A Gallup study highlights the fact that 87 percent of employees across the globe, including leaders, are not engaged at work. Disengagement at any level can cost companies up to $96 billion in terms of lost productivity annually. Senior leaders are responsible for mobilizing teams and boosting engagement at junior levels. When leaders themselves are not engaged, it can reflect in the team’s performance. Surveys show only two out of ten business leaders are engaged in Australia while just 35 percent of U.S. managers are actively engaged.
Why executive screening is a must for leadership hiring
A study by Bain Company shows at least 60 percent of the workforce was not aware of the goals, tactics or strategies of their company because the leaders failed to communicate the same. It is well-known that engaged leaders and teams contribute in a big way to boost productivity, which, in turn, reflects on the bottom lines. The key to achieving all-around efficiency lies in hiring the right leaders who are highly engaged and are able to inculcate this culture across the company.
Hiring for high stake executive roles requires a specialised strategy backed by executive screening as compared to hiring for mid or junior level executives. While referrals are one way of hiring senior executives, they may not be effective in hiring the best fit for the leadership role. Relying excessively on the resume can also backfire.
Some false claims made on executive resumes include:
- The omission of negative experiences
- Cherry picking successful projects
- Taking undue credit for the entire deliverables
- An unclear picture on the exact contribution made towards a project success.
Hiring managers need to adopt a different tactic backed by comprehensive executive screening to ensure the right leader is hired.
Five tips to hire right
The following tips help formulate an effective HR strategy:
Ask relevant, structured questions:
The first step in hiring senior executives it to design a comprehensive hiring strategy. This needs to contain the details of the structured interview along with how the competency and reliability of the candidate would be assessed. Structured interviews are two to four times more effective than unstructured, casual interviews, according to studies.
Pay attention to integrity: Skills and competencies matter, but at senior levels, integrity is often the most critical aspect. More often than not, this aspect tends to be overlooked during the hiring process. Structure the interview to assess culture fitness as well as the candidate’s values, ethics and motivation levels. For instance, ask the candidate to list three most important values or discuss how he or she would handle data security threats.
Ensure leadership due diligence: Extensive executive screening with leadership due diligence is a must in today’s competitive business scenario. Executive screening can reveal the truth behind the resume with reference checks, education, and qualification checks, past employment details, and financial checks as part of leadership due diligence. Entrust a professional executive screening and leadership due diligence provider to hasten the process.
Conduct professional reference checks:
References are the best way to know if the candidate is genuine and has no red flags in his or her employment history & the professional reference check can do it all. The candidate’s previous employer, boss or professional colleague can all reveal important information that helps ascertain the candidate’s integrity. A professional executive screening provider can follow up on references to complete the leadership due diligence process.
Avoid hasty decisions: Hiring senior leadership cannot be a rushed process given the critical importance of hiring right. It is also important to take time to assess the candidate in a less formal setting to see how he or she responds to everyday stressors such as traffic or waiting time.