How to hire great leaders is a great topic that needs a lot to get right. We interview a lot of people. Most try to tell how they would sell or how they would lead or how they handle confilct.
This is useless. Anyone can go to Baidu and then come and teach us a class on how to sell B2B or what not. The real skill is what did the candidate actually do and how did he or she do it.
Push Back in the Interview
Often I will tell a candidate. “I do not want to hear your theory. Tell me a specific story related to selling in a new market. I want to know who what when were and how.” I surprise the candidates with this requirement. Often they cannot come up with any story to show how they have faced a specific challenge. If this happens three times, we give up on the candidate. They have clearly not done any real work. Our background chdck would kill, him, but we end the person right here and you will never have to waste your time with them.
In this blog, writing about leaders, I wrote:
However, there are also those who are great leaders—by which we mean they are hands-on and get all below them to be hands-on as well. They recognize that everyone on their team is a genius in some way. These subordinates then put their full heart into the work. They recognize and reward good work; these leaders deal with bad behavior. People understand what is good work, and how it can be done. Greatness and experimentation are encouraged in suitable ways. Learning is continuous. Data is gained, used, improved and never manipulated. Customers are found and served as all are working together.
Now, it is good that I can write this, but if you hired me to do this, my writing would be useless. You need someone who can actually do this and work it out in a real way with real people. That is what you need. You need someone who can tell you about what they really did including the hiccups.
Getting Deeper on How to Hire Great Leaders
Do not accept people telling you great theories on how to do the work. Find out what they did that relates to what you need. Many people can also tell you specific stories and only our background check will weed them out. Also See Why We Background Check. Notably, with specific stories in hand, we can check more easily if the stories are true or fabricated. That is a real process that gets you real people and no surprises.
I also want to note that delay and how you treat the candidate and how your reputuation is will all impact your results as well. Finally, the whole package of your Employer Brand Management will have an impact.
So it takes a lot, but first off you need to do an interview that gets reall data on real behavior. Then we can start talking about how to hire great leaders.