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Traits you should look for when hiring leaders

Editorial Team
26/05/2020 3:27 PM

The reason why organisations fail can be traced to the
leadership within the organisation. In Africa, for example, most institutions
struggle to bring in leadership based on merit. Patronage is a key factor when
hiring in most African businesses.  In
this article, I will highlight some of the processes you need to hire the best

First here are the processes you need to have:

  1. Develop the right job
    profiles based on objective information. The profile needs to reflect what you
    need from a successful person going into that role. Never use generic job
    profiles when hiring your executive team.
  2. Use better selection
    methods such as psychometric tests and assessment centres. If you look at the
    top companies globally, they all use psychometric tests and assessments centres
    for leadership selection. Once you have finished shortlisting candidates based
    on strict criteria, do not interview candidates who have not gone through
    psychometric tests. It is a complete waste of your resources to interview
    candidates who for example have no cognitive ability for the role they are
    going into. Remember general mental ability is the biggest and most efficient
    predictor of job performance. Over and above this check for personality
    defects. There are brilliant individuals, who are technically gifted to have a
    horrible personality that will destroy your organisation.
  3. Do not bend your
    selection criteria to accommodate candidates who do not meet the criteria. Once
    you start this process you set a precedent.
  4. Be fair and transparent
    in your hiring process so that you gain the confidence of the market. That
    confidence will help you attract the best candidates for roles in your
  5. If in doubt do not hire.
    The danger with hiring is that its easy to do but very difficult to terminate non-performers
    in most instances.
  6. During the interview let
    the candidates that all they are giving as answers especially where factual
    information is required, you will verify that information through reference
  7. Never do reference checks
    based on the people listed by the candidate on the CV. It is likely those
    people will overlook the negatives in the candidate. There are various other
    ways of doing reference checks.

When hiring avoids hiring people with the following traits,
especially for leadership roles:

  1. Self-centred individuals
    – such individuals are likely to be corrupt and will make decisions in their
    self-interest. They are also likely to start to bring in close friends and
    colleagues from outside the organisation to build their power base.
  2. People who think they
    have all the others to all problems. Collaborative individuals are likely not
    to have all the others. Anyone who through your objective assessments present
    themselves as having all the answers to your problems will give you problems in
    the long run.
  3. Avoid taking people who
    over-promise. It is likely, such individuals may not deliver. Go for people who
    are practical and realistic.
  4. Avoid hiring overly
    aggressive people. Such people may have seriously personality defects. Remember
    personality is a permanent disposition and it hardly changes over an
    individual’s lifetime. Once they are in your organisation you are stuck with
    them for good.
  5. Avoid people who agree
    with anything a superior says. They are likely to let problems go unreported as
    long as a superior is involved. You want to hire people we can exercise
    independent thinking.
  6. Do not hire people who
    desperate to please people. They are likely to tell you to want to hear even if
    things are going in the wrong way. You should hire people who can acknowledge
    shortcomings early before bigger damage is done to your business.

The above guidelines will assist you when hiring leaders but
remember the list is not exhaustive.

 Memory Nguwi is an Occupational
Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial
Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting
firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4
481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +263 77 2356 361 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com  or visit
our website at www.ipcconsultants.com

Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC

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