The role and nature of responsibilities of senior leaderships in a company are of much greater consequence than an employee at a lower grade. Since senior leaders have a great number of people working under them, mistakes caused at such levels have a rippling effect throughout the workforce of the organisation. As a result, the risks of a bad C-suite hire are tremendous for a company. Hence, organisations hiring C-suite level applicants need a more rigorous and exhaustive executive screening procedure.
Conducting proper executive screening involves a thorough background check, criminal records check, identity and educational background checks, address checks and referrals from previous positions of leadership. The person a company hires for a top executive role becomes the face of the company. If the C-suite employee or business leader turns out to be a criminal or indulge in malpractices, it will not only ruin the reputation of the company but also affect its work culture.
Importance of leadership due diligence
Leadership due diligence and robust executive screening practices are required to assess if the candidate is up to the mark and has the capabilities to handle the level of responsibilities mentioned in the job description. Conducting proper leadership due diligence reveals the attitude of the candidate and the track record they have held during past leadership roles. A thorough analysis of the various competencies of the candidate must be a part of leadership due diligence. Records of criminal history, abuse, drug usage, disturbing behaviour and trends can all be caught on record via stringent executive screening practices. Mentioned below are 9 steps that are to be followed to establish strong leadership due diligence practices in the hiring process.
9 steps to be followed for leadership screening
1) Establish a screening policy- This is the first step that any company should take. By establishing clear guidelines, you can reduce turnaround times and ensure rigorous screening processes.
2) Provide clear and precise Job- One way of ensuring right candidates is by posting a clear job description that mentions the qualities, education and necessary experience that the company is looking for.
3) Hire a background screening Partner- Professional leadership due diligence services are equipped with proper screening database and software that can provide accurate information regarding the candidate in a short period of time.
4) Make a structure for the interview- After receiving complete information about the candidate, it is the job of the hiring committee to ensure a rigid interview structure which is free from any favouritism. Having a clear interview format ensures that the candidate is tested against the right standards and that the skills that the organisation is looking for are properly identified.
5) Should go beyond basic background checks- You can clear your candidate of any criminal activities or history of drug abuse, but what about other details that can affect the C-suit job such as history of mental health, disturbing past, records of unethical practices, politically inflaming statements of activities and so on. The solution- go beyond basic background checks.
6) References are not the gold standard- The situation of every company is different. Hence the references that a candidate brings with themselves shouldn’t be taken as the gold standard and the candidate must be subjected to rigorous checks and screenings.
7) Implement the 3Cs- They stand for character, credentials and competency. These are the most vital parameters of candidates based on which every leadership due diligence process should operate.
8) Look for cultural fit- Your C-suite candidate may be technically sound with all the necessary experience but attitude still matters. Senior executive screening processes must ensure that the candidate is a cultural fit as well by analysing the applicant’s character against current company work culture.
9) Innovations in executive screening process- With advances in technology, there are more and more methods of cheating the system and stealing identities. The leadership due diligence policies must be continuously tested and updated with newer checks and software features to improve accuracy and efficiency.