4 Tips For Hiring Senior-Level Employees

Recruiting senior-level employees requires you to step up your game and work at a more advanced level than any other type of hiring. The pool of candidates for these executive and management positions is much smaller and demands a more hands-on approach. These high-level hires will play a critical role in your company–that means you need to ensure you’re hiring the right person for the job.


According to the Corporate Leadership Council, nearly 40 percent of CEOs fail in their roles within the first 18 months and, Harvard Business Review reported that new hires in managerial roles fail between 40 and 60 percent in the same amount of time. To ensure your company doesn’t hit the same roadblocks, check out our tips for hiring at the senior-level below.


One of the biggest blockers to hiring senior-level employees is not a lack of qualified applicants, but rather a misalignment between what a recruiter is looking for and what candidates include on their resumes. Before writing the job description, think about what your company is trying to solve by filling this position. Fully understand the needs and qualifications for the role prior to releasing the description, and then write it accordingly.

Executive Mark Hurd noted senior employees, namely the c-suite, need “to be able to not only set the right strategy, but also drive operational excellence that brings the strategy alive.” These positions have more demanding functions that need to be considered when choosing the proper candidate, and it’s important to be sure the person you choose can fulfil every one of them.


Chances are, the person best-suited for the job is already employed and isn’t actively searching for a new job. To get them, you’ll need to pursue them. According to Experteer, 97 percent of advanced candidates want to be “found” by any prospective new company. For these potential employees, it is very much a buyer’s market.

However, because you will be seeking to have these hires leave a current position to come work for your company, it’s imperative you remain discreet throughout the process. Keep any communications on your prospects’ private email addresses or social networks, rather than professional. In addition, networking can be a major asset in this situation. Sourcing applicants via professional connections or networks helps you develop a deeper knowledge of them before you reach out.

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Because senior-level employees are likely being sought out, they need to be sold on any potential new position. That means you have to state your case and provide potential recruits with a reason to join your company instead of staying where they are. Marco Zappacosta, founder at Thumbtack explained, “It’s critical to know what drives people. Some execs are motivated by money. Others by impact. Or the desire to lead high-performance teams.”




According to Chris Christoff, “Recruiting senior-level talent isn’t all about how much money you offer them…they’re probably already making good money, so you need to offer something more.” Consider job perks like unlimited PTO, lengthy parental leave, healthcare benefits, and flexible work arrangements.


Like Zappacosta noted, each person will have specific motivations to which you have to appeal. Know your candidates’ needs and capitalize on them. Communications should be tailored for each prospective employee. Current associate or junior-level employees may jump at the chance to take on a more prestigious title, whereas someone making a lateral move may need exciting challenges and personal growth opportunities.

On an even broader spectrum, each candidate should feel as if they were specifically chosen. Forgo the templated messages or generalized greetings. Use names and include details alluding to why you chose them over others. You are being choosy about who you reach out to–let them know that. In doing so, you’ll increase the likelihood of an immediate response.

Finding and hiring the right person to fill a senior-level position is no easy task. These roles are critical to an organization’s success and the wrong hire could have detrimental effects. Executive recruiting needs to be handled carefully and more skillfully than any other hire. By following our best practices, you’ll be well on your way to getting that perfect fit.