In today’s age of disruption, every business wants to transform, to stay relevant and thrive.
But how do you execute change without the right person at the helm? How do you figure the kind of person you need, what processes do you follow to reach them, and how do you eventually get them on-board?
It starts with thinking and approaching hiring for such critical roles differently. Here we attempt to find a pattern from past successes, distilling a six-step process that can enable finding transformational leaders.
Look inward first: It starts by some serious inner soul searching – knowing who you are as an organization and what you need most to take your company to the next level.
Invert the hiring pyramid: The traditional hiring route just doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to finding transformational leaders. The time has come to invert the hiring pyramid, and that means involving the head of the search committee in the initial screening stages!
Search unconventional spaces: It is important to break conventional hiring silos and look around the edges – across geographical borders, across industries, and even across functions.
Finding diamonds in the rough: You need to find disruptors, not off-the-shelf stars. It is not a simple task to find them as they are not readily available and they are also not easily lured by the fancy titles or eye-popping salaries. It is crucial to have the right message targeted uniquely to who they are in order to catch their attention.
Reeling in the perfect catch: Look at the larger picture, and lead the negotiation as you would for winning a strategic customer. Nothing is too small or trivial for the right candidate.
After the handshake: Go beyond the traditional on-boarding and secure the support your candidate needs from the higher levels. Ensure that s/he is empowered to make the changes that you are looking for.
This new world demands new ways of thinking and new ways of leading. We need to find the right executive who can balance the old with the new. The window of opportunity is so small, that simple mistakes can cost you big time. At the end of the day, the transformational journey can be exhilarating as it opens your eyes to endless possibilities and creates paths that you never saw before.
By Anu Parthasarathy
Anuradha (Anu) Parthasarathy is the Founder and CEO of AnuPartha, a retained executive search firm based in Menlo Park, California and exclusively focused on transformational leadership search, spanning multiple geographies including the US, Europe, and Asia.