“It is definitely a more rigorous process as you are hiring for a critical position in an organisation which would have a direct influence on the business,” said Eugene Wong, Manager-Southeast Asia for Frazer Jones.
Wong said that one of the biggest challenges of hiring for c-suite roles is the “limited talent pool at the senior level.”
“It is no longer a tick-box exercise on candidate competency. C-suite level candidates are assessed on [a] different criteria. Recruiters would have to dig deep into the individual’s capabilities, i.e. their capability in turning around a failing business or implementing an organisational change strategy,” he explained.
He said that there’s also additional pressure on hiring managers to ensure that the candidate is the right fit because the roles they are being considered for are major company decision makers.
“As such, hiring managers would normally deploy different recruitment channels such as internal referrals, direct sourcing, partnering with search agencies and market mapping to reach out to a wider pool of candidates,” he said.
“The level of conversation that you are expected to have with someone on this level is more strategic and candidates would expect the recruiter to understand the client and their needs in much more detail, as that would determine their interest and commitment towards the role.”
It could take anywhere from three to six months to find the perfect candidate, he said, because they are expected to go through several rounds of interviews, including with senior stakeholders.
Wong also said that there are four key competencies that c-suite candidates need to beef up on: “leadership capabilities, tenacity and commitment, prior experience on a strategic level and ability to contribute to the challenges of the organisation.”
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Hiring the right candidate is already a tough enough job for any manager, but what if you’re recruiting for the c-suite?