So you have secured the budget and restructured internally for a new senior hire.  After discussing with the board and parent company you bring in your executive recruitment partners for a full briefing meeting.  This person is going to take the business in a new direction; inject much needed impetus into your manufacturing plant or drag the business into the 21st century.  Heck, they'll do all three!  Wait - is this genuinely what is required?

Recruiting within the Building Products and Construction sectors I have been privy to these discussions on more than a handful of occasions. This is even more apparent within SME and family run organisations.  

Modernisation and a new viewpoint (disrupter is the en vogue term) clearly adds value.  However, the following are areas for you to consider before dowsing that job description with bucket loads of steroids:

 - How much free rein is this new recruit genuinely going to have?  Executive level, often strong-minded, highly intelligent individuals will crave autonomy (albeit within clearly outlined guidelines).  Starve them of this and it rarely ends up in a long-term, harmonious relationship

 - What is the cultural make-up of your existing team?  Emotional intelligence has taken center stage within leadership for a number of years , but there is no way of getting around the fact that high achievers are generally dynamic characters who demand results quickly.  Will this create unrest and potential divisions in your workforce?

 - Has your business got the story and future prospects to attract such people?  There is often little point in crafting or spinning too much.  It will only end in tears further down the line.

 - So as the MD (or Director) you are looking for someone who, within the next two years, will put pressure on your job.  Are you genuinely?  I have often heard this phrase and ultimately the hiring MD plumps for the "competent" candidate rather than the high potential.


It is okay to set out to find someone who improves the organisation without this "game changing" status.  

Speaking from experience, be very aware of the fact that what you brief your recruitment partner is what the partner will find.  Any good headhunter will be able to attract high value individuals against a sellable brief but if the reality is "steady state" or marginal improvement targets, the resulting shortlist will only waste everyone's time and ultimately your resources.