Organizational change is necessary to stay relevant to both consumers and potential employees. However, finding the right leaders that can help your company become more progressive can be challenging.
You may try strategies like using people analytics to see how potential leadership candidates solve problems. You might also explore other hiring strategies like team interviews or using niche job boards to find what you’re looking for in a manager. While these are excellent ways to get you the leader you want, sometimes you have to look outside the proverbial box. You should also assess characteristics like tech IQ or level of empathy to get the organizational change you need for advancement in the workplace.
Here are a few of our favorite strategies you can use to find and hire the best candidate for your business.
Assess Their Tech IQ
It’s no secret that tech knowledge is necessary in almost every industry. Many companies are expanding programs that allow employees to work remotely, and some are even expanding overseas.
These organizational changes may have your team spread out around the globe, which means that your new leader needs to have a high tech IQ to keep your company moving towards global initiatives. They may be required to use video conferencing software, project management applications, or team collaboration platforms just to get the job done. But how can you be sure that you choose a leader who is tech-savvy?
During the interview, be sure to ask direct questions about their tech knowledge. To do this, you need a few situational questions mixed in with technical ones to get a clear picture. Here are a few prompts you can use to assess their tech IQ:
- “Can you tell me three to five online resources you currently use to do your job?”
- “Tell me about a time that you used a technical application to increase productivity or streamlined a process.”
- “How comfortable are you with using video conferencing platforms?”
Look for Signs of Empathy
Leaders need many different qualities. Being a good fit for the job goes far beyond having the right degree or jotting down a few of the required skills on a resume. You need to look for leaders who display a high level of empathy. A few characteristics that highly empathetic people may possess include:
- Active listening: To understand how others might be feeling, you need to listen to what they say. Empathetic leaders know when to let others speak and pay attention not just to their words but the emotions and meaning behind them.
- Vulnerability: Leaders who share their own mistakes can typically build relationships quickly with others. Vulnerability also helps the team see the human characteristics of the leader and relate to them on a more personal level.
- Refraining from assumptions: Empathetic leaders know that unless you have faced the exact problem in the past, you probably don’t fully understand what someone is going through. The ability to recognize this and not make assumptions will help your new leader connect quickly with their teammates and employees.
Gauge Their Commitment to Learn
Progressive leaders must be learners. Leadership isn’t about knowing all the answers or being smarter than everyone on the team. Successful leaders understand the need for continued learning to keep up with an ever-changing industry and marketplace. They must be focused on growth and be a role model for others. Having a passion for lifelong learning will help them grow as a leader and move your company toward growth initiatives.
To obtain a clear picture of each candidate's commitment to learning, ask them questions about their future goals. Successful leaders often usually have short-term and long-term goals for their future. Discuss each candidate’s one-year, five-year, and ten-year educational or continued learning plans. Ask where they see themselves during each of these time frames to assess their commitment to your company.
You might also inquire if they are a member of any professional organizations that offer continuing education for leaders. Getting a clear picture of each candidate's commitment to lifelong learning will help you choose the best person for your leadership position.
It’s projected that more than 200,000 new positions for general and operations managers will be created by 2026. These industry leaders will coordinate, plan, and direct your operations. It’s essential to know that many of them will be fresh out of college. New graduates may have an advantage over tenured managers because their education will be current. However, hiring too many inexperienced leaders can leave your business lacking stability and vision.
Use some of the top recruitment trends to make sure you’re getting the best candidates in front of you and your hiring team. Once you have a list of qualified applicants, be sure to put every leadership candidate through a rigorous interview process. The first round of interviews should be done with executive leaders.
Once you have narrowed down the candidates to two or three, consider inviting in a few of the staff members who will report to the new leader. This gives them the opportunity to provide feedback and feel a sense of ownership over the decision. Pick two or three of your top-performing team members for this job and prepare them with a few prompts, such as:
- “Can you describe your leadership style?”
- “What do you feel makes a successful team?”
- “Tell me about a time that your team didn’t agree with a decision you made and how you handled it.”
The answers to these can give you more clarity in how the candidate functions in a leadership role. If your company doesn’t conduct team interviews, consider hosting a luncheon or meet-and-greet event with the potential leaders so that team members can meet them in a more informal way.
Finding in the Right Candidate
Before you hire a new manager, put a few of these best practices in place to find the best talent.
Organization change is a challenging milestone for every company. However, once you find the right candidate, you may realize that change was precisely what you needed to move your company into a more progressive place.
About the Author: Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.