You’ll be shocked to hear that 20% of startups fail after the first year and even more in the second year.
How do you make sure your company doesn’t fall prey to these troubles? How do you ensure that you have good business leadership who has a long-term vision?
You have to go about hiring a CEO who can maintain the balance between innovation and stability. A great Chief Executive Officer will make a huge difference in your company’s productivity.
Here’s how to find your CEO:
Start With a Recruiting Agency
One of the easiest ways to find the best talent is to go through a confidential executive recruiting agency.
This will help you narrow down potential candidates. It’s especially great if you don’t have a large network at your disposal. You can share your criteria with the agency.
They’ll then use your criteria to find the right candidates for your company. You’ll then interview them and assess their skills to decide who’ll make your next CEO.
But what are the skills that a CEO needs to prosper and bring your company forward?
There are many skills that you have to look for when you hire a CEO. One of the first factors to consider is how good they are at public speaking.
At times, they’ll have to address shareholders at a meeting. Other times they’ll have to defend your company at press conferences. They’ll also have to command a room full of disgruntled employees.
You need someone who’s an excellent communicator. There are many ways you can assess this particular skill.
First, you’ll have to interview the candidate. During the interview, you’ll assess how comfortable they are with interpersonal communication. You want to choose someone who feels confident in their convictions.
During the interview, don’t hesitate to ask them difficult questions. This shows how well they can handle themselves under pressure. It gives you an idea of whether they’ll be able to stand their ground when being hounded by the press!
Next, you want to choose someone who has excellent writing skills. As you scale your business, your CEO will do very little writing.
However, even if their secretary does the typing, the words still have to come from your CEO. Poor writing ain’t good now is it?
Were you bothered by the poor English of the previous sentence? That’s precisely what you need to avoid with your CEO. Make sure you ask them to submit writing samples before you hire them.
You want to assess that they know how to write persuasively. They also need to be succinct with their writing. It should also go without saying that they must have perfect spelling and grammar skills.
The final skill to consider from a potential CEO is whether they can think creatively. This includes critical thinking, out-of-the-box thinking, and being able to think on their feet.
To do this, you may want to give them a few scenarios. Ask them how they would respond to false rumors about your company. Ask them how they’ll complete a project if half the team quits suddenly!
Ask them to give you specific examples of when they had to make executive and creative decisions at their previous jobs.
Now let’s return to why it’s so important to hire a CEO for your company. This means they can assess your company’s financial health. Their responsibility is to maximize profits while also ensuring financial stability.
While this is also the responsibility of your accounts department, it’s the CEO who’ll have a long-term vision to make this happen.
It was Steve Jobs who knew that if Apple expanded to mobile devices such as the iPod and iPhone, the company would have staying power.
Jeff Bezos knew that Amazon had to sell more than just books. Elon Musk knows that Twitter will only have a future if it caters to different perspectives.
This is all part of the area of financial expertise. Make sure you ask your candidates about their vision for your company. Put them on the spot to see if they have a vision that can take your brand to new heights.
You want to also ask them about possible financial risks. Ask them questions such as “What if the product/service fails?” and “How will you recover from a major financial loss?”
They should be able to think quickly on their feet and give you a response. If they can, then you’re one step closer to hiring a CEO.
Best Practices for Hiring a CEO
Now let’s end with a few more best practices for hiring a CEO who’ll stay with your company for long.
The first question is to ask them how long they wish to stay with your company. Jeff Bezos stepped down from Amazon only after almost 30 years of dedicating his life to it. Steve Jobs stepped down after decades due to his failing health.
Make sure you hire someone who has every intention of staying with your company for at least a decade.
Next, they must understand where your industry is going in the future. If you run a film studio, they should know about streaming, web series, and social media video content as well. They should know how to adapt as the industry changes.
The final consideration is to hire someone who is both national and international. They should understand your local market but also know how to negotiate with international clients and business partners.
Find Your CEO
Now you know how to go about hiring a CEO and choosing the best candidate.
The fastest way to find a great candidate is to search via a recruiting agency. They’ll narrow down the ideal candidates from whatever criteria you supply them with.
Assess if your CEO candidate has excellent verbal communication, writing, and thinking skills. They should also have financial expertise and a long-term vision for your brand.
Make sure they want to stay with your company for the foreseeable future. You can find even more great tips for running your business on our website!