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3 October, 2022
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Senior Executive

How long does it take to recruit in a new senior executive?

September 5, 2014

In this blog post we will help you understand the typical recruitment process and time it can take to recruit a new senior executive. Before we go any further, it is worth noting that the newly appointed senior executive may have to serve out a six month notice period or more typically ‘gardening leave’.

1. Creating a shortlist of suitable candidates

After you have briefed us, we will take 6 weeks to get you 3-5 candidates who are all, in our view, a good fit for this role. (The industry norm for executive search specialists is almost double this at 10-12 weeks) Before these candidates make the short list, we will have done the following:

  • Checked out all their references
  • Completed an initial interview
  • Completed initial psychometric tests

At this stage we are normally very confident that one of the candidates we put to you will be appointed into the role. After all, we have fulfilled over 95% of all the searches we have been given. The industry average is nearer to 40%.

2. Whittling down the short list

This part of the process will normally take at least 60 hours of your company time. In our experience, most of our clients in the sectors we specialise in will use three 60-90 minute interviews, potentially an assessment centre, and a 2-3 hr. executive psychometric assessment to then decide who to offer the role to. (We are often asked to do the executive psychometric assessments for our clients).

The various stages of this part of the recruitment process will often look like this:

  1. Interview with their line manager and representative from HR
  2. Interview with their line manager and a key stakeholder
  3. A panel interview
  4. Assessment centre for the last 1 or 2 candidates remaining

Very often the preferred candidate will then have several ‘face-fitting’ interviews with key stakeholders before a formal job offer is made. This part of the process, i.e. from shortlist to a role being accepted, as long as the candidates and interviewers diaries ‘fit’, will normally take another 8 weeks.

In summary:

Our average time from briefing to job offer is 97 days. This compares with the industry average of 120+ days to go from briefing to appointing. Therefore, when adding in any notice period which needs to be catered for, our clients find that it can take approximate 9 months from the point they brief us to their new senior executives first day in the role. If you think you are going to need a senior executive in the next 9 – 12 months you should be speaking to us now.

If you would like to discuss further how we can help you, please feel free to reach out to us on 0203 500 0352 or use the contact form on this website

About the Author

Paul Battye is CEO of Hoffmann Reed a global leadership advisory business providing talent intelligence, talent acquisition, talent assessment and talent development services.

Paul has 19 years’ experience in executive search having led C-suite, Board and Senior Management searches for both private and public sector organisations across the globe. He advises clients on how to attract, retain and develop the best senior leadership talent with diversity and inclusion at the core of all our service offerings.