The executives you choose to lead your company have a more significant impact on the organization than almost any other decision you make. Extending an offer to an executive candidate should not be taken lightly. It is essential that the person you choose be the correct one for your company. Avoid being blinded by an impressive pedigree if they do not bring the essentials your business requires to thrive.

What must you ask yourself before making an executive hiring decision? Consider first where your organization is now and where the new leader will be expected to take you.

  1. What do you expect to accomplish with this hire? Before you decide which candidate to extend an offer to, you must assess your goal for the position. Do you want a game-changer to come in to shake things up? Would you prefer a more conservative leader who can flawlessly execute on an existing strategy? Your answer to this question will inform your choice of executive.
  2. Does the candidate understand your mission? Don’t hire someone who is more interested in forwarding his own agenda than yours. Conduct an in-depth interview to gain an understanding of their business philosophy. If it does not mesh with your own corporate culture or dynamic, it may be best to pass on this candidate, even if they check the rest of your “must-have” boxes.
  3. Is this position a stretch? No one worth hiring in an executive position will be satisfied with doing exactly what they’ve done before. Your position should present a challenge. Look for candidates who have backgrounds that have prepared them for this role, but will not be old hat. Top performers will not remain long in a job that does not require them to expand their capabilities.
  4. Can this executive adapt to change? Markets change and businesses must adapt. If you change direction, he should be prepared to roll with and implement those changes, not resist. A rigid executive who is not able to “sell” the changes to subordinates can harm your business. Look for evidence in each candidates experience that they have been able to lead teams through changes and challenges.
  5. Is this the right candidate for the company’s current stage? If your business is young and growing, think carefully about hiring a Fortune 100 executive. A candidate who comes from a large corporation is likely accustomed to having plenty of resources. It may be a shock to step into a role that may not be rigidly defined and may even change from day to day. By the same token, an executive from a smaller company may be frustrated by the pace at which decisions are made in a large corporation.

The executive recruiters at BrainWorks can help you find the most highly qualified candidates and make smarter hiring decisions. For expert assistance sourcing and hiring top performers, contact us today.


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