The difference between a boss and a leader has long been a subject of contention, but for the most part, the difference is clear: a boss manages while a leader inspires. When a team has a boss, it isn’t given a chance to grow through collective innovation and creativity. But if it has a leader, both the team and the company can reach greatness beyond what was expected.
This may be the very reason why the recruitment process for C-level talent is very different from hiring entry-level employees. This is because the stakes are higher since the people you should be hiring are given bigger responsibilities that would decide the future of the business.
When hiring C-suite executives for your company, you must look for someone who can lead your team to growth rather than just boss them around to do his dirty work. To make this happen, here are six helpful recruitment tips you can try before offering an employment contract to hard-bargaining C-suite executive applicants:
1. Look for Leadership Traits, Not Impressive Resumes
Resumes are the standard document require during the recruitment process. It summarizes what the applicant has to offer by covering things like education, skills, trainings, and past employment. However, there are several drawbacks to using these documents, as follows:
- Resumes are deliberately written to impress, presenting the applicant in the best possible light. Although this isn’t inherently bad, it can distract and may even misconstrue the actual accomplishments he has.
- Resumes aren’t written the same way, making it hard for human resources to compare ones from several candidates.
- Resumes don’t convey the candidate’s personality and his compatibility with the team.
- Resumes may not accurately represent a person’s traits.
Leadership traits are something that any piece of paper cannot possibly contain. This can only be assessed by speaking to the candidate and those who have worked with him in the past.
When hiring C-level talent, you must make sure that you pick someone with the personality that fits your company culture. He should also be knowledgeable and humble at the same time. You wouldn’t want a know-it-all pushing your people around.
Due diligence at work and the ability to inspire is also important. People will respect executives who can show their work instead of just bragging about it.
2. Seek Referrals and Consider Current Employees
When hiring high-ranking company officials and executives, referrals are probably the safest and easiest way to go. Don’t underestimate the power of connections, especially ones that have been nurtured by existing C-level executives and employees in your company.
Before you hire anyone who was referred to you, make sure to check them diligently. This means you have to actually talk to references provided as well as employers and officemates to see if the candidate has what it takes to be part of your team.
3. Use Expert Recruitment Services
The difference between entry-level and C-suite talent cannot be overstated. As mentioned earlier, there is a lot more at stake when hiring COOs, CEOs, and CFOs. To boost your chances of making the right choice, you should consider using expert recruitment services.
These professionals bring experience and knowledge that most start-up company owners require. They also have a vast network of skilled and highly talented people whom they can tap whenever the need arises.
4. Define the Job Description in Detail
Getting the right person for a job starts with defining what the job entails. This is a very effective strategy when hiring C-level talent.
You may use job description templates, but you have to make sure that you modify it according to your company’s specific needs.
From there, think about the kind of executive you want running your company. Is he generally good at leading people? Or does he have experience in the niche or industry you’re working in? Make it as specific as possible and include details about the coverage of his responsibilities.
5. Take Your Time
Unlike hiring for entry-level positions, recruiting a C-suite executive requires plenty of time. In fact, it is crucial that you take the time to build a relationship with candidates to determine who is the right fit for the job accurately. After all, the best leaders are hard to find.
When doing so, you have to take a personalized approach. Show him that you’re serious about the hiring process by making it a system that focuses on his strengths, weaknesses, and potential.
6. Check Relevance of Experience
Experience alone isn’t going to cut it when hiring for executive-level positions. You have to make sure that the person you choose has relevant experience to the industry or the job you’re trying to fill.
To make this happen, you can incorporate industry-specific questions during the interview. This will allow you a glimpse of what he knows about the different quirks of the industry – from terminologies to problems and trends.
Choose a Good Leader
Choosing a good leader for your team can be challenging because you’re not only selecting someone skilled at the job, you also need him to bring out the best in others. Make sure your company becomes one step closer to success, recruit a leader rather than a boss. Only when you make the right choice will you be able to see the difference.
David Mackenzie, a recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones. As the Group MD, David is responsible for the overall direction of the Mackenzie Jones Group, including Mackenzie Jones, MumsAtWork, MENA Solutions, Simply Digital and ThinkTech.