Hiring the right executive is one of the most leveraged activities a CEO can perform.
5 Traits to Assess Candidates On
- Value creation vs. value protection
- Ask yourself if the executive role you are filling is value creating or protecting.
- For a value creation role, you need an ambitious risk taker.
- For a value protection role, you are looking for someone calculated & conservative.
- Ownership mentality
- Look for someone who thinks about the business as an owner, rather than an employee with a specific role.
- They worry that the company is not as great as it could be.
- Strategic thinking
- Figure out if a candidate can keep a business equation in their head & understand how to affect the equation.
- See if they identify key risks & advantages of your business.
- Filling in the gaps
- Write down all existential risks to the business & strengths of the current leadership team. Fill in the biggest gaps amongst the risks when hiring.
- Spend at least 15-20 hours with an executive before hiring them; give them homework & discuss their work with them.
- Leadership & magnet for talent
- Has the candidate built teams before? Look for signals from hobbies or college days.
- Ask the candidate to come up with a hiring plan & see if it aligns with the risks you expect them to tackle.