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Top five ways to hire effective leaders

Kelly Barcelos, digital marketing manager for Jobsoid

Finding great senior-level talent is nothing short of a miracle. The right leadership is critically important and formidable for the growth of the company. You cannot afford to make a hiring mistake here, because if you do, it's going to cost you big. It's obviously an arduous task, but it can be made easier if you do these 5 things to easily weed out inefficient talent.

These five things can help you bring the right leadership talent onboard

1. Optimise your recruitment process

Define the role

Before you rush off to find someone, think carefully about what the role is, the actual requirement of the job and how they fit into your business and your future plans. Write a job description to help you clarify the purpose, tasks and responsibilities of the job. Use a job description template to help guide you.

Effective recruitment process

Having a good recruitment process in place will minimise the time spent on searching, interviewing, hiring and training the candidate. A robust recruitment process builds a positive image in front of your customers, competitors and peers.

2. Assess the leader’s resume

For any managerial position, there are a set of competencies that lay the foundation of a good manager. Leadership takes centre stage where an effective leader ensures your projects don’t get delayed, deadlines are not missed and employee morale does not suffer. Evaluate the candidate’s resume based on these points:

• Experience at a managerial level

Hiring an individual who has had experience at a managerial level will help create and sustain a culture of accountability and be able to provide a compelling vision to motivate employees at an individual level.

Awards and achievements

Leaders are often awarded and recognised for their efforts and hiring an individual who has a proven track record of achievements unveils characteristics of self-motivation and the need to work productively. Additionally, leaders show loyalty and stay with their organisation since they know that their hard work is valued.

Special skills or knowledge

You also need to be on the lookout for candidates with the right skills set and knowledge that ensures they can take on managerial positions. The following skills are a must-have in a managerial level candidate:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication and motivation skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Delegation and mentoring


Promotions in reputable organisations

Self-driven individuals are the perfect fit for any company or team. They seem to know what needs to be done even before the company leaders do. Exceptional performers maintain a balance on both the task at hand as well as make space for the bigger picture. They are also in tune with the people around them and can sense when something needs attention. Such employees always seem to be ahead of the curve. Aim at hiring candidates who have received at least two promotions with two reputable organisations since they think strategically and can anticipate what needs to be done.

Corporate office and industry experience

Be on the lookout for candidates with experience of working in an office environment as well as industry experience. The exposure to working in a corporate office helps sharpen a candidate’s interpersonal and communicational skills, where managing your time effectively plays a major role. On the other hand, industry experience develops valuable soft skills like perseverance, discipline, teamwork, leadership skills and problem-solving in a leader.

Taking career risk

An individual who has taken personal risks in career decisions or has made big personal investments where they have started their own business or made an industry change reflects characteristics of true self-development.

3. Look out for These five personality traits

1. Integrity

People want to work with someone who is ethical. They know that if their leader acts with integrity, they will treat them right and make decisions that are good for the business.

2. Will

A leader should possess the will to constantly progress despite facing obstacles. Maintaining perseverance, resilience, determination and motivation are traits of a leader from whom his employees would imbibe the same.

3. Maturity

A great manager helps to reduce stress at the workplace by creating a healthy environment, which means maintaining a positive attitude in a stressful atmosphere.

4. Fearless decision making

Great leaders are good at making decisions that have a positive impact on themselves and their employees. However difficult a decision may be to take, leaders know how to deal with anxiety and stress, putting the best foot forward even in unfavourable situations.

5. Emotional intelligence

Leaders who are emotionally intelligent foster environments where the employees are allowed to voice their opinions. Being emotionally intelligent motivates individuals to maximise productivity, resolve conflicts and manage change well.

4.  Ask the right questions

Successful interviews are not just about having the right answers; they are also about asking the right questions. Given below are some questions you can ask a potential leadership talent.

• How do you define leadership?

• What would you do if x problem arose?

• How would explain your management approach?

• Given the information I have during the interview, what do you believe to be the best course of action to achieve heightened results from the individuals whom you will be managing?

5. Find out if the candidate is a motivational fit

Measuring a candidate’s motivational fit can also prevent a bad hire. Even though you may have had a great conversation with the candidate who possesses the right skills and experience you looked for, a candidate’s motivational fit will help you make the best judgment when learning if their beliefs and values are in alignment with that of your organisation.  A popular way of judging a candidate’s behaviour is adopting the technique of behavioural interviews. This includes asking hypothetical questions for instance, “Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure and how did you react?” Asking similar open-ended questions allows you to understand how well a candidate would fit into the culture of your organisation or how interested they are in the position.

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