What You Need to Know Before You DIY Your Next Executive Hire

Posted on 07-09-2019
working with an executive search firm

Imagine you want to put your family home on the market. Since your home is by far your biggest asset, naturally you’re trying to maximize profits on the sale. You also don’t relish the idea of giving up control of such an important process, so you decide to DIY the sale and place your home for sale “for sale by owner” (FSBO).

Selling this way allows you to “own the timeline” and determine when and where to advertise. At the same time, you avoid paying a real estate agent’s commission, which is typically six percent of the sale price.

As an added benefit, you’re in control of showings and open houses. By deciding when to schedule showings and open houses, you don’t have to keep your home “show” ready 24/7.

You may also believe that you’re uniquely qualified to “sell” prospective buyers on your home and point out unique features that might appeal to buyers, from the antique tiles in the kitchen to the sunken lights in the landscaping. After all, no real estate agent knows as much about your home as you do.

Despite these reasons for the FSBO approach, research shows that real estate agents can actually add significant value to the home selling process. Take this with a grain of salt given the source, but according to Realtor.com, in 2016, the average sales price of an FSBO home was $185,000, while sellers who worked with an agent enjoyed an average sales price of $245,000 — that’s $60,000 higher!

The higher sales price of homes sold through an agent reflects, in part, the value a real estate agent can add to the home selling process. An agent can help market a home more widely, using not only multiple listing services, but also his or her own network of agents and buyers — which is an invaluable resource.

In addition, it’s all too easy for FSBO sellers to price their home incorrectly. A home that’s priced too low will be snapped up quickly — to the disadvantage of the sellers — and one that’s priced too high can remain on the market for too long. A good real estate agent knows how to correctly price a home within a realistic range that attracts the right kind of buyers.

At the same time, an agent can advise sellers on how much to invest in enhancing a home’s curb appeal, as well as in staging it to make it more attractive to buyers. This is a hugely important step, since what sellers might like about their home might not be what potential buyers would consider its most appealing quality.

And last but not least, a real estate agent can help with all of the negotiations and paperwork involved in a home sale, from handling bids to selecting a reputable escrow company.

Trying to fill your executive position without the help of an executive recruiter is a lot like listing your house “for sale by owner”— it may feel like there are major advantages to the DIY approach, but usually the costs far outweigh the benefits.

Just like some homeowners believe an FSBO approach will give them a better outcome, some organizations believe a DIY executive search is the best approach to find the next member of their executive leadership team.

Common reasons we hear for trying to DIY your executive hire include:

  • Wanting full control over the process
  • Belief that a recruiting firm won’t understand your unique culture
  • Attempting to save money
  • Perception that you have all of the right resources to find candidates on your own (with LinkedIn at everyone’s fingertips, it can seem deceptively easy to source candidates on your own.)
  • Feeling like a recruiting firm can’t “sell” your organization the way you can
  • Difficulty getting the organization aligned on the need to use a search firm

Though some of these reasons can be valid, a good executive firm can work around these challenges while adding significant value to the process.

Unfortunately, many organizations that opt for a DIY executive hire don’t get the results they’re expecting

In a candidate driven market, most hiring managers indicate attracting top talent is their number one challenge.

After posting their executive job online, organizations quickly find themselves inundated with resumes, mostly from unqualified candidates. Often the best candidates are already employed and not actively looking for a new role, so they’re typically missed by traditional in-house recruiting methods.

While an internal recruiter has important knowledge about the organization’s culture, data shows that they often struggle filling more technical and executive positions. Hiring managers overwhelmingly report that internal recruiters don’t have adequate understanding of the jobs for which they recruit.

It’s important to note that making a hiring mistake can be expensive (by some estimates as much as 30% of the executive’s first year annual salary).

While on the surface it may seem that you’ll save money and have more control over the search process, it’s important to fully consider whether you’ll get the expected benefits from taking a DIY approach to hiring your next executive.

As an award-winning executive search firm, here’s how Kirby Partners adds significant value to your executive hiring process

Just like working with a real estate agent can yield better results for home sellers, using a nationally recognized, top executive search firm like Kirby Partners can add tremendous value to your executive search.

  • We provide access to passive candidates: Frequently top candidates are already employed so they’re unlikely to be looking on job boards for a new position. Our team regularly communicates with leaders at healthcare and cybersecurity industry events so we know which executives aren’t actively seeking a new role, but would consider it if the right position came along. At Kirby Partners, a key part of our strategy is identifying and reaching out to “passive” candidates who would be a good fit for your organization rather than solely posting your opportunity and seeing who applies.
  • We bring you the best of the best: Top executives need to possess the technical and soft skills for their role — plus, they need to be a good cultural match for your organization. Visiting your organization and meeting with stakeholders for your position is a critical part of our process and we excel at asking the “right” questions to help us understand your business, dive into the requirements of your role and familiarize ourselves with your company culture. That way, we can select candidates who possess all of the required qualities to thrive in the position.
  • Kirby Partners knows which candidates look good on paper, but are unlikely to succeed in your organization. Some candidates might look good on their résumé but prove to be challenging to work with for any number of reasons. Perhaps they have a hard time fitting into a new company’s culture, or maybe they fail to keep up to date on new developments. Experienced executive recruiters such as the Kirby Partners team are aware of these factors and can save organizations a lot of time and resources by not including this type of candidate in their selection process. We conduct thorough reference checks, and dive into the potential of each candidate to see whether their career objectives are a match for the position.
  • Guidance on crafting a competitive offer. Our executive recruiters know the competitive landscape — plus, they know what’s important to our candidates. That means that once your organization has selected a candidate and wants to make an offer, our recruiters can offer advice regarding a competitive salary and benefits package, as well as other perks. Across the country cities and states are enacting salary history bans, forbidding hiring authorities from asking job candidates about their compensation and benefit histories—this new legislation will be “game changing” for hiring organizations. We’re here to help you navigate these changes and attract the best candidates to your organization.
  • We help you manage your employer brand and “stage” your organization so you can attract the best candidates. Just like a homeowner stages a home, it’s in your company’s best interest to present itself in the best light possible. We excel at helping you craft an exceptional candidate experience and onboarding process to set your new hire up for success.

Finding top candidates is a time-consuming process that often involves multiple people and several steps. Working with a top executive search firm like Kirby Partners offers many benefits to organizations — and those benefits far outweigh any perceived advantages of a DIY search. By working with a team of experienced professionals whose job it is to select and place top talent in the right work environments, you can find the executives you need to help drive your organization to the next level.

We’d welcome the opportunity to partner with you to add value on your next executive search. Contact us today for more information about our services.

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