When hiring, most employers have a process in place for positions they fill often, or on a regular basis. However, when it comes to recruiting and hiring for leadership positions, the process can be more of a challenge – if there is one at all.

If you’re struggling with hiring great leaders for your company, what steps should you take to ensure success? Here are 4 to consider:

1. Examine the position.

Before structuring the process, do your homework and learn about the skills and abilities a candidate must have in order to be successful in the role. Also, think about short- and long-term goals of the position, as well as how success will be measured. Finally, examine the dynamics of the department or team the new hire will lead so you can better spot candidates who will fit well with the position.

2. Develop a process.

You need to think through the process from start to finish to structure it properly and also ensure it’s as efficient as possible. Keep in mind, if you don’t have a clear, simple hiring process in place, top candidates could potentially walk away. If decisions take too long, or candidates are left in the dark, they’ll simply move onto other opportunities.

That said, your hiring process should consist of more than just the CEO or other company leader having a conversation with each candidate to ‘feel them out’ and determine fit. Such a conversation should certainly be a part of the process, but not the sole driving force behind the hiring decision. In fact, studies show that unstructured interviews are less reliable than structured interviews. You need a proven, structured process in place to assess and hire the best leaders.

3. Measure cultural fit.

A candidate might have the essential hard skills, but if their soft skills are lacking, or their personality isn’t a fit for your culture, it can lead to disaster. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate cultural fit for each executive level candidate you’re considering hiring. It’s also vital to ensure their career goals are aligned with your company and its organizational values.

4. Use assessments.

When critical leadership decisions need to be made – for instance, choosing between candidates — having precise insight allows you to make these decisions more confidently and avoid costly mistakes. That’s where assessments come in. A solid, structured, online assessment can help you accurately assess potential executive team members so you can make the best decisions for your company.

Do you need more help with your executive hiring process? Call the experts at Pacific ExecSearch. With more than 25 years of experience as executive search recruiters in Northern California, we can help you source and hire today’s very best talent. Contact us today to learn more