Casually business people standing around a desk - Hiring Executive Leadership is hard.

Hiring an executive or team lead can be risky. 

Without the right candidates in top-level positions, it’s hard to envision your business goals for the year coming to fruition. According to the Bank of Canada’s 20/21 Business Outlook Survey, “businesses often link their hiring intentions with their expected recovery in sales over the next 12 months. Among firms with positive hiring plans, about half expect to ramp up the size of their workforce later in 2021, when they believe the pandemic will be largely under control.”

That said, top talent will be in more demand than ever and since companies often have a hard time finding the right fit when hiring executives, it’s now more important than ever to not mis-hire. 

Some of the difficulty is simply because the people tasked with sourcing, vetting and hiring these executive-level roles are not experts in recruitment. Using a recruitment or executive search firm can also be challenging if you don’t have the right partner. Here are some of the factors that make hiring executives hard and why you should consider hiring an experienced recruiter instead: 

1. You’re not a hiring expert

Hiring is so much more than finding the right skills and a perfect fit. It starts with knowing the type of talent you could see growing with the team as well as leading it. Many companies begin their hiring process and hit roadblocks along the way as the role was never well-defined to start with. Asking for too many qualifications, too many non-compatible skills or being unclear on how much the position pays, are surefire ways of landing disinterested and incompatible candidates. How do you find the right person when you don’t know what you want or need?

2. You’re not sure how to assess their skills 

When you hire people, you are in some respect taking their word for what they know. But do you know the right questions to ask to assess their knowledge and skills? Amidst portfolios, website examples, recommendation letters, unbiased video call interviews, and skills assessment tests, it’s hard to know what is the best indicator of a candidate’s ability. How do you design a thorough assessment? What types of questions are you allowed to ask and should include? To know, you’ll have to do more research or have a qualified recruitment firm on your side. 

3. You don’t recognize that personality is just as important as skills and experience 

Focusing on a candidate’s skills and past experience is not really enough to judge whether they

are the right hire. When selecting a leadership candidate, there must be a match between leadership style and personality as well. Having open conversations, without the pressure of the word ‘interview’, through video call or phone may be the best way to get to know the candidate. And the right executive search firm won’t leave you hanging in the process. Their expert interview advice will be an advantage as you hope to secure top talent with minimal time wasted.