What You Need to Do to Attract Talented CEOs and Executives

Jason Hanold
4 min readJan 23, 2020

If you work in hiring or recruiting in any capacity, you already know it’s important to offer job-seekers benefits and perks beyond financial compensation. This is key to attracting strong candidates. This is as true when you’re hiring a CEO as it is when you’re filling any lower-level position.

In fact, formalizing employee perks is an extremely effective and appropriate strategy when hiring executives. CEO candidates need to know that leading your company will provide them with exciting opportunities and help them achieve their career goals. Thus, you must consider what you can do to make your organization appealing when trying to fill an executive position.

Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

You should also consider how you can utilize expert help to identify and attract ideal candidates. For instance, you might wish to enlist the services of an executive search firm when hiring a CEO or any other important employee. An executive search firm can be particularly helpful if you don’t have experience hiring a CEO.

These firms can also help if you don’t have the time to identify and vet candidates on your own. They’ll handle many tasks you would otherwise be responsible for, allowing you to focus on your own work with peace of mind. Additionally, these firms have significant experience in this area, which they will bring to bear on your behalf.

The following are three of the most effective ways to convince a CEO that your firm is a good fit. Keep these recruitment strategies in mind the next time you have to fill any executive position:

1. Focus on What They Love

Again, financial compensation is not the only reason people aspire to become a CEO. Yes, CEOs are typically paid well. Perhaps more importantly, they have reached a point where they have the freedom to determine the specific nature of their work.

CEOs and other executives want to be assured that they will be able to spend their time handling challenges they enjoy. Yes, some responsibilities are more fulfilling than others. In general, however, executives have the freedom to perform work that appeals to their values and personality.

Focus on candidates’ desires when recruiting for leadership positions such as CEO. Ask applicants what gives them the greatest sense of personal and professional fulfillment. If you can authentically demonstrate how leading your company will give them the chance to perform that type of work on a regular basis, do so.

Authenticity is very important during the recruitment process. You may find a candidate you were thinking about hiring tends to enjoy a type of work you simply can’t offer. Such candidates are not a good fit for your needs. You would be wasting both your time and theirs if you were to suggest you can offer the work experiences they crave.

2. Offer New Challenges

Someone who has previously served as a CEO or executive for at least one other company will need a good reason to take on a job at yours. A new challenge is one of them. If someone has risen to the position of CEO, you know they are ambitious. They enjoy acquiring new skills. They get excited when they start new projects that present unique challenges.

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash

Of course, the new challenges you offer need to align with a candidate’s experience and interests. You don’t want to hire someone who isn’t a good fit for the role. That said, you do want to illustrate how working at your company will contribute to their continued professional development. These are the types of challenges that motivate CEOs and executives in general.

3. Demonstrate That You Value Work/Life Balance

It’s no secret that being a CEO is a major responsibility. Someone in this position is responsible for engaging with employees, customers, partners, and shareholders. Managing the needs of multiple stakeholders can be challenging.

Don’t fall prey to the belief that all CEOs are workaholics. Generally speaking, they enjoy their work and tend to work longer hours than those who are less ambitious. However, their work/life balance must still be respected. The stress of leading a company would simply be too great without it.

You need to offer that balance. Emphasize that your company values work/life balance and is willing to implement policies that facilitate it. In fact, if you’re particularly drawn to a candidate, you might even ask them what guidelines will best enable them to fulfill their responsibilities. If their ideas are reasonable, let them know you’re willing to accommodate them.

After all, finding the right CEOs and executives is essential to your organization’s success. By keeping these tips in mind, and coordinating with executive search firms, you’re more likely to attract the right leaders for your needs.



Jason Hanold

Executive Recruiter, clients NFL, Google, Patagonia, Under Armour, Gucci, Nike, Northwestern, eBay, UFC, Vail, REI, Electronic Arts, Live Nation, #HR #Recruiter