At Lockton Pacific Series, we are fortunate to have many of our industry’s top talent among our leadership ranks.

It didn’t happen by accident. 

Building this stellar leadership team required a strategy that combined developing and promoting talent from within the organization with recruiting proven prospects from outside our company. 

This mixing of insiders who understand a company’s history, culture, operation and employees with those who gained experience and perspective at other companies can be energizing. It can help stimulate fresh ideas and directions. 

But bringing in the wrong person, or elevating a current employee prematurely into a role he or she isn’t right for, can lead to friction among personnel and lost productivity. 

That is why recruitment is so much more than simply choosing from resumes and references. Especially when it comes to key leadership positions, recruitment should be viewed as an investment of time and resources with long-term potential to strengthen your company for years to come.

Invest the time, but first hone your process

Begin by making sure your recruitment team has a thorough knowledge of your company, its mission, operations and corporate culture. This awareness includes knowing the specific demands and interrelationships of your divisions and departments. 

Here are four guidelines that can help your organization find the right people for leadership roles and ensure that they help your company – and themselves – achieve greater success.

  1. Recognize high-potential employees

When scouting for leaders, organizations need to recognize potential. Recruiters must understand what the position entails and select the candidate who is capable of elevating the company to greater heights. One needs to have a hawk’s eye to recognize emerging leaders who can fill vital roles when the need arises. The best way to test an individual’s potential is through unusual and challenging situations.

Furthermore, recruiters must have the ability to evaluate a prospective hire’s soft skills. These skills involve emotional intelligence and include things such as flexibility, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills. 

  1. Sell the organization’s vision

The employees of any company are a critical component of the organization’s mission and vision. When selecting the ideal leader, recruiters must understand the company’s vision to work towards achieving its ultimate objectives. Companies must sell their vision to potential candidates within the company in order to develop the appropriate leaders. The process becomes seamless when they have a clear understanding of the company’s mission and are aligned with its values. 

  1. Provide employees with leadership development opportunities

Organizations will have deeper pools of candidates for promotion if they offer leadership development programs to help sharpen skills, on-the-job training and mentoring programs. These provide employees with opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. And, they create a way to know who is driven to advance.

The value of gender, ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership are indisputable. The more diverse a company becomes, according to research, the more likely it will outperform less diverse peers on profitability.

A 2020 McKinsey & Co. report stated clearly that, “The business case for inclusion and diversity is stronger than ever. … [But] also that the relationship between diversity on executive teams and the likelihood of financial outperformance has strengthened over time.” 

  1. Provide support through coaching

Adequate coaching requires effective advice and guidance involving one-on-one sessions as well as group collaborations. During these meetings, there should be coaching on how to handle challenging situations. 

The company should also provide emerging leaders with strategies for performing a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. Understanding employees’ SWOT analysis can assist in identifying the most appropriate leader suitable for the position.

In closing, these strategies can help steer your organization to the best candidate for its next leadership opportunity. Remember that recruitment is greatly simplified by a thorough understanding of the scope, demands and potential growth of a position, coupled with an ability to understand people and their potential.