Thinking Skills

When COVID-19 started last year, many executives opted to retire early. Others were laid off by their employers due to predicted job redundancy or financial constraints.


The economy is rebounding more than a year later, and businesses (both new and old) are seeking qualified leaders. Unfortunately, we’re also learning that finding the appropriate executive is more difficult than ever. However, now is the time to invest in long-term visionaries who can assist your organization to adapt to the new work environment.


The Ramifications of Making the Wrong Executive Hire

The ramifications of making a poor executive hiring can be felt throughout the organization. The wrong leader, especially in the C-suite, can have long-term consequences that linger long after they’ve departed your organization. Here are a few examples of possible outcomes:


  1. Lost Productivity — A bad leader might take their staff down the wrong path and pursue goals that aren’t in line with the company’s overall business objectives.
  2. Low Morale – Bad leadership and a negative attitude can affect the morale and productivity of an entire organization.
  3. Financial Strain – The expenditures incurred on the executive search will have to be recouped, potentially costing your organization six to nine months’ worth of income.
  4. Negative Reputation — A bad executive can swiftly destroy your company’s brand in the digital era. They or disgruntled former direct reports can post unfavorable ratings on job review sites, affecting your ability to recruit great applicants at any level.
  5. Workforce Stability – Anguish and frustration in your workforce are also fostered by executive turnover. As a result, employees may have doubts about your company’s stability and look for work elsewhere in the worst-case scenario.
  6. Reduced Valuation — Effective leaders are critical to a company’s success. Shareholders frequently respond poorly to CEO turnover and mainly when it occurs unexpectedly.

CEO turnover reduces median overall shareholder investment by 3.5 percent, according to PwC, and in larger organizations, a forced transition can negatively impact the business by upwards of $1.8 billion more than a planned succession. In addition, if your company is service- or project-based, bad executive recruitment or leadership change could harm customer satisfaction and retention.


Some Strategies to Find the Proper Leadership

Executives who are capable of leading a company are essential. They infuse your business with new ideas and vigor, allowing it to thrive. In today’s economy, you can’t afford to hire an unsuitable executive, despite the fierce competition. In the current environment, the following tips can help you recruit, close, and keep the right leaders:

  1. Understand the Company — Make sure you understand your company’s culture, beliefs, procedures, and shortcomings before beginning the hiring process. Then, practice how you’re going to say it.

Hiring a good fit requires that they desire to work for you. This necessitates precise expectations being set during the interview and employment process.

  1. Know Your Objectives and Challenges — Just as you should know your business, you should know where it’s going. Determine the objectives of your firm. Then think about the issues your company, industry, or sector will encounter in the next five years.

This can help you figure out what kind of executive prospect has the most experience and expertise to get your firm where it needs to go.

  1. Make Your Remote Work Policy Clear — According to a recent survey, 55 percent of employees, at least three days a week, want to work from home (and whether or not this is adjustable) will assist set expectations and ensure long-term success.
  1. Maintain Momentum: Don’t let it drag on if you’re in the middle of a hiring process. Candidates will become frustrated if the process is slow, and you will miss out on an excellent hire.

Be decisive and explicitly identify the following actions once you’ve found the correct person. In this way, recruiting is analogous to sales — time kills all deals.

  1. Make Use of Your Networks and Partners — The best hires aren’t always people looking for a new position; the appropriate person for the job could be an internal candidate, a referral from a person’s network, or a consequence of outbound hiring.

Even if the perfect applicant isn’t raising their hand, a talented partner with the experience, expertise, and existing relationships can help you find them.

  1. Maintain Confidentiality — When approaching potential C-level prospects, make sure you maintain the greatest level of professionalism. According to research, 86.9% of executive applicants want to be contacted through a private email address or social media sites (77.9 percent).

Assure your possible executive candidates that you will retain confidentiality and discretion throughout the process by contacting them via their private email or personal social media profile.

  1. Find What Drives Them — After you’ve made the initial contact with your executive candidates, try to learn more about them. You must figure out what motivates them. However, be smart. If you ask someone what motivates them, they will give you a canned response. Learn to ask the right questions.
  1. Keep Calm and Be Patient — When it comes to executive recruiting, you must be willing to put in the time and effort necessary to secure the candidate you desire in today’s highly competitive environment.

According to a study, the hiring process for a typical CEO or Executive Director might take anywhere from 4 to 8 months. Executive recruitment is a time-consuming and complex procedure. Top prospects would almost definitely require a great deal of confidence before even considering your offer.

  1. Provide the Best Candidate Experience — When it comes to recruiting today’s candidates, you must put in a lot of effort to create the greatest possible applicant experience. When it comes to executive recruiting, you should multiply your efforts to improve the candidate experience by a factor of ten.

Remember that many companies are vying for the greatest senior executive talent. This is why you must ensure that your applicants receive the most exceptional executive search experience possible.

  1. Take that Leap of Faith — When it comes to hiring executives, going the additional mile can make or break your hiring process. These candidates are in high demand and are approached by various firms, they have most likely witnessed and heard it all.

This is why you must be unique in your approach and go above and beyond. Demonstrate your commitment to recruiting them by demonstrating how much your organization has invested in them.

Make an appointment for them to meet with your CEO or director. Demonstrate to your executive candidates that getting to know them is essential to you. Pay attention to what they’re saying and be prepared to meet their needs. Prepare to meet with them after hours or on weekends.

Learn about their preferences and take them to their favorite restaurant or sporting event. Then, make your executive prospects feel special by including personalized touches.

Good People Fuel Success

In the workplace, we’re about to enter a new era. The pandemic is continuing to reshape the labor market, expediting digital transformation and increasing the popularity of remote work. Businesses need strong leaders to not just evolve, but also to stay ahead of the competition.

You can become the perfect executive hire to assist move your organization forward if you have the right practices and partners in place.

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Aiyaz, VP of Recruitment and Staffing

Aiyaz Uddin

VP, Recruitment and Staffing

With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Aiyaz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team by strategically positioning clients to attract, engage, and pipeline the most sought-after talent in information technology utilizing open-source intelligence, talent solutions, and machine learning tools for federal and local government contracting firms, and commercial employers. Aiyaz has a proven track record of success in matching the right talent with the right opportunities, leading to long-term and mutually beneficial relationships.


As a leader in the industry, he is constantly seeking out new and innovative ways to improve our services and deliver the best results for our clients and job seekers.

Aiyaz is a certified tech recruitment professional with an MBA in Finance & Marketing along with M.Sc. Psychology. Additionally, his drive to seek new and innovative approaches to talent acquisition led him to speak on LinkedIn Talent Solutions by LinkedIn and HackerEarth’s Tech Recruiting Conference Hire 101.

Under Aiyaz 's leadership, XA Talent has become a trusted partner for companies looking to grow their teams and job seekers looking for their next great opportunity. Aiyaz and our team are committed to delivering an exceptional experience for everyone we work with.


Get in touch with XA Talent today, and let us help you find your next great opportunity.

Peyton Brooks, VP of Workforce Development

Peyton Brooks

VP, Workforce Development

As a firm believer in continuous development and self-improvement, I attained a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Howard University and a Juris Doctor Degree from The George Washington University Law School.


My passion for service to the community drove me towards the workforce development industry, where I have been in active pursuit to change the trajectory of lives and shape communities ever since. With nearly a decade of experience doing so, I have helped thousands of individuals obtain access to more short-term, affordable, and convenient upskill and reskill opportunities across the nation.


Given my vast industry expertise, I provide management consulting services to workforce
development organizations helping them with customized solutions, specialized curricula, strategic partnerships, and employer engagement. My consulting leverages deep technical knowledge as well as strategic and tactical approaches to provide the best solutions with data-driven outcomes. 


My proven experience in building workforce development systems have led me to develop and evangelize best practices for workforce development programs that include the following outcome-based attributes:

– Livable wages and sustainable careers in high-demand industry sectors
– Job placement-focused programs with strong employer partnerships
– Data-driven understanding of regional skills gaps; and
– Comprehensive skills training that includes practical application work experience with career coaching.


My ability to thrive in the workforce development industry is attributed to my strong interpersonal skills, which have enhanced my capabilities to understand what people truly mean to communicate when attempting to express their business challenges. This trait has set me apart from the rest, as I can identify and resolve the root cause of challenges resulting in proper alignment of investment to desired business outcomes.


Therefore, as a leader of cooperative outcome-focused efforts, I would like to connect with
professionals who are interested in collaborating to improve communities and change the trajectory of lives through sustainable career attainment.

Abigail Jpones

Abigail Jones

Chief Marketing Officer

As a CMO passionate about innovative, results-driven marketing strategies, I help companies accelerate tech talent acquisition, enhance executive visibility, and build impactful brands. My entrepreneurial experience, including building startups in London, fuels my work as as a Chief Marketing Officer at XA Talent.

At 𝗫𝗔 𝗧𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝘁, my role transcends traditional marketing, designing marketing strategies with talent in mind to strengthen talent pipelines and enhance company reputations. A successful organization begins with its people, and our approach ensures we attract individuals who can best contribute to and thrive within your organizational culture. These strategies are continuously refined in response to technological disruption, ensuring that securing brilliant minds enables your company to grow consistently and achieve its broader goals, furthering your mission to make a meaningful societal impact.

We specialize in tech talent acquisition and executive search while working closely with CEOs and senior leaders to manage their executive branding, which significantly impacts and enhances their employer brand. This collaboration enables them to hire on demand, build influential alliances, and foster advocacy for sustained business growth.

Additionally, I provide 𝗳𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗖𝗠𝗢 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, helping companies develop strategic marketing plans, drive thought leadership to enhance brand visibility. As a speaker, I share insights on entrepreneurship and marketing, aiming to inspire and empower the next generation of leaders. My mission is to merge innovative marketing strategies with recruitment solutions to foster talent development and organizational growth.

When I’m not strategizing, you can find me attending marketing events and exploring new technologies and trends to bring fresh perspectives to the table.

Personally, I have lived in five countries – Malaysia, Australia, Dubai, the UK, and the US.

✈️an avid traveler
📑completed my MBA in London
👩🏽‍🍳love to experiment with new recipes at home
🤸🏽‍♀️absolutely love Pilates to strengthen my mind and body!

If you are interested in learning how to use your voice to build a strong workforce, connect with me and stay updated with my latest insights.

Evan Jones, Founder and CEO

Evan Jones

Founder and CEO

After 20 years of delivering IT management consulting and infrastructure operations & management services to the federal government (XA Systems, LLC and hiring thousands of employees over the years, Evan and his team have developed a system that scales a company's personnel recruitment with culture-driven candidates who contribute to the success of the business.


As a technology-based business focused on continual process improvement, the methods he and his team have developed have been improved over the years and are centered on employer branding and recruitment marketing that results in a pipeline of engaged candidates ready to be hired on demand. He believes every business can succeed and create an impact if they are willing to take uncomfortable action with the right tools and knowledge. He’s determined to stand in the gap and provide the tools and knowledge businesses need.


To date, he has played a role in the growth and development of more than 30 companies. He has worked behind the scenes of SMBs and massive 8 to 10-figure companies helping them overhaul their processes, reinvent their recruitment marketing strategies, and drive growth, both in net profit and an overall employer reach into job seeker communities.


With a passion for business transformation, Evan has developed his own technology, an enterprise SaaS solution, ServeOptics, that delivers service support performance metrics to IT leaders who need actionable insights to make informed business decisions. The more visibility of operations that exists with real-time performance metrics and automated reporting, the more efficient and effective companies can be in their service support operations, which enables a business to gain a significant competitive advantage in their industry.


Evan is interested in connecting with forward-thinking business professionals who want to collaborate on business opportunities or discuss how his recruitment system can enable a business to attract top-tier candidates, employ on-demand, and retain its best employees.