How Long Should a Recruiting Process Be?

How Long Should a Recruiting Process Be?

Data provided by a16z states that within their portfolio of companies, the average executive search takes 130 days. The general belief in the recruiting industry is that an average search process takes 90 days.

At Shine Talent, we don’t think about averages; we focus on getting it right. We’ve closed executive searches in under 30 days and have had a few take up to six months. Both scenarios may sound extreme, but you can liken them to finding your lifelong partner in high school or discovering true love at 50. Everyone’s journey, as well as every company's journey, is unique. What I know to be true is that when recruiting your c-suite, the executive leadership team responsible for building or transforming your business, having extreme confidence in your hire is critical. This confidence often requires several conversations on both sides, which does take time.

Consider the following points when hiring executive leadership:

  • A pressured hiring process is destined to fail: Never hire under pressure. If a candidate claims they have another offer, consider whether you're willing to lose them. Avoid extending an offer unless you're certain. Accelerating the process is fine, but delve deeply into the candidate's background, getting to know them personally and understanding how their experience aligns with your business needs. If a candidate has another offer, clear your calendar to spend more time with them, but don't offer without full confidence.
  • Candidates, be truthful about offers: Candidates sometimes create pressure by claiming they are "close" to an offer from another company. This strategy usually backfires, causing undue pressure. If the offer doesn't materialize, credibility questions arise. If it does, find ways to give yourself time to explore other options transparently. Honesty is crucial in managing your job search and interviews.
  • Swift terminations benefit your business: CEOs seldom say, "I should have retained them," but often admit, "I should have let them go sooner." If you're questioning a hire, communicate concerns and work on course correction. Don't shy away from difficult conversations; they can often resolve issues. Have regular and frequent discussions about performance and set a timeline and metrics for success.
  • Establish a process and train your team to interview: In this business, I've learned that many people don't know how to interview. When beginning a search, make sure everyone involved in the interview process understands the role and what they should assess for. Thorough training on conducting interviews is essential. If internal training is lacking, hire us at Shine Talent to run the search and properly train your team. Knowing how to conduct a detailed interview will increase your chances of recruiting the executive you want and decrease your chances of having a failed hire.

A recruiting process should never be bound to time or averages.  Instead, your energy and effort should be focused on finding the right candidate who will drive your business forward.  High-pressured hiring processes will never result in a top hire and often can leave you questioning if you made the right choice.  A failed executive hire can set a company back for months so take the time to recruit, interview and hire right.