3 qualities you should look for when hiring for leadership and C-suite roles

Notion Executive team
The best candidate not only demonstrates “teamwork” but lives and breathes that ethos to lead your business to the next level.

  • Hiring for executive and leadership roles places immense pressure on companies and their founders.
  • The best candidates for executive roles understand the immense value of multigenerational employees.
  • They should also be willing to embrace technology, communicate strongly, and be data-driven.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

While last year was all about the transition to remote work, one of the biggest challenges of 2021 is the shift of the recruitment landscape.

As it stands, hiring for executive and leadership roles places immense pressure on companies and their founders. But it’s not about finding a quick hire to fill the role and ease the pressure. Now more than ever, executives who help steer the ship, collaborate successfully with partners, stakeholders, and staff, and can take a handle on things when business shifts are in high demand.

Read more: A 22-year-old bitcoin multimillionaire shares how he spends his money after dropping out of high school

Here are the qualities every CEO will look for when hiring for their executive team this year:

They are multigenerational

If the previous year has taught us anything, it’s certainly the value of clear and concise communication. As some leaders were conducting business from vacation homes and golf courses, much to the frustration of employees, it’s been revealing for many organizations how little their leadership can effectively rally the troops.

A leader who embraces technology, communicates strongly, and understands the value of multigenerational employees will continue to be in high demand in 2021. These exceptional leaders seek out opportunities to better communicate and will analyze how employees contribute to the new blended model of leadership. They understand and will make sure everyone is on board, from Millennials to the old guard.

While navigating interviews, take note of candidates who mention nourishing and utilizing people’s strengths, those who have introduced new automations to make things easier for their team, or those who lead with empathy especially in a pandemic. Ultimately, you’re seeking out someone who not only demonstrates “teamwork” but lives and breathes that ethos to lead your business to the next level.

They have a specialty

Gone are the days of the traditionalist. Enter the specialist. In a post-pandemic world, executives who consistently deliver on customer success, optimize team performance and enhance culture, or improve business efficiencies will be in high demand as much of the world will be in a hybrid or remote-work model. These leaders will possess a deep understanding of your company vision and the sustainability of your business, a key ingredient in future-proofing your business.

How do you know you’ve found the leader who can take your business to the next level? The candidate’s work will speak for itself. Have they been successful in navigating pandemic decisions (large or small)? Have them speak candidly about the impact they’ve had, success, or challenges throughout the pandemic.

They’re data-driven

Just as exceptional as their communication skills are, leaders who thrive off data and make analytical decisions will be at the forefront of leadership teams this year. An executive who understands metrics and data makes decisions based on facts, not instinct. This data-first mind is particularly useful for proactive planning and especially important when blended office models, a flexible arrangement of both in-office and remote work, will become increasingly popular in 2021.

Just as the pandemic required businesses to pivot and make quick business decisions for precautionary COVID-19 measures, now business leaders are making reopening plans and moves based on their employees’ and customers’ needs. Potential leaders who can identify or provide examples where they have relied on data to plan, communicate, and execute strategies, whether team or consumer-based, should be high on your list of candidates. During the interview, listen closely throughout for insight as to how they formed conclusions or made bigger decisions pre- or post-pandemic.

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Why you should offer interviews to applicants with gaps in their résumés

Man traveling Azores Portugal
Having come from a non-academic family, I certainly wouldn’t have dared to leave any gaps in my résumé before my first job in a local newsroom.

  • Gaps on your résumé often mean life experience but many people are scared to take time out.
  • I dropped out of my university degree and later left a company job but it made me a better worker.
  • Recruiters should view résumé gaps with curiosity and be more concerned when people don’t have any.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In between jobs, I’ve chased magic swords. A friend of mine traveled through Vietnam and Thailand. Another spent time taking care of her family and one enjoyed the summer doing nothing at all.

From a human perspective, a gap in your résumé is obviously a good thing – you’ve spent that time having pizza for breakfast, entertaining clever thoughts, learning Spanish vocabulary, or devouring all seven Harry Potter books.

Gaps in your résumé mean freedom and freedom takes courage.

I’m in my mid-30s now, but from 1992 to 2008 when I was preparing for working life, I feared the résumé gap. Career advisors taught us to see them as the death knell to our careers.

“People will ask about it,” we were warned. “And what are you going to say?”

Having come from a non-academic family, I certainly wouldn’t have dared to leave any gaps in my résumé before my first job in a local newsroom.

The fear of plunging myself into “economic ruin” would’ve plagued me and I would’ve been afraid of how I’d justify myself in job interviews – and whether I’d even be able to respond to the dreaded question.

teen playing desktop computer game with headphones graphics
I dropped out of a university degree and spent my days playing computer games.

But now, my advice to anyone with a résumé gap would be to answer boldly.

I dropped out of a university degree and spent my days playing computer games until I finally got a place on a different program. Although that might not seem like a good use of my time, it taught me a very important lesson – if something doesn’t work for me, I have to change it.

At that point, it was my degree, and later on, it was a company I was working for. Both times, it’s been worth it because I’ve been able to better evaluate my situation and think about my skills and what I really want. My life has improved as a result and I’ve become a better worker.

“I don’t have any gaps on my résumé,” one of my acquaintances wrote to me once. “And I regret it.”

The people I know who do have those gaps have told me they took the time off to recover from mental health issues. Many of them decided they wanted to work for themselves during their breaks, and a lot of them have made it happen.

What people learn during their time off from their careers gives them the freedom to think differently and maybe even better. Admitting that is tough because it goes against our ideas about the “ideal worker.”

That’s precisely the problem. What society demands of professionals today isn’t sustainable anymore, or even relevant. If you do your job well only when it works for you, then you are one thing above all else: replaceable.

People do lots of things in their jobs. They develop ideas, help people, solve problems, manage the chaos behind the scenes at large institutions, tackle climate change, teach, calculate, heal, and program.

black woman hiking
Gaps on your résumé often mean you’ve got life experience.

We’re not always equally good at those things and gaps tend to help us improve our performance. We need to remember life isn’t a machine and people aren’t cogs – life is complex.

If we don’t incorporate that into our lifestyles and into our work, then ultimately there won’t be anyone left who can develop the ideas to accommodate our complex lives.

However, gaps are scary. One of my friends is currently looking for a job but she’s scared to spread the word through her networks, whether professional or personal. I think that’s a fatal error.

If we all had the courage to leave gaps in our résumés and if recruiters approached gaps with curiosity rather than apprehension, the world of work would radically change.

Even taking parental leave is considered a “gap” in your résumé – a career inhibitor or something you shouldn’t allow yourself.

The truth is that work experience rarely makes us discover anything about life. We only get that through life experiences.

That’s why I think recruiters should be more concerned when someone comes into an interview without a gap in their résumé.

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How the rapidly growing Hive Diversity app is connecting students with big companies that put equality and inclusion at the forefront of recruitment

Hive
Students and graduates can use the app to connect with potential employers.

  • Hive Diversity, which launched in October, is a virtual recruiting platform that wants to match diverse students to employers with a focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion.
  • It’s already partnered with big-name companies including Accenture, Saks Fifth Avenue, and the owner of Jimmy Choo.
  • Its founder Bryan Slosar spoke to Business Insider about Hive, which was founded with students in mind.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The killing of George Floyd in May awoke a major socio-political movement across the globe. As the Black Lives Matter movement gathered momentum across the world, major companies were quick to respond and issued statements supporting activists.

But despite the push to take positive action, some major employers have come under fire recently for not prioritizing diversity in the workplace.

Black staff at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative say they are ‘underpaid, undervalued, and marginalized,’ employees have spoken out about Salesforce’s slow progress in improving workplace diversity, and UPS only overturned its ban on delivery staff having beards and diverse hair styles in November.

Hive Diversity is a virtual recruiting platform that wants to change that.

The platform connects employers with a focus on EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion) with eager-to-learn college students from under-represented communities.

Hive was founded in October 2020 by Byron Slosar, who spent the last 15 years in the careers industry.

Bryan Slosar
Hive was founded by Bryan Slosar.

He first thought up the concept in 2015. He was working at Tulane University when a young trans student who knew Slosar was part of the LGBTQ+ community approached him asking for career advice. The student told Slosar he wanted to work at a company where he could be his “true self” and feel at home.

Five years later, Hive has launched, and it’s growing rapidly.

The company works with more than 2,000 students from more than 225 American universities.

Some of this is rapid growth thanks to its network of more than 200 student ambassadors, who encourage their peers to join the scheme.

And some of it is because of Hive’s big-name partnerships. For its first cycle, Hive has partnered with 24 companies including Accenture, Atlantic Records, Saks Fifth Avenue, Steve Madden, and Capri Holding Limited, which owns the fashion brands Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Michael Kors. The companies all put an emphasis on diversity, and are working with Hive to ensure their recruitment processes reflect that.

Read more: Nasdaq needs SEC signoff for its game-changing rule on board diversity. Here’s a look at how it could play out.

What sets Hive apart from other recruitment platforms is that it was built with the students in mind, not the companies, Slosar told Business Insider.

One of his key ideas was to gamify the platform. Students have to complete five levels of courses based on their personal and professional development, including videos, text, and quizzes related to preparing for job interviews and thinking about career goals. Undertaking these gamified tasks keeps them engaged and shows their commitment to employers, Slosar explained.

And convenience is also an important driver for the company. Students can do the lessons on their phones via the Hive app, meaning they’re not tied to a schedule like other careers classes, Slosar explained.

DZ
Students and graduates can use the app to connect with potential employers.

Another way Hive has adapted to its college userbase is through its resume builder, Slosar told Business Insider. Its website includes a patent-pending resume builder which, unlike many others, is mobile compatible. Students are provided with a template with resume formatting, so that they just have to fill out the content, meaning the focus is on them and their skills rather than how well they can format a resume.

Hive provides students with more than just the opportunity to apply for jobs, Slosar explained. The partner companies put on virtual information sessions through Hive, where students can ask questions about different career paths and speak to recent graduates about their experiences. Through this, Hive focuses on meaningful engagement between talented students and prospective employers, Slosar said.

Though students get a lot out of Hive, they don’t pay to join. “They pay by putting the work in,” Slosar told Business Insider.

Employers also benefit from recruiting through Hive, Slosar explained.

Whereas most employees get EDI training on the job, students registered at Hive undertake an EDI module before being employed.

In addition, partner companies get aggregate data on students “following” them on the site, such as their locations, courses, and interests, which they can then build into their recruitment strategies.

Accenture, which is one of Hive’s partner companies, said that workplace diversity can help create a wider culture of equality. The company is collaborating with Hive Diversity “because they complement our purpose of combining human ingenuity with technology to serve a greater good,” Joseph Taiano, managing director of marketing & communications at Accenture, told Business Insider.

One of Hive’s core beliefs is that a student is worth much more than just their grades.

The Hive recruitment process focuses on the values that students’ skills, interests, and background can bring. It uses this information to connect the students with like-minded employers.

Hive focuses on students, ranging from first years to recent graduates. In doing so, Slosar hopes to cause a systemic change by creating an organic pipeline of talent in the future, he told Business Insider.

Slosar hopes Hive will help democratize the workplace by removing hurdles such as money and personal networks from the job-seeking process.

Read the original article on Business Insider