Every executive will agree that hiring is one of the most important aspects of their business. The employees, especially the additional executive level employees that you hire, will directly have an effect on the success of the business. They will further be responsible for hiring lower level employees and will make many important decisions for the business. How do you effectively select a candidate for an executive level position then? What are some of the most important qualities to look for in an executive level employee?
Work history and length of employment
The first factor you are likely to use in filling executive level employees is the resume and cover letter. A resume, although not entirely conclusive, can tell you a lot about an employee. It can give you their work and school history. Perhaps the most important things to look for in a resume are how closely their previous position or positions aligns with the one you are attempting to fill. It is also important to pay attention to length of employment. Do they often switch jobs quickly? Do their positions increase in importance? Have they been unemployed for a long period of time? Are they currently employed and how likely are they to leave that position for the position that you are offering? These are all important questions that can be answered via the resume.
Interview and personality questionnaires
The interview is the time to fill in the gaps from the resume. Do you have additional questions about the resume that pertain to the current open position? The interview is the perfect time to ask these questions and to gain further clarification of the resume and cover letter. Your HR consultant or human resources department is often the first interview. If they make it past the HR consultant, a second or third interview may be scheduled with you. If you do not have a dedicated HR consulting team, this is where it becomes extremely beneficial to utilize the services of executive HR search firms. Executive HR search firms act as an outsourced human resource professional, screening potential candidates. That way, you are not wasting valuable time interviews or screening candidates that do not meet the minimum requirements of the open position.
Personality questionnaires can also be very helpful in understanding a candidate?s personality traits and characteristics. However, many businesses fail to use them or fail to analyze them properly. Personality questionnaires ask the candidate a series of questions that put them in specific situations, asking them what they would do. The answers to these questions give you a better idea of their decision making processes and their morals. If you are unfamiliar with personality questionnaires, you can outsource executive HR search firms to give and analyze them.
Clear job descriptions and testing
Employees often accept career positions, not entirely understanding their role expectations. A recent survey by Robert Half showed that one third (36%) of 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30%) was unclear performance objectives. These problems lead to high retention rates, which can negatively affect the business in many ways. About 2.7 million workers voluntarily left their jobs at the end of June 2015, a 25% increase compared to two years ago.
Clearer job descriptions and implementing testing during the interview process can solve this problem. When you utilize the services of an executive search consultant, they have a variety of useful tools to ensure the candidate is the best fit for the position. Specific testing might include typing, mock interviewing, or even IT related tasks. These hands on job task tests can give you a better idea of a candidate?s true skill levels.
Hiring is one of the most important success factors in a business. If you hire poorly qualified candidates, it will show in your business plan and success. There are a variety of steps that can increase the quality of your hiring decision. Most of them take time and specialized experience, making it important to leave your executive level hiring decisions to executive HR search firms.