Answer: Busy CCOs are happy to offload an assignment that takes them away from their primary responsibility. I would describe the CCO’s level of involvement as minimal and vulnerable to disappointment. I think the potential for delays, loss of quality candidates due to the length of time for a search, gaps in the evaluation process and casual project management all contribute to potentially poor outcomes and postponed decision making.
To read the many articles published about how job seekers can improve their chances of being hired for a position implies a successful outcome is possible because the candidate can improve the process. The way s/he is handling his/her responses to requests from the hiring organization can delay the outcome. The onus is on the candidate.
Articles that study executive level searches, report the search process is difficult and frustrating for job seekers, but the advice is, “Put up with it.” The hiring organization is not criticized for creating the initial problem—it simply is a given and accepted that these searches take a long time. Is that really the accurate?
In my opinion, there is a case to be made for improving the process and increasing the opportunity to:
- increase productivity and restart initiatives more quickly that have been “on hold” during the search;
- have access to outstanding professionals who can participate in a search for only a limited time-period;
- reduce the risk of competitive offers due to the efficiency of the process and increase the ability to respond to counter offers in a timely fashion;
- confirm a strong cultural fit prior to an offer being made due to the expertise of the hiring team (assuming the recruiting effort is top-notch);
- bring on motivated and appreciative new hires that, due to the efficiency of the process, are energized and excited to contribute to an organization that moves decisively and effectively.
I believe it is in the best interests of the CCO to take on the responsibility for revamping and leading a process. That commitment will require additional time and attention but not “hands-on” work. The internal project management would be delegated to a trusted communications executive reporting directly to the CCO.
Why am I tackling this topic when no one else has? Here is my perspective. If the CCO assumes a leadership role, I believe s/he can succeed in hiring top notch comms executives more efficiently than ever before.
I look forward to comments and feedback from hiring managers about these recommendations and observations.
My firm, JC&A, offers consulting services to help an organization establish these efficiencies. If the decision is to retain a search firm to assist with the search itself, that would be a separate undertaking.