REDEFINING YOUR LEADERSHIP HIRING STRATEGY
Hiring top quality Leadership Talent is critical and complex task. Any organisation large or small is looking for leadership talent turnaround your organization, strategizing & restructuring, drive innovation, drive culture, merger & acquisitions etc. the process is challenging and time consuming. Start-up’s and companies to the size of 75Crores plus are also looking for professional leadership team to scale up their business or to go for funding. Most private equities wants a professional team to be in place before they fund companies.
The shrinking pool of Leadership talent and growing competition is challenging the current hiring strategies of organisations worldwide. The impact of hiring quality Leadership Talent can help an organisation to transform from good to great.
Though every organisation, specially the larger organisations have a structured selection process in place, we are still seeing a higher percentage of failures, the rate of leadership success is all time low. Hiring “RIGHT LEADERSHIP TALENT” is key for organisations globally. As defined in Mettl’s Leadership Hiring Trends 2019 - When we say, ‘right leadership talent’, we mean talent that can consistently deliver high performance at work and stays with the organization long enough to enable the creation of a succession pipeline that can take over, once they leave.
This prompts us to discuss the key challenges in hiring right leadership talent and best practices.
1 – UNDERSTANDING THE ORGANISATION CYCLE AND DIRECTION COMPANY WANTS TO MOVE TOWARDS
While the board/management team might have decided the strategy/direction for the company, they need to identify a right leader who can deliver results. Hence it is imperative to align your key parameters based on the organizational cycle and the direction company wants to move towards. You may consider an insider or look outside the company for the talent based on the key parameters numbered as no. 1 criteria, no. 2 criteria and so on…
To hire the best person for the job you must consider both internal parameters combined with external parameters such as industry dynamics, global landscape, competition, customers and economy.
Create a clear understanding on current expectations from the role, traits required and future expectations from the role. With no compromise on culture and values of the organization.
2 – NO SHARED UNDERSTANDING OF EXPECTATIONS FROM THE ROLE
Most of the times the panel involved in Hiring do not develop a shared understanding of expectations from the role/candidate before initiating the search.
We face these challenges while hiring for organisations and in such situations while one stakeholder likes the candidate the other doesn't as they don't share the same understanding around expectations. Clearly developing and communicating the expectations is critical while hiring for Leadership roles.
The issue is all are interviewing based on their own experience or wisdom.
3 – LONG HIRING PROCESS
As per Mettl survey, the top challenges that organisation face while hiring leaders and it’s not the cost of hiring or unavailability of talent.
The biggest problem that organizations face when it comes to leadership hiring is not having an internal succession pipeline of candidates that can take up leadership positions in the future (34%) and long hiring lead time that leads to high candidate back out rate (27%).
The average time taken by most large organisations is 3-4 months to close a senior role.
Organisations that use specialised search agencies and modern assessment tools along with structured hiring process can reduce the timeframe significantly.
With top talent having many options in hand, delay in decision will lead to high candidate back out rate. Multiple interviews are good to ensure right hire, but with an SLA to finish all the process within a stipulated time.
A structured and best-in-class hiring practices will ensure delightful candidate experience through the entire hiring process.
4 – COMPETANCY FRAMEWORK & SCIENTIFICALLY VALIDATED LEADERSHIP TALENT
Apart from making a decision on hiring talent based on panels gut feel, experience and wisdom, organisations must create a competency framework & adopt modern assessment techniques which will help leadership success.
Competency framework is the blueprint of skills required by the leader to be successful in the role & organisation.
While the traditional hiring method focuses more on skills, knowledge and technical qualifications, the key to success today in leadership role immensely depends on right mindset and culture, thus the behaviour aspects are critical. Today’s leader must be self-aware, empathetic, adaptable, collaborative, culturally tuned and future facing.
Competency framework and usage of leadership assessment tools will not only help you hire right talent, but will also help eliminate biases.
Having said this gut feel/instincts, experience along with a structured hiring framework and partnering with a specialised agency to identify talent will be an unbeatable combination to hire quality leadership talent.
5 – PARTNERING WITH RIGHT SEARCH PARTNER
The top leadership talent performing well is not in the market and are fully engaged. They have to be identified through network/connections and prompted to make a move.
The risk involved in hiring a wrong leadership talent has its own implications on organisations culture, reputation and growth. Organisations have to involve specialist to do this job and thus have to partner with specialise agencies who can present passive talent.
Search agencies have deep industry knowledge and most of the specialist consultants have developed deep and wide rolodex. They also play a key role in challenging companies overall thought process, practises by sharing industry insights and benchmarks.
With their expertise in leadership hiring, search agencies are quick to understand client requirements and ensure complete alignment.
The ability of a search agency to present top talent is higher compared to an internal team of an organisation as they engage with the top talent more frequently.
The selection of the right search agency can ensure leadership hiring success 95% of the times.