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IMA Human Resources Blog

Profile of a Quality Executive Hire

The Overture Group is an IMA member search and compensation consulting firm…

When travelling you have a destination in mind, when hiring you must have a success profile of your ideal executive in mind. A success profile is your definition of superior performance in the job you are hiring for. It describes six to eight performance objectives the person hired for the job must do to be successful. Once you have created a success profile, you need to have a strategy for determining whether a candidate fits that profile.

There are many tests to generally evaluate the personalities of individuals and how they might fit with your team such as the Meyers-Briggs and the Colors Personality Test. However, here are two methods to use for a quality interview:

  1. Performance Based Interviewing

Lou Adler, author of Hire with your Head, suggests straying from the traditional approach to hiring to get the best results. The traditional strategy of evaluating candidates mainly on qualifications and how well they interview is not the most effective way to hire the best person for the job. According to Adler, judging people on how well they interview is a terrible way to assess ability. This is because the most suitable candidates are often not the best interviewees and the best interviewees will often not have the best job ability.

Try performance based interviewing to get a better idea of how a candidate would perform in the job. Performance based interviewing is a method that focuses questions on accomplishments and behaviors in prior job experiences. Learning how candidates acted in job scenarios in the past will assist you in determining whether they will fit the objectives of the success profile of the position.

  1. Strengths Finder Evaluation

The Strengths Finder test developed by Gallup was created to help people discover their strongest attributes. It is an assessment that matches people with their top five themes of talent so they can focus on developing their strengths rather than correcting their weaknesses. According to Gallup, executives that focus on their strengths are six times more likely to be engaged in their job and are less likely to leave.

The Strengths Finder test is an important tool for your executive hiring arsenal. All leaders have different strengths, and it is your job as the hiring manager to identify if the candidate’s strengths are a good fit for the needs of the position. Keep strengths in mind when creating the position’s success profile.

Talent and behavior paired with investment in skill development and practice leads to growth in strength. For example, if a position will require the new hire to create and implement long-term planning for the future of the company, here are a few strengths that would be a good fit:

  • Strategic
  • Futuristic
  • Activator
  • Responsibility
  • Communication

According to Tom Rath, author of Strengths Finder 2.0, the most successful people start with dominant talent and then improve their skills with practice and knowledge.


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