For all businesses, having the right person in key leadership roles is vital to the success of the business.
Without the right people in place, it is very difficult for a business to achieve its business objectives.
Any strategy, no matter how smart, is dead on arrival unless a company brings it to life with people – the right people. Jack Welch – “Winning”.
Having the wrong person in place can mean:
· failure to meet the objectives of the business due to lack of appropriate skills
· lack of faith in the leadership of the company
· loss of key staff (good people will leave)
· imbalance of leadership which leads to disaffection of other key members of the team – this leads to business decline rather than business growth
A lot of companies get this badly wrong.
A lot of hiring at leadership level is “quick fix”.
Often this is done by word of mouth. People are hired that are known to the business - usually because the person hired is in the same sector, or the same line of business.
This is often perceived to be lower risk because:
· The candidate does not have to learn how the business works or the way the sector works
· People in the business like him or her
· It makes the hiring process quick
· No need to pay a search firm fee – saves money!
But very often, the person hired is not the right fit from a skills, culture and strategy perspective.
So how to solve this problem?
Most recruitment discussions start with the job description.
In my view, this misses the vital point.
Every discussion I have about a search starts with a discussion about the business, typically:
· What is the strategy of the business?
· What markets is the business in? Who are the customers/ clients?
· What is the growth plan?
· How ambitious is the business?
· How successful has the business been in recent times?
· What are the challenges the business faces?
· What is the culture of the business?
After this discussion, it is invariably very obvious what the business needs are, and why there is a need to recruit the person the business wishes to hire; and therefore, the type of person required. The discussion about the job description is often a very short one, if required at all!
Armed with this information and a much deeper understanding of the business needs, I am in a much stronger position to find the right person for the business, improve the bottom line and help the business to grow.
It is an approach that I have been using for a long time, and has yielded great results.
For examples where I have done this, see my case studies