Year-End Planning for Executive Needs
By Huff Logue, Execulinks
After recruiting in the technology sector for more than 15 years, I’ve learned that September and October are the months when most CEOs begin serious resource planning for the next year. This cycle has been altered over the last 3 years as the normal annual planning and growth rhythms were disrupted by the dot com bust, rapid industry consolidation, and businesses simply closing shop. The executive search business also experienced the same consolidation and slowdown during this period.
For the strong technology companies that have survived and emerged from the industry turmoil, Fall 2003 marks a return to planning patterns that we were accustomed to in the past. Now we are seeing CEOs looking ahead and beginning to plan for 2004 with an eye towards recovery and even growth. This is evident in the increasing number of meetings and coffees that I have had with CEOs who are evaluating their current organization and planning for the future.
As a healthy part of this Fall planning cycle, CEOs should evaluate their current organizations and assess the effectiveness of their executive team and consider replacing those that haven’t been star players in 2002/2003. Identifying and recruiting replacements is best handled by confidential searches where CEOs can meet with A Players who are strong matches for their current and future needs. If handled properly, this process often gives CEOs a renewed sense of vitality since they often gain fresh ideas and perspectives on how they can move their business forward. It is critical to insure the confidentiality of these searches and to optimize the CEOs time so that they are only meeting with ‘best fit’ candidates. This is especially important in a market that is saturated with eager candidates.
Regardless of whether your needs are driven by anticipated growth or a need to upgrade your senior team, September and October are months to begin working with an executive recruiter to develop ideal candidate profiles and begin interviews. Bringing on new members of the executive team in late Fall will allow them to be up to speed and running at full pace in January which is the best insurance for achieving your 2004 plans.
Huff Logue is an Executive Recruiter and President of ExecuLinks, a leading executive search firm focused on connecting the finest executive leaders with Atlanta’s most innovative technology companies. For more than fifteen years, the Boards, VCs and Sr. Management of over 150 software companies have entrusted ExecuLinks with their senior management search needs. The ExecuLinks Network contains over 7,000 executive level software professionals. For additional information regarding ExecuLinks, visit www.execulinks.com or call 770.772.4940.