What are the 5 steps you need to take to get the new CEO of your dreams?
I’ve written a lot about one side of the executive recruitment equation, that being, how to assess and place the person into the company as the new CEO. What I’ve not written much about is the other side – the considerations that a CEO candidate considers when looking at a CEO opportunity. In this article I look at several of those considerations from the candidate’s lens.
Should I Be Looking?
First question a candidate might ask – do I really need to look for another job? This is usually an internal discussion that a potential candidate will have with her/himself to assess whether they are interested in looking. Several elements come into play in this discussion such as:
- Am I satisfied with my current position – this usually chronicles the reasons for satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction, listing out each reason in summary or detailed fashion? Several of the other elements below can be subsets of this assessment.
- Is there opportunity for growth – usually this considers opportunities for professional development, professional advancement, and financial advancement.
- Is the company secure/stable/positioned for growth – depending on industry, size, location, competition, ownership type, or financial indicators, these factors can help influence a potential candidate’s assessment of whether it is time to consider looking for other work.
While other elements can be evaluated, these seem to be the major ones a potential candidate may consider. As the potential candidate assesses these and related factors, it can have the effect of influencing her/his attitude towards their present position.
Being Looked For
Oftentimes potential candidates unknowingly are looked for by executive recruiters who are intent on finding candidates who will, on the surface, fit the CEO position profile that outlines what I call commonly defined characteristics that become more refined by industry, company size, and financial indices:
- Knowledge, skills, abilities
The response or reaction of a potential candidate who is being looked for can vary. I’ve had professionals be honored by the outreach as well as professionals who express indignation. Part of the reaction is tempered by the approach of the executive recruiter.
If the recruiter is professional, respectful, and considerate of a potential candidate’s current position the reaction usually reflects one of feeling good – reflecting a positive, tone. On the other hand, I have spoken to potential candidates who initially reflected indignation, often based on the experience of prior executive recruiters who did not provide the professional with respect.
Evaluating The Opportunity
Once a potential candidate decides to enter the fray it is common that the candidate will assess how each CEO opportunity can influence several career and personal factors, amongst which are the following:
- The ability to fulfill the candidate’s professional goals and objectives including –
- Span of control,
- decision making,
- base compensation,
- achieving an equity stake in the company,
- developing and the potential to achieve key performance indicators.
- The ability to achieve personal goals, for instance family relocation, family community recreational, educational, social, and cultural opportunities.
- The ability to match the candidate’s decision-making, values, and personality with the company culture and environment – team-based environment, cultural sensitivity to match the candidate’s imperatives,
- The candidate’s ability to develop and/or match the company’s emphasis on employee engagement and alignment initiatives.
- Ownership’s commitment to enable the CEO to develop specific action plans and to receive the full support of ownership to implement these action plans.
Moving Through The Evaluation Process
I mention this as an evaluation process – understanding that we are considering the candidate’s point of view, inasmuch as the candidate needs to decide on the opportunity just as much as the company needs to decide.
It’s important for candidates to understand the process used to evaluate their interests. Often candidates will need to take assessments that measure their decision-making talents, values, and behavioral preferences. Additionally, candidates will participate in a series of interviews that may include the executive search consultant and company executives, which can be 1:1 interviews and group interviews. Questions asked of candidates can include competency-based, behavioral, and situational. Candidates will also be expected to provide professional references who can provide information to the executive recruiter related to their qualifications and performance.
Is It Worth It?
Up until a job offer is made and accepted each candidate rightfully continues to evaluate the job and company opportunity, as each opportunity presents a candidate the need to consider the risk/benefit to a change. It can be a highly emotional decision process for the candidate. Each candidate should take these opportunities as a time when they can evaluate their own emotional quotient (EQ). If you are a future or potential candidate for a CEO opportunity, fee free to take this complimentary assessment to measure your EQ; you will be glad you did.