Engage CEOs with "the cautionary tale of the almost-lost CEO," blending strategy and personal touch. Discover the importance of precision and human connections in securing top leaders. This masterclass ensures captivated candidates. Embark on a journey of discovery and connection.

By Adrian von Dewall
Text & Tile Image (if Text)

In the fast-paced world of executive search, where the competition for top talent is as intense as it is vital, keeping candidates engaged throughout the hiring process is not just a strategy; it's an art form. With over 20 years in the trenches of this dynamic field, I've seen firsthand the evolution of recruitment - from the days of faxed CVs to the era of LinkedIn scouting. Yet, despite the technological leaps, the core essence of recruitment remains unchanged: it's about people. And when it comes to securing C-level professionals, the personal touch is everything.

The Tale of the Almost-Lost CEO

Let's start with a story - a cautionary tale, if you will. A few years back, we were on the hunt for a CEO for a burgeoning tech startup in Berlin. We found the perfect candidate: let's call her Alex. Alex was not just a fit; she was the fit. Yet, in our focus on the end goal, we overlooked the journey. Our communication became sporadic, our updates infrequent. Alex, feeling overlooked and undervalued, started entertaining other offers. By the time we realised our mistake, we were on the brink of losing her. It took an emergency meeting, complete with personal apologies and the promise of better engagement, to bring her back into the fold. Alex went on to lead the startup to its most successful period to date.

This experience was a wake-up call. It underscored a vital truth in executive search: the importance of keeping candidates engaged. Here are some strategies we've since adopted, refined through years of practice and the occasional stumble:

1. Personalise the Communication

Remember, C-level professionals are not just looking for a job; they're looking for the right platform to leverage their skills and experience. From the initial outreach, make every communication count. Tailor your messages, reference their past achievements, and articulate how they align with the role's challenges and opportunities. A study by the Corporate Executive Board found that tailored communication increases the likelihood of a candidate accepting a job offer by over 50%.

2. Provide a Clear Timeline and Stick to It

Uncertainty can be a significant deterrent for candidates, especially those contemplating leaving stable positions for new ventures. From the outset, provide a clear, detailed timeline of the hiring process, including when they can expect updates. This transparency builds trust and keeps candidates invested.

3. Offer Insight into the Company Culture

For C-level hires, cultural fit is as crucial as competence. Use the hiring process as an opportunity to immerse candidates in the company's ethos. Arrange informal meet-ups with potential team members, offer a tour of the offices, and if possible, facilitate a casual chat with the CEO or other executives. This not only keeps the candidate engaged but also helps both parties gauge the fit.

4. Keep the Momentum Going

A slow or stagnant process is a surefire way to lose interest. Ensure there's a steady pace of interactions – whether updates, queries, or simply check-ins to share enthusiasm about the candidate's potential role in the company. Remember, engagement is a two-way street; your excitement about a candidate can fuel their interest in the position.

5. Be Open and Honest

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, honesty is paramount. If there are delays or changes in the process, communicate these promptly and openly. Candidates appreciate transparency, and it can go a long way in maintaining their interest and respect for the company.

In conclusion, engaging C-level candidates is about weaving a narrative that places them at the heart of your company's future story. It's about creating a journey that is as compelling as the destination. As I reflect on two decades in executive search, I'm reminded that at its core, this profession is about human connections. It's about understanding aspirations, aligning visions, and ultimately, crafting relationships that stand the test of time.

Let's not forget that, for in the human touch lies the key to unlocking the true potential of our C-level engagements.

About the Author

More Blog Posts by Adrian von Dewall

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more