5 Must-Haves When Hiring for Your Senior Management Team

When it comes to the leadership in your organization, few hires are as critical to performance, reputation, and long-term success as the team members who enter your Senior Management Team and shape your company from the inside-out. Because these leadership positions vary based on their expertise, it is often challenging for hiring teams to find the common thread to run through their executive hires. However, some traits consistently appear when you secure top-quality talent on your hiring roster, and a few non-negotiables are outlined below:

  • Interpersonal Communication Skills

    Strong communication goes beyond emoji, while bad communication is increasingly costly. Overall, companies with effective communicators have a 47% higher shareholder return, 50% lower turnover, and are 3.5x more likely to outperform their peers. Whether you are filling a position for a COO, CTO, VP, or Director, it is invaluable to have an adaptable professional in your upper management that can collaborate directly with investors, stakeholders, customers, press, entry-level staff, or vendors. You need to be able to trust your team to communicate effectively no matter the context, particularly due to the fluctuating needs of daily business operations. Today’s leaders possess hard and soft skills and should be able to use both with ease.

  • Resilience

    Senior management executives carry significant weight in organizational endurance, determining how to pivot during moments of hardship, emergency, or stasis. During interviewing, discuss how your hire would handle specific situations, such as a significant quarterly loss or a sexual assault allegation against a colleague. Do not shy away from the intensity of leadership and be certain to inquire about occasions where the candidate has demonstrated influence in times of organizational adversity.

  • Strategic Expertise and Execution

    According to Harvard Business Review, “only 8% of leaders are strong at both strategy and execution.” Academic credentials, cover letters, and shiny corporate suits are not enough to secure an executive seat in any company. Before you extend an offer of employment, develop confidence in the results, ideas, and implementation of ideas by the candidate. The Senior Management Team is designed to direct your company and institute solutions, as needed. Pass the baton to someone who is eager, willing, and able to enhance your company performance, culture, and reputation, rather than simply ideate.

  • High-Quality Ethics

    When serving your organization in a leadership position, your team is handling a range of both confidential and critical company information. To safeguard your company, your employees, and your culture, you have to candidly ask hard questions. Inquire about dilemmas the candidate has handled in the past. Ask their references about their credibility and morals, specifically in the workplace. Understand that going the extra mile can protect your company from future issues caused by an unethical leader with their hands on high-priority items.

  • Cultural Compatibility

    Everyone in your company should not be a clone. Instead, it is valuable – and necessary – to hire a team which is diverse in a variety of ways. At the core though, your team must share key values, providing balance during decision-making and strategy sessions. Before you onboard an executive, develop a firm understanding of if and how they will comfortably complement and elevate your team’s mission and vision.

If you want to optimize your organizational performance and company growth, many issues can be resolved with preventative measures in the hiring stage. Understand how your hires demonstrate the above traits, but also bring unique skills to the table that transform and distinguish your business, and always challenge your leaders to become their best, inspiring others along the way.