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With the baby boomers rapidly moving out of the workforce, many small- and medium-sized organizations are finding themselves in a dilemma — the need to replace senior level leaders with years of experience and knowledge. But competition for talent is fiercer than ever and accessing the people who can move your organization forward is extremely difficult with traditional recruiting methods. Finding the right star can be done, but it requires the ability to dive deep into the leadership pool.
Linda Beaudry, CHRP, leader of MNP’s Executive Search and Professional Recruitment team for B.C., explains that the problem is two-fold. “First, it’s generational. Millennials are too young so everyone wants Generation X, but that’s a really small pool. Secondly, employers know how competitive the market is and understand the importance of employee engagement strategies to keep their top people.”
As a result, there aren’t as many highly qualified people actively seeking new opportunities. The result is that employers that advertise open positions in the paper are often forced to choose the best from the worst.
The good news is that many organizations today are quite flat; employees don’t have the chance to move up the ladder and achieve higher levels of success. So while they may be happy where they are, they might be motivated to move. The catch is that the opportunity has to come to them.
“That means looking for passive candidates—people who are already excellent in that role who might move if the opportunity is right,” says Beaudry. “Once we understand what the organization is looking for, we can be very specific in our search, seeking out candidates either in the same industry or parallel to the industry, who have the skills and passion our clients want.”
Beaudry, who has 30 years of experience in recruiting, typically works with enterprises that have 20 to 75 employees, limited HR capacity and no time to do a proper search when they need to fill a key position, such as a CEO, a Director of Finance, or a General Manager. Some come to her because they haven’t been able to find a good candidate while others need to fill a role so critical to their business that they can’t risk not finding the best of the best.
Understanding what attracts individuals to organizations, Beaudry works closely with clients to help them identify and share the benefits of joining their company. “You need to be able to share with potential candidates a compelling story; one that gets them to want to risk changing roles,” she says. “That might be the opportunity to share in the rewards, work with an employer of choice, take a business to the next level or be part of a company that strongly believes in growing its people. We educate our clients on the market and what is required to attract quality candidates.”
If you’re thinking of using an executive search firm to fill an important role, look for one that has a proven process and measurable results. For example, MNP collects ongoing feedback to measure the satisfaction of both the employer and the selected candidate. Beaudry’s team also follows up with the employer and candidate at 30, 60 and 90 days to ensure all is going well and offers a three-to-six month replacement guarantee that they’ll recruit a new candidate at no extra charge if the first one isn’t the right fit.
Beaudry’s passion for connecting employers with the right leadership can be seen in her conversation and the results she achieves, which includes a 100% success rate in placing candidates, a 98% retention rate over two years and many repeat clients. So what drives her to put in so much effort to ensure a perfect fit?
“I develop long-term relationships with my clients. It’s almost like I’m working in their organization and need to find the right person to ensure the organization’s continued success as well as the future success of the candidate,” she explains. “But I don’t do it alone. To do this properly, the client needs to go through our five-step process with me so I can find the people who not only have the technical skills required but, more importantly, the ability to motivate, inspire and lead.”
Beaudry advises employers who have the time to go ahead and try to conduct their own search first. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, a professional will be able to locate someone who will not just fill the role but is effectively vetted and chosen on proven methods that ensure they are truly the right fit for the organization.
To find out more about how MNP can help, contact Linda Beaudry, CHRP, B.C. Leader Executive Search and Professional Recruitment, at 778.265.8883 or
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