6 Effective Ways to Find Your Next C-Suite Hire

August 12, 2021
The Culture Equation
6 Effective Ways to Find Your Next C-Suite Hire

A staggering 95% of employers say it’s difficult to find skilled professionals to hire (Robert Half 2021). But according to the Global LinkedIn Talent Trends Report, 87% of active and passive candidates are open to new job opportunities.

So, where’s the gap coming from? In this resource, we’ll explore 6 effective ways to find and secure your next C-Suite Hire.

Running a business is undoubtedly stressful as you need to grow it yourself in the first few months, or even years, without anyone’s assistance. However, after you’ve hit sufficient milestones and the time to dedicate positions is near, finding these individuals may be tricky.

Naturally, it would be best to build a team of executives and managers who understand your business’s goals and drive towards that direction. While you may find these people on job listing sites, we have a better option, a list of unexpected places that you can find these individuals.

Keep reading as this article walks you through the six unexpected places to find your next C-Suite hire.

1. Use Niche Recruitment Companies

If you have precise criteria for a candidate, a niche recruitment agency can be the way to go.

For example, Open Door Recruitment  can help you find female executives across a few key functions and sectors. And Lab 17 can help you fill the gaps you have in your recruitment.

Niche recruitment companies and head-hunters have a core advantage; that is, they understand your industry, and more importantly, they understand who you’re looking for.

Niche agencies build long term relationships with their C-Suite talent. They deeply care about their careers and they know the culture that will truly unleash their potential. That might be your culture or it might not but one of the exciting things about a nice recruiter is they will know the cultural fit upfront, saving you time and money.

When searching for your next C-Suite candidate, niche recruitment companies should and will make sure that whoever they put in front of you has aligned values and can help shape your workplace culture towards your vision.

And because finding a C-Suite executive tends to take longer, handing over the hard work to them makes economic sense.

2. Consider Your Employees

Several, if not most, business owners find themselves looking outside their business when it comes to C-Suite talent acquisition. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with bringing an external candidate, sometimes the best talent is right under our nose.

There’s no harm in exploring the potential of your current employees. After all, these individuals understand the business thoroughly and can significantly contribute to your growth if given the opportunity.

Granted, they may not be “ready” yet, and transitioning them to the new role could be impractical for various reasons; it can prove to be just what you need.

Another benefit of promoting your internal talent is that it boosts employee engagement. It sends a clear message to your people that you, as a business, are committed to developing and growing your own people.

There’s always a trade-off between hiring from within and hiring externally. And depending on the requirements of the business and the current stage, you ultimately should make that call.

3. Leverage LinkedIn & Your Network

According to the Global Talent Trends Report, the number 1 way people discover a new job is through a referral.

Whether it’s your social network, LinkedIn, certain networking groups you’re a part of, or even virtual meetups, there are more people that can help you find that next C-suite executive than you think. It could also be your investors and other shareholders that may know the right person.

They say that word of mouth is the most powerful marketing channel. The same applies to recruitment. When someone you trust recommends a candidate, the chances are that candidate is reliable and has what it takes to join your business.

But you don’t just have to leverage your own network. You can leverage the network of the rest of the executive team.

To get more top talent through your doors, we recommend you spend at least 30% of your time thinking about what you need to see in that candidate, canvassing your network and making those first introductory calls/ emails yourself. 

The beauty of personal recommendations is that it creates a level of rapport between you and the candidate since they are coming through a common connection.

That can certainly be to your advantage.


Because the person who made the introduction is likely to be an advocate for your business. And that can be the final push you need to get the candidate ready to work for you.

And if you heavily rely on LinkedIn for recruitment, having a strong LinkedIn profile with common connections with your prospective C-Suite candidates can be quite helpful.

Tip: A great feature the LinkedIn Recruitment tools have is the ability to build a talent pipeline. You might want to hire right now. In that case, the talent pipeline management feature allows you to build, track and manage the candidates you want to hire now or in the future with folders, reminders and smart to-do lists.

4. Reach To Previous Employees

If your business has been around for a few years, there’s a possibility you had a valuable employee who you wish they never left. Perhaps they pursued a more senior role you didn’t have at the time. Or maybe they left to work for a competitor. Consider reconnecting with them, take a fresh look at them revisit their goals and aspirations whilst aligning with your vision and requirements.

Bringing back an old employee, contrary to what many believe, is not a bad idea, given they are a good fit.

And because they’ve worked for you in the past, you have the advantage of them understanding your business. And here’s the cherry on top. The time they spent outside your business can be invaluable to your business. They will most likely bring a new, fresh perspective and experience that they might not have had prior.

5. Attend Conferences & Events

Another effective method is attending specific and relevant events where your ideal candidates are most likely to be attending.

For example, if you are looking for the next CTO, attending tech conferences can put you right in front of a pool of candidates. Not only will you get to network with them, but you’ll also have the chance to learn more about them first-hand.

If the candidate you’re looking for was one of the speakers, you’d be able to easily find their contact details and connect with them. If they were one of the attendees, you can reach out to the event organisers and ask them to make an introduction.

Tip: Consider joining Clubhouse and becoming part of various rooms that are relevant to the job role you’re looking to hire.

6. Improve Your Workplace Culture

And finally, take a hard look at your workplace culture and think about what you need to do to improve it.

Studies have shown that employers have 50% lower cost per hire when companies have a strong employer brand. 

Investing in your employer brand by creating a thriving workplace culture that engages its employees is one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

Brands that get features as a top employer of choice are able to stand out from the competition in several ways. Here are a few that stand out:

–        you’ll be able to raise capital faster and attract more investors;

–        you’ll be able to find and secure top talent in less time and for less money;

–        your employee turnover will decrease, costing less in human resources expenses;

–        employee engagement will drive more creativity and innovation across the business;

–        and above all, your business will grow faster.

There’s nothing better than being a sought-after employer where attractive talent is constantly knocking on your door, looking to be part of your journey.

If you’d like to speak to a Consultant and find out how you can create a thriving culture for your business and become an employer of choice, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to have a chat and help you create a plan that’s personalised for your business.