting to the individual.

Growth Trajectory — Sharing your organization’s current status and what is expected in the future will go a long way in helping candidates assess the opportunity before them. Hiring entities should share information that will help alleviate candidates’ anxieties about stability and continued growth.

Other Considerations

While “more is better” is a good general rule when it comes to sharing company information, there are several matters that should be off limits.

Confidential information — Do not share financial documents, trade secrets, commercial methods or information not generally known or ascertainable by others.  “In certain situations, especially when recruiting administrative leaders like Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers and Chief Operations Officers, it is important to be transparent about sharing specific confidential information.  In these cases, it’s best to prepare a Non-Disclosure Agreement,” Zuick noted.

Candidacy — It’s important to keep a potential new hires’ candidacy protected, whether it’s throughout the company or among other applicants. It is best to steer clear of general reference checks until a candidate has reached the later part of the interview process. No hiring organization wants to inadvertently put a candidate’s current position in jeopardy, which is why it is important to wait until it’s necessary and the candidate is aligned to start calling references,” Zuick said. There are other things the organization can do to get to know candidates without references, such as interviews, background checks and education verification.

Illegal questions — Make sure your interview questions are fair, well-thought-out, and perhaps most importantly — lawful. There are a number of questions that can not be directly or indirectly asked of candidates, such as questions about race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, disability, age or genetic information, citizenship, and marital status, among others. Familiarize yourself with and ensure you don’t, even accidentally, fall into asking questions that can lead to discriminatory hiring practices.

Do You Need Help Recruiting the Right Candidate for an Executive Role?

Organizations interested in recruiting the right executive leaders can rely on the experienced, knowledgeable team at Grant Cooper. We look forward to hearing from you, so we can discuss your unique recruitment needs and how our team can help.

About Julie Zuick

Julie Zuick joined Grant Cooper as a Senior Consultant following a successful career in brand and general management for Fortune 500 companies. Julie’s search practice at Grant Cooper focuses on executive and senior level positions across a variety of disciplines nationwide. She has led successful searches for C-suite executives at organizations ranging from VC-backed entrepreneurial enterprises to well-established institutions. Julie earned her MBA from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis and a BS in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. She serves on the Board of Directors for MERS/Goodwill.

About Grant Cooper

Grant Cooper, a Diversified Search Company, is a retained executive search firm working principally in healthcare to identify and recruit superior executive talent. Grant Cooper’s collective partnership applies decades of hard-won executive search expertise to its search engagements.

About Diversified Search

In July 2019, Grant Cooper was acquired by Diversified Search, one of the top 10 and the fastest growing executive search firm in the United States. Founded by Judith M. von Seldeneck in 1974, Diversified Search is today the largest woman-founded executive search firm in the world. In addition to its 16 U.S. offices, the firm also has representation in 54 offices in 34 countries worldwide through its partnership with AltoPartners, the international alliance of independent executive search firms that spans across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.