Leaders aren’t looking for a job, which can make them dif-ficult
to hire. This is why you cannot use the traditional
language of recruitment to attract the talent that will lead
your organization into the future.
Every business today is in uncharted territory when it comes
to hiring and recruiting leaders. Companies need to become more
nimble, adaptive and innovative to recruit the leadership talent in
their sectors. It’s a new world.
The meaning of leadership is evolving and traditional job
postings can often restrict potential candidates from apply-ing
if the wrong keywords are used. Talented people want
an opportunity that will fit with their goals, their values and
their mission in life. Leaders also want these things, of course
– but they want more. Especially in a shrinking labour mar-ket,
the most sought-after leadership talent cannot be poached,
swayed or attracted by the same strategies used to recruit
They won’t be won over by a job title and a benefits package.
Leaders want the opportunity to lead. Bringing new talent on
board at the top means asking them to invest their time, their rep-utations
and their career currency in your business.
ADDRESSING LEADERSHIP CANDIDATES AS
INVESTORS, NOT RECRUITS
The same keywords companies use in their pitches to venture
capital investors can be the secrets to persuading industry influ-encers
and leaders to join your organization.
Begin with your company’s position in your sector, whether you
are a major player, an ambitious start-up or a scrappy innovator.
Speak in the language of your industry. Leadership talent will be
seeking opportunities in fields that fit with their areas of exper-tise.
They know how businesses thrive in the sector and what the
potential return on their investment would be.
Talk about your growth potential. Leaders who grow organiza-tions
also want growth opportunities for themselves. When you
demonstrate that joining your organization offers unique poten-tial
for growth, you will set your position apart from others. If
your company provides potential leaders with an opportunity
unlike any other, they are unlikely to look for other opportunities.
Much like investors don’t want to put their money in a company
that is complacent, leaders also look for opportunities in compa-nies
designed with scalability in mind – particularly when it comes
to start-ups. Can your company pivot and grow to meet shifts in
Are you leveraging the latest technologies and leading communi-cation
tools such as digital marketing, data utilization and content
strategy? Are you looking for new revenue streams? Demonstrate
your agility and scalability for potential hires.
Top-level candidates do not want to sign a contract when they are
not sure that they have all of the information. Make a thorough
pitch to potential leaders – with the same level of detail as you
would put forward to investors. Be transparent about the state
of your business and the market, the challenges your company is
facing and your roadmap for tackling them. Just as an investor’s
capital can play an essential role in a company achieving its poten-tial,
sell senior candidates on how their investment – their time,
talent and leadership – can be instrumental to the success of your
company. Leaders want to lead.
They also want to associate with the best in the business.
Meaningful relationships always count. Emphasize the reputation
and capabilities of both your company’s founders and its current
leadership team. Leverage the talent you have to boost your attrac-tiveness
to the talent you need.
VISION AND GROWTH
Attracting top leadership talent to your company is a necessity for
success. And while it has never been easy – especially for smaller
or lesser-known organizations – that challenge is only increasing
in today’s shrinking labour market.
Smart businesses need to demonstrate for those top candidates
in their field that partnering with their business is a sound invest-ment.
Highlight the best parts of your business plan and discuss
your challenges frankly. This works because the opportunity to
overcome these hurdles – to help your company succeed – is also
a high potential opportunity for personal and professional growth.
You don’t recruit leaders like employees. You sell to them
like investors. The capital you will receive matters even more
than money. n
Jamie Hoobanoff is the founder and CEO of The Leadership Agency.
tomertu / 123RF Stock Photo
Tips for Recruiting Leaders
THE KILLER KEYWORDS FOR ATTRACTING LEADERS AREN’T RELATED TO
RECRUITMENT AT ALL
By Jamie Hoobanoff
HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MAY 2018 ❚ 27