Senior executives hold high-level positions within a corporation, organization or company, and often make decisions that impact not only the day-to-day operations of the organization, but also its overall strategies and goals. They can have a major effect on the success or failure of projects; programs; product lines; and in some cases, the company itself. Senior executive recruitment is generally more complex than recruitment of other employees for all of these reasons. Recruiting for these positions involves soliciting resumes and conducting interviews, but the resumes are usually longer and more involved, and the interview process usually involves more meetings with more individuals. Senior executive employment checks involve in-depth investigations of candidates' previous successes, and negotiations over salaries, benefits and start dates may be extensive.
Finding qualified candidates for senior positions is rarely as simple as posting a position on a website or job board, though these basic actions are usually part of the process. There are entire staffing firms that specialize in senior executive recruitment, and many corporations opt to use such an agency to identify viable prospects. It is also usual for an organization or company to evaluate individuals who currently hold similar positions with competitors or comparable companies and to actively contact those individuals to determine their potential interest in a position.
In most cases, senior executive recruitment involves reviewing executive resumes, biographies and curricula vitae. These documents are generally more extensive than the resume for a less senior position and may require additional research to verify the accuracy of an individual's accomplishment claims. While all such inquiries are delicate due to privacy laws, background and reference checking for senior executives must be handled even more carefully. This is especially true when recruiting from within the same industry, as gossip can spread quickly.
The interview process is generally extensive in senior executive recruitment. Such an executive will rarely interview only with an immediate supervisor. Meetings frequently include peer executives and, depending on the position and nature of the company, might include the board of directors. Questions will focus not only on specific past accomplishments, but also on management style, strategy, career interests and understanding of the industry. Interviewers will also want to find out if there is a good match between the candidate's personal and professional style and the company culture.
Negotiating an offer during the senior executive recruitment process can be complex. Salary, bonuses, profit sharing and benefits are frequently negotiable for these positions. It is also not unusual for senior executives to offer exceptionally long notices at current jobs. One to six months is common. Neither, however, is it unusual for an executive to be available almost immediately, as many companies will ask departing executives to leave immediately upon giving notice.