4 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Capture Executive

Identifying an appropriate candidate to manage your capture process can be a challenge. It isn’t that the capability and experience doesn’t exist, but rather the necessity that individual’s expertise must align well with your internal strategic business goals as an organization.

Talented capture executives can bring valuable processes to the table and can modify your existing business processes appropriately, but it is essential to adopt a multi-faceted assessment approach when recruiting for this position. Here are four questions you should be asking during the hiring process if you want to bring on the best capture executive for your organization.

What Experience Should a Capture Executive Have?

It probably goes without saying, but a potential capture executive have recent and relevant experience in how the capture process works. This capability reaches beyond a high-level understanding of capture. You should be looking for someone who can demonstrate how the process works, and how they have utilized the process successfully in the past.

This includes defining areas in which they’ve seen the process work, as well as areas they’ve found that need improvement based on specific business strategies. Anyone can spout off industry-standard capture processes, but a demonstrated understanding of the steps utilized in the capture process provides insight into their true breadth of experience.

Do They Have a Record of Complex Captures?

In addition to gauging their level of understanding of the capture process, does the potential capture executive have a successful past record of complex captures under their belt? If so, what was the outcome of those captures? Gauge the win/loss ratio of captures conducted, and have them explain why they believe certain captures to be more successful than others.

Was there a key component that was different in a win vs. a loss? What did they do with the outcome information? How were they able to implement lessons learned moving forward?

What Is Their Understanding of the Full BD Lifecycle?

As capture is only one component of the business development lifecycle, it cannot successfully operate in an environment propped up by silos. Thus, a successful capture executive must have a demonstrated visibility into the full BD lifecycle, understanding all of the moving parts of capture through proposal development. Business intelligence gained during a capture process feeds win themes incorporated into a winning proposal, and provides valuable insight into the specific needs of the government customer.

Do They Know the Customer?

Lastly, does the candidate know the customer set you do business with? For instance, are they retired from a parent or ancillary federal organization that aligns with your targeted customer base? Do they have existing relationships that can provide value during the capture process? Is their network of contacts well aligned with your business goals? Although customer reach isn’t always a definitive go/no-go decision maker, it’s still an important question to ask.

With all other facets being the same, the rolodex of one candidate could potentially shape your hiring decision if it will provide an overall benefit to your business strategy.

About Skip Blackburn