5 Challenges of Hiring a New CEO

Posted by SRA Admin on Mar 16 2016


Whether you have a CEO who is on her way out or you are a founder looking for assistance in a growing venture,finding a CEO can be a challenge. That’s because you are essentially handing the reins of your company over to a relative stranger in the hopes that they will be able to steer you in the right direction.

It is possible to find a great CEO that will help your company thrive, but you have to be sure to go about it in the right way. Read on for five things that can be particularly challenging in the search for a CEO.

You Don’t Know Where to Start

If you have never hired a CEO before, the task can be quite daunting. It is not as though you can post you CEO job description on craigslist and wait for the resumes to roll in. Rather, it’s best to go about hiring a new CEO in a strategic way. Most often, the help of an expert executive recruiter is the best way to go. A recruiter can not only help you find the best candidates, but can also spend time narrowing down the field so that you and/or your board of directors does not have to spend precious time on candidates who are not a match.

You Don’t Know What You’re Looking For

Before you go on a hunt for a new CEO, you will want to create (or thoroughly assess) your CEO job description. Both recruits and recruiters will have a much easier time finding the right fit if they know what kinds of skills and tasks are most important to you. Keep in mind, however, that rarely are the best CEOs the ones that look the best on paper, so be sure there is more to your hiring process than matching up a resume and education with a job description.

You Haven’t Decided Between Visionary and Manager

Among all the CEOs in the world, you will find many different types of leadership. However, when it comes down to choosing the right CEO for your company, it is important to decide whether you are looking for a visionary to act as a thought leader who can take your company’s innovation to new heights or a manager who can keep growth on track and everything running smoothly. One type of CEO is not inherently more valuable than the other, it is a matter of choosing the one that makes the most sense for where your company is and what your goals are.

You’re Too Close to the Issue

For company founders, hiring a CEO can be not only challenging but also emotional. Even if you know a new CEO will help your company to thrive, it can feel a bit like giving away your baby. In this case, working with a recruiter and getting additional outside input is essential. When you are too close to the problem, it becomes all but impossible to see the right solution.

You Don’t Have Time for the Transition

The transition period for a new CEO can be scary, not just for whoever is in charge but for the whole company. To ensure the transition goes smoothly, there are a few things you can do. First, you can hire your new CEO on a temporary trial basis. This way, if after 3 months (or a decided upon term) things are not working out, the exit is painless. Working with a recruiter can also help in this case because the recruiter can check in with both you (the client) and the new CEO to ensure that everything is going smoothly on both sides. This kind of neutral contribution is extremely useful.

Hiring a CEO can present a significant opportunity for your company to succeed and even grow. Do not let the uncertainties of the process scare you off and let the opportunity slip away.

Topics: CEO, recruiting

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