Our current reality demands different skills and traits from leaders to drive success within their teams. That means if you’re hiring a new leader, you need to adjust your mindset from your old hiring process to techniques that will help you uncover the right person for this moment.
According to Harvard’s Business Review’s webinar, How COVID-19 Increased the Gap in Leadership, these three leadership capabilities have emerged:

  1. Leading through Uncertainty
  2. Cultivating Trust
  3. Reskilling for Opportunity

It might seem impossible to determine if someone possesses those capabilities without seeing them “in action,” but consider the tools you have as the hiring manager: their resume detailing accomplishments, a soft skills assessment (if you do not currently use one, I highly recommend you look into it!) and the interview. We all know the interview is a carefully choreographed conversation with rehearsed answers to bring out the best in the candidate, but if you integrate topics that touch on the challenges of today, you might learn more than you expect!

5 suggested topics to cover in your interview:
  • “How would you go about developing your team’s skills without formal training?”
    • This could be implementing a new workflow to adapt to new ways of working, or teaching a new concept or product.
    • Look for people who give precise instruction to make someone better without micromanaging.
  • “How do you develop those around you, and what processes do you follow?”
    • Are they slowing down to analyze mistakes and correct them, while encouraging their teams to learn from them?
    • Are they giving their team time to concentrate on learning challenging concepts?
  • “What have you done to change the way you work over the past two years? How have you changed the way you work amid the pandemic?”
    • Listen for ability to unlearn & self-reflection.
  • “How would you balance motivating individual uniqueness and team collaboration with deep learning?”
    • What specific ways would they show employees their impact on the organization?
    • Are they customizing their style to the individual? Developing some thorough encouragement and clear direction with more time for concentration and practice of skills?
    • Do they understand that creative, thoughtful work should not be managed and that only routine tasks should?
  • “Give a scenario to describe how you would implement a dramatic change across departments that have been traditionally siloed.”
    • Is their communication style clear and concise?
    • Is there a clear process with how communication happens and how often it happens?
    • Are they placing importance on creating meaningful relationships?
    • Do they seek feedback on their work, communication styles, progress, etc.?
    • Are they systematically connecting dots while showing desire to improve process?

Like everything else since March, it’s time to adapt your hiring process, especially for leaders, to make sure you’re making the right steps forward in this challenging time. The same ol’ processes will yield the same ol’ results, and that will not cut it for our world today.

About Ginna Ronis

Ginna leads Medix’s Executive Search Practice. Through her 10 years of experience, she is a passionate advocate of the importance of soft skills in hiring, especially in leadership roles. To get in touch, you may reach her at gronis@medixteam.com