We have all done it. We have said, “I need to hire a _____________”. We put the word out to our network, and find a few candidates to speak with, but no one impressed us or seemed like the right fit. We keep searching or decide to make a hire from our “ho-hum” pool of candidates because we have so much to get done and willing hands seem better than none at all.

We are missing opportunities, right? Inside of us, a little voice is saying “you need to find someone better, I don’t know if we can get where we need to go with the level of talent this person has.” But it is too late, we have succumbed to the pressure of now, and have hired someone “good enough” or convenient, and three to six months later we regret the decision.

A well-defined recruiting process can extend the time to hire, but your probability of making the right hire, a great hire, is over 90%. How much is the wait of a few weeks worth to you?

What are the components of a well-defined process?

    1. Assign a point person to lead and drive the search, and be the primary contact for all the candidates.
    2. Define the business outcomes that you hope to achieve by hiring this person. What do you hope to accomplish with this hire?
      • Examples are FDA approval, Clinical study started and completed, market defined, reimbursement approved, increased sales, manufacturing operations established and running efficiently, build a company with many of these pieces plus raise funding.
    3. Create a position description that incorporates the goals, proven abilities of the ideal candidate, and attributes you need to ensure a good fit for the current team.
    4. Decide where to look – Competitors, Board, Advisors, etc. How will you get candidates into your pipeline?
    5. Filter all candidates against the position description, and weigh out strengths and weaknesses.
    6. Decide who is on your interview jury, which questions each member will specifically ask, and the particular skills they are interviewing for -i.e. board members interview for leadership and fit; peers interview for skill-sets that they will interface with, and understanding of technology.
    7. Rank and prioritize candidates for second and third-round interviews.
    8. Collect and call references for finalists (minimum of 2 finalist candidates, and 6 references each).
    9. Create a compelling offer to give to the lead finalist, deliver, negotiate and close while keeping candidate number two warm.
    10. Set up the start date and on-boarding process (first 90 days) to make sure the candidate gets all the information needed and relationships established with the current team to be successful.

Does it seem like a lot? There is plenty of heavy lifting and it is very important to have a well-defined process to get the right leadership candidates on your team. A great search consultant can accomplish all of this with you and add the value of assisting with Board communications, managing candidate communications, and expectations, and keep your lead candidates engaged and moving forward in the process.

Also, the searched individual can be a good thought partner on each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses and how they will integrate into the rest of the team. Finally, a search person provides leverage when it comes to negotiation of salary, bonus, etc. You will end up with a happy candidate and a satisfied CEO/Board which sets everyone on the right footing for success.

A good recruiter manages the lion’s share of this process including filling the pipeline and driving the process and candidates to a successful conclusion. Do you have the bandwidth and team to drive your recruiting process to a successful conclusion?