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Time passes slowly during CEO search

Longest wait and uncertainty is early on, before first search committee interview; be honest about other searches, don’t nag recruiter


May 23, 2019
By William Ehart

The CEO search process can take five months or more, with several make-or-break moments along the way.

But the hardest part, in terms of uncertainty and waiting, is the early months after you’ve applied or been contacted by a recruiter but before your first interview with the search committee.

After that, things move faster, with dates set for the next steps, executive recruiters say.

“The time that can feel like a gap, or a significant length of time without much forward momentum, is often the front end of the process,” Stephanie Tomasso, head of the association practice at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, told CEO Update.

“It tends to be waiting for the recruiter to do his or her job of canvassing the market for a slate of potentially strong candidates,” she said.