Are executive-level positions more difficult to fill? There are fewer executive positions available in an organization. There are also fewer people who have achieved this level of experience. Thus, it would stand to reason that these top rung jobs are inherently more difficult to fill.
When companies need to fill these c-suite positions, they often rely on executive search firms to headhunt top talent. However, when companies need to hire for a mid to senior level position, they hesitate to engage a search agency. The unemployment rate for experienced technical talent is less than two percent. Finding experienced and available talent who can bring your projects to fruition is no easy task. These positions are the backbone of the organization. Yet, the value assigned to these types of jobs don’t align with the value assigned with a singular c-suite job.
Though the actual available talent for an executive position may be limited, it is often easier to funnel talent through the process. These positions have very concrete parameters. From the beginning of the search, the type of person they are seeking out is very clearly defined. This rigidity takes a lot of guesswork out of the recruitment and headhunting process.
Conversely, non-executive positions are more flexible, seeking a balance between experience, passion, and aptitude. These hands-on positions often interface directly with both executives and entry-level talent. They are constantly learning new technologies to keep skills sharp and up to date. They are managing and leading teams. There is not one single person who easily ticks all of the requirement’s boxes. And if they can, it’s likely that they are aiming for a more senior position.
It can take months to fille an executive position. It can also take the same amount of time to fill a senior engineering role. Nevertheless, the value we have assigned to the executive position supersedes that of the hands-on position in the trenches. It is unlikely that a new CTO is programming, managing product releases, leading junior talent, and interfacing daily with the marketing team. But the mid-level talent is doing just that.
Before relegating the hiring of mid or senior level talent to HR or (already busy!) hiring managers, it’s critical to understand whether the organization can afford to spend months looking for a new hire, delaying product releases, or missing deadlines. Ultimately, the foundation of any company’s success is the team that is managing the day-to-day operations. It’s time to treat these positions as indispensable, flexible, and valuable. Once you do, you’ll understand how similar executive search and staffing agencies are in building a successful team that will sustain and propel the organization forward.