Leadership in the recent times has become more complex than ever. The role of senior management is increasingly becoming more critical. Hence, it is vital for board members and CEOs to hire the right candidates for the upper management. The image and progress of the brand or company is directly dependent on the working practices of C-suite executives. The recent times have shown multiple frauds and scandals involving upper management and board members, which have made headlines in newspapers. A recent survey conducted in India shows that 37% of middle and senior level management to be involved in unethical practices. This is a clear indication of the gaps in the leadership due diligence methods used in this country. The survey took into account various factors like cyber security, physical theft, bribery and corruption. C-level executives of leading PSUs in India are now under constant surveillance after a financial scam worth 11,300 crores was unearthed recently. This is where leadership due diligence comes into the picture. C suite executive screening ensures eligible candidates for upper management.
Senior executives of any organization are responsible for setting the work culture of the company. They not only act as role models for the rest of the team, but also responsible for setting goals and motivating their employees. Hence hiring the right team of leaders is critical for any business. This calls for Leadership due diligence, which ensures proper hiring of the correct upper management. Even though most businesses today realize the gravity of leadership due diligence, HR teams and CEOs still face hurdles in hiring the right candidates of the C-suite positions.
Challenges faced in C-suite hiring
1) Misalignment of objective and candidate- McKinsey studies have indicated that over one-third of top level executives were not able to properly align candidates with their objectives. Without leadership due diligence, a company can end up hiring senior management who do not understand the culture and processes of the company. This would primarily happen because of mismatches in the candidate profile and job goals. Inaccuracies in the hiring processes are one of the major challenges faced by HR teams and CEOs. The HR must successfully implement latest technologies, innovative marketing and customized messages and mails to hire the right candidate. The recruitment process needs to gather the attention of the top talent, through leveraging modern technologies and innovative hiring practices.
2) Lack of interview structure- Many companies conduct interviews for top level management without a proper format or structure. Such interviews are not only ineffective at gauging the candidate correctly, but also have the possibility of biased results. In order to preserve the efficacy and objectivity of the hiring process, a proper format must be implemented that takes into account preset parameters like skills, relevant work experience and education among others. It is vital to check the parameters that were identified during leadership due diligence endeavors.
3) Delay in On-Boarding- Hiring processes can sometimes be lengthy and labor-intensive. This often causes delays in confirming a candidate either due to delay in approvals or indecisiveness. A highly talented candidate in the market often has multiple job offers and are aggressively sought after by companies. Moreover, verifying the c-level management takes a lot of effort than usual background verification process. Hiring a 3rd party professional agency that conducts leadership due diligence can be a blessing in speeding up the hiring process.
Lack of proper policies and job descriptions
A thorough leadership due diligence is not possible without proper guidelines and policies. Lack of appropriate recruitment guidelines, screening processes and policies can lead to hiring of employees that are either not qualified for the job or are not culturally fit for the company. Also, an ineffective leadership due diligence practice can lead to hiring of C-level management with a criminal record or history of drug abuse. This will not only tarnish the image of the company but also will have serious consequences on business operations. HR must properly define job roles and have proper hiring policies to pair the right candidate with the right job. Candidate analysis and leadership due diligence should be carried out using the latest technologies on an integrated platform that has all the necessary requisites couple with HR policies and hiring guidelines.