Mistakes happen every day in business. When you do something wrong, you learn from it and move on. However, the stakes are a little higher when it comes to the hiring process. Hiring is an extensive and expensive process, and a bad hire can lead to detrimental consequences. When you make the wrong hiring decision, you lose time, money, and energy. The higher up the position is on the company ladder the more damaging the mistake will be.
While hiring for any position takes time and effort, the process of employing top-level executive positions is slightly different. Jobs at the executive level require outstanding experience, skillset, and personality. Even with a highly-qualified hiring committee, it’s challenging to find the perfect person for an executive position.
While it’s not always a good idea to go with your gut, you can usually tell when something doesn’t feel right. If you want to hire better executives for your organization, pay attention to these signs that show you might not be making the best employment decision.
There’s a Weak Candidate Pool
Is the strength of your candidate pool a little weak? Have the interviews been lacklustre, overall? If there are challenges with finding qualified applicants or top candidates are dropping out during the recruiting process, you might make a quick and poor decision based on pressure and timing. A weak pool of candidates and your best applicants dropping out might be a sign that you need to reassess your recruitment process. Where are you posting the job listing? Are you sticking with LinkedIn, or are you also utilizing other social media resources and industry-specific job sites? Your best bet is to consult with an executive search firm that knows how to target the right candidates.
A Great Interview but Mediocre References
Interviews are a great way to get to know candidates better and to learn more about them. While it’s entirely natural for candidates to elaborate a little about themselves during an interview, it’s quite another to lie about previous working experience. If a candidate tells you that they managed a firm’s finance department for six years and never encountered any human resources issues, you would expect that to be true. But if you contact their previous employer and discover that the candidate had numerous interpersonal problems, you’ve got a big red flag on your hands. Ensure that the person you choose can live up to their interview. People in executive positions should be reliable and trustworthy.
Internal Disagreement about What the Job Entails
You and your team must agree on everything about the position, from its roles and responsibilities to the salary and vacation time. If you post a job description that half your team doesn’t agree with, the hiring process will be extremely challenging because the role isn’t solidified. Take an extra week (or even two) to work out the pertinent details of your upcoming executive position.
Unless you feel 100% confident with an applicant, don’t ask them to sign that contract. Take more time than you think you need, consult with a professional executive recruitment agency, and keep communication open with your colleagues. It might take longer than you thought, but you’ll be so glad when the right person walks through your office door.