Leaders are critically important for the growth of any business. However, the process of recruiting a new leader can be arduous, time-consuming, costly and stressful. True leaders aren’t always easy to identify. On top of this, top performers are usually bombarded with lucrative offers from competing companies. There are techniques that hiring managers can utilize to heighten the odds of a successful outcome. The following are some tactics for identifying the competencies and personal qualities of candidates and determining whether they are leadership material, strategies for finding and recruiting high-impact leaders.

  • Know what a leader is: In order to find a great leader you need to be able to define the traits that good leaders possess. Though they come in different sizes, personalities and backgrounds, leaders are generally:
    • Trustworthy
    • Transparent
    • Optimistic
    • Confident
    • Organized
    • Passionate
    • Knowledgeable
    • Decisive
    • Have a vision
    • Set goals
    • Energize others
    • Build confidence in others


  • Pay attention to soft skills such as emotional intelligence, communication, learning agility and the ability to build trust and relationships.
  • Consider your mid-term goals: Focusing on immediate needs makes you shortsighted when hiring. Focusing on long-term needs may not address your critical short-term goals. Instead, review your mid-term goals and priorities (1 to 5 years) when considering candidates.
  • Don’t limit your search to job sites: It pays to be proactive, keeping in touch with top talent wherever they are. Consider personal recommendations from shared contacts. Try niche platforms where your target audience already hangs out. Utilize social media sites and networking. Promoting internally cuts down on the candidate search and provides an extensive verifiable history of the candidate’s performance.
  • Check the candidate’s references: Background and reference checks are time-consuming but crucial. Also, seek other sources of information regarding the suitability of candidates.
  • Understand what top candidates want: If you want to attract the most qualified candidates, you need to know what leaders actually want. Most top performers desire challenging work and career growth prospects more than higher salaries. Company culture is increasingly important to senior members of a business.  Emphasize the challenges and growth opportunities in the role you’re recruiting to fill.
  • Maintain your hiring process: It’s tempting to take a free-wheeling approach when hiring a leader. Though hiring for a high-level position may be more subjective, it’s important to maintain the standards and tactics you use for other employees (psychometric tests, ethics/values tests, executive assessments, etc.).
  • Think big picture: Unless you already have a culture of excellence, it will be difficult to attract excellent leaders. Create the kind of workplace where top leaders want to work.
  • Know what you have to pay: Underpaying is one of the worst policies that can be implemented during the recruitment process. Do your research so that you’re aware of the appropriate salary to offer the type of leader you wish to hire.
  • Aim for less than 100%: No one will be a perfect fit. Overly scrutinizing candidates makes the search drag, frustrates recruiters and increases the cost of filling a position.
  • Timing is important: Interview top applicants (3 or 4 times) in the same time frame so that the recruiter can compare the applicants and reduce the odds of losing them to other firms.

A good recruitment process is critical to finding a new leader. Incorporate these tips and strategies to give your business a chance to successfully hire a senior-level employee.

Recruiting a new leader for your company? Interested in some expert advice and assistance? Call the Calgary recruiting agency, Equation Staffing Solutions at 1-844-367-9618. We are a reliable, innovative, collaborative agency here to support you in your search for a position and/or personnel/leaders for your business. Our experience will assist you! Contact us today.