Why Skills And Experience Matter Less At The Executive Level

Among the very first things a Chief Executive or corporate hiring authority is likely to inquire about when considering a candidate for a critical management role are the issues of ‘What have they done?’ and ‘Where have they done it?’

The questions are often asked to discern whether candidates for the role have actually held the role previously, and whether any of their former employers are brands big enough and widely known enough to convey some sense of respect in the minds of the interviewers.

Yet, the challenges of this business environment should move business owners, ‘C-Suite’ executives and human resources officers to place more emphasis on vetting where management job candidates are heading in their careers and why. This means focusing less on their past accomplishments in different operating environments, where they worked with different people, different resources and perhaps, better economic and business conditions.

In the words of one Chief Executive, “I don’t care what the individual has done in the past. I need to know whether they’re capable and motivated to help my business get to the top.”

The bottom line, it would appear, when it comes to senior executive and management hiring has indeed shifted to candidates’ motivation, attitude, energy and ability to inspire others, and, of course, their fit with the culture of the enterprise and functional alignment with strategic objectives.

This means that companies should be less focused on what candidates have done and who they’ve worked for before, and more focused on whether they’re capable of being successful in the role and how their past experiences have set them up for success in this enterprise, at this time, and in these times.

Focusing on the future, and on one’s fit with the company’s vision and objectives, will be far more effective when making critical hires than simply checking the boxes and assuming that because they’ve held the same role elsewhere in a larger or better-known enterprise that they’ll be able to recreate past success.

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Copyright © TRANSEARCH International 2012


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