Conflicting priorities can stall your hiring process

by | Executive Search

Is your board aligned on the background and skillset you need in the next member of your leadership team? When your team isn’t clear about your goals, it can drag your hiring process in circles.

Misalignment causes frustrating delays and confusion down the road in the hiring process, especially if there are already potential candidates involved.

Realizing your board isn’t on the same page can be frustrating

Finding out that your internal stakeholders want a VP of Marketing when you’ve been combing your network for a VP of Sales & Marketing is discouraging at best. The two roles are similar, but there are significant differences in the backgrounds of each set of candidates. Those differences and nuances need to shape your search, because the angle you take may make all the difference.

While your internal team may think they are all on the same page in terms of the person they are looking for, different stakeholders may be imagining the same “general” role very differently. Before starting the search for a new leadership team member, it’s critical to make sure everyone is 100% aligned on what you are looking for in a candidate.

If you don’t answer important questions together in the beginning, everyone goes forward with their own assumptions and opinions of an “ideal fit”. This can really stall efforts on the backend when candidates start to interview. Worse, it creates a confusing experience for any potential candidates who have begun the interview process.

This is a problem we frequently see with MedTech companies in the initial growth stage.

Crafting an ideal candidate profile

Painting a clear picture of your ideal candidate before starting your search can shave months off of the time it would otherwise take you to conduct the search, hold interviews and come to a decision. This profile should be based on key feedback from all internal stakeholders, including the board, your existing leadership team, and others within the company.

What is an ideal client profile, exactly?

You would never build a house without a blueprint. Why? You’d run the risk of badly-connected pipes, electrical sockets in the wrong places, doors that open into each other, and a host of other problems. For the same reason, it makes sense that you wouldn’t start the search for a key hire without a well-outlined sketch of the kind of person you need. You would run the risk of stakeholders disagreeing on the most important qualifications, wasting time with the wrong candidates, and having to start back at square one.

An ideal candidate profile is essentially a blueprint that clearly defines the kind of leader you need.

Keep in mind, the candidate profile isn’t a job description. 

Rather, it’s a defined set of characteristics the “ideal” type of candidate would have. Your team discusses these characteristics, puts weight in certain areas, and agrees to it as the candidate profile that establishes the bar. What is most important and why?

An established candidate profile simplifies your hiring process.

Once this set of characteristics and priorities is set in stone, everyone will then be interviewing candidates through a similar lens (both on the objective qualifications for the role and subjective qualifications that tie to cultural fit). Imagine not asking these questions collaboratively. Everyone would have different ideas & opinions.

Too often companies have a job description but this only defines the duties of the role; it doesn’t define the recruiting strategy.

With an established candidate profile, the recruiting process becomes straightforward. You know exactly what you are looking for, and when candidates interview, the interviewing team has a standard and picture in their mind that sets the bar.

At Allen Partners, we collaborate with your team to establish an ideal candidate profile. With that blueprint in hand, we execute the search for candidates who have the background, experience, and cultural nuances you want—and then present you with a thoroughly-vetted shortlist of right-fit leaders.

Get help identifying and recruiting the right person for the job.

Interested in working together? Reach out to