What are the most common HR challenges we’re helping our clients solve today? Read our Q&A with Kim Rummler and find out!

What to Expect During KMA’s C-Suite Search Process: A Playbook for Executive Talent Acquisition

By the KMA Team

The Executive Search Process: Initial consultation, Market Research and Compensation Analysis, Candidate Outreach and Evaluation, Client Presentation and Interview Coordination, Offer Negotiation and Onboarding, Hired.

In today’s business landscape, the demand for exceptional leadership at the executive level has never been higher. As executive recruiters with a successful track record placing top-tier talent in C-Suite and professional roles, we understand the unique challenges associated with the process and why it requires a strategic approach. It entails understanding what the employer needs in a new executive hire, and also what successful candidates are looking for, what engages and challenges them, what skillsets and leadership style have they honed along their career trajectory. Building rapport with executive candidates, gaining trust and piquing their interest in a new career opportunity requires advanced tools, extensive market research, the ability to create connection, and many years of experience handling all of the above.

In this article, we clarify KMA’s unique executive search process, and provide insights into what our clients can expect at each stage when working with a KMA recruiting consultant.

Initial Consultation

When you work with KMA to fill a senior level role, you are assigned one recruiter, hand-selected based on experience and other compatibility factors, who is your dedicated point of contact throughout every phase of the process.

Our first step as your executive recruiting firm is an initial consultation, a critical information-gathering phase in which we gain a deep understanding of your company’s culture, strategic goals, and the specific requirements and unique opportunities of the role. Your recruiter will ideally make an on-site visit to meet with you and your hiring team, tour the organization, learn about the company’s successes and challenges, and get a feel for the culture and what it’s like to be at the leadership level. Together, we will discuss the applicant and interview process, what to expect at each stage, and lay out a tentative timeframe for filling the executive position.

Market Research and Compensation Analysis

Even before the initial consultation phase is complete, KMA’s compensation team is working behind the scenes to conduct a market analysis. Having a clear understanding of the market rate for comparable roles gives our clients an important advantage in attracting top talent during the hiring process. With the benefit of this compensation guidance, the salary range and total rewards package being offered is confirmed, and the job posting is drafted and approved.

At this stage, your KMA recruiter will conduct a thorough market research to better understand the target audience of potential candidates, considering the business category, job title and responsibilities, years of experience, leadership tenure, track record for success, and other factors, as appropriate to the role. This enables us to create an ideal candidate profile to target.

In the next phase, we begin to identify potential candidates. This involves tapping into both KMA’s and the client’s extensive networks and trade associations, and utilizing advanced search methodologies to compile a list of qualified executives. We also look at industry-specific associations and job boards to target, as well as alumni networks, social media, and professional connections. Every role requires a customized strategy that leverages all the tools and networks available in order to identify a promising pool of high level, all-star candidates.

Candidate Outreach and Evaluation

Candidate outreach is where the magic starts to happen! KMA recruiters connect with potential candidates, both active and passive, presenting them with the highlights of the organization and the opportunity. Particularly at the top executive level, this requires pitch-perfect judgment, tact and discretion, as well as the ability to read both what is being said – and not said – by potential candidates. We understand that we are representing our client’s brand, and telling their story, and we approach that responsibility with resourcefulness and care.

This phase involves initial screening interviews, utilizing a customized set of interview questions that we develop for each search, based on the skills, credentials and experience required. Additional interviews may be conducted to delve deeper into the candidate’s background, leadership style, and compatibility with the organization’s executive team and culture.

KMA closely monitors the applicant flow and makes any necessary adjustments to the posting strategy along the way. Your recruiter oversees all communications and scheduling with extreme professionalism and discretion, manages expectations on all sides, and keeps everyone on track with regular status updates.

Client Presentation and Interview Coordination

Once a pool of qualified candidates has been identified, KMA presents the shortlisted individuals to the client. We provide comprehensive candidate profiles, highlighting leadership strengths and addressing any potential concerns utilizing our efficient assessment tool.

The client then selects any candidates they wish to meet with. KMA prepares a set of interview questions and schedules virtual and/or in-person interviews with key stakeholders. In the interview itself, the KMA recruiter can take full charge of the appointment or provide back-up support, depending on the client’s experience and comfort level with interviewing.

We will also create a matrix with key attributes to help track and measure each candidate’s qualifications throughout the process. By overriding subjectivity and unintentional bias with data, these assessment tools can be especially useful in making final decisions when all on the hiring team are not fully aligned.

Offer Negotiation and Onboarding

Following successful interviews, the recruiter facilitates offer negotiations between the client and the chosen candidate. This phase involves discussing compensation, benefits, relocation details, and other critical aspects of your EVP (employee value proposition), and requires patience, skillful communication, and vigilance throughout negotiations.

Once an agreement is reached, celebration is in order! KMA’s recruiters are passionate about matching great people with great opportunities, and for us, getting to yes is the pinnacle of client service and job satisfaction.

KMA’s success in filling niche senior executive roles lies in our strategic and collaborative approach, our commitment to integrity and relationship building, and our team’s unique professional insights into people and organizations. Our unique flat fee model includes a compensation assessment to determine market rate for similar roles, and means there are no unexpected costs to worry about.

If you’re looking to fill a C-suite, executive or professional level role in today’s challenging hiring market, reach out to the recruiting experts at KMA today.