A well-performing CEO is essential for a company’s current and future success. He or she can provide coaching and mentoring to colleagues while guiding the company towards economic, technological, and social growth. Thus the search and selection for the right CEO for your company should be as thorough as possible.
Selecting the right director or directors who will lead the search is critical. They should have earned their colleagues’ trust and respect.
Once the director or directors have been selected, they along with the board of the company need to collectively establish and clarify the essential qualities for the new CEO to succeed. These qualities should align with the company’s values.
One of the qualities they should consider is the size of the company the ideal candidate has worked with. If you are a large company, your ideal candidate may need to have prior experience managing a large company.
The director and board should remain open-minded about where the candidates will come from. Surely there will already be a number of insider candidates, but do not disregard outsider candidates. Sometimes outsider candidates can bring a breath of fresh air and creativity to the company. This is where specialized companies can help.
CEO recruiting firms work with the directors to broaden the candidate pool. They use the list of essential qualities the directors have given them to gather outsider candidates. Therefore providing and maintaining thorough and honest communication is extremely important with the firms. CEO recruiting firms effectively sift through candidates with relate-able experience and qualifications, which allows the directors to focus their attention on interviewing the candidates. They can also help to keep the process objective, while being extremely thorough with providing background data.
Once the directors and board have gathered a list of CEO candidates, they need to deeply investigate which candidate will fit best. A successful CEO understands the company’s size, culture, and position in the market.
The directors and board should allow for imperfections. By no means should a CEO candidate be perfect. If they are, the company will most likely become stagnant and not strive for improvements or growth. The key here is to understand the trade-offs.
It is also perfectly acceptable for multiple rounds of interviews. Often directors and boards will advance candidates to a final interview only to not make an offer afterwards. They may then need to revisit the essential qualities of a CEO candidate and discuss how the qualities have changed through the interview process. Continue interview rounds until every board member is comfortable with a CEO appointment.
CEO selection takes time. However, returning to the essential qualities of the role, using resources like CEO recruiting firms, and understanding candidate’s strengths and weaknesses is the foundation to a successful CEO selection process.
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