Recruiting leaders and managers

When organizations start to think about recruiting leadership talent, they often begin by looking internally within their organization for someone they can promote or transfer who they think might be able to do the job. The logic of their thinking is to look first at the people they know and then try to determine whether they can perform the task or grow into it.

As a business coach with over forty years of business, financial, and executive search experience with small and growing companies, my experience suggests that is the wrong way to look at recruiting leaders and managers. It is an effective way to look for hidden talent at lower levels for staff and supervisory positions but at senior levels, organizations need to change the focus to what does the business need (it doesn’t matter whether it is a for-profit or a not-for-profit organization).

Smaller organizations sometimes think they do not have the expertise to create and implement a recruitment effort for leaders and managers themselves and decide to engage executive recruiters to handle the recruitment for them. Having started and managed an executive search business myself, I can attest that sometimes it can work out. Many times, however, it can lead to choices that are not in the best interests of an organization.

Companies should and can create and implement a comprehensive recruitment program for executives and managers where they retain overall control of the entire recruitment effort themselves, even when they engage executive recruiters. Click here for a ten step approach to recruiting leaders and managers that will ensure you get the leaders and managers you need.

What are the real costs of employing the wrong person?

Estimates of the costs of employing the wrong person typically consider only the direct costs, such as compensation, recruiting costs, etc., because they are easily measurable. The most significant costs to your organization are the indirect costs and they are the ones that should cause you the most concern to your organization. Click here to learn more.

Do your teams sometimes struggle to make the right decision?

Teams containing members who all think alike often keep repeating the same mistakes. Teams containing members who do not all think alike often have difficulty working together because they do not understand why others do not think like they do. Teams that consistently make good decisions include members who have different thinking styles and have learned how to get the most from each other when others do not think like they do.

If your organization seems stuck in a conventional or entrenched way of thinking, recruiting a leader or manager is the ideal time to bring on someone that can add a different perspective. Learn more.

Prepare a Position Description

You might think, “Oh, we already have a job description”. There is a big difference between a job description and a position description. Executive search recruiters typically prepare this and some may refer to it as a “Position Specification.” The Position Description is a larger view of the position in the context of the organization and it is designed to serve many different purposes, only one of which is to describe principal job tasks. Learn more >

Create a Convergent Interview

When I co-founded and managed an international executive search firm, we set out to create a different approach to candidate interviews that we felt would result in better recommendations for our clients. We started the process with teams of retired corporate executives to help us create a structured process that we revised and refined over seven years. The knowledge and experience these former executives brought from a lifetime of working with teams to achieve corporate objectives enabled us to create a comprehensive interviewing process that yielded outstanding results that exceeded our clients’ expectations. We later called this process the Convergent Interview because everything we did was designed to get us to a consensus decision with confidence and without bias.  Learn more >

Using executive recruiters

If you plan to use recruiters to find and present candidates, you first need to decide what type of recruiter you should consider and then you need to understand how you can control the entire process so you get the most from their expertise. Learn more >

Estimating coaching ROI: A CPA’s Perspective

You may have read or heard about research studies that show impressive results by estimating coaching ROI (ROI being the return on investment or the financial benefits of coaching compared to its cost). Research covering a number of selected companies does suggest that employee coaching can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.

Unfortunately, the statistics tend to be biased because they do not include companies that had engaged executive coaches and were either unable to make reasonable estimates of ROI or they had subsequently gone out of business.

Before you enter into a coaching relationship, you should be clear about what you want the coach to accomplish and know how you will be able to assess the results. Here are some examples of executive coaching objectives where you may be very pleased with the coaching results but you may encounter difficulty in estimating coaching ROI:

  • Achieving a challenging objective or goal that would be in the company’s best interests
  • Overcoming some issue that is holding that person’s career progression back
  • Improving leadership or management effectiveness when interacting with peers or subordinates
  • Helping a team or teams to work together more effectively

We offer some helpful suggestions on how you can increase the effectiveness of working with an executive coach so you will be able to justify the cost. Learn more >


Outplacement is a process of helping departing employees to expedite job and career changes. There are professional service firms that specialize in providing outplacement services to companies that have large numbers of people leaving. Executive career coaches often work for these companies or they work as individual practitioners. Outplacement services range from one-on-one career coaching to group sessions structured by employee level. Outplacement services are paid by employers and they can be a lifesaver for their departing employees.

Employers that have limited financial resources may find that the cost of providing outplacement to employees will not be an option. When this is the case, companies can purchase a comprehensive self-help career change book and give one to each departing employee. 12 Steps to a New Career is an example of a comprehensive guide that covers everything an employee needs to know and do to successfully make a career change. Learn more >

Where to get additional support

If you would like to explore how you can take better control over your recruiting and interviewing processes, click here.