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Know What You Want First

Posted by Ken Glickman

Category : Consulting

Q: I am hiring a VP of Marketing and I have interviewed about ten candidates. Although they are all very good professionals, I haven’t made a decision yet. With all of the talent out there, I feel that this is the time I can have the very best. I guess I am waiting for the perfect person to walk through the door. Am I being to picky?

A: You aren’t being picky, you just don’t know what you want.

This is the most common problem I see when clients are hiring management talent. Before you begin to look at resumes, you must first spend the necessary time to sit down and analyze what you really want this person to accomplish on the job. Try to think beyond the previous person who had the job but rather brainstorm about the future challenges of your firm.

Include other members of your management team, board of directors and staff in this endeavor. Fast forward to one year from today, and think what you want this person to have achieved after that time for you to think he or she is successful – for you to say, “Boy, that was a great hire I made!”.

Working with a consultant will help you through this challenging work. A good search consultant does more than identify the right candidates, he or she guides you and your staff through knowing what you want, what is best for your organization and helps you ask the right interview questions to get to the truth.

At the VP level, the specific companies, skills and industry experience is less important than good culture fit, work style, creativeness, ability to get large projects finished, and working effectively with staff and management.

The interviews should be extensive and include several people. The next step is references. Be tough and ask direct and probing questions. This is another area many companies do not do as thoroughly as they should. AND THEN, make a decision and give an offer.

The entire process should be focused and well organized. If you show the candidate that you don’t have your ducks in line, it will give them a negative impression. Be bold and be decisive.