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Recruiting leaders

When we think of recruitment, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘fresh young talent.’ However, executive recruitment can prove to be a far more transformative tactic that too many businesses are neglecting to take advantage of.

Recruit a low-level hire and you might be investing in that hire’s potential at the company, but by recruiting at the top of the chain the benefits will be felt throughout the entire organisation. This is because leaders are not only there to get things done, but to increase subordinate productivity and performance by cultivating a tangible company culture.

Cultural Appropriation

A company culture affects every aspect of the business, its employees and its leadership. It’s all about creating an environment where everyone feels like their work has real value and that they are part of a cohesive team, all working towards the same goals. Corporate culture is an increasingly important aspect of working life for the vast majority of workers, with a study by Deloitte discovering that 88% of employees and 94% of leaders believe it’s vital to success.

The businesses that often toot their own horns as the ‘best places to work’ are often those with a distinct culture in place. If your business is in something of a cultural quagmire, recruiting a leader with proven experience in cultivating successful corporate culture could be the key step towards increasing employee loyalty, satisfaction, performance, and morale.

The best thing about a strong corporate culture is that it will also do a lot of the recruitment work for you. HR professionals all agree that a strong and positive culture attracts potential employees. It’s also another competitive advantage to consider when negotiating salary, as people will always want to work for a company with a decent reputation. They are also more likely to stay with a company that ‘feels like home’ as opposed to a company that feels like a stepping stone on the way to somewhere better. Getting the cultural ball rolling, however, requires the right leader.

Any top firm will live and die by its ability to recruit the best talent. Recruiting poor leaders can have an irreparably damaging effect on your business, so it’s certainly not a decision to take lightly.

Knowing What You Want

Knowing what kind of leader you want means knowing what kind of culture you wish to create. Decide on the kind of culture that would suit your business and look to recruit the kind of leader who will help you get there. A strong business leader should have the ability to develop a culture that reflects his or her own ideals, so make sure those ideals chime with your business. Do you want someone with integrity who will take responsibility for their mistakes? Someone with the grit and determination to keep moving forward regardless of the circumstances? Or someone with a degree of maturity and the ability to pull the trigger when necessary to achieve desired goals?

Asking the Right Questions

Recruiting a leader who has been successful at another firm might seem logical on paper but there are more intricate factors to consider. For example: How long have they held their previous roles? Do they have pertinent management experience to your business and your company’s goals? Do they have any tangible awards, achievements or knowledge of your industry? These are the questions you should be asking.

Going Specialist

A specialist recruitment firm exists to match the best leadership talent to the roles at the best firms. These firms have a distinct advantage over traditional recruitment firms, as they specialise in one sector. This means they have a greater amount of expertise and will have accrued a more relevant list of contacts for each of their respective sectors. As such, if you’re making senior hires, specialist firms such as Leighton Taylor (a firm which has a very strong track record in sourcing and placing senior executives) are comfortably your fastest route to the right talent.

Trickle Down Culture

Far beyond being a part of your company’s culture, a good leader should form the beating heart of that culture. So when it comes to recruitment, make sure you take your time and work only with the people who know the sector and its strongest players inside and out. Then you might just be able to bag the leader that transforms your company from a cultural wasteland into a cultural capital.