The quality of leadership can make or break an organization. Leaders do not only make high-level strategic decisions; they also need to inspire every employee to work towards the same goals. It is vital that companies, especially startups, select capable executives to steer the business towards the path of sustainable growth. Due to the complex and crucial nature of the job, finding the right people to fill the roles of high-level leaders is immensely challenging. Recruiting is tough. But it becomes even more demanding if you are scouting for candidates with outstanding leadership skills and extensive management experience.
A study conducted by the Corporate Executive Board shows that 50 to 70 percent of executives, fail within the first eighteen months of taking the new role. According to management consulting firm McKinsey, 75 percent of executives believe they were unprepared for the position due to insufficient onboarding processes. Then there’s the lack of experience, difficulty thinking at a larger scale, and inability to adjust to higher pressure. Yet, these are issues that came about after the selection phase. In a way, these shortcomings can be attributed to the recruiter’s failure to see them beforehand and only underscores the importance of efficient screening.
Most recruiters can evaluate skills and experience with ease. But the overall capacity of a person to perform high-level management is much trickier to gauge. There is no perfect tool that can predict whether someone would be successful in their leadership role, but there is a set of criteria that recruiters can base their decisions on when choosing a candidate. How would you know if an individual is fit for an executive position? Here are three factors to consider.
1. Can They Show Remote Leadership?
Many companies are shifting to a remote work strategy, and it is not merely a trend brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Kate Lister, president of the research-based consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics, forecasts that about 70 percent of the labor force would work remotely for a minimum of five days a month by 2025. According to another research, a hybrid work structure, which enables people to combine working from different sites, is the preferred model of 83 percent of employees.
Undoubtedly, remote work is here to stay – pandemic or no. To survive the constantly evolving business landscape, companies must adapt to the changes, including having an executive who can lead remotely. But how would you know if a candidate is capable of handling a team comprised of people from different geographic locations?
First, look for high-level HR candidates who are strong communicators. They can be found here, by high-level executive human resources recruiters. One of the most prominent qualities of outstanding leaders is their ability to convey their thoughts, ideas, instructions, needs, and goals clearly and concisely. It establishes successful collaboration among team members, as well as boosts morale and productivity. With a remote work setup, good communication has never been more crucial.
Second, select candidates who can guide and motivate people without being constantly around them. They should be capable of delegating tasks to employees who are most suitable to perform the job. They supervise work progress without impinging on the autonomy of the workers. By allowing the workforce to exercise self-sufficiency, leaders make them feel valued. It encourages them to strive harder to reach the organization’s goals. Furthermore, these candidates must know how to detach themselves to assess a situation objectively, particularly when it concerns new operations such as remote work. Stepping back allows them to make wise tactical decisions that help streamline old processes and eliminate obsolete ones.
Lastly, search for candidates that have sufficient knowledge of modern technology. Remote work became possible mainly because of technological advancement. Anyone leading a team of remote workers must know how to utilize tech to optimize its benefits.
2. Can They Interpret Commercial Data?
In simple terms, commercial data means any information collected by an organization about its customers. This data helps a business predict consumer behaviors and market trends, leading to better decision-making. For instance, it can reveal what features or solutions customers are looking for, thus helping companies enhance their products or improve their services.
Perusing commercial data takes technical knowledge, which is why there are data analysts. So, how do executives come into play? Executives study the compiled information, consult with various sources for comparison, and interpret patterns to predict trends.
When recruiting candidates to fill executive positions, look for individuals who comprehend commercial data and grasp its value. But, more importantly, they must know how to translate the information into strategies that drive the business forward and strengthen its financial standing. The candidates must have a good sense of judgment and recognize opportunity when they see it. Furthermore, they should not balk from taking calculated risks. In other words, they should be willing to take the plunge, but only after carefully deliberating the situation using the data presented. Finally, be sure to choose individuals who follow through with their course of action and own up to their mistakes.
3. Are They Innovative, Flexible and Agile in Strategic Thinking?
Companies highly value employees with the ability to think outside the box. And with the volatility of the business world, organizations need leaders who are innovative, flexible, and competent in thinking strategically. But what do these characteristics imply?
Innovation fuels growth and innovative leaders creatively channel their thought processes into measurable results that benefit the company. To put it simply, these people transform their imagination into tangible outputs. Flexibility shows that they are open to constructive criticism and willing to work with others to improve their concepts and ideas. Recruiters such as Lightning Travel Recruitment know strategic thinkers are reflective and possess superior critical thinking skills, which enable them to make better decisions.
When hiring for top-level positions, look for candidates who can provide unconventional but practical and functional solutions to issues that businesses, especially startups, encounter in a volatile environment. However, they should not dwell on merely solving problems. They must also strive to improve unreliable processes.
Ideal candidates are not afraid of being challenged. On the contrary, they encourage and welcome debate so the team can come up with the best analyses and strategies. They are contemplative and ask deep, more thoughtful questions. In fact, they may even have more questions than answers. This attitude motivates employees to take into account every aspect of the situation before making decisions. Lastly, hire candidates who have the determination to transform toxic organizational culture into one that values its workforce and provides meaningful employee engagement activities.