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Making the right senior appointment: IDEX's 5 tips for recruiting leaders

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Recruiting leaders into your business can be one of your most important hires: here's how to do it right

Having a concise recruitment process in place is vital if you want to attract the best talent, but hiring senior leadership can be a challenge. Bringing on the right person, at the right time, can pay off a hundredfold when it comes to company growth and morale; conversely, making the wrong choice can have devastating consequences. 

In an industry where companies are racing to adapt to the changing market, it pays to spend more time and effort finding a senior hire who will be perfect for the role at hand. After all, they will be responsible for helping to grow the business, inspire your employees, and engage your customers, therefore having the right person at the helm can make all the different when it comes to staying competitive.

Here’s how to make a hiring choice that will suit your business.


When it comes to hiring senior leadership, your network is by far your most valuable asset. Where else are you going to find trusted, highly-recommended candidates at the touch of a button? Make the most of industry and networking events to build new relationships and cultivate existing ones. Keep in touch with quality talent from competing firms, and encourage your leadership team to do the same; connect on LinkedIn and drop in on them from time to time to check in on how they’re doing and whether they’re thinking of moving on from their current position. The more you network, the more likely it is you’ll find somebody who’s perfect for the role- and who already comes recommended by a colleague or mutual contact: after all, if75% of professionalsare passive rather than active candidates, turning to a job board won’t much help you.

2)Ask the experts

If you’re working in an industry where competition for the best talent is rife and senior leadership need to be highly qualified, thenturning to a skilled recruitment agencyto help you find the best talent will open up a great number of passive candidates that you would otherwise have missed. By working closely with you, your Recruitment Consultant will be able to create a detailed brief about your ideal candidate, your business’ needs and more, allowing them to utilise their extensive network to find the right passive professionals for the vacancy. With a list of candidates that is tailored to your needs, you will then be able to make a more informed choice about the kind of person you want to hire.

It also works: after all, 95% of people that we’ve placed at IDEX Consulting throughSearch and Selectionare still within the business after five years.

3)Tailor your interview process

The interview process is the stage where you can really vet your prospective candidate, and this is doubly important for leadership roles. When it comes to senior management, you want to find people who can build their careers throughthe strength of their relationships, their drive, and their ability to adapt to change: tailor your interview questions to reflect this. Ideally, you want to get to the bottom of any frustrations in their current or previous roles and what they are looking for going forwards; so you can ensure a good match of personality, technical knowledge and ambition. It is also a great idea to get a number of your senior team involved in the process to get a range of views, but also to allow the candidate to get a good feel for the businesses leadership team. 

One problem that is commonplace when hiring senior leadership is that many of your senior team may already have a pre-existing relationship with them, which could skew the hiring decision. By opening up the interview process to several different people, some of whom don’t know them, you’ll end up with a fair and balanced final judgement.

4)Psychometric Testing

When making your final decision, it’s vital that you have as much information as possible about your potential candidate. During the final stages of the hiring process, get a comprehensive idea of what motivates your senior hire, what their personality is like and what their learning style is withPsychometric testing. Using scientific testing to establish subconscious behaviours and drivers let you unpack your candidate’s motivations and abilities, and tailor your interview questions to fit.

5)Prioritise behaviour over background

Should you judge a candidate on the strength of their CV? Though of course you should hire a person who is qualified and capable of doing the job well, it’s also worthtaking a look at their personalitywhen making your final decision. Integrity is an essential personality trait to look for, as is checking whether their values align with that of your firm: in a workplace where73% of professionalsleave their job due to a poor cultural fit, you need to ensure that your candidate knows exactly what they can expect from their new role.

A good leader shouldn’t just be technically gifted; they need to be able to mix well with others, lead and inspire, and drive the business forward. Today’s buzzword is communications, and this- as well as your company’s business needs- should be top of your mind when looking to make a good hire. 

6)Look for the potential

At senior leadership level, it’s vital that you look to bring on people that you thinkcan help grow your companyas opposed to simply maintain the status quo. Short of promoting from within- where you can develop a good idea of how a certain person works and whether they can handle increased levels of responsibility look for candidates who are ambitious, and who you know can grow with the role or actively look for new opportunities for the firm. People who are content to sit comfortably in their role, rather than innovate, risk being left behind in a fast-moving marketplace; instead, hire an innovator.

Hire for success with IDEX Consulting.

Hiring senior leadership is vital if you want to grow a healthy business That’s why we have developed our Retained Solution, incorporating psychometric and behavioural profiling, to ensure you have the best market insight and intelligence, in order to make the right decision, every time. Take a look at how Retained Solutions can benefit your businesshere.