Hiring for senior roles, while exciting, can also be a time of anxiety, stress or transition for many companies. Because of this, pinpointing the type of executive that will be the right fit for the role can be a challenge, especially if the company is looking for a change in leadership style or direction.
Determining the kind of senior executive your organisation is looking for first and foremost requires understanding what type of leader your company needs, and what types of experiences, qualifications and hard and soft skill-sets they should have. This includes the possibility that the right candidate may come from another industry.
“With the cross-border and innovation pace accelerating among industries, employers are no longer limited to finding executives within the original industry,” David Chan, Greater China Regional Head and CEO of Bó Lè Associates, said. “Instead, many of the most successful executives are now hired from beyond the industry sector of the employer based on their transferable skills, which include qualities such as adaptability, organisation, communication and leadership.”
Before posting a job description or contacting a recruiter, here are the five steps companies need to take to maximise the success of their efforts:
1. Know your business strategy
The first thing your internal recruitment team needs to do when it’s time to look for a new executive is to know your business strategy. More than this, it’s important to know whether your business is looking for someone that fits the established culture or looking to make a few changes. Knowing the direction your company is taking – both in strategy and culture – is key to ensuring the candidates who are approached will be able to help your company achieve its goals.
2. Know the experience and competencies needed
As you prepare to look for candidates, it’s important to consider the experiences and qualifications that the ideal candidate should have. To do this, a good exercise can be to build a profile of your perfect candidate: industry experience, leadership style, what soft-skills they should possess, which traits the rest of the executives might be lacking and the gaps that need to be filled. From there, you’ll have a good idea of who this new executive might be and begin looking for a candidate in earnest.
3. Know the opportunities and challenges of the role
When it comes time for you to reach out to candidates, understanding what makes the position at your company unique and appealing will be of utmost importance. This goes beyond compensation and benefits – consider the opportunities and challenges they’ll be faced with, both on a daily basis and in the long-term, and be prepared to articulate how those circumstances will be exciting and beneficial for them.
4. Know your working culture
Even if an executive ticks all the boxes in the way of qualifications, skills and experience, if they’re not a good fit for the company in the long-run, then it is not a good match. Intimately understanding the culture of your company and the types of leadership styles and personalities that work best in that environment will help you find candidates who will not just fit a profile, but thrive at your company.
5. Know if you need recruiting assistance
If you need to hire discreetly or are unsure you can find the ideal candidates for your business, turning to a recruitment consultant can be a huge benefit. These companies have a wide network of readily available candidates and connections, and can add value by sharing information on what candidates are looking for regarding salaries and other benefits. Additionally, they are often able to provide candidate short-lists quickly, helping to speed up the hiring process.
Once you have completed these five steps, you should have a solid sense about whether an executive is a good fit for the role you are hiring for. After all, that’s the goal: to not simply hire someone, but to hire someone who is the best possible match for your company, its culture and people.
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