Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important issue, Feliks. Canadian executive recruiters chiming in here!
I agree that being clear about what exactly you’re looking for in a COO and making sure that each person involved with the hiring has the same understanding is very important. We see that all the time in our work with clients and the most successful searches include clear internal communication.
I also definitely agree that bringing your top candidates in to meet your team and see how they interact is a really good idea. We do that when hiring for our own team and always find it to be a really worthwhile practice.
Your statement that a search should take between 6 to 12 months is something we don’t agree with. As a rule, we aim to find and fill a position with an excellent candidate within 4 to 6 weeks and we send our clients just 5 to 6 candidates to talk to, instead of sifting through 250. We wrote a piece about this recently — (here, if you’re interested: http://bit.ly/2wgbjeA) and have found that the fewer, more carefully selected candidates you bring in, the better the quality of the decision and the hire.
So while not hiring a recruiter may save money upfront, you’re spending 6 to 12 months of your executive team’s time and that adds up.
A recruiter won’t be the right solution for every job, but it sounds like in this case a recruiter could’ve saved you 4 to 10 months of executive leadership time.
To be fair, our area of expertise is the Canadian employment landscape and not the German. Hope this has helped add to the conversation!