C-Suite Hiring Mistakes (and What to Do Instead)

There’s more at stake with C-level hiring mistakes than just salary, but unfortunately it’s common to onboard the wrong fit. According to the REC, 85% of HR decision-makers admit to making a bad hire. The results? Plummeting productivity, increase in contractor expenses, and overworking current employees to the point of low morale.

The good news is that you can get your executive hire right the first time with some due diligence and the right mindset. Here’s how to avoid C-suite hiring mistakes and what to do instead.

Limiting Your Candidate Pool

Reaching for a pile of resumes or scrolling LinkedIn are common C-level hiring mistakes. Top-tier candidates are usually employed elsewhere and are passive candidates who need the right motivation to consider working with your company. Executive positions are also rarely advertised on job boards, as C-Level roles are not just a job search but a long-term talent nurturing to find the best long-term fit for your company. These roles are typically filled through networks and executive search firms.

Instead of relying on your own contacts or LinkedIn, aligning with a retained executive search team opens up your talent pool. Executive firms are trained to align with your company’s goals while understanding the long-term goals of potential candidates. The results could lead to a seamless fit that meets (or exceeds) expectations.

c-suite hiring mistakes to avoid

Not Executing a Sound Screening Process

The screening process for a new hire, particularly in the C-Level role, is layered and requires time to execute correctly. It’s a mistake to do an interview or two and a background check. You might get lucky, but you’re more likely to find a candidate that isn’t the right fit for your company.

Instead, hiring C-level talent requires qualifying prospects and understanding what motivates them to leave their current company to take a new role. Part of qualifying candidates is exploring whether or not they’re the right fit for your company. You should understand the candidate inside and out and have a clear idea about their skills and C-Level traits, like ingenuity and passion.

Creating a candidate profile is also helpful to clearly detail a candidate’s education, career trajectory, accolades, and awards. More than just a laundry list of their pros, the report analyzes their strengths and weaknesses to assess how it aligns with your open position.

You Have Hiring Tactics, But Not a Strategy

You may have a good handle on how to find candidates, but no clear strategy is in place. It’s not enough to hire a C-Level role for the sake of filling the position. It also requires a transparent hiring process and taking a pipeline approach to your search.

Avoiding C-level hiring mistakes means adopting a recruitment mindset where you’re always on the lookout for your next great hire. Keep growing your network and warm up your leads who may prove a good fit for the role. It’s also vital to monitor your competition and what kind of movement is happening within their team. Who is coming and going? Where are key industry leaders headed in their careers, and how long have they been with their current company?

You’re Hiring Too Fast

An empty C-Level role creates interruptions but shouldn’t trigger a quick hiring process. Hiring quickly is risky and leads to fast turnover, wasted resources, and costly solutions. Pushing for an immediate hire can also raise red flags for serious candidates accustomed to going through a process with a company to understand how they would work together.

You’re ahead of the game if you already have a qualified candidate pool and stand-out talent that has already expressed interest in your company. In this case, hiring too slowly may lead to frustration and the sense that the company isn’t serious about taking the next step. There are some exceptions.

Working swiftly through a pre-set hiring process can help keep you on track. Aligning with a dedicated search professional also ensures the process is seamless and cohesive for a positive hiring process for both your company and the candidate.

You’re Not Motivating the Right Candidates

When the best talent in the industry is already employed, you need to offer more than an excellent salary and benefits. A search firm helps determine what would likely motivate a candidate to interview with you and eventually close the deal. High-level executives are also inspired by flexibility, opportunities, learning, and the work environment. They’re also looking into lateral moves to change up their career or the next logical position to pursue.

Next Steps

Are you ready to make your next C-Level hire? Avoid C-level hiring mistakes and partner with a company that takes the guesswork out of finding the right hire. John Joseph Partners allows companies and executives to grow to their full potential as your trusted Executive Search Firm. Contact us today for more information.