In leadership, the wrong fit comes at a high price
Today, all organisations have the same remit: to do more with less. When ‘less’ refers to people, it becomes essential that the best teams, overseen by top leadership, are hired to enable them to deliver superior performance.
Identifying talent who are best equipped to take up the mantle of true leadership and tackle the challenges of today’s organisations means answering three key questions:
- What?— What functional and personal skills do they possess to do the job?
- Why?— Will they be motivated both internally and externally to do the job?
- How?— How will they do the job, and how will they behave in a variety of circumstances with a diverse team?
These aspects help create a benchmark for assessing leadership talent by defining which qualities and skills will be best-suited to meet organisational challenges. Talent professionals are increasingly recognising how closely the why (motivations) and the how (behaviours) are tied to performance.
Unfortunately, as many as two-thirds of leaders stepping into executive positions fail within their first 18 months. This leaves organisations with damaged productivity, dispassionate teams or lost mid-level talent, and reduced financial performance and impact from which it takes years to recover. One estimate in Harvard Research shows that at senior executive level, a mis-hire is believed to cause a financial hit of three times more than the overall compensation package for the role.
Failed leadership often results from flawed interpersonal behaviours, or a lack of ‘soft skills’ including communication, coping under pressure, empathy and emotional intelligence, which prevents leaders from forming and managing a productive team. This is perhaps why in recent years there has been a shift towards more leaders being appointed based on behaviours and soft skills, in tandem with technical skills.
Potential cost of the wrong leadership hire
Advantages of hiring based on technical skill and behavioural skill
Taking the guesswork out of finding the right fit
The tools we use at SRI Executive measure technical skills, soft skills and motivators behind the delivery of a leadership role’s core competencies and responsibilities. We offer the EQ-i 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment, the Hogan Performance Management Indicators and the DISC Behavioural Assessment. This combination of tools eliminates the guesswork from hiring and gives a clear picture of a leader’s behaviours, skills, values, personality and cultural fit.