The Hunt For Leaders: 7 Tips For Recruiting High-Level Executives
Recruiting the right talent for an executive position can have a huge and lasting impact on your company’s operations and success. As such, if your organisation is looking to replace or fill in a position in your senior management team, seasoned Dubai HR executives say it is essential to go through the hiring process carefully and properly.
When hiring high-level executives for your organisation, here are some useful tips worth remembering:
- Be specific with the job description at the onset
Whether you want to fill a newly created or already existing position, the process of hiring a high-level executive should start with a deep understanding of the role.
Aside from identifying the specific duties of the new employee, the job description should also list responsibilities as seen through the viewpoint of the company culture, future business plans, and delivery outlook.
You will also do well to clearly define the type of skills, personality, and experience you require from candidates. You can also provide some details on how the position will develop over time so that the successful candidate will have some ideas about the progression of the role.
- Use your network
Aside from posting job ads and working with executive recruiters, you can use your connections to look for potential candidates. Networking is free and the ideal candidate may just be running within your circle.
You can also ask for referrals from your connections.Referred employees offer certain benefits to an organisation. Seeking referrals is also an excellent way to find passive candidates – highly-qualified executives who are not actively looking at the job market but may be interested in what you have to offer.
- Be open-minded
When looking for senior management executives, avoid narrowing your focus on industry-specific experience. Broaden your search to include different industries and geographic locations to have a bigger candidate pool to choose from.
A lot of companies today continue to find value when they recruit people from outside their industry. Depending on what the executive’s role is, most of the time, cultural leadership and functional skills may be more crucial than relevant sector or industry experience.
Do not limit your search to external applicants only either. Find out if you have any current employees interested in the position and have the skills, experiences and personality that meet the requirements. Encourage them to apply.
- Have the candidates undergo the right battery of pre-employment tests
Before commencing with the interviews, consider using some assessment tools and exercises to acquire a more in-depth perspective on a candidate. You can use the results to create a detailed profile of the candidate and during the actual interviews.
According to a leading job consultant in UAE, psychometric testing tools, when used properly and customized to the specific role, present more precision and objectivity into the whole recruitment process.
They can also give you a better picture of each candidate which you can use to determine if they meet the personal and occupational characteristics your organisation needs.
- Interview qualified candidates following best practices
Once you have shortlisted the best candidates, proceed with the interview process. Make sure the candidates go through at least three in-depth, structured interviews.
Interviews can be conducted formally and informally. You can already start screening candidates via a phone call when you schedule them for a test or an actual interview.
The final selection team should be made up of well-trained, high calibre, and motivated interviewers. Make sure the senior managers are educated and trained in proper interview techniques.
Having candidates go through several interviews is important because, through these opportunities, you will be able to verify the technical proficiency and experiences of each candidate. You and your recruitment team will also have a good opportunity to assess a candidate’s work ethic, values and leadership qualities to ensure they are the right fit for the organisation.
- Check each candidate’s references
Lastly, to be sure your candidates are who they say they are, conduct a thorough background check. Contact the references that each candidate provides. Take the time to verify their educational and professional backgrounds as well.
You will also do well to speak with other people who have worked with, supervised or reported to the candidate. Keep in mind that when you go the extra mile in checking your candidates’ references, you will be more confident that you are hiring the person you think you are hiring.
The consequences of a bad high-level executive hire can spill over into every level and aspect of the organisation. As such, go through the recruitment process one step after another and follow good tips and strategies to ensure you hire a good leader for your company.
A recruitment professional with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a record of entrepreneurial accomplishment, David is Managing Director and Head of HR at Mackenzie Jones.