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It can be challenging to find executives with the talent, expertise, and unique qualities needed to lead your company. Yet when it comes to those who’ll make the firm’s tough calls—decisions that can be the difference between growth and decline—finding the right fit is absolutely crucial.
Step one: identify a hiring strategy in advance. Not only does it put a process in place that enables you to generate well-qualified leads, but you’ll also be ready to move proactively when opportunities appear.
Central to this strategy—particularly at the executive level—is networking. By utilizing existing relationships and building business contacts you can create a pipeline of potential talent. Then, when you have an opening, you’ve already got leads and connections to turn to.
> Look for “People Persons.” Business is about people. You want a leader who’s proven in working with and leading others.
> Value Integrity. Character matters over skill every time—especially for leaders, for whom trust is essential.
> Aim for Growth. Hire a leader who’s hungry and poised to keep pace with your company’s future plans.
> Hire a Specialized Search Firm. It’s often worth the expenditure to have someone else who specializes in your industry pre-screen viable candidates.
> Mine Current or Relevant Networks. Go where you’re likely to find a good match for your needs—such as trade shows and conferences that relate to the role.
> What About Mass Market Sources? Skip it. While appropriate for general listings, classifieds and internet boards won’t produce the uniquely-qualified leads you want.