Leadership Recruitment

"A Team Is A Reflection Of Its Leadership"

Leadership Process

Recruiting leaders for many companies can often be arduous, time consuming, costly and stressful. Despite this, it is critical to any firm’s success as staffing leaders will either enable or prevent an organization from reaching its revenue goals.

While nobody can get it perfect every time, there are certain implementations that a hiring manager can utilize in order to heighten the odds of a successful outcome. Below, I’ve outlined a basic platform to ensure a company is recruiting leaders:

Defining Leadership

Before being able to effectively headhunt leaders, we must be able to define the traits that comprise these individuals. While leaders come in all different sizes, personalities and backgrounds, here are 5 things they share in common:

1. Leaders are trustworthy. They are transparent and give credit where credit is due.

2. Leaders carry a positive, optimistic attitude and are able to energize a group.

3. Leaders build self-confidence in their subordinates. They consistently grow others always taking time to upgrade employee performance.

4. Leaders set goals and a firm vision for the organization. Then, they convey that mission loud and clear.

5. Leaders are passionate, knowledgeable and decisive. They have the ability to make firm decisions even if those decisions are not the most popular.

Recruitment Facts

Once a hiring manager has the traits that they are seeking when recruiting, it is important to know some facts about staffing leaders.

1. Recruiting is about selling. Think about what makes the job and your organization attractive to potential hires. Is it the company’s product, the potential earning power or the ability to have creative control over a team? Is it all of the above?

2. Know that you have to pay for top talent. When staffing leaders, you are going to have to provide financial incentive for them to leave their current position.

While overpaying has its detriments, underpaying is one of the worst compensation polices that can be implemented during the recruitment process. Money isn’t everything, though it sure is something.

3. The more flexible you are on background requirements, the more candidates you will have to choose from. Occasionally, companies will have too many staffing requirements, thus severely limiting their hiring options. Keeping an open mind during the recruitment process will allow a firm to recruit based on leadership skills rather than trying to perfectly match a resume to the search criteria.

4. Nobody will ever be 100% perfect. Sometimes, organizations will overly scrutinize candidates to the extent where the search drags on too long and the opportunity cost of not having someone in that position begins to rise. In this case, it’s best that the hiring manager think of applicants as stocks - recruiting on future potential rather than what they can do at this moment.

5. Efficient recruiting takes time, though not too much time. When staffing leaders, a firm wants to do its due diligence by interviewing each applicant 3 (4 maximum) times. Anything less, a company risks making the wrong decision. Anything more, a company risks losing candidates to other offers.


In order to save time, money and increase the odds of a successful hire, methodical steps should be implemented in the recruiting process. Many times, firms make this out to be much more complicated than it is.

1. Write a job description that attracts candidates, describes what the organization does, lists requirements, sets forth expectations and details the daily tasks. The job description should be no longer than 3 pages, but should be at least 3/4 of a MS Word page using bullet points and short sentences.

2. Be proactive. Many hiring managers will simply post an open job and hope for the best. In conjunction with posting, it is recommended that organizations serious about hiring leaders utilize job boards, social media sites and networking to proactively prospect fitting applicants. While this takes more time, it will broaden the options a firm has and will serve as a significant addition to the recruiting arsenal.

3. Narrow the resumes down to the top 5 - 8 and begin with an email to the prospective applicants that is personalized and comprehensive. Remember, job seekers (especially the more desired ones) will receive interview offers from a substantial amount of companies. They will only respond to a small percentage of those. The more personalized you make an email, the better chance of them getting back.

4. Begin the interviewing process and weed the applicants down to the top 2 choices. It is recommended that any firm keep two viable candidates as a hiring manager does not always get their first choice and, thus will risk having to do a 4 to 6 week process over again with no guarantee of success.

5. Provide consistent performance feedback once the applicant starts. An effective hiring manager will let the employee know where they stand on a recurring, frequent basis. They will complement these evaluations with positive feedback and will encourage risk taking.