News outlets aren’t the only organizations that need to pull out the stops to draw top talent like Megyn Kelly. When hiring for your association’s executive positions, take these steps to make sure you’re getting the best people.
Following a closely watched year and election season, journalist Megyn Kelly is making headlines again with her upcoming move from Fox News to NBC.
While ABC News and CNN also courted her and Fox offered her an unmatched $20 million and a primetime show, Kelly turned them down in favor of a daily daytime show and Sunday newsmagazine program at NBC—a decision based on NBC’s willingness to tailor an offer to her needs and her ability to now spend mornings and evenings with her family.
But recruiting top talent isn’t just a challenge in the media or entertainment businesses. Associations need to attract executives who can fulfill their missions and lead their organizations into the future. Here’s how you can make sure you’re drawing the best employees.
Before Opening a Position
Attracting top talent begins before a position even opens by creating strong brand recognition around your association, starting with a company website or profile on sites like Glassdoor. You also want to establish your senior staff and board members as experts and thought leaders within your industry to bolster that brand, said ASAE executive recruitment concierge Dany Bourjolly Smith.
In addition, executives need to be networking and creating relationships within their industry before the need to fill a position arises.
“Any executive who’s thinking they might have to hire senior staff for their organization should start networking as soon as possible,” said Liz Ruble, corporate recruiter at Naylor Association Solutions and an ASAE executive recruitment concierge. “And then when the position opens up, you already have people that you’ve maybe worked with a little bit, that you’re familiar with, that you know by reputation, and you would know a little bit about whether or not they would be a fit.”
Before Closing the Deal
Once you’ve found your ideal candidate, Ruble warns against walking into the negotiating room with a pre-prepared offer. Instead, listen carefully to the applicant’s needs and ask questions regarding the benefits, development opportunities, and other side perks they want like 401K or teleworking options.
“A lot of people aren’t just interested in salary, particularly in the association world where people are very focused on mission as well,” Ruble said. “So you have to see what they’re looking for, what’s making them consider a potential change, and then tailor your offer around that.”
It’s about making the hiring process as personal as possible, Smith said. In addition to personalizing an offer, invite the candidate to staff events or happy hours to get them acquainted with the team and organizational culture. And be clear about the onboarding process, she added, so the candidate knows how the organization will set them up for success in the new position.
Lastly, make the recruitment process quick, Ruble said. “You don’t want someone hanging out in the job market too long, or they’ll get snatched up by someone else, particularly if they’re a really excellent candidate—those folks are not available for long.”