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18 Questions to Prepare your Team for an Executive Search

The market for top leadership talent keeps getting tighter, and organizations are tasked with hiring faster, paying more, and doing so with fewer interviews. Whether you’re preparing to hire an executive via retained search or through another recruitment process, making the right hire starts with asking the right questions. By better understanding the needs of your business and the type of individual you’re looking for, you can ensure that the recruitment process is as smooth and successful as possible.

The following questions will help your team ascertain:

  • The business impact of the role
  • Potential for Success
  • Challenges & Priorities
  • Decision-Making, Oversight & Autonomy
  • Preparedness/Resource Allocation
  • Measurable Goals

Getting stakeholders on the same page regarding strategy for the e role will set the stage for a successful and efficient search.

Executive Search Preparation Questions

  1. Why is this position open? How do you know that is the problem?
  2. How often has this position been open in the past 3 to 5 years?
  3. What type of person has been most successful in this role?
  4. Considering the last person who held this position, what was their greatest strength?
  5. Where is the greatest room for improvement?
  6. What are some of the projects/goals that need to be accomplished?
  7. What is most pressing? What needs to be done within the next 3 to 9 months?  (Projects/Goals)
  8. What are some of the longer-range projects and goals?
  9. What role/freedom will the individual have/play in setting group/personal direction, deadlines, priorities, projects, goals, etc.?
  10. What level of support does this position receive in terms of staffing, project funding, equipment, training and development, etc.?
  11. Where does this role get its direction?
  12. Who determines/approves the budget for this role and function? How is it funded?
  13. What are the expectations placed on this role as stated by senior management?
  14. What is the organizational structure surrounding this role?
  15. Where can a person go who is successful in this role?
    • Are there any expectations regarding time frame?
    • What are some of the more typical career paths?
  16. What are some of the more difficult challenges currently facing the role?
  17. What are some of the company’s market/growth opportunities?
    • Are the resources available to exploit these opportunities?
  18. What is the focus for company growth, technical innovation, acquisition, etc.?

Defining success is the best way to begin a leadership search.

If you’re in the market for a new executive hire, or if you’re preparing to go through a recruitment process, it’s important to have a clear and measurable idea of what you’re looking for. The questions we’ve outlined will help get your team thinking about the business impact of the role and the specific challenges that need to be addressed. If your current talent acquisition function isn’t achieving results that achieve your goals, our team is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how executive search with Cochran, Cochran & Yale can help you quickly identify and engage the right leadership candidates for your organization.

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