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Read or listen to articles published in this section and via BartonRock’s Digital Careers podcast series – also featuring interviews with high profile business leaders internationally.

Hiring a senior leader is a two-way process

Hiring a senior leader is a two-way process.

Sure, you’re buying – but the person on the other side of the desk is buying too

There is no such thing as a straightforward leadership search. Every assignment I work on has nuances and the consequences of making the wrong decision can be very costly.

In a recent post, I mentioned around 50% of the candidates I speak to about leadership roles in consumer and retail aren’t in active job search mode.

It means processes can be lengthy and some patience is required by all parties.

There also needs to be a recognition from companies that both sides are buying. If a senior candidate is not unhappy where they are, they’re not going to leap at a new opportunity. It might be exploratory to start with, an informal coffee perhaps.

It usually takes 3 meetings to get serious buy in from a candidate who is not actively looking for a new job

And that’s often missed by companies. It’s very easy to get excited about the prospect of hiring someone and push things along too quickly.

Whilst your executive search firm or talent acquisition function may have done a great job of presenting the opportunity, the only way they’re going to engage in the process and potentially accept the job is if they buy your people and your company vision.

It’s incredibly important for a company’s leadership team to be aligned on this and for the candidate to see and hear consistent messaging. Clear and succinct headlines around employer value proposition – covering strategy and vision, purpose and values are critical to buy-in.

Whilst we associate purpose and values as motivators for younger generations, they are becoming increasingly important for senior executives.

Remembering hiring is a two-way street will significantly increase your chances of making the best leadership hires.

For more help with leadership hiring within consumer and retail, reach out to me.

About BartonRock: We are the executive search partner for scale ups and entrepreneurially driven companies within the retail and consumer sector. 

We manage the careers of leaders whose know-how and commercial acumen within digital steers the strategic direction and future survival of companies.

Our assignments search for executives who understand how to implement and lead data-centric digital agendas.

For more information visit: or contact or call +44 (0) 20 8092 6048.

You can also subscribe to BartonRock’s Digital Careers podcast by visiting Apple Podcasts

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