According to a Corporate Executive Board survey of hiring executives, one out of every five hires is a mistake. That means 20% of candidates should not have been hired in the first place. And as you likely know, the cost of a bad hire can be significant. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates the true cost of a hiring mistake can amount to up to five times of the first year of salary. Besides the actual expense, an executive hiring mistake can result in lost morale, lost worker productivity, and job burnout. Top team members may even quit.

It’s therefore vitally important to recruit smarter – and differently – from your competitors. As experienced executive recruiters in Sacramento, Pacific ExecSearch knows that when you do, you can gain a big competitive advantage in the form of better fit leaders who can positively impact the company’s bottom line. To help you get started, here are 5 key strategies to consider:

Strategy #1: Pre-screen candidates.

Before you meet with a particular candidate, take steps to pre-screen them. That doesn’t mean a formal reference check, but do try to discreetly use back channels to find out about and verify their experience and credentials, as well as uncover any issues you may not have been aware of. Don’t wait until you’re about to make an offer to dig deeper into a candidate’s background.

Strategy #2: Look for the intangibles.

Being able to complete projects and years of management experience are traits that many executive candidates can bring to the table. It’s up to you to find out what makes a particular candidate truly stand out above the rest. In other words, do they have a clearer vision? Does their personality align better with your culture? Do they live by strong values? These intangibles are important to look for because not only will they help you spot top tier talent, but those soft skills will also help shape entire departments within your organization, as well as your company as a whole.

Strategy #3: Go beyond IQ.

Just because a candidate has a genius level IQ and several advanced degrees from elite institutions doesn’t mean they are the right person to lead your organization. What does matter is the individual’s track record of accomplishments.

Strategy #4: Be mindful when interviewing.

When you interview each candidate, make sure you really listen. Get to know each one and what’s important to them individually. Learn about their goals, values and ambitions, so you can assess whether they align with your organization. If there’s any disconnect, ask plenty of follow up questions until you get the information you need to make the best decision.

Strategy #5: Treat candidates like VIPs.

When you’re recruiting for high level positions, it’s especially important to provide a positive candidate experience. Focus on each candidate’s needs and criteria. Take a customer relationship management (CRM) approach to the process. Keep in mind, one of the top reason prospects reject offers is due to the way they were treated during the hiring process.

Do you need more help recruiting better executive candidates for your company? Call Pacific ExecSearch. Our team of experienced executive recruiters in Sacramento, CA has the knowledge and proven processes in place to help you attract, evaluate and ultimately hire top leaders for your senior level opportunities. Call us today to learn more.