The search for an HR executive isn't always easy. You can simplify the process to make it seem easier, at least on your end, by having a recruiting firm handle the nitty gritty of the search. For the firm to do that efficiently, though, you need to be clear about what you're looking for in an HR executive. The description you give the recruiters should go beyond merely describing job duties and should look further at what situations the HR executive candidate can expect at your company; these show you more qualities that you want that candidate to have. You can find this information by looking at what the last person in the role faced.
Why Did Your Last One Leave?
Take a look at why the last executive left (or is leaving, if you're recruiting before the person's notice is up). Sometimes it's completely unrelated to work, such as moving to take care of a family member, but if it is related to work, dig into the reasons why. Be careful not to violate worker privacy, of course. But if the executive is moving to another company, is it because of the pay level? Were there too many personality clashes between the executive and other staff? For example, if that were the case, what qualities would you want in a new executive so those clashes could be avoided? Remember it's not always about personal issues — maybe the executive needed to be stricter when settling disputes.
How Have Personality-Type Clashes Been Handled in the Past?
Human resources departments often have to deal with clashes between employees outside that department. How did the executive handle settling those clashes, or what policies did that executive support? If you liked what that executive did, then you know you want to find someone with the same attitude toward how these clashes should be handled. If you didn't like what the executive did, then you'd look for different qualities and an executive who would approach the situations differently.
What Controversies or Problems Did Your Last Few Executives Have to Deal With?
Every company is going to experience times when there are company problems or controversies; it's just part of life and doing business. It helps when your HR executives know how to handle similar issues, so previous experience counts a lot. You may want to let the recruiters know that you want to find candidates who have experience handling specific similar issues.
You'll be able to work with the recruiter to refine your list of candidate qualities. Don't be surprised if the recruiter notes that some qualities may not be necessary or may be harder to find; they'll help you create a great list that lets them zoom in on excellent candidates. Reach out to an HR executive search firm to get started.