Vetting executive leadership is a critical process for any organization. CEOs and other top senior executives wield a lot of power in organizations, so it’s important to make sure they are the right fit for your company.
There are a number of key areas you’ll want to consider when vetting executive leadership. Below are ten important methods for vetting executive leadership:
1. Check references
One of the most important things you can do when vetting executive leadership skills is to check their references. Talk to people who have worked with them in the past and get their feedback. Did they work well with others? Was he or she a good leader? Did they make decisions based on what was best for the company, or what was best for themselves?
2. Look into their background
You’ll also want to look into the executive’s background. What companies have they worked for in the past? What did they do while they were there? Are there any red flags in their history?
3. Ask about their goals
Ask the executive about their goals for the company. What are their plans for the future? How do they see the company evolving? Are they looking to make changes, or keep things running the way they are?
4. Discuss their management style
Discuss the executive’s management & leadership style with them. How do they like to handle problem solving? How do they handle communication? Are they comfortable making decisions on their own, or do they need input from others before making a decision?
5. Find out how they handle stress
Stress is a part of any executive’s job, so it’s important to find out how they handle it. Do they take it out on others? Do they bottle it up inside? How do they deal with difficult situations?
6. Ask about their values
Ask the executive about their values and how they align with those of your company. Do they believe in putting the needs of the company first, or do they believe in looking out for themselves first? How do they make decisions – based on what’s best for the company, or what’s best for them personally?
7. Evaluate their skillset
Make sure the executive has the skillset necessary to lead your company into the future. They don’t need to be an expert in every area, but they should have a good understanding of what it takes to run a company successfully.
8. See how well they know your industry
It’s important that the executive has a good understanding of your industry and knows what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. They don’t need to be an expert, but should have a general idea of what’s going on in your field.
9. Watch how they interact with others
When meeting with the executive, watch how they interact with others. Do they act like they’re the smartest person in the room? Do they take input from others, or do they make all the decisions themselves? How well do they get along with others?
Watch how the executive interacts with others during meetings and other events. Do
10. Analyze their past performance
Once you’ve vetted the executive leadership, it’s important to analyze their past performance. This will help you determine if they are a good fit for your company and if they have the skills necessary to lead your organization into the future.
Look at their track record and see how they’ve performed in the past. Have they achieved success in their previous roles or just they were on their comfort zone? Did they make decisions that benefited the company, or did they make decisions that benefited themselves? How did they handle difficult situations?
Reviewing an executive’s past performance is an important part of the vetting process and can help you make a decision about whether or not to hire them.
11. Examine their business philosophy
When vetting executive leadership, it’s important to examine their business philosophy and how it aligns with your company’s values. Do they believe in putting the needs of the company first, or do they believe in looking out for themselves first? How do they make decisions – based on what’s best for the company, or what’s best for them personally?
It’s also important to make sure the executive has a good understanding of your industry and knows what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. They don’t need to be an expert, but should have a general idea of what’s going on in your field.
Watch how the executive interacts with others during meetings and other events. Do they come across as aggressive or demanding? Or do they work well with others out of their comfort zone and listen to others’ opinions expressed? This can be a good indicator of how they’ll behave in the future.
12. Look into any lawsuits or legal issues they’ve been involved in
When vetting executive leadership, you’ll also want to look into any lawsuits or legal issues they’ve been involved in. This can provide valuable insight into their character and how they handle difficult situations.
13. Investigate their personal finances
One of the things you’ll want to look into when vetting executive leadership is their personal finances. Are they in debt? Do they have any questionable investments? How do their finances align with your company’s values?
14. Assess their communication skills
When assessing an executive’s communication skills, you’ll want to consider how well they:
- communicate with others, both verbally and in writing
- share information with others in a timely manner
- listen to and understand the perspectives of others
- respond effectively to questions from others
15. Consider their team-building abilities
When considering an executive team-building abilities, you’ll want to think about how well they:
- build relationships with others
- create a positive and productive work environment
- inspire and motivate others to do their best work
16. Determine their level of integrity
One of the most important things you’ll want to consider when vetting executive leadership is their level of integrity. Do they have a history of making ethical decisions? Are they honest and upfront with others? Do they have a personal code of ethics that they live by?
17. Evaluate their industry knowledge
When vetting executive leadership, it’s important to gauge their industry knowledge. Do they understand what’s going on in your field? Are they up-to-date on the latest trends and changes? Can they see potential challenges and opportunities ahead?
If the executive doesn’t have a good understanding of your industry, it could be difficult for them to lead your company into the future. They may not be able to make informed decisions, or may not understand what’s important to you and your customers.
18. Conduct a background check
When vetting executive leadership, it’s important to conduct a background check. This will help you learn more about their past employment, education, and criminal history. It’s also a best way to get a sense of their personal finances.
You should also consider talking to the executive’s previous employers. Ask them why the executive left and what they thought of them as a leader. You can also ask for feedback from people who have worked with them in the past.
Overall, vetting executive leadership is an important process for any organization. By taking the time to carefully examine the executive’s background, goals, management style, and values, you can be sure that you’re making the best decision for your company.
Ryan is an experienced executive search and sourcing professional. He has worked as a high-performing recruiter for more than a decade, sourcing top talent for some of the most reputable companies in the world. He resides in Texas with his wife and three children.