Leadership Hiring

Leadership Hiring

At its most basic definition, leadership hiring is the process of hiring leaders. That’s a bit vague, though, as any employee at any level can display leadership qualities.

For our purposes, where we’re talking about a strategic approach to building your management team, leadership hiring refers to recruiting the people in your company who are in charge of managing others.

Leadership hiring can include executive search, which recruits the highest ranking leaders at a company like the c-suite, but it’s primarily focused on middle-management roles. These are your company’s boots on the ground when it comes to guiding and developing other employees. They’re engaged in their teams’ day-to-day work while being mindful of larger, company-wide objectives; they make decisions that impact the work and livelihood of others, and they play a big role in shaping the culture of their teams.

With all of this in mind, It’s easy to see why hiring the right people for these valuable management positions is so important.

Leadership Hiring Techniques to Build a Stronger Management Team

1. Assess your needs

One of the first tenets of talent acquisition is to hire based on your weaknesses, and leadership hiring is no different. You can’t run a company with a c-suite full of ideas people but no one to execute on those ideas. So, prioritize your hiring needs by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s existing leaders.

One way to do this is by making a list of the gaps in your business. This might include skills that are lacking, areas of the business that are underperforming, or departments that haven’t been fully developed yet.

For example, let’s say you recently expanded your sales territory into a new state but the entire sales team is still reporting to a single department head, whose team has now doubled in size. It might be time to add a new level of regional sales managers who can lighten the load for the VP of sales while providing oversight of their respective territories.

Growth can also be a strong indicator for leadership hiring needs, like if you’ve surpassed a new revenue benchmark but are still relying on the financial expertise of a single accounting manager. Expanding your accounting team might serve your financial needs.

2. Prioritize internal advancement

It’s never too early to begin identifying potential leaders and offering them opportunities for professional development. Internal advancement not only contributes to a strong leadership team, but builds employee engagement and aids in retention.

When you make it known that you’re invested in an employee’s continued growth within the organization, they’ll be more likely to remain loyal to the company and less likely to jump ship for a shiny new opportunity somewhere else. Plus, a strong culture of internal advancement is an attractive selling point when recruiting new employees.

3. Build a strong employer brand

Your leadership hiring efforts should take place continuously, not just when you need to fill an open role. This means building a positive reputation among top talent in your field on an ongoing basis.

Define goals for your leadership acquisition strategy and assign ownership of them. Track performance metrics and analyze them on a regular basis. Develop a content strategy geared specifically toward leadership hiring. Identify employee advocates and give them opportunities to take an active role in your brand-building efforts.

4. Set an appropriate budget

You get what you pay for, especially when it comes to hiring. When you hire leaders, you’re hiring more than just a single person; you’re signing on for the contributions (or lack thereof) they’re going to make to the company and the impact they’ll have on all the people who work for them. The ripple effects of a leadership hire extend far beyond their individual role.

To attract and retain great leaders, offering adequate compensation is a must. Assess and fine-tune your salary scale regularly. When analyzing what you can afford to pay a strong candidate, perhaps a better question is what it might cost your business to have a subpar manager in the position.

5. Do your due diligence

Employee turnover is never a good thing, but when it’s a problem among leadership, it can quickly tank a team’s morale. So, it’s even more important to hire the right person for a leadership role the first time around.

Get referrals whenever possible and check references meticulously. Look beyond the resume to the person behind the piece of paper to learn what drives them. Consider how they got their start and how their unique career path might shape their preparedness for a spot on your team.

While a paycheck is important, the best leaders are motivated by more than money. Leadership hiring calls for digging deeper to identify those core motivators and see if they’re aligned with your mission.

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