How to Fill a C-Level Role: What You Need to Know

How to Fill a C-Level Role: What You Need to Know

It’s no secret that C-level executives play an important role in any organization. Thus, it’s crucial to thoroughly vet all candidates before hiring one. The individual will have significant responsibilities, for which they must be prepared. They’ll also need to maintain positive relationships with numerous members of the company. Taking your time to make the right decision is crucial.

The following tips will help. If you’re trying to fill a C-level position, you should keep these points in mind throughout the process in order to achieve the best possible result.

 

Know How You’ll Measure Their Performance

It’s easier to find the right candidate for a C-level job if you understand precisely what you can expect them to achieve in their role. This means identifying how you will measure their performance in the future. For example, you may be seeking someone who will reduce costs and inefficiencies in your organization. Determine how you would measure whether or not they achieve this goal.

Once you understand which metrics you’ll rely on to assess a C-level employee, you’ll have a better sense of what you’re looking for in a candidate. Perhaps a candidate you’re considering can demonstrate that they have achieved similar goals in the past.

 

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Keep the Culture in Mind

Someone who thrives in a C-level position at one company may fail at another one if the overall corporate culture between the two is vastly different. After all, a C-level employee is often responsible for maintaining that culture. Thus, it’s not enough to simply hire a person with a strong resume. You need to find someone who has experience working for a similar organization.

Discuss this with potential candidates. Look for enthusiasm when they talk about how they’ll support the overall culture of the business. If they appear to genuinely understand your values, they’re likely a good fit.

 

Pay Attention to Interpersonal Skills

Again, any person filling this type of role will almost certainly be working closely with many other important people at your company. Of course, it’s important to hire someone who has the proper qualifications and work ethic. That said, these traits don’t mean much if an individual doesn’t have strong interpersonal skills.

The ideal candidate is someone who will be able to guide, inspire, and educate other members of the organization on a daily basis. While the ability to get along with you and others is not the only trait to look for, it’s certainly an important one.

 

Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley at Flickr.com

 

Check References

A candidate for any job is typically going to strive to make the best possible first impression. While it’s important to pay attention to candidates’ behavior during the interview process, you should also remember that their behavior could change once they have been hired.

This is why it’s important to check references when considering candidates for C-level positions. Speaking with people who have previously worked with them on a long-term basis can help you to better understand what type of behavior to expect should they join your company.

 

Pay Attention to the Size of Your Company

This is an easy detail to overlook, but it’s one you need to keep in mind when hiring someone for a C-level position. Quite simply, you want to find candidates who have worked at organizations similar in size to yours in the past. Someone who succeeded at a small organization won’t necessarily have the same degree of success at a bigger company. On the other hand, if they’re accustomed to working for a fairly large business, it may take them a long time to adapt to working at a smaller business. Finding someone with experience in working at an organization that is similar in size is always a good idea.

 

Keep Starting Points in Mind

C-level employees can join organizations at any stage in their development. Some have experience turning new startups into thriving companies. Others have more experience in helping established businesses to rebrand.

Consider what stage of growth your organization is at, as well as what stage you want it to reach next, and look for a candidate who has past experience in helping similar companies to develop at the same stages.

 

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Discuss Struggles

It’s likely that a long-term, C-level employee will face some degree of adversity during their time at your company. Knowing how they are going to handle it is important. Thus, you should discuss past struggles with your candidates. If you can find people who have already successfully navigated the kinds of challenges they may face at your organization, you can be more confident in their ability to perform well during tough times.

Most importantly, you should get as many relevant people involved as possible. Hiring the right C-level employee should be a joint effort. When numerous members of the company have an opportunity to evaluate possible candidates, you’re more likely to find the best fit for the job.

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