The CEO is a critical part of any organization. From setting overarching strategy goals to defining and shaping a company culture, the CEO is there every step of the way. That is exactly why replacing a CEO can be a significant challenge. Putting the wrong person in the role can have disastrous consequences. So how do you go about finding the right CEO?
As with any recruiting challenge, starting with a job description is an important first step.
Why the CEO Job Description is Important
Chances are, you are not going to be posting your CEO role on a standard job site, so why is it even important to write one? A complete job description can be helpful during the recruiting process because it gives executive recruiters a clear picture of the kind of candidate you want and the challenges your new hire will face.
Further, when presented to candidates, the description can be an opportunity to market your company in addition to outlining what the candidate could expect as your CEO.
What to Include in a CEO Job Description
A complete CEO job description should paint a positive picture of what a CEO will face in the role while still focusing on the specific challenges your company's role will have. While most job descriptions require an outline of expected experience, skills and qualifications, a CEO's role is a bit different. While including academic credentials, experience, and personality traits is a good place to start, CEOs frequently have legal obligations to the company, shareholders, and board members that are essential to include in a description of the CEO job. Be sure that your hiring manager and executive recruiters are aware of and outline these legal obligations thoroughly.
Writing the Description
Because this type of job description can be quite lengthy, it is a good idea to include a summary of the position at the outset that includes an overview of the company and what the position entails. From there, breaking the description into sections will make it more readable. The specific sections included will differ from company to company, but most will include categories similar to:
Using bullet points will make the outline easier to scan and understand. Do not let the language of the description get too bogged down in management buzzwords. Instead, try to stay true to the voice and style of the company, including the syntax of your industry, and do your best to convey the company culture through the writing of the description.
Using a CEO Job Description
As noted above, typical online recruiting methods are rarely effective for high level positions such as CEO. That is not only because candidates for these positions are not typically browsing job sites, but also because a top CEO candidate is likely to not be looking for a job at all. Instead, use a CEO job description to give HR, potential candidates, and any recruiter that is helping to fill the role a thorough understanding of the requirements of the CEO position.
Finding a new CEO can feel like a marathon, but with the right tools and focus, it can mean all the difference for your company.