In any business, leadership is important. Great leaders know how to empower their teams and lead their organisations to the best they can be. Unfortunately, true leaders aren’t that easy to identify, so, when you’re looking to hire a leader in your business, apart from doing background checks through Checkr, what skills should you be looking for?
As times change businesses have to too, they cannot find success with the same strategies forever. Leaders must be able to plan ahead and ensure that their companies grow regardless of how the future unfolds. During the interview process, you can ask questions regarding an applicant’s vision as a true leader is likely to have evidence of improving a previous employer’s prospects with proactive changes. Additionally, leaders will also be able to confidently answer questions regarding business direction.
Communication is a skill that is important to every in business. However, effective communication is even more critical for leaders, as they will only fail to lead if they struggle to explain themselves effectively. Leaders need to be able to communicate a variety of messages, like plans, opinions, and feelings, and they need to be able to do this with a variety of groups and people. Luckily, poor communication skills are incredibly easy to recognise during the application process and poorly written cover letters, poorly delivered interview answers and other failures of communication indicate an inability to lead.
Part of having the skill of good communication, is about influencing others to complete certain tasks. Leaders need to be able to convince others to follow their instructions. This is more than just about speaking well, though; it is about projecting confidence and claiming authority. When looking for a leader for your company, you need to check if they are a cultural fit with the rest of the workforce as different leadership styles work in different environments, for example, someone with a military background may be great at influencing soldiers, but this won’t work the same in a casual startup or progressive workplace. Leaders need to not just be good at their job, but they need to be the right fit for the company too.
A leader needs to be able to make more decisions than everyone else, and already the average person makes a lot each day from what to wear, where to eat when to sleep, etc. But the decisions that leaders have to make on top of this impact more than just themselves. Not everyone is a natural-born decision-maker, but leaders are often good at this, even if their decisions aren’t always correct. When looking for someone to take on a leadership role, it’s important to ask applicants about difficult decisions they have had to make in the past, how they made those decisions, and the results.
A leader must be able to change his or her tactics to steer the business in the right direction. The people who are unwilling to change will usually fail to lead their organisations to success. Leaders also need to be able to adapt to different businesses too, to have transferrable skills to lead companies who do different things in different industries. Applicants’ good leader should reveal an eagerness to modify plans and alter strategies for the better. People who upheld the status quo are not appropriate for leadership positions.