Hiring top talent is difficult at all levels, but it’s even more challenging when you’re looking to hire the right leader. Anyone that follows the NFL or saw the press around Super Bowl LV this week will have seen a prime example of the real-world impact that hiring the right leader can bring.
For those of you that missed it, the big story from Super Bowl LV was that Tom Brady took a team from the bottom half of the league in 2019 and turned them into late play-off contenders. However, he didn’t stop there. Last Sunday he turned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into Super Bowl LV champions.
There were questions about whether Tom Brady’s 6 previous Super Bowl titles were the result of his previous employer or a product of his personal leadership contribution. All his previous Super Bowl wins had come during his 20-year tenure with the New England Patriots, and they saw themselves as the differentiators. This meant that Tom Brady could leave via Free Agency once the season was over.
Hiring the right leader was game-changing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the same can apply for a business. Conversely, hiring the wrong leader can be disastrous and take several years to recover from.
When Hiring The Right Leader
- Do ensure that your messaging is strong. Leaders are the most visible people within a company, their busy schedule also means that they’re the least accessible. It’s likely you’ll only have one opportunity to get their attention, so make sure the message is powerful and communicated by a suitably qualified person.
- Do deploy your best people to the task at hand. Hiring the right leader needs project management expertise. Whoever you choose must be able to handle complex processes and have the credibility to deal with any senior employees involved in the interview stages.
- Do make a statement of intent when making a financial offer. Great leaders don’t move based on salary alone, they’re usually looking for a project. However, companies are not in the business of letting great leaders go without a fight. Counter-Offers are highly likely, so you want to close that door before it’s opened.
- Don’t be overly cost-sensitive when making a senior hire. Low level hiring can be commoditised but leadership hiring should never be. Find an executive headhunting company that knows a domain, has established connections, and a track-record for making key senior hires. This Article provides more advice regarding the Candidate Offer stage in Indonesia.
- Don’t rely on Social Media for candidate identification. Great leaders are short on time. Many are active on LinkedIn or Twitter and contribute to the account but rely on someone else for the day-to-day management of it. Senior talent will also find it concerning if a firm relies on such public channels for its executive hiring.
- Don’t worry too much about the hiccups in the interview process. While there’s never an excuse for sloppiness, the right leader is being hired with a mandate to make changes.
- Don’t be unrealistic with your timeline for an impact. An organisation is a sum of many parts and you wont see a change overnight. Tampa Bay were an average 7W-5L mid-season and lost to their Super Bowl opponents at the end of November. Short-term wins may be possible, but cohesiveness takes time and is far better judged over the mid to long term.