Identifying the Traits of Great Leaders in Executive Candidates
Identifying leadership skills when hiring for C-suite talent is crucial for a successful fit. Ensuring success in any complex, competitive process requires a professional recruiting partner. If your company is looking for a Chief Data and Analytics Officer with the necessary leadership experience and expertise to revitalize an analytics process, you need a STAR candidate. The sensible solution is partnering with specialized analytics and data science recruiters with the industry networks and experience needed to source that ideal leader. Skilled executive recruiters have the tools and the talent necessary to evaluate candidates based on your specific needs, and to deliver exceptional leaders to your company.
Identifying the “Hard” Leadership Skills
Actionable leadership skills among C-level STAR talent can be broken down into two sets: “hard skills” and “soft skills.” Hard leadership skills are those that are learned through industry and role-specific training and experience. The amount of relevant experience a candidate has in a comparable leadership role is an example. Making the identification between relevant and irrelevant experience is another benefit of partnering with a recruiting firm. Effective, productive communication and relationship-building approaches, as well as basic managerial strategies are likewise hard leadership skills an executive recruiter can help assess.
Identifying the “Soft” Leadership Skills
Sourcing STAR talent for the increasingly competitive business sectors and verticals, such as data science, digital marketing, and ecommerce recruitment, means evaluating another important set of leadership skills—soft skills. Soft skills are some of the most desirable in a candidate because they’re much harder to teach, and rely more on personality traits. Soft skills can be taught and refined, but an ideal leadership candidate should already possess them. Some examples of “soft” skills include strategic thinking, critical thinking, problem solving, work ethic and motivation, flexibility and capacity for innovation, general integrity, and emotional intelligence. All of these skills are absolutely essential for successful leadership and culture fit, and they’re extremely difficult to evaluate in a candidate.
You Need a Specialized Recruitment Firm to Fully Evaluate Leadership Skills
Some of the most proficient, successful executive recruiting firms, such as BrainWorks, have developed and fine-tuned proprietary processes for identifying and evaluating hard and soft leadership skills. With those tools at their disposal, and the BrainWorks team’s decades of combined experience using those tools to identify STAR talent with natural soft leadership aptitude, they are ideally situated for hiring the best. It is yet another reason that engaging in C-level recruiting without executive recruiters is a poor strategy.
Developing and Nurturing Leadership Soft Skills
“Leadership is like a muscle. The more intelligently you train, the stronger you get,” said John Ryan, the President and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership. To that point, the job isn’t done after you hire a top-level leader. They should receive consistent opportunities to flex their leadership ability as well as training on any elements of the role that they aren’t completely comfortable with. These leaders can be invaluable tools in creating and leading leadership programs for other employees, including:
- Establishing career goals with current and future leaders
- Creating specific roadmaps to hone skills and realize potential
- Training and mentoring current and future leaders
- Developing retention programs and leader satisfaction initiatives for STAR talent to avert attrition
- Beginning succession programs for the most critical roles to preclude leadership gaps
There is no better ally in finding and hiring your industry’s most successful leaders, who can lead these initiatives, than an accomplished, adept executive recruiting firm.
For the past 28 years, BrainWorks has cultivated a reputation as an innovator and leader in the executive and C-level recruiting industry. That success is due to their unique combination of proprietary recruitment processes, extensive professional networks, and an abundance of experience in a variety of industries. Their recruiting strategy leverages tools that include the Talent Evaluation Process (TEP), the Seven Traits to Assess Results (STAR) system, and the Talent Acquisition Profile (TAP), with the experience and expertise of their recruitment experts. Their expertise keeps BrainWorks a cut above as executive ecommerce and CPG recruiters. Their Practice Areas additionally include Data Science, Finance, CRM, IT, Digital Marketing, Private Equity, and Analytics. They have decades of experience in analytic recruiting—completing successful hires for major CPG companies nationwide.