DSML Policies and Practices, Executive Search

The Pace of the Executive Recruitment Process: Proactive vs Reactive Recruitment

Pacing in the executive search recruitment process is of critical importance. Too fast, and you may not vet candidates appropriately. Too slow, and you may lose critical resources and aggravate the gaps left by a vacant position — especially when it comes to executive positions.

Companies need to find the ‘sweet spot’ for filling positions quickly. However, this is getting harder and harder to do — time-to-hire within the United States remains middling at best. Research shows it can take up to 71 days to hire a US executive, and potentially longer if the role has ‘director’ or ‘president’ in the title. Since delays have such a negative impact on winning the best candidate for a role, European subsidiaries run the risk of losing their best talent for the role.

DSML Understands the Importance of Pace in Executive Search Recruitment

Myriam Le Cannellier, co-founder and director of DSML, an executive search firm in Boston and Chicago, understands this obstacle well. “We live in a fast-paced world thanks to technology, but many executive searches still take time,” she says. “The key is fluid communication and quick response to move candidates in a smooth way.”

With tighter labor markets and increasing turnover costs, 2023 has been dubbed the year of proactive recruitment. It’s now more critical than ever to remain abreast of job vacancies — especially when recruiting for European subsidiaries hiring executives in the USA in cities like Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, etc.

Challenges in Proactive Executive Recruitment

Proactive executive recruitment has become a defining feature of business success. However, stiff candidate competition coupled with delays in the hiring process may impact the process of sourcing talent on-pace.

Today, the speed of executive recruitment is deeply affected by both internal and external factors. There are three major challenges to overcome in 2023:

  • Potential slowdown: The potential of recession can lead to increased caution for candidates considering a job change. This may impact your ability to source candidates and require more compelling propositions.
  • Extreme stress: Executives and managers experience more stress than employees in other entry-level positions, leading to unexpected resignations or an avoidance of demanding roles.
  • Salary expectations: The US enacted location-specific pay disclosure laws in 2022, which demand employers disclose their pay rates prior to employment. Since many US executives expect larger salaries than European employees, a pay rate that appears too low may result in longer time-to-fill ratios.

Competition is high for US job candidates, and higher still for those with executive-level skills. For this reason, it’s critical to partner with a professional recruitment firm to set the pace for proactive executive recruitment — and reach out to candidates who may not be actively looking for a new position.

How DSML Assists with Proactive vs Reactive Recruitment

DSML Executive Search remains an industry leader in the executive recruitment space. We are proud to serve our European clients through a proactive recruitment lens augmented by decades of combined experience.

Below are a few of our most cogent suggestions for pivoting to proactive recruitment:

  1. Do not start the executive search process until you are ready to handle it. Instead, check your bandwidth and be honest about your circumstances. If a business is not able to prioritize hiring decisions, candidates may experience unwanted delays and look elsewhere for work. Therefore, the communication pipeline in your executive search process should be as delay-free as possible — from the initial conversation to the spacing of the interviews.
  2. Technology is a boon to the modern recruitment process, and an essential part of a smooth, simple, and streamlined executive search. DSML has invested in tech-based communications designed to improve time-to-hire and eliminate unnecessary delays. The DSML Portal allows us to set the pace appropriately, ensuring a fluid and fast-paced hiring process overall. Additionally, our recruiter team provides a demonstration of the portal when they meet with your decision-makers every one or two weeks. Our goal is to push notes to your primary decision-makers and ensure no communications fall through the cracks. We also lean into automated meeting scheduling to streamline the productivity of your team and provide a smooth experience for candidates.
  3. The way work is delivered continues to change, as well as the expectations of executive candidates in the US. Remote and hybrid work are now critical components of proactive recruitment and an important mainstay in executive search and retention. There are both pros and cons to remote or hybrid employment, although their impact on the hiring process is solidly demonstrable. In fact, the added benefit of job flexibility may lead to increased candidate interest, more women in the workplace, and a faster time-to-hire.

It’s not possible to avoid all possible delays in the modern recruitment process. However, your organization can still find ways to remain flexible within shifting recruitment environments, leading to proactive rather than reactive processes to better serve your industry.

If you’re interested in recruiting for European companies in the USA, please reach out to the seasoned professionals at DSML. You’re welcome to get connected with us at (312)-268-6166, or complete the online contact form to discuss your needs directly.

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