Rules of the Game Changing for Private Venture Executive Search – Part 4 of 5

By: Peggy Thompson

Quickly Assess Candidates at Each Stage of the Search

Once you’ve opened the candidate funnel, you must have the bandwidth and experience to go beyond the traditional interviews and back-door reference checks to quickly assess and identify, at every stage of the search, those candidates with the most promise.  Some companies, for example, think they can simply post a notice on LinkedIn to find a suitable pool of candidates.  But, they quickly become overwhelmed without the resources or insight and experience to sort through responses once they start rolling in.

Startups and early stage venture backed technology companies simply don’t have the HR department of larger organizations to help them identify and recruit executive talent.  Relying on the instincts and expert judgment of a smart recruiter to help manage candidate assessment is an obvious solution.  But, after opening up the funnel, it’s also important for recruiters to leverage new techniques and technologies that facilitate faster and more accurate assessment of candidates at every stage of the search process.

For example, the quality of inbound candidate leads generated via LinkedIn is greatly enhanced when combined with a hosted recruiting management system that prompts each candidate to respond to a handful of questions specific to the executive candidate profile.    Our experience validates that even the most senior, successful executives respond favorably to this approach, assuming the job description in LinkedIn is well written and includes messaging appealing to them.  Now a recruiter, with instincts gained from extensive experience managing executive searches for private venture technology companies, can quickly assess a much larger pool of inbound candidates.

Once candidates progress beyond the initial client interviews, objective and sophisticated assessment tools that measure their thinking and behavioral styles can be incorporated into the recruiting process.  Assessment tools that were once available only to larger companies with big HR departments and budgets are now in the cloud and reasonably priced, making them far more accessible to private venture technology companies.  But, assessment tools use benchmarks based on big company executives.  Comparing private venture technology executive candidates to big company executives adds marginal value, at best.

Benchmarking executive candidates against real world private venture technology executives, however, adds incredible insight previously unavailable to investors and CEOs.  Summative has had some of venture’s most successful executives complete Profiles International’s ProfileXT to create benchmarks for each functional role. Now investors and CEOs can see how a candidate’s thinking and behavioral styles, particularly candidates who are  not “easy decision” candidates, compare to some of venture’s most successful operating executives – CEOs, VPs Sales, VPs Marketing, and CFOs – who have led hugely successful, fast-growing technology companies.  ProfileXT also provides interviewing suggestions to maximize the impact of the interviews that follow.

Next in the series: “Making Sure You Conduct a Competitive Search”

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