Why is the CEO the most effective recruiter for his company?

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Richard Branson, CEO of the Virgin Group, is followed by nearly 9 million people on Twitter. How can this enthusiasm for a company manager be explained? His personality and adventures as a captain of industry are as exciting as they are admired. The CEO’s role is changing and today he has become an asset, a real competitive advantage in the company’s ability to attract new talent. What impact can the CEO have on the recruitment of his employees? In this article, find out the characteristics that make the CEO one of the best recruiters in his company!

1. The CEO’s reputation and that of his company are confused!

According to a 2015 LinkedIn study, recruiting for an unattractive company could cost 5% more!

By definition, the CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, is the most senior employee in the management of a private company or non-profit organization. On paper, he will therefore be in charge of the company’s management by ensuring its development. In practice, its role is not limited to making strategic decisions on the future of its structure. Today, many CEOs have become modern icons, as have artists and politicians. They are followed by millions of people all over the world and their news is scrutinized!

The CEO’s reputation therefore precedes that of the company by participating in its reputation. The personality and functions of the entrepreneur are involved in different ways in the ability of a structure to recruit new talent.

2. The CEO: a true ambassador of his company in the world

As a true captain of industry, the CEO has the difficult task of setting up a company strategy and federating around it. He is above all a manager, however, his personality will strongly influence the way he conducts the company’s business and ultimately its image outside the company. The CEO’s personality and notoriety will have a strong impact on the attractiveness and interest of the public. Thus, it is easier to attract and recruit new talent if the CEO’s image, and by extension his company, is modern and dynamic. Its actions and news set the tone for the company’s communication policy.

A clear vision is the guiding principle of a company. A good leader must be able to design, define and maintain this vision. He must be able to answer the questions of his interlocutors and hold his positions in the event of organizational changes, he is the backbone of a company’s development strategy and reassures potential candidates.

3. Each follower is a potential candidate!

In the digital age, CEOs have understood the importance of being present on social networks. All have accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. They have become their own brand, and are by definition the embodiment of the employer-brand. Many CEOs are better known and recognized than the company they manage. To mention only the most famous of them, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, who does not hesitate to stage himself on social networks by revealing his daily life as CEO accompanied by his wife. Thus, it gives a sympathetic image by investing itself in charitable works and promoting a number of humanitarian programs throughout the world, increasing at the same time the sympathy capital of the empire it has built.

This emphasis on the CEO’s personality allows a real identification with the public and in particular with customers, suppliers, and therefore potential candidates. As a result, today we are witnessing a real talent war in the IT sector. Large companies are struggling to attract Java or Python developers. In equal positions, the difference can lie in the personality of the CEO and the values he promotes. It has become a real communication lever, capable of uniting and attracting a large number of candidates who support its vision. Some CEOs, like politicians, are invited to the economic broadcasting platforms and also pose as experts. They are then a real showcase for their company. As such, each public appearance of Marck Zukerberg becomes viral and spreads at an incredible speed around the world.

4. The CEO’s direct actions on recruitment

Whether leading a large group or a start-up, the CEO is directly involved in recruitment in several ways:

In a large group: He can be directly involved in the recruitment process. Indeed, for important and strategic positions, the CEO can meet and validate the profiles. Here, the candidate will feel valued and this meeting will influence his final choice of whether or not to integrate the structure. The CEO will also validate the budgets allocated to recruitment as well as the needs with regard to the growth strategy implemented by management.

In a start-up: The CEO can directly validate applications and be fully involved in recruitment. He has a very close and easy contact with the candidates through an Anglo-Saxon approach with a very horizontal hierarchy. He is often available and works on open-space in the same way as his employees. His personality will be a decisive factor in motivating certain talents to join the structure.

The CEO is able to give an overview, the growth forecast of the company for the coming years. As a result, it has a real legitimacy that makes it possible to unite employees around common objectives and to implement a recruitment policy in line with the company’s growth. And for good reason, the CEO is able to anticipate and estimate the volume of recruitment and thus forecast the necessary budgets.

It is the guarantor of the employer brand, represents a certain ethic and values promoted by the company. It can be an important element in retaining talent. Imagine, for example, a CEO whose news is bad, employees would be tempted to switch to competition in a company whose values they share as CEO they would trust more and of which they would be proud to be the representatives.

Finally, it has the ability to speed up recruitment or, on the contrary, to stop it completely. He can validate a profile independently or veto certain applications through his role as director. To know a company, first take an interest in its CEO!

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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