When you are hiring someone into a leadership position in your company, you want to have confidence that you are choosing the right person. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to strike out and bring in an individual who does not move your business forward. We want to help you improve your talent acquisition batting average! In Part 1 of this topic, we talked about the importance of assessing whether the potential hire is aligned with your company’s core values. Here, we cover four more best practices that will strengthen your ability to make a wise choice about your next leadership hire.
#1: Don’t Go It Alone
Anyone hired into a leadership role affects many people. It makes sense, therefore, to have multiple people interview the candidates for that position. Don’t take the full responsibility of making a hiring decision on yourself: involve five or six people who have a stake in the hire and give them opportunity to spend time with the candidates.
#2: Get Repeat Exposures
Don’t rely on a single day’s interviews to make your decision. You are going to be working closely with the chosen person, so you want to be sure you have a good sense of who they are. We recommend seeing your two “finalists” at least three times. It is optimal if one of those exposures is in a non-office setting, such as over a meal at a restaurant, since people reveal a different side of themselves in an informal environment. More exposures means more data to aid your decision-making process.
#3: Put It All on the Table
Lots of leadership teams involve multiple people in the interview process. Fewer teams take the time to compare notes and hear each other’s honest reactions to the candidate. Quite frankly, if you skip this step, you have wasted everyone’s valuable time – and undercut your ability to make a good hiring decision. Having multiple people involved in interviewing a candidate is not done so that they can “rubberstamp” one person’s decision: they are involved because they can contribute valuable data to what the decision ought to be.
#4: Make the Calls
Reference calls are absolutely essential when hiring at the leadership level. But, don’t limit your calls only to the references the candidate supplies; feel free to reach out to other people who know the candidate to get their opinions and feedback. For example, you might know someone at the candidate’s former company, or be able to identify a good contact via LinkedIn. Remember, there’s no rule that says the only reference calls you can make are to the names the candidate gives you. You might also want to do a search on social media to find out what type of presence the candidate has online.
Hiring is a decision you make today that has an impact for years to come. Use these tips to improve your talent acquisition batting average and help your company score!