Benchmarking Executive Search and Recruitment Success

With the dynamics of leadership changing drastically, businesses of the future need to set a definitive executive leadership hiring benchmark to evaluate the recruitment process.

The hunt for the right executive-level talent has become more competitive than ever before in the post-pandemic business environment. With the dynamics of leadership changing drastically, most organizations opt for external executive recruitment expertise to find future-ready talent with the required Skillset.

One of the most common mistakes most organizations make during the recruitment process is not measuring the success of their recruitment efforts through definitive measures. Having a set benchmark for the executive hiring process like any other function is crucial to find the best executive talent without overburdening your team and adding to costs.

With that said, here are the top factors that determine the success of your executive search. Whether you are conducting an executive talent search campaign with an in-house HR team or through external expertise, these factors will help you set a definitive benchmark for the recruitment process.

Parameters for measuring hiring success

Candidate response Rate

Candidate response rate refers to the number of candidates approaching your company for the said job offer. Ideally, the client response rate to your job offering should range between 50-60%, and if it’s below 30%, it’s time to make some significant changes to your job posting strategy.

One of the biggest reasons for lower candidate response to your open position could be that the description is not clear enough. Make sure you present a compelling proposition to candidates by clearly communicating the job responsibilities, culture, and pay structure. Be more open with your potential candidates to make your company more approachable with definitive growth opportunities.

Another key factor in reduced candidate response might be your applicant targeting strategy. According to LinkedIn, 70% of applicants are passive job seekers that are currently working in the organization but are ready to switch for a better opportunity. If you’re only targeting the 30% of active job seekers, you’re practically missing out on the biggest chunk of potential candidates.

Candidate engagement

Once an executive candidate approaches your company, effective and simplified engagement plays a crucial role in getting the right talent on board. Candidate engagement rate refers to how a candidate stays in touch with the organization throughout the recruitment process.

From a recruitment perspective, the talent search process works like a funnel. Among thousands of candidates, organizations are bound to lose some during the recruitment process. But the more you keep communicating with the candidates during the process, the more likely they are to accept the job offer.

We can measure the candidate engagement rate by assessing candidate behavior and communication during the following stages:

  • First contact
  • Submission of the resume/profile
  • Communication company profile and job role
  • Interview
  • Follow-ups

Recruitment Milestone

Every organization must set a definite goal with respect to the turnaround time for filling a vacant senior leadership position. With over 69% of corporations struggling to find the best talent, the competition for finding the right talent at the right time is even more intense.

Ideally, the executive recruitment campaign is successful if it finds 3 to 5 best candidates for the set role within the first 45 days. These candidates should be a healthy mix of people sought from job postings and from referrals. The more diverse the choice of candidates for a role, the better are the chances of making a thorough, objective assessment of their skills, past experiences, attitude, management skills, and overall match with your organization and its culture.

Reasons for declining offer

An important factor in executive search and hiring that many businesses ignore is finding out and analyzing the reasons candidates decline a job offer. Paying close attention to the reasons for job offer rejections can give you some crucial insights on improving your recruitment process.

Your potential candidate may reject your job offer at any stage of the recruitment process for multiple reasons. Some of the most common factors include:

  • Compensation
  • Job roles and responsibilities
  • Getting a better offer in the current company
  • Bond/contract signed with existing company
  • The recent shift to a new job
  • Lack of interest during the process

You must pay close attention to these factors to understand the shortcomings in your recruitment process and make changes accordingly. This will eventually help you boost your candidate engagement efficacy to search and hire the best executive talent.


Last but certainly not least, the most crucial factor in executive recruitment is the total number of days your executive placement campaign took to get an employee on board. Partnering with a third-party recruitment firm should give you an ideal talent pool within 45 days of your recruitment campaign. Taking longer than this milestone calls for updating your executive recruitment project by observing multiple factors mentioned above.

Maybe it’s because your job postings aren’t reaching your targeted candidate types, the details in your job offerings are vague or lacking compensation details, your recruitment funnel has a significant bottleneck that needs addressing, or you must update your recruitment campaign from the ground up.

Vantedge Search can help you avoid these mistakes using our years of experience in global executive search. We help you set a benchmark of leadership-level recruitment success.

Reach out to us today.