Recruiting and retaining top talent is one of the most important factors in a company’s success. However, with an unemployment rate of 3.8%, persuading top talent to choose your company is more difficult than ever. It is challenging to distinguish what makes one specific company better to work at than all the other companies, and furthermore, it is challenging to convince a candidate of this. Who better to pitch a candidate on working at their company other than the CEO?
Even CEOs running extremely large companies who have lots of responsibility are putting recruiting at the forefront and becoming the number one recruiting tool for their company. Dave Gilboa, co-founder of Warby Parker said that he spends “25% of his time recruiting and that being a CEO also means you’re the ‘Chief Recruiting Officer.’” CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg says he spends up to “50% of his time recruiting talent.” These CEOs understand the importance of recruitment and have made the commitment to support their talent acquisition team.
It is widely recognized that talented employees are extremely important to the success of a company. Tom Gimbel, Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, touches upon this saying, “People are your most important asset. Do everything you can to get the best ones on board.” But if talent is so important, then why aren’t CEOs leveraging their personal networks, connections, and status to bring in top talent? There are two major reasons CEOs can benefit a company’s recruiting process:
- Staffing vs. Recruiting: According to Richard Fairbank, CEO at Capital One, “At most companies, people spend 25% of their time recruiting and 75% managing their recruiting mistakes.” This highlights a major issue with the hiring process which often emphasizes “staffing” over “recruiting.” Staffing is hiring someone who doesn’t fit your culture because they have a certain skill set. However, recruiting focuses on bringing in people with a shared vision and passion for the company’s objective. The CEO knows a company’s culture and vision best, and by having them involved in recruiting, they will attract the right kind of candidates and ultimately will reduce turnover.
- Save Time & Money: CEOs must set a talent acquisition strategy from the start. By taking charge of their company’s employment branding, they can save recruiters lots of time. According to Valerie Frederickson, HR consultant and CEO of Valerie Frederickson & Co., “For every 10 minutes a CEO spends upfront on strategy, it saves recruiters 100 hours of labor.” Furthermore, CEOs can speed up the recruiting process by broadcasting their company’s openings to a wider audience who already view the CEO as a leader, and therefore, can attract more quality candidates. In this way, CEOs can act as a recruitment magnet.
Involving your CEO in the recruiting process makes strategic sense because even small efforts can make a huge impact.
One way is to leverage LinkedIn by posting job listings. Melina Jacovou, CEO of one of the UK’s largest independent digital businesses, Propel, regularly posts job openings on LinkedIn and even has “we are hiring” in her bio. She also posts about the importance of company culture and diversity along with posting employee testimonials saying what they enjoy about working at Propel. In an article by UK Tech, Melina said, “The war for talent has never been fiercer, the rewards for those that can attract the best never higher – and it’s clear that company culture is one of the most important factors behind creating a truly world-beating company.” Melina recognizes the importance of attracting top talent, and as a CEO, she has taken charge of finding the best fit for her company.
Richard Mabey, CEO of Juro, posts a new job opening about once a week to his network. He wrote that a CEO’s personal network is very important for recruiting: “Your CEO should have a strong network – trawl their LinkedIn and make them intro you to anyone you want. Don’t take busyness as an excuse, this is important…”
Similarly, Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot, ranked one of the best CEOs in the country by Glassdoor, often posts job openings and “growing better” through company diversity and inclusion initiatives. He even praises his sales team and recognizes their efforts. Who doesn’t want that?
Lastly, another CEO who strategically promotes job openings in their company is David Benigson, CEO of Signal. Benigson posts videos showing off a specific team in his company and what working for this team would be like.
CEOs should take advantage of their large audience, and use their megaphone to broadcast that their company is hiring.
According to a nationwide CEO survey done by PWC, “93% of CEOs recognize a need to change their strategy for recruiting talent, yet only 39% have taken the first step!” CEOs everywhere need to step up and start helping their recruiters attract the right talent whether it’s by sharing job opportunities, creating content, or attending events.
This article was written by Maia Noyes, Marketing Intern @ NextWave Hire