Hiring and recruiting is at the top of most Business Owners’ minds right now, and the labor market is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent times. But one thing that hasn’t changed? The importance of hiring executive-level employees. Unlike an entry-level or hourly employee, the executive leader will set policies, lead the business in the right direction, and act as your proxy as the company grows and you work less.

In ActionCOACH, we talk about 6 Steps that lead Business Owners on a path to massive business growth and the ability for the owner to step away and work less. Check out a video from ActionCOACH’s founder, Brad Sugars, here. The six steps are Mastery, Marketing, Systems, Team, Synergy, and Results. The fourth and fifth steps, Team & Synergy, deal with hiring and, more importantly, trusting a great team to run the business’s day-to-day for you. To master those levels, a high-performing executive team is crucial. Here are four considerations when choosing those key leaders:

DIFFERENCES IN HIRING

There are several differences between hiring a “regular” employee and hiring an executive. Hiring an hourly or non-leadership employee involves determining the qualifications and characteristics you’re looking for in the employee, writing a job posting, screening candidates, interviewing, and selecting the best candidate. Fairly straightforward, although there are many nuances and systems that we teach our clients to make this process more effective.

But for an executive, it’s more about recruitment and negotiation than hiring. There’s an art to making sure a high-quality candidate chooses your company over others that are likely trying to hire them as well. So be sure that your plan emphasizes them interview you, not the other way around.

THE OFFER

Job offers for executives and high-level employees are not just about pay and benefits. Their employment package can include equity, stock options, performance bonuses, and extra vacation days. Remember, this is a negotiation. Please do your research on market rates for executives with their level of experience or training. If your job is offering $50,000, and others in your industry are offering $75,000 for the same position, you’ve got to ensure that the bonus package or equity options have enough value to keep that high-quality candidate in the negotiation. As Pete says, “take the pay off the table so you can focus on what matters.” In other words, don’t get hung up on the hourly rate. A great candidate will pay for themselves over and over again. So don’t let them walk away.

A CULTURE FIT

A crucial consideration is a cultural fit that you need for your organization. So first, determine what DISC profile you’re looking for and have each candidate take the DISC assessment as part of the interview process. For example, suppose you’re looking for a salesperson. In that case, you’re likely looking for someone who is a D (dominant, direct) or I (influencer), not a C (compliance) or S (steadiness) personality. Remember, though; every single DISC type can be a fantastic leader.

Ask questions about their leadership philosophies. Ask questions about how they would handle different situations that happen in your organization. Allow other employees to interview them. If they do not mesh with the team, then they’re not a culture fit. Be sure this person is someone you can trust to run your business as your proxy. If you wouldn’t trust them to run things as you would, then Remember, the team reflects the leader. This person will also be part of your succession plan/exit strategy for your business, so they need to be right in line with the mission and vision of the company. And because all leaders can be great with the proper education and training, getting a coach for that person right away is crucial to their success.

YOUR MARKETING PLAN

We think of a marketing plan and execution of that plan to be a way to get more customers. After all, traditionally, that is its purpose. But your marketing plan for your future leaders is just as important. Executive candidates will research your company and the current team to see if they fit. Be sure that your company’s image online and reputation in the business community are solid – great people want to work for great companies.

Spell out your mission and vision on your website. Share pictures and videos of your employees having a great time together. Share your philosophy on leadership publicly. This public content will matter to your future employees. Your employee marketing plan is a way to get credit for all of the hard work you’ve done to improve your company culture.

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Your future leaders are vital components to your long-term success. Putting together a plan and strategies to execute the program ensures that your leaders are the people you can trust to take your business to the next level.

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Need help finding that perfect candidate? Are you struggling to find the person who is the ideal fit for your business? We can help. Schedule your free, no-obligation business analysis today.

About the author,

Director of Marketing, ActionCOACH Columbus

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