There are 5 key areas that need to be considered when hiring leaders.
STEP 1 – Study the Position
Before building any selection system, you need to do your homework and find out the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) needed for successful performance in the role. This is just as important for leadership positions. Knowing the dynamics of the workgroup that the person will lead can help you identify the candidate who is the best fit for the position.
STEP 2 – Build the Process
Every position within the organization needs a hiring process or there will be chaos! I am only half joking when I say this. I have seen high-level applicants walk away from potential employers because their hiring process was a mess or it just took too darn long. Here are a few tips to remember when devising the hiring process steps…
- Only include steps that add value and measurement in the process
- Measure the critical skills and abilities uncovered in Step 1 multiple times throughout the process
- Make sure everyone involved in the process (particularly your C-level stakeholders) knows the process and their role within that process
STEP 3 – Use Reliable Assessment Tools
This is an easy one, and most organizations have done a good job of incorporating assessments into their processes by this point. If you haven’t you should strongly consider it. Using structured, online assessments adds a tremendous amount of value in the form of predicting future behavior. Assessments consistently outperform and out-predict all other aspects of the hiring process. If you don’t already have an assessment in place this is an easy one to fix.
STEP 4 – Behavioral Interviews (even at the executive level)
The number 1 thing I hear from top level leaders is that they just want to “get to know someone”. That is great and probably not a terrible way to assess cultural fit, but also a very bad way to conduct an interview. The research shows that unstructured interviews are 2 to 3 times less reliable than a structured process. Structure is the only way to ensure you are obtaining reliable information. It is arguably even more important when you get to high-level leaders because they can have a greater impact on the organization as a whole.
STEP 5 – Measure Motivational Fit
Frequently organizations miss this very simple step. Companies should be measuring motivational fit(or job fit) as part of the hiring process. This is as simple as ensuring that the candidates likes and dislikes are in alignment with the organization and its values. This seems like a no-brainer, but most organizations forget about this and don’t measure it as part of the process.
Seriously, don’t forget about the hiring process for leaders. They’re some of the most important people in your organization. If you stick to these five steps, you’ll be much more likely to hire leaders who will be effective in your organization. Good leaders will make your lower level employees better too!