It looks like we are finally emerging from the cruel grip of the "Great Recession," and that is certainly fantastic news. Better economic conditions are prompting companies to take a fresh look at their leadership team and to end their practice of managing headcount to reduce short-term expenses. Do you find yourself in need of an injection of top-notch natural foods industry executive talent? Are you looking to replace "B" or "C" level executives that you've lived with out of necessity with some tough-to-recruit "A" talent?
Attracting the best people to your organization requires a strategic, reasoned and long-term approach. Consider these six strategies for attracting top executives:
1. Understand your real needs. Gee, that's a no-brainer, you might be saying to yourself right now. In fact, too many organizations pay lip service to this key step. That can have fatal consequences, because if you don't know what you really need, you could end up with a disastrous hire, costing the company time, money and reputation. Call an executive staff meeting and honestly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your top team; this helps you find an individual who brings new and necessary skills to the table. Develop a position profile that describes exactly what you're looking for in your next executive hire.
2. Know where to look. The top players in your industry won't be looking at newspaper ads or online job sites for their next position; most are already employed and must be enticed to join your organization. If you don't know how to find top candidates, maybe you should partner with someone who has experience finding hidden talent.
3. Present a compelling story. Top talent is looking for an opportunity to become part of something big and significant. They want the chance to build an employer brand that stands the test of time. They want to be the next Zuckerberg or Jobs. What's your company pitch? Why should someone who's in high demand join your organization?
4. Provide a challenge. Top executives don't move to a new position just to kick back and enjoy the view from their corner office. They seek escalating challenges, i.e. the chance to grow and gain new skills. That's why a compelling job description is very important. Think carefully about what responsibilities and requirements will excite and attract top natural foods industry executive talent.
5. Partner with an expert. Because we specialize in the natural food and consumer health products industry, we have an edge on the "generalist" executive search firms in knowing where to find hidden talent. We use a proprietary Dimensional Search process to help you define the core competencies you seek from your new hire. We talk at length with you about the position, and delve deeply into your company's history, culture, and business strategy. Then we turn to our extensive contact base and match up your requirements with qualified talent. Because you can't afford to waste time, only thoroughly vetted candidates will be put forward. When you need to find and court top-tier, executive talent with industry experience, turn to a partner who knows your niche market and understands how to attract the best candidates for your company's culture.
What is your biggest challenge in attracting natural foods industry talent?