Headhunters say that executive talent considers several factors in a new job, reports Boris Groysberg, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and the coauthor, with Michael Slind, of Talk, Inc. He interviewed headhunters to answer the question, How can a company attract the best and brightest executive talent, given their scarcity? How does a company become a destination of choice?
Salary and the compensation package is less important than other factors as long as it reflects “market standards and the situation.” What they look for falls into three categories: the firm (its culture, reputation, track record, future prospects, etc.), the job, and compensation.
The best candidates for senior executive positions weigh these three categories. For example, a candidate “…might take a great job with great pay with a lesser company. Alternatively, she or he might take a less interesting, lower-paying role with a great company.
Groysberg concludes, “Companies compete for qualified candidates, in part because executive talent is in short supply worldwide. Thus, no longer it is enough for organizations to be great in one thing to attract the best people. They need to be great on many dimensions to be a destination of choice for stars.”