Data-Driven Approaches to Executive Onboarding and Succession Planning

Shifting dynamics in the job market have put candidates in the driver’s seat. In the highly competitive search for executives, recruiters must bring to bear every resource in their arsenals to attract top talent.

Succession planning

Succession planning refers to the process of recruiting and developing employees with the intention of filling future key roles within the business. It increases the internal talent pool, identifying and nurturing certain employees to ensure they have the experience and competency to one day replace executive leaders who leave or retire.

Preparing an employee for future advancement involves strategies specific to their eventual move: If you’re considering eventually promoting them to a role in a different department, for example, they can job shadow or you can assign them a trusted mentor to guide them through current processes and procedures.

Succession planning clearly creates value for the employee, but it also benefits the company. In addition to identifying and developing talent, it allows an organization to identify gaps in their training strategy and adjust accordingly. From a financial perspective, succession planning minimizes the costs of recruiting new external talent — a significant benefit in light of the costs associated with executive-level hires. Lastly, succession planning ensures fewer open positions in key leadership roles in a tight talent market, improving organizational buoyancy and agility.

Executive onboarding: an investment in the future

Onboarding has been an important topic over the past few years, as new talent has become scarcer and candidate job expectations have shifted. Executive onboarding refers to the process of bringing on new executive talent for senior positions. Executives are responsible for driving work culture, company values, and vision for the entire organization, so creating an onboarding experience that leaves them well equipped is crucial. Like succession planning, a robust executive onboarding strategy benefits the company in many ways. Namely, it will:

  • Improve the employee experience. The new executive, even if promoted from within, benefits greatly from orientation and onboarding. A positive onboarding experience drives retention and job satisfaction rates while enabling a new hire to acclimate quickly.
  • Impact the company’s future. Executive new hires usually have far more job experience than other new staff. A solid onboarding experience gives them a clear picture of a company’s vision and educates them on how they might influence the company trajectory.
  • Support employee buy-in on future decisions. Coworkers can be quick to judge new hires, even at the executive level. The onboarding process can create opportunities for a new executive to establish solid peer relationships. A smooth transition helps create a dynamic of trust in which other employees will be more likely to accept new executives and more able to acclimate to new leadership in the future.
  • Mitigate costs. Pursuing and hiring new executives is expensive. Every day without a confident, capable new executive is another day without ROI. An effective onboarding process pays for itself.

Data for the win

Today’s approach to executive hiring is multifaceted. Smart companies look beyond the usual recruiting tactics to leverage market and company data to find the perfect executive fit — and it pays off. Consider these trends:

  • Remote recruitment. The search for executive talent requires more advanced tools to create a recruiting experience today’s top talent expects. Recruiting companies are investing in advanced digital technology and innovative data-driven search processes to better optimize their reach.
  • Passive hiring. While passive candidates aren’t actively job searching, they are often the most qualified prospects for executive positions, so attracting them is crucial. Your recruiter should have solid relationships built with passive candidates — continuing to share your brand with them even when you are not actively recruiting for an executive role.
  • Talent mapping. Employers use internal talent mapping to better understand the skills and qualifications of current employees and to identify which existing staff possesses the necessary skills for an open position. Mapping skills data should inform not only recruiting and hiring decisions, but also training and development strategy.
  • Global reach. As the work culture becomes increasingly remote, the ideal executive could be anywhere — and today’s recruiting technology isn’t limited by proximity. If it makes sense for your business, consider leveraging insight into a worldwide search for your ideal candidate.
  • Establishing KPIs for evaluating executive skillsets. The use of data-driven performance management is ubiquitous in today’s competitive market. Your recruiter should utilize technology to establish KPIs to deliver accurate, relevant data to help manage the recruitment process.

Executive talent will always be in demand, but attracting the right candidates takes more than a cookie-cutter approach. Specialized recruiting tactics, a data-driven philosophy, and executive-recruiting expertise make all the difference.

If you’re ready to attract top executive talent, contact the foremost expert on private equity talent acquisition and management.