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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Recruiting Strategies - Executives
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Best-in class executive leaders play a critical role in ensuring mission accomplishment and are the keystone of every successful organization. Effective recruiting means attracting and recruiting strong candidates from diverse sources who are prepared to meet the organization's strategic goals and succeed in the organization's environment. Recruiting top talent leaders, though, presents some challenges including, perhaps, a limited number of qualified potential applicants available for the particular role.

Effective recruitment strategies include:

  • Mission-Focused Messaging — Create your branding strategy and highlight your agency's unique mission. Focus your messaging and target your delivery approach to your talent pool. Keep your talent pool informed.
  • Marketing the Position — Once you have developed your employment brand, market it in the right places. Learn about and understand the competition. Learn where the candidates you want to recruit go to look for jobs (LinkedIn, Facebook, niche job boards, professional conferences, etc.) and communicate through those channels.
  • Broad Outreach — Expand your outreach efforts and actively recruit. Tailor your recruitment strategies to the needs of the position, the agency's mission, and attract a diverse quality applicant pool. Consider, for example, reaching out to the following:

    • Executive Resources Board (ERB) — An agency's ERB is responsible for Senior Executive Service merit staffing and may be a potential source for locating qualified applicants.
    • Diversity Council — An agency's Diversity Council, similar to the ERB, can be a recruitment source for finding top candidates.
    • Executive Search Firms — These can be a cost-effective way to find qualified candidates for hard-to-fill positions, especially for those that are highly technical or specialized. Several search firms are available on the GSA Schedule.
    • Current and Former Employee Referrals — Often, they can provide recommendations regarding good sources of candidates through, for example, their alma maters or professional organizations. Their understanding of the organization's culture and of certain job roles means they are likely to recommend quality referrals.
    • SES Candidate Development Program Graduates — These Graduates can be a cost-effective and high-quality source of applicants. A Graduate who possesses the executive core qualifications and has been certified by OPM's Qualifications Review Board can be appointed noncompetitively to a Senior Executive Service position for which he or she qualifies.
    • Former Employees — Agency alumni can bring quick time-to-productivity to the organization as well as experience from other organizations.

To learn more about recruiting for Federal executive positions, go to