Top Tips For Hiring C-level Executives

When you first start your business, you are the CEO and you have one employee. However, there comes a time when you must mature. And any CEO leading a thriving company will want top-level assistance.

As your company grows, you may need a financial executive—your Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Perhaps you want someone in charge of technology—your Chief Technology Officer—because you’re more focused on strategy (CTO). Perhaps you need someone to manage the day-to-day operations because you’re so focused on the strategy—your Chief Operations Officer (COO). When it comes to big-picture goals and processes, the C-suite effectively becomes your go-to team.

The hiring process for C-level executives differs from that for lower-level staff. For starters, they’re paid more. They also carry a lot of baggage… and a lot of experience. A terrible entry-level employee can slow things down, but a lousy C-level employee can send the company into a tailspin. It is critical to make the appropriate decision when hiring at the C-level.

Set Goals Before You Hire

Determine exactly what you’re looking for in your ideal prospect before you start looking. C-level personnel come with higher salaries and a desire to own a piece of the company.

Determine the success metrics for that position. How can candidates reduce wasteful spending, boost revenue, and launch a new and improved platform?

Before you employ, figure out what your objectives are so you can include them in the interviews. A top applicant should be upfront about what they believe they can do for your firm. Being open and honest about your goals from the start can guarantee that you and your candidate are on the same page.

Find A Fit For Your Business Size & Sector

If you’re recruiting a C-level executive, make sure your company’s size, culture, and industry aren’t going to stand in the way of his or her success. A CEO of a 50-employee company has a completely different responsibility than a CEO of a 20,000-employee corporation. Whatever the size of your business, it’s critical that the executive shows that he or she will fit in well with your team.

Don’t make your hiring decision only on the basis of the candidate’s experience with a company of your size and industry. For example, Louis V. Gerstner Jr. worked for American Express and later RJR Nabisco. Despite having no prior experience heading a technology company, he was named CEO of IBM in 1993. At the time, the company was on the verge of going bankrupt. The company’s market cap increased from $29 billion to $168 billion during Gerstner’s tenure as CEO.

Do Any Current Employees Fit the Role?

Rather than promoting from inside, multinational corporations are increasingly turning to the outside for C-level hires.

Consider looking within if your firm is growing, with a wonderful culture and high employee motivation. Culture is difficult to learn, so having someone in the firm who already understands it make the step to the C-suite could be beneficial.

This can boost morale, which is a key part of business culture, and consequently employee retention. If you promote your VP of Marketing to CMO, you’ll suddenly have a vacancy for a VP of Marketing. VP of Brand and VP of Marketing, for example, are two jobs that will report to your CMO. Suddenly, two positions must be filled, both of which can be filled internally. People begin to be promoted, which makes them pleased and raises morale.

Don’t be frightened to glance outside, though. Maybe your company has a lot of young workers who aren’t quite ready to take the next step. Bringing in a more experienced executive will assist in teaching them the abilities they need to advance.

Talk to References… A Lot

It’s simple to pad a resume. Achievements can be fudged. Controlling references, on the other hand, is significantly more difficult. Concentrate the majority of your efforts on speaking with former employees of that executive. You might uncover something interesting about them that they didn’t tell you about, which could affect your decision.

Another factor to examine is whether the references can provide additional referrals. It’s best if you have as many data points as possible. One thing to keep an eye on is the amount of people who refuse to express their opinions. Many individuals will not say anything nasty, but they will also not provide false praise. If no one says anything positive, it’s possible that there’s something wrong below.

Make The Hiring Process Collaborative

If you’re hiring an external C-level executive, make sure the employees who will report to that executive are included in the process. If they don’t agree with the choice, it could lead to a lot of conflict inside the department. Additionally, your employees will have immediate access to their team’s goals, challenges, and processes.

Move Slowly and With Trust

At the end of the day, only recruit a C-level executive if you’ve found a compelling need. Don’t waste money, equity, or time on a C-level employee if your company’s ambitions don’t require it. Don’t be scared to take your time when it comes to selecting the right C-level executive for your business.

Finally, trust your instincts. You’re the boss of your company. Perhaps it’s not the finest idea if you can’t trust the individual you’re about to hire. You’ll have to trust the executive to run their department on their own.

But after you’ve found the right one, it’s time to get moving. Make the hire, integrate them into the organisation, and you should see even better results as a result of the change.