Executive Job Selection Criteria / Executive Selection Process
At Executive Career Solutions, we always get asked about job selection criteria or employee selection criteria based on what employers and headhunters look for in candidates. Put simply, it is an executive that really stands out from the crowd, offers something unique and has a good ‘strategic fit’ for the role. As a result, we have devised a quick checklist of job selection criteria for executives to give a simple guide as part of the employment hiring process. Employers will also refine employee selection criteria by prioritising different recruitment methods, enlisting the help of executive headhunters and often including employment assessment tests to create a shortlist talented executives.
Matching Job Selection Criteria
Executive job opportunities rely on having a precise job specification or specific requirements. With intense competition and ever increasing expectations for high profile roles from a global talent pool, it can be that candidates have to match up to 90% of the executive job selection criteria, just to be shortlisted for interview. Evidence must be presented in the CV, particularly as track record to date can be a good indicator of likely future performance.
Executive Leadership Expertise
It is important for executives to convey leadership credentials and evidence of doing the job in current / past roles. This can be highlighted by exemplifying top-level responsibilities, leadership credentials (skills / qualities), strong career progression (high potential), industry track record and excellent professional development that all combine to deliver a compelling candidate profile. We have identified a number of articles covering essential leadership skills used in job selection criteria.
Employers are searching for top executive talent, something different, specialist knowledge, specific expertise or ‘thought leadership’. This may be reflected through an excellent industry reputation, building relationships with influential contacts and networking with key players. Single-minded, resilient, entrepreneurial, determined and clever thinkers will always rise to the top. Being surrounded by industry leaders, opinion formers (leading authority) and showing strong focus towards a specific industry sector can be a very strong differentiator as part of the employee selection process.
Business leaders are often exceptional communicators and have excellent people engagement skills. Advanced influencing, negotiation, convincing, presentation and stakeholder engagement skills are essential for top-level boardroom positions. Includes conflict management, especially when overcoming challenging situations or making tough decisions. Executive interviews are designed to put people under pressure to exhibit (test) these skills.
Exceptional Professional Development
Executive leaders have often gone through executive leadership programmes or have benefited from strong professional development. This includes MBAs, professional memberships / accreditation, steering committees and so on. The idea is to show high potential with a longstanding investment in training and specialist skills development over the years (i.e. employers only invest in credible leaders or talented individuals). Leadership development is a good thing to have, but not a deal breaker.
Offering Something Unique
Going the extra mile, a visionary approach, outstanding achievements, specialist skills, industry contacts, innovative ideas and precise technical expertise are good differentiators. It is up to executives to identify unique selling points (USPs) to make them stand out from others. This can be a combination of things or just one outstanding selling point.
Bringing Something Extra
Executive leaders have often delivered tangible results, impacted the wider organisation and delivered success in a complex global operating environment. A good differentiator is the ability for executives to relate to the wider business and adapt to an ever-changing operating environment. Thinking about the bigger picture, selling a long-term vision, influencing key stakeholders and building strategic relationships are areas where leaders can make a difference.
Executive Selection Process: Conclusion
Employer requirements will vary depending on the type of person, ‘strategic fit’ and capabilities of the candidate concerned. However, there are some similar themes running through the job selection criteria for executives, so evaluating what executives have done against these cornerstones help give important indicators / set expectations about what employers are really looking for. Following the global talent search and executive selection process from start to finish.