How do you know you are hiring the very best? To understand, you must calibrate candidates against a large pool of similar candidates. Some people are very good at selling themselves in interviews, but they fail at actually performing. In executive recruiting terms, we call these people “empty suits”—all fluff, no substance.

Each company is unique in some way: business challenges, vocabulary, technology, culture, leadership style, and goals. You can create a position description containing minimum requirements to filter candidates. Even then, most top performers will be engaged in a role, performing well, and have significant incentives to remain in their current position. Additional top performers will also resist the risk of changing to a new company and new manager. So, knowing all of this, how will you know you have a great candidate who will perform well for you and your company?

Skills and abilities are a common way to evaluate people. Many people are very good at executing. I’m just wondering: who will perform in your company? Who will be motivated and confident with your challenges and work well with you and your team?

If you have worked with stellar performers before, you can calibrate against that experience. What if you haven’t? What if you lead your first start-up or a new division in your company? Will the same person who was successful for you before be able to perform well in your environment? How will you know? Is there a test you can perform to ensure success?

It is difficult to assess whether the candidate possesses the right leadership capacity, values, work ethic, communication skills, and ability to execute in your company under your circumstances. Each company is unique, and while situations are similar, the business climate is in a constant state of flux.

How do you define this? Can you articulate your vision for the company and how teams work together? Can you explain your team’s communication style to me? Defining your unique challenges often outlines gaps in team capability and is a good starting point for identifying your needs and what to hire for. What is your mission? How are your mission and values demonstrated in the behaviors of the team?

Developing a clear picture upfront of the “who” you want will go a long way to finding someone who can execute well for you. After all, when hiring a C-Suite candidate, you need someone who can lead and perform to take your company to the next level and beyond.

We specialize in providing you with the right C-Suite talent for the first time in less than 90 days. Please call us to learn more about why we have many repeat clients and why our candidates stay over three years in their roles. Feel free to contact us if you want help making better hiring decisions.