Here are 5 things you don’t want to do, when recruiting executives for your organisation
1. Giving the responsibility, without giving the power.
If you’re here already, my first thought is that it probably means you’re not sure of that person. It might be time to adapt the role, it’s focus, or the budget. But the hire is new? So what, if things aren’t working, be honest and upfront, you don’t want to waste the efforts of this brilliant person, and delay the future success of your firm, by hiring them to do a job, and then not giving the team or budget to make the project fly. If they are good, and you are happy with them so far but it just requires courage, then go for it, they have passed a thorough interview process and they are in. You want the best? You’ve got to back them. Find out what their plan is, by all means, but don’t give sky-high objectives on a shoestring budget.
2. Don’t expect miracles.
Remember you are hiring a mortal person, once you’ve hired them give them the chance to deliver. Companies (especially listed businesses it seems) love a good 100 day plan. And it’s important, having a plan. But plans have to be flexible in the way of unseen circumstances, if you’re pushing that person harder than they can be pushed, they will only leave. Amazing performers don’t like failure, they will hate it as much as you. So if you believe in them, and be patient.
3. Not doing their homework before investing.
It amazes me how much some firms will throw behind an idea without even checking it out first. Try to break your own idea. I mean, really try. Smart firms reflect deeply before investing, the larger the project, the deeper the research. If you don’t have the time to know, pay a consulting firm to tell you what you need to know. It will pay off.
4. Lack of coherence in strategy across the firm.
Like when companies hire 3 senior roles at the same time, without thinking about how those points connect. Or, when companies are not articulating to staff which strategies are their leading ones, resulting in confusion across the firm. It’s not the job of the new hire to set the overall strategy, only the CEO can do that. And not setting strategy will not result in success of anything. Be clear, so that your staff can work accordingly.
5. Making a great person’s remit too large.
Great people attract more responsibilities, it happens slowly but surely, but it’s as sure as breathing. The thing is though, you really want them focused on the most valuable work, the things you know others cannot do. There are still only 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely.
These issues appear even in great companies, because all amazing companies (and people!) do make mistakes at times, and that is OK. It’s a journey.
I’m following this up with my top tips for hiring executives, so stay tuned.