Employment Blog

4 Things to Do When Hiring C-Level Executives

Published by Equis Staffing

As companies scale and grow, it’s inevitable that they’ll bring on new hires. For entry or mid-level positions the hiring process is likely pretty straightforward. A bad lower level hire might mean a few wasted hours or resources, but generally companies can recover from this.

When it comes to the C-Suite, however, a bad hire can be more costly – and may even have the potential to send the company into a downward spiral that could take months or even years to correct. Needless to say, it’s important to ensure that your C-level hire is the right one. But how can companies be sure that they’re bringing on the right executive?

Here are four criteria that companies should take into account before making a C-level hire.

Set goals.
Before you even type one single word of a job ad for a C-level vacancy, take time to think about what goals you want to set. What do you want the company to accomplish in the future? What qualities or skills will the executive need to possess in order to meet that goal? Decide on the key indicators of success for the position and be able to explain what the new hire will be expected to accomplish.

By understanding company goals you can detail them in the interview process and screen for candidates that will be able to meet them successfully. The right candidate will be able to articulate how they can meet your goals (and will be able to offer specifics). By being upfront about goals, you will be in a better position to find a candidate that shares your vision.

Think about scale.
A C-level executive that leads 20 employees will have different experiences compared to one that leads 1,000, and the executive that leads 1,000 employees will be different from the one that leads 10,000, and so on. Remember to take your company’s size, scale, industry, and culture into account when making a C-level hire.

Is a C-level executive that led 10 people ready to move up and into your larger organization – or, alternatively, will the executive that once led 100,000 employees become restless at your 50 person company? It’s important to find a candidate that will thrive in your company’s environment and won’t be hindered by your company culture or the overall scale of the operation.

Be thorough.
In a C-level search, it’s likely that at least a few very impressive resumes will land on your desk and you might be even more impressed after meeting with the candidates, but it’s important to stick to the basics of the hiring process: verify backgrounds and check references. A candidate that wows you in the interview room could still have negative references in their recent work history – and it’s important that you check.

Call references for each final round candidate to ensure that they haven’t embellished their accomplishments and verify that they have a positive workplace and industry reputation. You’ll want to feel secure in knowing that the person you hire has the essential technical skills and know-how to be able to enact real change. The candidate should understand the in’s and out’s of your industry and know how to leverage new technologies and strategies to meet your goals.

Take your time.
You are probably itching to get someone into that C-level role so that they can begin enacting change and helping to grow the company immediately, but don’t rush things. Take time to consult your internal teams and be absolutely certain that a candidate is the one you want to bring into the company. You want to feel comfortable that you’re making the right choice. With that said, when you do ultimately find the candidate you consider to be the perfect fit, move forward and make the hire.

Making the wrong C-level hire can mean that you’ve wasted time, resources, and even equity – all things that companies want to avoid. By following the tips above, you’ll be in a better position to make the right C-level hire at the right time.


If you are looking to hire an IT, Accounting, or Finance professional, or work in any of those fields and looking to advance your career, you can contact Equis Staffing via email at info@equisdifference.com or give us a call at (818) 444-0100.