Business people shaking hands after successful meeting
The coronavirus pandemic may have disrupted many things over the past year, but the need to grow your business wasn’t one of them. With so many changes on the horizon, building the best leadership team has never been more important. How have talent acquisition and executive search adapted to the new normal? How can you use this to your company’s advantage?
I’m a member of an entrepreneurial group and we’ve been trying to find the most effective way to find the best leaders. While doing some research on a Forbes article on top research firms, I noticed the methodology of one of the publicly traded companies, N2Growth. I think it will be the key to helping many companies navigate the new market paradigm. In this article I am going to share some of their methods while also providing my own perspective as an entrepreneur.
Attracting breakthrough talent is critical to a company’s future. To stay competitive and keep up with trends, the next few steps leaders should take on their next executive search:
Start with an organizational audit
There are many skilled executives who can boast a track record of success. But not all of them are a good fit for your company.
The first step in adding an effective leader to your team is figuring out how you want to grow. This requires a deep understanding of your business – what it does well, what it doesn’t do well, and what it uniquely offers to the marketplace. When you know your company inside and out, you have a better chance of knowing what to look for in a leader.
Use unbiased verification procedures
It is impossible to have a completely objective screening process. However, it is important to conduct a multi-dimensional assessment to gain deeper insight into qualified candidates.
Create a quantitative metrics scorecard and rate each candidate against the same standard. For example, in a leadership role, you could assign different point values for different periods of time. Or, you could give someone extra credit for exceeding a sales growth target.
By performing multiple cross-checks with potential employees, you can identify blind spots in your existing interview process. With this information available, you can make the most logical decision when it comes to adding a new leader to your team.
Diversity makes your company more insightful and effective. Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion at the executive level can improve productivity and produce positive results. A commitment to DEI also makes your company more attractive to a larger pool of candidates.
Of course, it’s important to build a team across different segments such as race, gender, and sexual orientation. However, the emphasis is on the variety of experiences, personal and professional backgrounds, and socio-economic history of your leadership team.
Standardize your search process
Every step of your search process is important to find the highest quality candidates. Often times, a company’s research and pipelining efforts lack depth. This means that a lot of time can be wasted interviewing competing employees who lack the necessary skills.
Conversely, you could have a robust search process, but your verification methods are out of date. That could lead to you making the wrong decision when it comes to your shortlist really. By formalizing your search process, you can see which steps are strong and which processes need help.
Do a comprehensive search
The simple fact is that most companies don’t do a thorough, rigorous search. They make their talent acquisition decisions from a limited pool of candidates, which limits their options and increases the risk of failure.
Fortunately, it has never been easier to cast a suitably wide net. Thanks to innovations in digital technologies, hiring managers are no longer limited to cold calling and face-to-face interviews. With real-time video, integrated social media platforms and optimized text / chat applications, companies can work with qualified candidates faster than ever before.
Companies that attract the best talent also do not set any self-limiting limits on their talent acquisition process. Retaining a search firm can greatly help in-house hiring teams by giving them better insight into talent intelligence and current market dynamics. The wider and deeper your talent mapping skills, the more likely you are to hire the best candidate possible, not just the best available one.
Offer equity in your company
When interviewing executives for roles on your leadership team, it’s important to remember that you are likely speaking to a candidate who is more knowledgeable and experienced than most of the others. If someone has created the success profile to be considered for a leadership position, they likely know the value it would bring to your company. These people are often characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit.
Offering them equity and an interest in your business might be a wise move for two reasons. First, it might help you stand out as a target for this potential setting. Second, it gives that person extra motivation to grow your business and increase its profitability.
Recruiting a leader on your leadership team can be a long and arduous process. However, there are few things that can affect your business more than a successful, well-oiled executive team. If you are looking to hire new leaders, you should improve your hiring process through objective reviews, standardized prospecting, and motivational incentives. By doing all of these, you will maximize the likelihood of success for your business.