13 Vital Lessons to Learn About Hiring for a Senior-Level Position

hiring for a senior level position

The future of your business relies on finding the best candidates to hold senior positions. Making the right choice can spell the difference between success and failure for your company, but it isn’t always easy finding the best fit to lead your company to the next stage.

To help fellow leaders hiring for senior-level roles, Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members weighed in on the following question:

“What’s been the best recruiting lesson you’ve learned about hiring for a senior position within your company so far? What impact has that lesson had on future recruiting efforts?”

Here’s what they’ve learned during their own business journeys.

1. Find Someone Already Doing a Great Job

“When it comes to recruiting, the best lesson I’ve learned is that it’s better to seek out people who are already doing a stellar job at another organization and start building a relationship. Take the time to learn their frustrations in their current role, and frame how your company could provide a better professional fit if there’s a mutual interest.” ~ Richard Fong, PageKits.com

2. Hire From Within

“We have always hired within our organization for senior-level talent. We try to promote heavily first because current employees know our culture and expectations. This takes time and planning, though. You constantly have to be recruiting junior-level employees, training them and giving them experience.” ~ Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

3. Conduct Multiple Interviews

“When recruiting for a senior position at your company, I suggest having multiple interviews. If you’re going to put someone in a vital spot on your team, you need to make sure they’re the right fit for the job. I don’t think that one interview is enough time to make this assessment. Before we hire someone for one of these roles, we usually conduct three to four interviews.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

4. Craft a Position to Fit Them

“Experienced candidates might not fit the position you put forward a whole 100%, but if they are a great culture fit with aspirations that can propel your company forward, it’s often worth it to be flexible and craft a position that would fit them.” ~ Daria Gonzalez, Wunderdogs

5. Prioritize Values

“You need to dig deep into their values. When hiring for a baseline position, you don’t need to do this as much, but for senior positions, those values will have a major impact on your organization. We’ve made much better hires as a result of this lesson regarding senior positions.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

6. Find Out What They’re Looking For

“Preparation goes a long way. It’s important to make sure you find out what that person is looking for in a role — and that you find out the answer early on in the discussion. Identify a plan to expand and action it quickly. That way, you’re showing this person that you value what they bring to the table so much that you’re willing to tailor the role to match their needs.” ~ Tyler Quiel, Giggster

7. Prepare Key Questions

“If you’re looking for someone to fill a senior role at your company, I recommend preparing a list of key questions that you expect your applicant to understand before they take the job. For example, you might ask potential hires to explain the core challenges of the position and how they’ll overcome these problems along the way.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

8. Pair Industry Knowledge with Computer Skills

“One of the most important recruiting lessons I’ve learned is to hire someone who has both industry knowledge and computer skills. Yes, you want to hire someone who knows the industry thoroughly; however, if they can’t quickly apply a specific skill set, your company may suffer. If someone doesn’t have proper computer skills, for example, it’s difficult to keep things organized and efficient.” ~ Shu Saito, Fact Retriever

9. Consider Trialing Candidates

“Trial candidates for senior positions before you make a commitment. You can hire them on a consultancy basis to begin with. In that time, you can see if you’re hitting it off. You’ll have a better idea of whether or not they’re a great fit if you give them a trial. At Bounce, this lesson has allowed us to get really awesome people through the door with a high level of confidence.” ~ Cody Candee, Bounce

10. Hire for the Long Term

“When hiring for a senior position in the company, I try to find candidates with a long-term future at the company. They should be flexible and adaptive enough to fit into the company’s future vision rather than simply fulfilling the need of the hour.” ~ Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

11. Focus on Personality Traits

“While hiring for a senior position, I focus on the personality traits of the individuals. I believe it’s important for our employees to gel with each other and fit well into the company culture. This is possible only when you have a personality that allows you to act like that.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

12. Look for Experience

“Culture and experience are essential when hiring for a senior position within your company. You need someone who understands how things need to work to be successful, someone who has been through the ups and downs with the business and someone who is loyal to and understands the overall vision. This ensures the culture you’ve worked so hard for is maintained moving forward and goals stay on track.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

13. Get to Know Candidates Ahead of Time

“I believe in knowing people for some time before partnering with them or hiring them for senior positions. So far, this has paid off spectacularly. When you spend a year interacting with someone, you’ll know if your goals align and if your work styles are similar. You won’t just find it easy to work with such people, it’ll be a pleasure. Not to mention, you’ll see your business grow too.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.