Why Corporate Boards Should be Involved in C-Suite Hiring

Corporate Boards’ primary responsibility is the oversight of their organizations’ executive decisions in order to protect the interests of stock- and stakeholders.  Yet some lose sight that this role extends beyond tracking bottom line numbers to making sure the right people are in C-Suite positions so that operations run smoothly.

Board Members play a crucial part in putting together the strongest executive team in order to follow through on the necessary strategic steps to achieve the company’s shared goals.

“Successful boards pay close attention to every stage of their hiring process, which means identifying true needs for each position and the individuals for their C-Suite who are not only talented, but the right fit for the organization,” explains executive search thought leader John Hodge, managing partner, Americas at Miramar Global. “In discussions with our clients over the years, many are surprised to find that individual board members have different priorities in defining their company culture and strategy. Developing and sticking to a cohesive vision leads to stronger hiring and better outcomes.”

Hodge offers 6 focal areas in which Corporate Boards should set the organizational tone for C-Suite hiring processes:

  • Alignment: Board members need a clear vision of the organization in order to best support it. Creating a specific strategy to find candidates who are the right fit for an open position depends on a shared definition of company culture and values.
  • Identification: The executive team sets the tone and communicates the vision down the line, making every hire an essential part of the board’s ability to uphold responsibilities to stakeholders.  Building and writing down a thorough description of the relevant skills for an executive position helps structure the search pool to reflect established company culture as well as the desired traits of an ideal candidate.
  • Engage & Assess: Successful hiring depends on both parties feeling confident in the decision to establish a new relationship. Corporate boards need to communicate a compelling message to attract the highest quality of talent who will want to be part of the long-term plan for company growth rather than assume the position and offer will be appealing to the appropriate caliber of candidates.
  • Short List/Interviews: Time is of the essence in creating a smooth transition with a new executive hire. Focusing on a few candidates who fit the essential criteria allows the board to prioritize real needs over rushed needs in critical interviewing processes of engagement, assessment and feedback.
  • Offer Management: After extensive preparations, finalizing the hiring process and reducing late-stage surprises ultimately comes down to offering and agreeing to a contract.  The better a corporate board understands industry trends in hiring, the more competitive it can make an offer that also reflects the defined strategy and appeals to the interests of the candidate.
  • Onboarding: It’s not unusual that a board would want a new C-suite hire to make an immediate impact on the company.  Well-constructed onboarding procedures enable new executives to reaffirm their role in the company culture and become an effective part of the team more quickly.

Notes Hodge, “company performance is based on the people who drive it.  Thus, corporate boards need to approach hiring from a holistic perspective to create a C-suite team that is not only talented, but collaborates using a cohesive approach to achieve productive and efficient progress toward shared goals.”

This article featured in the Real Leaders journal.


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