I love CEO recruitment, and I am happy to report that suddenly there are a lot more boards calling me about finding them new CEOs these days.
I’ve been asked why it’s so important to work with a recruiting partner who has a lot of CEO expertise. There are four things about CEO recruitment that make this sort of work uniquely tricky:
- Complex stakeholder relationships There are numerous investor and board member stakeholders who participate in a CEO project. A recruiting partner must engage constructively with all of them to achieve a great outcome.
- Ongoing strategic visioning The right recruiting partner makes sure the board articulates a shared vision of the future, sometimes for the first time! If the board doesn’t do this, they aren’t likely to agree on what model of CEO they want to hire.
- No fixed job specification CEO recruitment ought to have an element of “if this, then that.” The right recruiting partner is working out in advance of the board to line up different models of CEO based on several possible strategic visioning outcomes.
- No ‘selling’ the CEO candidates A CEO recruitment partner should insist on mutual full disclosure, and ensure there is extensive cross-examination on the part of both the candidates and the board. This level of honest exchange is not for the faint of heart.
There are a great many doctors in the world, but only a handful of skilled brain surgeons. If you are looking for new leadership, I suggest your board look for an experienced CEO recruiting partner who has board level facilitation skills and the strategic intelligence to help you find the next leader for your company.