It’s All about How You Ask the Question. To get value from a reference call, focus questions more around the “how.” Conduct reference calls like mini-interviews and ask for examples. If the reference call mentions the candidate’s great communication skills, for example, ask what specifically about the executive’s communication was particularly helpful in turning a situation around, or creating buy-in, or motivating employees, or solving...
Finding the Right Executive for Your Business Needs Part 9 – Use Personality Assessments and References in Your Decision Process
Some culture assessments on the market can be very insightful. We are not experts in the range of such instruments, nor in the selection process of which is best for any specific organization. What we have learned through more than a decade of working with organizations of every size, however, is how to leverage such instruments as part of the vetting process, including what they...
Examples and Results Say the Most. If you lived it, you can quickly and easily talk about it. That’s the quick and easy rule of thumb. “Yes, I have been through M&A before,” followed by a pause, waiting for the next question, is not a good sign. If you need to prompt an executive for examples and results, approach with caution. Any executive who has...
Finding the Right Executive to Match Your Business Needs Part 7 – What to Look for and Ask During the Executive’s Interview
Now is the opportunity to dive deep into the details of someone’s background. Take as much time as you need to determine if the executive’s experiences closely apply to your company, your situation, and your needs. Ask detailed, probing questions about past experiences that are relevant and analogous to your current situation. Probe with follow-up questions. This is the time to verify if somebody not...
Finding the Right Executive to Match Your Business Needs Part 6 – Your Company Should Treat Interviews as a Discussion
Look for Parallels, Not Exact Matches. Your company’s product, service, size, customer base, team, leadership, etc., all come together to present a different set of circumstances compared to any other company where the executive has worked. A single change to any one of these variables can affect an executive’s ability to perform. As a result, looking for somebody with the “exact” same background or a...
Finding the Right Executive to Match Your Business Needs Part 5 – An Executive Resume Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story
One reason we don’t set all our stock in executive resumes is their enforced brevity. Since there is so little room in a two-to-three page resumé, by necessity, more experience—even relevant experience—is often left off rather than included. For example, we often work with client organizations and owners looking to make an exit in the next couple of years, so it is critical that the...
Matching Criteria to an Executive’s Background: The Resume. While the ways in which executives document their backgrounds are evolving, and some now include digital or even multimedia packages, LinkedIn profiles, bios, curriculum vitae, or websites, the most common document is still the resume. And while this career summary format is as universal as it is ubiquitous, it remains the biggest challenge in matching what the...
Finding the Right Executive to Match Your Business Needs Part 3 – How to Use a Strategic Plan to Guide You
The strategic plan, particularly at the executive level, offers a much better blueprint for what is needed in your future hire than most other resources available. Using a Strategic plan to guide your company, will help your company accomplish its needs. Identify the expertise needed to accomplish the goals in your strategic plan, with the expertise of the existing team. The gap between the two...
Finding the Right Executive to Match Your Business Needs Part 2 – Begin with the Executive Blueprint for What You Need
A blueprint and proper planning are critical for any building project. These preconstruction prerequisites determine all of the resources needed to move forward with the project. The same is true for Executive hiring, begin with an Executive Blueprint that meets the needs of your organization. Finding the right executive to lead critical organizational initiatives, whether an internal employee or an interim resource, is no different...
It’s no secret that job openings are at an all-time high as of this writing. Finding the right executive, however, seems like an age-old mystery. Here is the typical scenario we hear about all the time. An executive’s resumé is strong: It hits all of the background and keywords the CEO has identified as success factors for the open role. The interview could not have...