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Last year, many executives opted for early retirement when COVID-19 hit. Others were let go by their companies due to perceived redundancy in roles or the need for financial cutbacks.

More than a year later, the economy is bouncing back and companies (both new and old) are trying to recruit quality leaders. And they’re discovering that hiring the right executive is more challenging than ever. But now is the time to invest in visionary, long-term leaders who can help your company adapt to the new future of work.

The consequences of the wrong executive hire

The consequences of making a bad hire at the executive level can be felt across the entire organization. The wrong leader — especially in the C-suite — can have lasting repercussions that continue long after they’ve left your company. Here are just a few potential outcomes:

  • Lost productivity: A bad executive may lead their team down the wrong path in pursuit of goals not aligned with the company as a whole. Bad leadership and the wrong attitude can also bring down an entire team’s morale and productivity. In addition, all the time and money spent recruiting, onboarding, and training an executive hire will have to be reinvested — potentially costing your organization six to nine months of the desired position’s salary.
  • Tarnished reputation: In the digital age, a bad hire can quickly tarnish your company’s reputation. They, or their dissatisfied former direct reports, can drop negative reviews on job review websites which can affect your ability to recruit top candidates, regardless of level. Turnover at the executive level also sows seeds of discontent and dissatisfaction into your workforce. Employees may question your company’s stability, and even worse, look for a job elsewhere.
  • Decreased valuation: Effective leaders determine company success and shareholders often react negatively to executive turnover, especially if it’s unexpected. According to PwC, CEO turnover reduces median total shareholder return to -3.5% and a forced turnover can cost $1.8 billion more than a planned succession. If your business is service-based or project-based, a bad executive hire and changes in leadership could also impact customer satisfaction and retention.

5 ways to recruit the right leadership

Strong executives are vital to any business. They bring innovative ideas and energy that help your organization evolve. So, even though today’s hiring landscape is extremely competitive, you can’t afford to hire the wrong executive. The following tips can help you recruit, close, and retain the right leaders in the current environment:

  1. Know your company: Before you start the hiring process, make sure you understand your company’s culture, values, workflows, and weaknesses. Then, practice how you communicate it. Hiring a good fit means they need to want to work at your company. This requires setting accurate expectations during the interview and hiring process.
  2. Know your goals and challenges: Similar to knowing your business, you should know where it’s headed. Identify your company’s goals. Then, consider the challenges your organization, industry, and sector will face in the next five years. This will help you determine the ideal experience and expertise of the type of executive hire who can get your company to the place it needs to be.
  3. Be clear about your remote work policy: According to a recent survey, 55% of the workforce wants to be remote at least three days a week. A company’s remote work policy is now a key consideration for candidates, so determining how often you need your executives to be in office (and whether it is negotiable) will help set expectations and ensure long-term success.
  4. Maintain momentum: Once you’re in the hiring process, make sure it doesn’t drag on. A slow process can frustrate candidates and cause you to miss out on a good hire. When you find the right person, be decisive and clearly identify the next steps. In this way, recruiting is like sales: Time kills all deals.
  5. Lean on networks and partners: The best hires aren’t always those looking for a new job — the right person for the job may be an internal candidate, a referral from an employee’s network, or a product of outbound recruitment. A talent partner who has the experience, expertise, and existing relationships can help you uncover the perfect candidate, even if it’s someone who isn’t raising their hand.

Good people power success

We’re at the precipice of a new era of work. The pandemic continues to change the hiring landscape, accelerating digital transformation and popularizing remote work. Companies need strong leaders to ensure they not only evolve but stay ahead of the competition. With the proper practices and partners in place, you can make the right executive hire to help propel your business forward.

By Phil Gaddis, President of Executive Search, Addison Group.

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Sally Fletcher
Sally Fletcher

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Sally Fletcher
December 12, 2023

I would highly recommend agilis recruitment to anyone looking for work. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Chris, who matched the skills I have to an opportunity I was unable to refuse. He was professional and knowledgeable, but also friendly and down to earth. With quick response times, he was able to answer every question I had about the role whilst selling my skills and personality to the company before I had even met them. The input form Chris throughout the process, not only made everything easier but also it took the pressure off massively. I am very grateful. Thank you.

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December 11, 2023

Chris has done a great job for me. It's most refreshing to have a recruiter that both understands the role being recruited and listens to the candidate's requirements and concerns. Top marks!

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December 2, 2023

It was great to work with Chris at Agilis to find my new role. He was always on hand to guide me through the process and make sure I was fully briefed prior to each interview. I would happily use Chris to find me a job... although I'm very happy where I am now! M-W Kelly

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May 15, 2023

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March 29, 2023

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March 1, 2023

Chris Ellsworth was my recruiter and I was greatly impressed with the level of his assistance throughout the process from start to finish. He provided me with job role applications that were personalised to me based on what I told him I was looking for. If there was any confusion, I was always able to contact him throughout the whole process and ask for clarification which he would then, always happily give. Chris genuinely made me feel that he wanted me to get the role as much as I did and helped me with every step on the way.

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May 24, 2022

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. Found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way. Thank you so much for the support Ed.

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Had a great experience with Agilis Recruitment. Ed helped me find the perfect role for me in a great business. He also was very professional, cooperative but most importantly, understood what was important to me and listened to what I was looking for. Thank you Ed!

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Arthur Guide
February 25, 2022

Amazing experience with Agilis, a professional company. I have no words to thank Edward. He found a great role for me.

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February 5, 2021

I had a great experience with Ed and Agilis. It was great to have a recruiter who understands exactly what his clients are looking for in a candidate. 5 stars!

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February 2, 2021

Ed was great, found me a job which was the perfect fit and supported me along the way, solid agency

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May 27, 2020

Laura is a lovely individual and easily the best recruiter I have ever worked with: proactive without being pushy, professional without lacking sincerity, and most importantly, she genuinely cares about her clients. She was incredibly conscientious in understanding my background and aspirations, and matched me with a role I WAS really excited about. I knew I was in good hands from our very first conversation – and I am happy to say I am a month into my new job and loving it!

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April 21, 2020

I worked with Ed when securing my role. It was a massive step in the direction I wanted to move my career in and Ed was pivotal in making that happen. I liked that right from the start he was not pushy, he listened to what I had to say and feedback and he kept in regular contact without bombarding me, using the most suitable form of messaging whether it be LinkedIn, Email or a Phone Call. I would highly recommend Ed and the guys at Agilis - keep up the great work guys!

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March 30, 2020

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March 23, 2020

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March 20, 2020

Laura and Ed at Agilis helped me get placed last year, and Laura was exceptionally accommodating and patient, calling me outside of hours when it was convenient for me and keeping me in the loop about everything that was going on. I'm happy with my role and feel like the guys at Agilis really put time and effort into their work -- thank you!

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March 20, 2020

My experience with Agilis has been great. I found Laura to be incredible helpful and always ensured she remained in contact with me throughout my job search. Thankfully I managed to find a new job through Agilis and the company has turned out to be everything that they told me the it would be! 5 Stars from me!!

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March 19, 2020

Great experience with Agilis. Following relocating to Bristol I’d found myself having conversations with a couple members of the team. I’d expressed how important it was for me to find the right role but also due to circumstance I needed the process to be accelerated as much as possible. Laura was my main point of contact and managed to find me the best role I’ve ever had in what must be record time. I couldn’t rate their work higher and will definitely be my first point of contact when looking for new opportunities. Thanks again!

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March 19, 2020