The number of senior managers leaving organizations within a short span of being hired due to non performance is ever increasing leaving corporations with wasted money and missed business opportunities. Studies put the failure rate of senior managers in companies anywhere between 30 to 40 percent leading to significant but invisible drain on corporate productivity which is why hiring senior managers is such an important decision for an organization to stay competitive.
Acting on these three steps will greatly improve the odds of hiring successful senior managers and can have huge impact on the company’s success.
- Do Due diligence
Most search firms have vested interest in placing their candidates and often rely on the candidates rather than on references. Since most senior managers come through executive recruiters you should supplement their recommendation with your own investigation. Begin by talking to people from the candidate’s previous companies, and to people in the industry. Find out about the candidate’s reputation and find out from people within your organization who have crossed paths with the candidate. Do whatever you can to deepen your pool of data. This might uncover patterns that might go unnoticed.
- Break off from one-on-ones
Once you decide on the candidate, it is time to see him/her in action instead of the tried and trite process of scheduling a series of one-on-one meetings with other senior executives. Make the recruit do a presentation, give the candidate a scenario and look how he/she develops a range of solutions, conduct a role play or ask the person to facilitate a meeting with several other managers on a topic. The possibilities are limitless when you break off from the constraints of traditional interviewing. This is all to know firsthand how the candidate thinks on his/her feet and how he/she adapts to the culture of your company. Such information is difficult to uncover during a series of peer to peer meetings.
- Reduce outside hires
Build strong consistent succession and development process within the organization than bringing in people from outside. To fill a senior opening, always look for good candidates who are already well versed with your company’s culture to hire from within. While cross pollination with outside DNA certainly spikes your company’s gene pool, it should be an exception rather than a rule.
None of these hiring practices are alien to hiring managers nor are they organizational rocket science. The obvious above three steps should be the first thing to do while hiring for top positions. As experience tells us commonsense is not so common and we’re mostly oblivious to the obvious.