How To Hire the Best CEO for Your Business
Your business relies on every professional employed for its overall success and growth. However, suppose you are going to be perfectly honest with yourself. In that case, one particular individual has more influence and power over the direction of your business than nearly anyone else on your payroll. That’s the Chief Executive Officer or CEO.
Knowing how to recruit a CEO is one of the most important things you’ll ever do as a business owner or leader.
Entrepreneur lists five methods you can use to find leadership you can put your company’s trust in for direction and culture.
- Appraise Their Ego: In every interaction, judge their relationship with their ego. CEOs are often professionals with high self-esteem, but too much can lead to negative responses to criticism or dealing with adversity poorly.
- Spousal Perspective: A CEO isn’t just an employee or leader you rely on, but a person of serious magnitude. Having a casual meeting or dinner with their spouse can be a social engagement of much enlightenment.
- Turn the Tables: Have one session where the CEO prospect gets to ask the entire team questions of their own. Make sure they understand the business they might be joining so they know the company is a good fit for them.
- Unconscious Bias Review: Quantitative assessments by third parties can reveal possible oversights from a professional’s perspective. You need to look out for and avoid red flags in this process.
- Utilize the Hogan Personality Assessment: You need to identify a candidate’s personal strengths, risk factors, and underlying motivations. The assessment can result in a great conversation between the candidate and the business.
CEO recruitment doesn’t have to be something that your business does alone. In fact, you don’t even have to do it, if you don’t want to. There are firms that specialize in recruiting many kinds of professionals for other organizations and businesses, and CEO talent is one of those categories.
You can use such a recruitment firm to expand your search for leadership candidates, or you might even count on them to handle it for you. These firms have the experience, skills, and connections to conduct a thorough talent search you can take advantage of when looking for a CEO.
Judgment is what really matters in trying to find your next CEO. Picking the wrong CEO can be devastating, and the results are often quite public. You can compensate some with coaching, mentoring, and special help from your board, but they’ll only get so far.
The first thing you need to look for is a “pivot”. Don’t look for a carbon copy to replace your prior CEO. Rather, understand what the current requirements are of the job, as well as what they are likely to be in the future. Find the person that can fill those shoes.
You also need to keep an open mind. Your company’s needs might actually shift after your CEO search starts. For that matter, you shouldn’t just look at previous CEOs or those who seem fast-tracked for the role. Your company might have natural leaders in lower positions ready for the chance to be the top dog.
Finally, brace for imperfection. You might not find a perfect candidate. It’s also possible you’ll find a perfect candidate but they might not think your company is a great fit. Find the best fit that you can and then compensate for their weaknesses with the right mentor or coach. If they have a particular weak flank, you might juxtapose that with a complementary COO who addresses a specific need.
If you’re not sure just how important a CEO is to the success of your business, then consider other kinds of leaders. How great does any movie become without having a talented director behind the camera? How far does a sports team advance each season without the right coach or manager on the sidelines? Finding and recruiting the right CEO can take your business to new places or at least keep it moving in the right direction.