Key advice for recruiting leadership roles

Posted by Guest Contributor

July 3, 2014

By Ken Sundheim 


Leaders get things done. They command the attention and respect of those under them and consistently upgrade subordinate performance via clear goal setting, positive reinforcement and frequent feedback.

Moreover, their direct reports genuinely like them. While they exhibit great strength and resolve, top managers also display compassion, patience and tolerance for mistakes.

The importance of recruiting leaders

A firm lives and dies by its ability to recruit leaders. Staffing effective managers can dramatically increase productivity, heighten employee morale and grow a firm’s competitive advantage.

While recruiting superior managers can prove arduous, it is nothing short of crucial. To assist, our recruiters have laid out a platform which should help your organization in hiring the most effective leader for any open position. 

  1. Properly assessing a leadership resume.  There are certain factors which should be present in all resumes considered for a leadership job. Among others, these include:
    • Employment stabilityHas the job applicant stayed at each position they’ve held for a significant period of time? Management turnovers carry costly consequences for an organization. Regardless of achievements or knowledge, applicants who have frequently bounced from position to position will often bring their instability over to their next job.  
    • Relevant management experienceHas the individual successfully managed a team similar in employee number? Were they held responsible for meeting similar goals?  Were the environments they worked in parallel to the one which you’re hiring for?  
    • Tangible awards and achievementsHas the job seeker been formally awarded, recognized and promoted for their ability to upgrade those under them?
    • Pertinent knowledgeDoes the individual possess the knowledge required for them to be able to commence the job with little to no ramp-up time?  
  2. Deciphering the personality traits that comprise effective leadership. Once the interview process begins, it’s imperative that the hiring manager closely analyzes the individual to determine if they possess the following: 
    • IntegrityLeaders tell the truth, keep their word and expect the same from those around them. Moreover, they take responsibility for past actions, admit mistakes and go to great lengths to fix those mishaps.  
    • WillThe most effective leaders possess a keen commitment to forward progress. Regardless of obstacles or resistance, they maintain determination, grit, motivation, perseverance and resilience. This “can-do” attitude resonates amongst employees. 
    • MaturityEffective managers can withstand heat, handle stress and setbacks and respect the emotions of others. They are confident, but not arrogant. 
    • ExecutionLeaders have the ability to get the job done. Regardless of hurdles, superior managers consistently produce the results necessary for the organization to achieve its desired goals. 
  3. Ask the right questions. The most effective way to decipher how intelligent, experienced and capable a leader may be is to ask thought-provoking questions geared towards determining the management aptitude of the individual. 
    • How would you define leadership?
    • What would you do if x problem arose?
    • How would you explain your management approach?
    • Given the information I have provided during the interview, what do you believe to be the best course of action to achieve heightened results from the individuals whom you’ll be managing? 

Additional character traits to actively seek out include resiliency, intelligence, positive energy, confidence and optimism.

In the end

Nothing matters more than getting the right people in the right places. That begins with recruiting the best leadership. Hiring good people is hard. Hiring great people is brutally hard. However, it’s brutally necessary. 

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Ken Sundheim is the CEO of KAS Placement Recruiters, an executive search firm based out of New York City specializing in sales and marketing recruitment of all levels.  Follow Ken on Twitter at @Ken_Sundheim and through his blog.





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Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing