Jobscience

4 keys to recruiting leaders

Kevin Ko Corporate Recruiting

Finding new employees or executives with strong leadership qualities is a tricky recruitment challenge, but it's also a major opportunity to invest in the future of a business. When companies know the credentials, experience and qualities to look for, locating and hiring the right person can lead to improved performance and growth. On the other hand, choosing the wrong person and dealing with the fallout from quick turnover is often an expensive and frustrating blunder.

Growing or transitioning organizations need a well-focused plan for recruiting people who possess the necessary abilities to put the company's mission into action and take charge of major new initiatives. Talent management software facilitates this process, organizing key information and pointing the way forward. Here's how to strategize your search to find individuals capable of bringing a team together.

1. Target the best talent
To find great leaders, you have to look in the right places. Brand your recruiting effort by attracting jobseekers to a post on an internal board integrated into the company website, but also take advantage of third-party sites to spread the word. Bear in mind, it's even more important than with other searches to select the job boards that suit your industry and target high-quality applicants.

"Find great leaders by looking in the right places."

The perfect person for the position may not be actively looking for a new role, so it's also vital to institute a robust social recruiting strategy. This approach allows you to gather a high volume of information about a person's work history, skills and interests before making contact. Such information is useful when recruiting any type of employee, but especially when identifying a leader. Look especially for achievements that show off the individual's competence, will to succeed over challenges and sense of integrity.

2. Communicate clearly
Direct, powerful communication is an asset to any recruitment process, and it can demonstrate your organization is serious about finding an accomplished individual ready to handle crucial responsibilities. Getting that goal across starts with carefully developing the message sent by the job posting. Be specific about what you're looking for, emphasizing the experience required for the position and the need for a person with the knowledge and confidence to take charge of a team.

Then, rather than relying entirely on email, stay in touch through multiple channels. Individuals with strong leadership characteristics commonly find themselves inundated with messages from coworkers, clients and customers. It's easy for something to be lost in the shuffle. By taking advantage of mobile recruiting with a process optimized for smartphones and tablets, you can cut through the noise and capture the attention of the people you are most interested in.

JobscienceLook through resumes for signs of leadership ability.

3. Sort through the stack
A resume is only the beginning of getting to know a job candidate, but it can definitely contain telltale signs of leadership ability. According to Forbes, you develop a sense for the person's  level of commitment by investigating whether he or she stayed in particular positions for long periods of time. Look for previous management roles, especially if they involved a number of employees or situations akin to those at your own company. Any awards or special recognition may indicate he or she has elevated the workplace in a readily apparent way.

It can take a lot of time and effort to make your way through a batch of resumes and cover letters, especially if there's a high volume of candidates. An applicant tracking system makes this process far more efficient. With all the pertinent information organized into a single format, you can rank resumes according to the skills and background that reveal an individual is prepared to be a leader in your organization.

4. Look for personality and culture fit
The interview is your chance to find out whether a possible leader in your company is committed to the organization's mission. Leaders need to be able to think on their feet and express themselves with authority, so probing, open-ended questions are a must. Find out all you can about how a candidate is likely to manage serious responsibility and the unexpected problems that can arise in the workplace.

Entrepreneur recommended striving to uncover a few major personality traits in potential leaders. Direct your questions to learn whether the candidate has a true passion for work and learning by asking about past experiences. Try presenting a particularly vague idea to see if he or she has the communication skills to rework it into something more concrete. Watch for indications of whether the candidate is able to adapt to changing circumstances and set aside ego when necessary.

No organization can reach its full potential without strong, thoughtful leadership. With a sound approach to finding candidates and the software solution to back it up, you can be assured your company is moving forward in good hands.