It’s time to hire better leaders, not just managers.

It’s time to hire better leaders, not just managers.

Why do you spend more time creating a job posting and conducting interviews than identifying what would make a candidate the right personality fit for the organization? Too often employers interview manager candidates and evaluate more on the job experience and less on soft skills needed. The consequence of allowing experience to trump attitude is a bad hire. You have now hired a manager, not a leader.

Why does this matter? People leave managers, not organizations. If you hire a bad manager, it will cost you money in the long run. Money in turnover decreased productivity, increased sick days, and more. Someone could think they work for an amazing company but a new boss could be the reason they end up walking out the door.

If you want successful leaders, you need to start hiring for attitude and training for the skill. Below are four skills to look for when interviewing your next candidate.

  1. Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This is one of the essential skillsets that can determine effectiveness. Emotional intelligence is a combination of four things: social awareness, self-management, self-awareness, and relationship management. If the candidate shows poor aptitude in these areas, it could be a sign that they have low EQ. To identify EQ, ask open-ended behavioral questions like “How do you respond when someone comes to you very upset about an issue that you may have created?” or “Describe a time when you struggled to build a relationship with someone important?”
  2. Passion. Passion can be a predictor of influence and drive. Passion can also tell you whether or not someone will be committed to achieving organizational goals. Asking questions like, “tell me why you want this job?” or “why is this important to you?” Get to the heart of why the candidate wants the job. If they give a short sullen answer, they may be looking more for a paycheck than an opportunity to make an impact.
  3. Empathy. Your ability to relate to others and step into their shoes will impact your ability to build relationships. Empathy is a great way to show that you care for the employee as an individual not just as a means to get things done. According to Businessolvers’s 2017 Workplace Empathy Monitor Report, they found that 77% of workers would be willing to work more hours and accept a lower salary for an empathetic workplace. Empathetic leaders impact the bottom line. To determine empathy ask questions like “How do you react when someone comes to you to ask for help?” or “How do you handle sharing difficult news?”
  4. Desire to grow others. If you want to make a stronger more resilient organization, you need to foster a culture where the development of others is at the forefront. This requires individuals to take time to share skills and experiences for the betterment of others and the organization as a whole. If you do not hire someone interested in developing others, you will end up with silos on teams and vulnerability to turnover as the knowledge is contained to a single individual. Try asking questions like “Tell me a time you trained someone? Why did you train them? How did you balance the time investment?” or another question is “How do you ensure others around you have the essential skills to do their job?”

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