A key step in the process of building your own executive team is to do some research to find the people you’ve found in your search and complete a deep search on your best candidates. With the global economy and the convenience of the Internet, you can do a lot of research on your computer or tablet. Subscribe to LinkedIn and type in a lot of the key words in your description. Go to a search engine and type in the words and phrases that describe your potential candidate. If you dig deeply enough, you will find very insightful ratings, recommendations and comments about your candidates.
Do your research.
Most of the best experts have a website. Visit that website. In most cases, the website is an indication of what you will experience when you work with them. Read everything that is on that website and carefully evaluate it. If you don’t understand something on that website, ask questions. Be bold and contact them to find out if you can get answers before you visit with them. See if you get a quick response that answers your questions and concerns. Expect a prompt, friendly response. If you find that the website leaves you with more questions than answers, it could be a bad sign that you are going to find the same experience when you work with them.
Know who are the best experts.
A key reason why you do the research is because you want to know these best candidates as well as possible before you contact them. It’s a good approach to understand their expertise, but it’s also good to understand their personalities and approach as well. As you are working through this process, you will start to see how you need to maintain a sense of balance with the people you are choosing as your finalists on your team. For some roles, you need an aggressive personality, and others need to be a bit more reserved. For example, I may want a very assertive litigation attorney, but an assertive accountant or tax advisor may not be in my best interest.
Settle for the best.
There may be the temptation of settling for a great candidate and then moving on to another role on your team. Don’t fall for the trap. Keep looking. There is a general rule in business, especially in the bidding process for government contracts: you have to get at least three bids before you decide. Do the same approach in this process. Find at least three candidates for every role. If you can find more than three candidates who fit your requirements, do yourself a favor and do the research on all of them. Don’t skip over anyone.
Read the entire story.
Frankly, this is the same process as collecting and reviewing resumes of job candidates. If you’ve ever applied for a job, you know that some employers only look for key words or particular job descriptions on your resume. If they don’t see what they’re looking for, they just throw your resume in the “reject” pile. We all know that this approach is a bad one, because the best candidate may not be represented with the best resume. It takes some work. Do yourself a favor and do the work. If for no other reason, when you get to the point of interviewing prospective team members, you can speak confidently about the industry and especially about the best and brightest in that industry. And that conversation can be very enlightening.