The first question that pops into most minds on glancing at the title is, what is a C level? While C level might seem like a pun on sea level, it’s something much more serious and much less humorous: C level basically refers to the job titles at the apex of companies and corporations, with the ‘C’ being taken from the word ‘Chief’ in top managers of firms and enterprises (for example, CEO – Chief Executing Officer).
The importance of these high-level chiefs is well-known. They might constitute just 10 percent of the entire workforce, but they are responsible for 90 percent of the profits. However, this gigantic level of importance and seniority can deviate from being a major booster to a problem to be overcome, because this very significance makes it considerably difficult for businesses to find and replace these ‘chiefs. (check here best c suite recruitment)
Apart from the importance aspect, there are other challenges in recruiting individuals for C level positions. Some of these are:
1. Finding the right people
As is obvious, C level is a pretty important job to hold. It’s not a parameter where companies can afford to experiment and make mistakes, because mistakes can cause the company huge and irreparable losses. A C level employee has to be skilled, competent, with considerable experience to back and also gel well with your working environment. Finding such individuals is not an easy job.
2. Competing with Competition
The number of big firms is rising every day, with new ventures cropping in new fields in new countries. All these enterprises require C level employees to run smoothly. C level employees are aware of this and so are your competitors. In such a scenario, carving the best possible package, with an adequate salary, attractive work environment, other incentives, and providing possibilities of future growth are a must to ensure that the best C level employees join your company.
3. The Experience and Skills Gap
Veterans have experience, newcomers have in-demand skills. The people who have proven their efficacy in management and justified themselves deserving the top job are suffering from a major weakness: many are not up-to-date with the latest, and ever improving, technologies, which creates a potential problem. The modern world does not function without technology, and neither do companies.
On the other side of the coin, those who do possess the required technological skills might not be the most experienced ones. They might have the brightest resume, but can they be trusted to not make a mistake? If the security of experience is lacking, is the risk affordable or too high?
Experience or skill? Forgo technology or security? These are major questions, and not easily answered.
By now, it’s obvious that finding viable replacements for C level jobs, and carrying these out successfully and smoothly, is not an easy task. Companies have been facing this difficulty as the realisation of top-level employees not having to ‘serve the time’ grows. In this case, how to go forward with these replacements? How to replace C level employees without disrupting company performance, risking forgoing technological advantages or cutting back on security? How to attract appropriate C level employees in the increasingly competitive market?
One viable alternative that has been getting increasing attention are Executive Search Firms. Executive Search Firms are involved in recruiting individuals for senior level executive positions at companies, in contrast to the junior level positions, which are generally taken care of by staffing and recruitment agencies. However, C level Executive Search Firms operate on an even higher level and go one step further.
As the name suggests, C level Executive Search Firms help companies by providing a complete recruitment process specially for C level positions, thereby serving as a solution to the crucial problem of finding people for these very important posts.
But how do they do this? What is the process followed? Are they really capable of solving this tough problem? Let’s understand and analyse:
1. Consulting the Enterprise/ Company
The C level executive firms maintain contact with the client company. This is important to understand how the company works, what they require in their C level executives, what the working environment is like, how much they are willing to pay, what additional incentives do they provide, what amount of experience do they need, what is their prime focus, what kind of workers they are on the lookout for, and so on. Such consultations are absolutely crucial when looking for a C level executive, because finding the perfect fit is essential. Without this data from the side of the company, the C level executive search firm will not be able to prepare a candidate list or be aware of what to look for and shortlist on when they do have the list.
2. Developing a List of Candidates
The next step in the process is to create a candidate list. There are numerous ways to do this. One is by matching talents, which includes preparing a list of candidates whose qualifications and experience tally with those required by the company. Another is to send out advertisements on social media, print, and other forms of media to invite applicants.
Both these techniques can be used together. Further to this, the lists can be compared and merged and trimmed again on the basis of the earlier collected data from the company to ensure the best possible match and least possible hassle.
3. Conducting Client Interviews
Another Round of Shortlisting, and Sending Recommendations to Companies: After the C level Executive Firms have compiled and trimmed their list of potential candidates, they have to be interviewed. Interviews reveal information that paper qualifications cannot, from soft skills, personality and overall nature. These are important parameters to consider when deciding whether a potential candidate will blend with the working environment of the company or not, since they aren’t recruiting a lower-level employee but someone for one of the top posts.
Interviews also allow C level Executive Firms to discuss matter in-depth and at-length. They can gauge the expectations of the prospective employees and compare them with those of the company. Interviews are also a great opportunity to verify the accuracy of the information provided in earlier stages.
Finally, after the interview stage, some more candidates will be dropped. The remaining will most likely be recommended to the company.
4. Company Interviews with Clients
The role of C level Executive Firms doesn’t get over after submitting the list of shortlisted candidates. The serve as the link between the candidates they have shortlisted and the company, thus functioning as a crucial communication system.
They arrange for interviews with the company at a time suitable to both the candidate and the company.
5. Feedback, contract and following negotiations
Continuing and expanding on its function as the communication link, the C level executive firm conveys feedback from the company to the potential candidates, including information about the success or failure of the interview. They further transfer the contract. They also serve as negotiators that help in drawing up the contract between the company and the candidate so that everyone is satisfied.
In conclusion, C level executive firms can serve as a viable, usable and very helpful way of solving the problem of finding and supplying appropriate C level employees for companies that require them. They present an interesting and attractive opportunity to be further honed and developed in the future, as they have a well-developed process of recruiting candidates that runs smoothly without any obstacles. It is important to develop these to tackle the problem of replacing C level executives in top companies to ensure a smooth flow of businesses that does not lead to economic disturbances, cause upheavals, or lead to losses, for the concerned company and its vast array of employees.
Sunny Chawla is a Managing Director at Alliance Recruitment Agency. He specializes in helping client for international recruiting, staffing, HR services and Careers advice service for overseas and international businesses.