February 7, 2020 Last updated March 9th, 2020 2,882 Reads share

Top 7 Tips for Staffing C-Suite Positions

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

There are many position levels in a corporation. An executive who holds C-level status has a senior management role at the company. The “C” classification, is also known as the strategic level, which is a “head person” of a team.

Hence, this is why many of us know this title to be “the chief.”

Thus, C-Suite executive staffing is much different from the normal hiring process. This involves applying advanced recruiting methods to ensure you only hire the best.

What is Executive Recruiting?

Executive recruiting is also called C-Suite recruiting. This is a process that requires you to find and hire candidates to fill top-level positions. The goal is to hire executives to fill prominent roles, like the VP and other high-level leaders.

5 Examples of C-Suite Level Positions

The people you hire to fill your company’s C-suite level are vital to the overall success of your business. Below are five examples of the titles of C-Suite level positions:

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

2. Chief Operations Officer (COO)

3. Chief Information Officer (CIO)

4. Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

5. Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Why Is Executive Recruiting Important?

Your new “chief” must hold the qualifications and expertise necessary for significant decision-making. Executives are those who can take on massive responsibilities. They have a high impact on the company culture, employee work-efficiency, and success.

When starting executive recruiting, it needs to receive the closest attention and priority. It is not an easy process, and it has challenges.

To identify a rightful candidate, you must understand the challenges that can occur.

3 Critical Challenges of Recruiting an Executive

Although there are more than three challenges a recruiter will encounter, here are the key ones:

1. Competition for top talent

With fluctuations in unemployment rates, businesses are in constant competition. Every company wants to attract the best talent at all levels, but especially at the C-Suite level.

Top-level employees must fill high-level positions. Most executives know that people who can handle executive roles are in demand. They can choose where to work and under what employment terms.

2. Recruiting passive candidates

Most top-level executives already have employment elsewhere. They are not actively looking for a new job.

But that should not stop you from approaching them.

Executives often do not mind it when employers reach out to them. They still want to receive offers of opportunities that can enhance their careers.

3. Leadership is changing

Maintaining a leadership role is challenging for different reasons. In the modern world, the leadership structure is in the midst of a transformation. Millennials are moving away from the traditional top-down formation.

Instead, they strive towards developing a more collaborative and transparent management style.

To attract executive leaders, your company must embrace the new changes. This major transition might be challenging but necessary.

7 Tips for Staff C-Suite Positions

Many companies are looking to fill a C-Suite position but are unsure of how to recruit top executives.

Top Executive Staffing Tips

To hire “the strategic,” you must be strategic about the staffing process.

1. Set Goals Before You Hire

Before you begin your search, first, identify what you want in an ideal candidate.

Setting adequate and attainable goals is vital for this process. Thus, there are several factors to consider when establishing your intentions.

  • C-level employees come with increased costs.

  • C-level employees expect their own office.

  • C-level employees want their own parking space.

  • C-level employees want shares of the business.

Not all C-level employees want everything on this list. Some may favor other items not listed. It is still crucial to recognize the possibility of them wanting more than the average hire. Make sure your company can deliver.

Create a strategy on how to measure the metrics of success for each C-Suite position. You will also want to consider how candidates can:

  • Cut down on inefficient spending?

  • Increase revenue?

  • Introduce a new and improved platform?

  • What is the value they can add to your company?

Use these types of questions for your measuring system. Define what a C-level employee can receive based-on expertise, experience, and innovation.

Clearly design your objectives and add them to your interviewing process.

2. Find A Fit For Your Business Size & Sector

Other significant factors to consider are company size, culture, and sector. Find out if any would be an obstacle or hinder a C-level employee’s success.

For Example:

The CEO of a company with 50 employees has a different role from the CEO of a company with 20,000 employees.

You want to avoid hiring a CEO for your 20,000 employees who can really only handle 50, and vice versa.

Whatever the scale of your company, ensure executives state whether they can work well in your company’s environment.

Ask about the number of employees they feel comfortable leading during their interview.

Incorporate all the candidate’s answers and prevent focusing only on a certain few. Many executives can handle many roles and can apply their skills in various ways.

If you only focus on what they have done, it might make it difficult to see their potential.

3. Do Any Current Employees Fit the Role?

Hiring an existing employee to fill a C-Suite position can provide many benefits.

Benefits from hiring internally:

  • Increases morale

  • Motivates employees to move up in the company

  • An essential aspect of company culture

  • Positively impact retention

Unless you have a reason to hire externally, you should promote a current employee to a C-level role.

4. Do Not Be Afraid to Look For External Hires

Although promoting a current employee is the ideal situation, it may not always be the best business decision.

For Example:

Your company may be comprised of mostly young people who are not yet ready to move to the next level.

It would be a wrong business move to hire an inexperienced person to lead a department team. Most cannot bear the weight of having to make major company decisions.

Do not be afraid to look for an external hire who is more seasoned and is capable of taking things to the next level. Hiring a staffing agency can streamline this process and find the right leader for your company’s needs.

5. Check the Candidate’s References and Referrals

A cover letter, resume, and recommendations are often the top items businesses request. But not all use them, which can be a costly mistake.

A poor hire for a C-level position can be detrimental to your company. It is easier for applicants to embellish their resumes with accomplishments. You must go beyond what is on paper.

Focus more on talking to people who have worked with your possible candidate. Check for references to learn more about your potential new hire. What you learn can sway you in one direction or the other.

Referrals are necessary to find out if a reference feels they would make a great executive. Keep track of the number of references who are willing and unwilling to offer an opinion.

Remember, while many people will not say anything negative, they will also avoid giving artificial praise.

6. Create an Inclusive and Collaborative Hiring Process

During the hiring process for a C-Suite position, involve employees. Especially those who will report to that executive.

If they seem uneasy or are not on board with the decision, it can create issues and tension in the department. Ultimately, this is easier to prevent than it is to fix.

Communicate with your employees to learn about their needs and expectations. What do they want from their new department heads? Learn about team goals, obstacles, and how to improve processes.

Incorporate employee discussions into your hiring decision.

7. Slowly Build Trust

Hire a C-level employee that you know employees will feel comfortable working with. A person who meets company goals, and is capable of fulfilling their executive duties.

To find the right hire, take your time locating the perfect C-level executive for your company.

Another critical factor is to trust your gut. You are the leader of your business and must trust your instincts.

If you feel uncomfortable or cannot trust the person you are about to hire, then do not hire them. For you and employees to feel confident in an executive leading a department, there must be trust.


When you find the right candidate to fill your company’s C-Suite person, you will know.

If you find a person who meets all requirements, has the experience and is trustworthy, make a move to hire them before the competition does.

executive interview – DepositPhotos

Megan Wright

Megan Wright

Read Full Bio