Hiring for Your Senior Leadership Team
How to Outline the Position and Scope of Your Next Senior Hire
Senior leadership positions are crucial to the success of your business. They bring expertise, experience, and vision that can help improve your organisation and drive it toward its long-term goals.
However, there is no one-size-fits-all definition for a senior leader in your business. It’s unique, and so are the challenges it faces. For example, a senior leadership role may involve any or all the following (and more):
- Overseeing all aspects of management
- Leading strategic decision-making
- Organizational development
- People management
Senior leaders are also responsible for setting goals and expectations for all employees, which will positively impact the company’s performance if done correctly.
In its blog ‘Never hire leaders based on word of mouth’, McKinsey & Company say, “It is no longer sufficient to hire leaders based solely on performance data or the word of top executives. To ensure leaders not only deliver performance results, but are also great people, requires a more thoughtful view of hiring that considers a range of factors and procedures.”
Before you start the hiring process for senior roles, it is crucial that you define the responsibilities and scope of the position.
Identify the duties and responsibilities of your senior hire
When deciding what position you must hire for, you must detail all the duties and responsibilities that your new hire will be expected to perform. For example, the new hire be responsible for:
- Providing guidance to senior leaders and managers
- Delivering clarity of strategy to the leadership team and other stakeholders
- Approving investment financing requests
- Approving hiring decisions
- Working across organisational functions
- Working to deliver executable strategy development
- Working with management teams to ensure that company goals are communicated effectively and executed efficiently
In short, the first step to identify the duties and responsibilities that a senior leader may be required to perform is to think about what your company needs. In addition, you’ll need to know how they fit into your senior leadership team, who they will work most closely with, and be certain of their priorities.
Understand the challenges faced by your senior leaders
When considering a senior hire into your company, it’s also important to think about the challenges that they may face. These could include managing and motivating employees, making crucial decisions, and ensuring that the company is financially on the right track. If your leadership team suffers from a lack of alignment, it can also lead to lost opportunities for growth, because there is no one in the company who has the knowledge or ability to execute on them.
It’s natural that a new senior leader, such as a new CEO, will bring new ideas and insights. While this is one quality that may appeal to you as a business owner, it can result in conflict. The senior leadership team who worked under the old CEO might feel threatened and may not be forthcoming about the changes that are planned. While there is likely excitement around the change, there will also be uncertainty and apprehension about what will happen next.
Equally, a new senior leader may be less aware of your company’s culture, its people, and what it takes to build a strong team. They might feel threatened by the current leadership team. The goal is to help them understand these concerns so they can move forward with building a good relationship with everyone in the company.
Detail the skills and experience your senior hire needs to be successful
Having identified responsibilities, duties, and challenges, you should be able to compose a detailed, clear, and concise job description for the role you are hiring for. It should detail:
- The skills and experience that they need to be successful at their job
- The scope of the role as well as duties and responsibilities
- The team they will be working alongside
- The opportunities and challenges that the new hire will face
In addition to experience and skill set, cultural fit is also important when hiring a senior-level employee. They must have a personality that will adapt to your company’s culture, as well as enabling them to work well with other employees both higher up and lower down in the corporate ladder.
Recruiting Senior Leaders Is Critical for Business Growth. Here’s How to Get Started
A senior leader is someone who will help guide your company towards achieving their goals. The duties that this person must carry out are not easy, and they will require a unique set of skills, experience, and personality to be effective when tasked with taking responsibility for the overall management of your organization, developing business strategies, and making key decisions.
Identifying and detailing the scope and responsibilities of the role, as well as the challenges that the new hire will face, will help you identify your ideal candidate. Only then should you set about your candidate search. Please feel free to contact us and we can help you get started. For expert advice and help at every stage of the process of hiring for senior leaders into your business, contact Lime Talent to discuss our executive search services.