Recruiting talent for the role of a senior executive in your organization is a challenging task. The process may involve screening applicants, sorting resumes, and conducting interviews to select the right candidate. The process should not be taken lightly, as recruiting an unqualified C-level executive will inevitably affect other parts of your organization. If this happens, clients and potential customers may be discouraged from doing business with your company, and it can also reduce morale among employees and stakeholders.
Knowing what skills and talent to look for, the value of each of these skills, and how to synthesize such information can help you to determine which candidate to hire for the position of a C-level executive. In the following, we’ll present a few tips to assist you in the recruitment and hiring process.
Thoroughly Check References
While this may seem obvious, thoroughly checking a candidate’s references is key. One critical factor in recruitment is determining whether someone in your industry can recommend an executive candidate. This is key because an endorsement from an organization or people for whom your candidate has worked for in the past will give you a better picture of who you are interviewing and how the person has behaved or worked with others in the past.
Don’t underestimate recommendations provided by references, and be sure to actually check references. While it’s unfortunate, some candidates embellish their accomplishments. Thus, a failure to thoroughly check references could spell disaster down the line. You should ensure that candidates are actually able to deliver what they promised on their resumes.
Check for Relevant Industry Experience
C-level candidates’ experience should not be the only factor used to gauge their success in the past, as this does not directly relate to their level of their expertise. During the interview process, you should be sure to ask industry-specific questions in order to determine whether a candidate is well-versed in industry terminology, problems, and trends.
In addition, you should be sure that your human resources department is well aware of how candidates’ level of experience is directly related to their potential for success in an executive role. During your interview with the candidate, you may also find it beneficial to explain why experience is critical to the role. Doing so may help to give the candidate a better idea of what their background can bring to your company.
Ensure That Candidates’ Values Align with Those of Your Organization
No matter what level of intelligence and experience a C-level executive candidate has, if the individual does not support your organization’s philosophy, then you face a tough road ahead. An executive must focus on the crucial task of executing the company’s goals and bringing its vision to reality while directing others to follow suit.
While human resources personnel often do not encounter a lot of difficulty in finding the right person for most openings at a company, when it comes to hiring for C-level positions, it can be more challenging because they define the culture of an organization. Once they hone in on the mission, vision, and products of the organization, then you are on the right track to selecting an executive who will be able to properly implement a strategy for the growth and development of the company.
Don’t Take Resumes at Face Value
While resumes are standard in the recruiting and hiring process, there are a lot of disadvantages to using them. A resume is deliberately written to present a candidate in the best possible light, and while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, resumes also tend to exaggerate a candidate’s skills and accomplishments. In addition, due to the various resume styles and ways in which they are written, it can be complicated for the human resources staff to compare them, which can lead to an uneven pool of candidates. Another drawback to resumes is that the experience and accomplishments outlined in them do not necessarily mean that a particular candidate will be the right person for the position.
Despite their drawbacks, the importance of resumes in the hiring process for C-level executives cannot be understated. It’s important to consider the issues that arise when reviewing resumes at the beginning of the recruitment process. Once you have narrowed down the list of candidates, then figuring out what they have to offer your company based on their resumes should be of the utmost importance.
In addition, it’s always a good idea to have a team of interviewers who will remain transparent and exercise good judgment throughout the recruitment process. Transparency will help to foster an open and honest dialogue among the hiring team and encourage each interviewer to be candid when giving feedback on candidates. No matter what strategy your company uses in recruiting and hiring C-level executives, it’s important to understand that the main goal should be to find someone who truly understands your company’s vision and has a solid plan for helping it to get there.