How to hire a CEO to ensure business continuity

How to hire a CEO to ensure business continuity

Many business owners are concerned about establishing short and long-term company continuity.

When it comes to finding and hiring chief executives, the process is more complicated than the one necessary to find fit employees for junior or entry-level positions. The level of skill and knowledge of the CEO is one of the determinant factors of a company’s success.

With all this in mind, we can’t overlook how important it is for companies to have a business continuity plan in place. Apart from ensuring proper growth capabilities, business continuity plans are designed to allow establishments of all sizes to respond appropriately in times of crisis. A similar plan can also help minimise the disruptions that appear in times of change and damage. According to specialists in the field, enterprise resilience is heavily reliant on such plans. They should include risk assessment in all relevant areas, including technology, operations and even business model, sometimes. But more tips on hiring the perfect CEO to ensure business continuity, below.

Find the right HR team

Finding high-calibre employees is a task you can’t manage on your own. Because of the job description of a CEO, it’s better to search in the early stages of your CEO job hunt process for a skilled team of HR professionals to help you.

Not only they’ll be able to find the perfect candidate for your business, but they will evaluate your business needs and specifics to ensure higher levels of continuity.

Collaborating with a specialised HR team will offer you access to a generous pool of suitable candidates, that share some of the most relevant skills for the CEO job description in your company.

Search for candidates with relevant experience

A recent survey shows that the best age of an incoming CEO is 58. This age is recommended by experts because the professional has had enough time to accumulate the necessary experience for an executive position, but the candidate is still young enough to be up to date with the latest developments in the sector.

Although many business owners are tempted to search for CEO successors within the company, professional recruiters advise against this move. The CEO position is unlike any other managerial ones. It demands a perfect mix and balance of different skills, but also the right experience in the field. Hiring someone without a serious background as a CEO might turn out to be a costly mistake.

More than this, this Sandford Survey outlines that almost 40% of the companies interviewed have no successors planned within the company.

Communication skills matter

Apart from finding a candidate with the right experience in a similar position, companies should aim to find candidates with the right blend of hard and soft skills. Out of those, communication skills seem to matter the most.

Because CEOs have to keep close track of the evolution of their teams and projects in different departments, they have to be able to communicate with them appropriately. Communication gaps between executives and department managers can result in low performance rates and lower profits, obviously. This is why, when hiring a CEO, HR professionals evaluate candidate’s communication skills. Successors should have the following abilities, to keep their teams and projects on track:

  • Mentoring skills;
  • They should be able to delegate tasks;
  • They should have pronounced conflict management skills;
  • They should be able to inspire and implement suitable team building activities to consolidate the teams.

Avoid micromanaging CEOs

When hiring a chief executive to fill in a position within a company, look into candidates who can successfully delegate tasks. Although they have to fully understand daily organizational matters and know the exact stages of each project within the company, micromanaging is one of the deadliest sins of a CEO. To ensure continuity in companies where new CEOs have to be found, human resources professionals usually seek candidates with this particular ability.

Ultimately, the perfect CEO, able to offer continuity to a financial establishment, is the one who has enough insight in all areas of a business, who can identify potential solutions and suitable solutions. This is when they should be offering recommendations.

Evaluate candidate’s risk assessment skills

To boost company resilience and continuity, finding a CEO with suitable risk assessment skills is mandatory. Of course, each company has a different definition of risk and the CEO’s ability to adapt to it is also important here.

For higher continuity chances, the new CEO should be able to evaluate new projects and their risks and decide what the next steps should be taken regarding each project, in correlation with inherent risks.

For adequate risk assessment skills, CEOs should have vast knowledge in different areas, including global economy and geopolitics. They should be able to analyse global events from their company’s perspective and decide what steps and adjustments they should implement. Besides, they should understand in detail the company’s policies and practices and evaluate all projects and how they align with the company culture.

Search for flexible candidates

For better chances to guarantee company continuity, the chosen CEO should be flexible and able to adapt to micro and macro-economic changes. When interviewing candidates for similar positions, professional HR experts pay extra attention to this feature.

Changes can come in different areas and under multiple shapes. Being able to keep up with these is a key factor when we think about company continuity. For instance, if a CEO is unable to grasp the advantages of investing in cutting-edge technology for company safety and security, they are unable to respond accordingly to modern threats, like cybercrimes. This can compromise the company’s evolution.

Although the process of finding a CEO is fundamentally different than the process of hiring other executives, there are several strategies that will help business owners ensure the perfect candidate lands the position. Generally speaking, hiring a team of professionals to help you in the recruitment process is mandatory, because of the specifics of a CEO position.