There comes a time in every executive search where you or the hiring manager may look at your pool of candidates and think: “There’s too many of them!”
On average, an executive opening, if made public, will receive hundreds of applications, and many of them are not even close to qualified. That’s not bad, per se, but it does mean that someone has to sift through and separate the relevant candidates from the less relevant ones. Between the rise of digital application processes and the sheer numbers of actually great candidates out there, running an executive search can feel a little bit like stepping into the shallow end of the swimming pool—and discovering that it’s eight feet deep.
If you narrow your search too soon, however, the inverse may be true. If no one knows about the opening, no one will apply. Or, you may interview one or two excellent candidates, only to discover that one or both have already accepted positions elsewhere. This is the risk you run by closing a search too early, or not looking high and low for the right applicants.
What’s a hiring manager to do?
Today, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of a narrow executive search, and how you can best find the candidate that is truly perfect for the role with a more specialized process.
The Advantages of a Smaller Pool of Candidates
Here’s a well-kept recruiter secret: A smaller pool of candidates is a huge advantage for everybody, including the candidates. First, as the hiring manager, your time is valuable, and the more time you have to spend reading resumes, the less time you spend at the table with a candidate really getting to know them. So, if you shrink the number of candidates you screen, whether by closing the opening early, only sourcing referrals, or working with a recruiter, you will have more time to spend with each candidate and will be able to get a better sense of who will be a good fit much earlier in the process.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, a smaller pool of candidates means that you have the opportunity to go the extra mile when you research them. If you have ten average candidates, you may only make it to reading cover letters before bringing a few in for interviews. If you have three-five stellar candidates, however, you’ll be able to get knee-deep in their references, social media accounts, and any other material you can find on them before they ever step into the room. It’s about quality, not quantity.
The Disadvantages of a Smaller Pool of Candidates
Now, that’s not to say that you should stop looking as soon as one Mr. or Ms. Right pops up in your inbox. The danger of a small candidate pool is, of course, that you won’t end up with any candidates you want to hire. Or, maybe the ideal candidate applies and makes it through the interview process, only to turn down the role when you present the offer—and you don’t have any backups. Then, it’s time to start the whole process over again.
The executive recruiting process can be time-consuming and costly and often takes longer than recruiting for any other role. Arriving at the end of the process without a candidate that you trust to lead your team is a highly undesirable outcome that we want to avoid, right?
How, then, can you safely narrow your executive search without making the pool TOO small?
We Can Help
This is where working with a recruiter comes in. Part of the incentive of partnering with an executive recruiting firm like GRN Mid-Cities is that we are uniquely equipped to screen, recruit, and seek out candidates that are tailored to your unique needs. With our resources, we can connect with the candidates who are happily employed and bring your opportunity directly to them.
We like to think of this approach as the best of both worlds. By handpicking candidates for each opportunity using our vast network of connections, we’re able to narrow the field of your executive search down to only highly qualified and highly desirable candidates. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t present you with anyone you wouldn’t be thrilled to hire to the first time you meet them. Plus, our tight industry focus on finance and RIAs means that we know what you’re looking for as well as you do.
When you have an executive vacancy, you need the best recruiters on your side. At GRN Mid-Cities, we partner with you to find top talent that’s ideal for your needs and personally guide them to an opportunity with your team. Together, we can save you time, hassle, and stress, and connect your company with the leadership you’ve been looking for. Our bespoke executive recruiting process is designed with your company’s needs in mind—and the results speak for themselves.
Contact us today to get started.