The Ins and Outs of Confidential Executive Searches

Confidential Search

Finding a replacement to step into a high-level executive position is certainly not easy, but may be vital to the health of a company.  To make the transition as seamless as possible, many companies use recruiters like Artemis Consultants to conduct confidential executive searches.  It is important to understand the ins and outs of these searches as a candidate and an employer.

Passive Candidates and Unpublished Jobs

Elite executive search professionals like the ones at Artemis regularly engage with passive candidates, who comprise the roughly 85 percent of people that do not actively look at job postings. These highly sought professionals are happy with their current positions but are selectively open to enticing opportunities to advance their careers.  To reach passive candidates, Artemis Consultants uses a multi-stage outreach called an omni-channel approach. An unpublished, confidential opening provides a unique opportunity to talk to passive, niche candidates because of the position’s smaller talent pool. It is a win-win: to the passive candidate, being considered is an honor;  for the employer, a passive candidate currently performing at a high level inspires confidence.

Why Confidential Searches?

Confidential searches are conducted to avoid leadership gaps, to hire for new product development positions, and to mitigate internal changes like mergers.  “When planning to replace a current employee, especially one with a high level of responsibility, it’s better if they aren’t tipped off about the change before coverage has been arranged,” says Rhi Scolli of LinkedIn.  “Ideally, you’ll have a replacement lined up and ready to step in when the time comes, avoiding any gaps in leadership.” For new products, confidential searches help limit information to competitors about the anticipated roles and new responsibilities.  Confidential searches also help with difficult transitions like mergers as some positions may be combined or eliminated.  “The last thing a company needs when going through an organizational change is panicked employees – which can often lead to early resignations,” says Scolli.

Candidate Tips for Confidential Positions

When executive staffing firms like Artemis conduct confidential searches, it is important to respect the confidentiality of the employer.  In some cases, a hiring manager may ask that a company name is left out of the search in order to protect its interests.  As a candidate, this means putting trust in the recruiter.  Many passive candidates have prior relationships with recruiters.  For a recruiter, enticing a passive candidate away from a stable position requires explaining why a new position is a better fit for the candidate as a unique individual.  Reasons could include better company culture, better aligned values, or unique growth opportunities.  The company could also be attractive because of its social mission or charity work.  Artemis Consultants, for example, is teaming with Franklinton Farms to donate a portion of its fees to provide fresh produce to low-income households. 

Candidates, it is ok to ask questions about any position.  Just because things are confidential does not mean you cannot try to determine if you are a good fit for the role.  Asking about work from home/hybrid location expectations, pay range, industry, the mission of the job, and the role itself helps both sides come closer to determining if there is a fit.  

Finding transformational leaders to replace existing ones is something many organizations struggle with to keep business moving forward.  Artemis Consultants has the expertise and a proven process that provides a 1 year replacement policy to fill confidential roles with highly qualified talent.

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