Empathy and leadership are an increasingly important partnership. I came across an article recently which offered some advice on IT Leadership, breaking things down in to what might seem like obvious pointers, but how often do you take the time to really focus in on them?

When we take a brief from the clients that we work with, something we will always focus on as their executive search partner is what it is like to work for their team.  I was reflecting with a colleague today on the work we have been doing for one of our clients, and we both agreed that one of the key reasons for our success with that client, was the time taken to understand these softer skills.

For this particular client we have delivered multiple hires, building sales teams, engineering teams, cloud and software development as well as supply chain. A common theme with each hiring manager was a comment on how far attitude and aptitude would go to secure the right talent. While the actual ability of a candidate to perform the role will always be very important, their attitude and enthusiasm would also take them a long way. When reflecting it was obvious that this made the difference.

But I cannot stress enough how important the relationship is between us as the headhunter and our client to allow us to get this right. To be brave enough to not submit the perfect looking candidate because the fit in the team is not there, and on the other side of this, to recommend candidates who are not a 100% fit technically but would add value to the team with their cultural fit - to be brave enough to do this we need to have that partnership. If we;

  • Know who they are being lead by?
  • Know what the dynamics of the team are?
  • Know what soft skills are valued by the hiring manager?
  • Know what have been the success stories within the team - this could be in terms of projects or individual growth and contribution?
  • Have consistent communication throughout the hiring process

...then we have a much better chance of getting this right for you. 

And all this comes back to the title of this blog and the subject of the article I have shared. For your leaders to be able to hire effectively they need to be supported as well. If your IT or Engineering leaders do need to become "more people-oriented and focus on increasing emotional intelligence" - do they have the tools to do this. After all, you do not know what you do not know. Perhaps as an organization you need to take the time to look at leadership development or leadership coaching?

If you want to maximize the chances of your team leaders being able to hire great people, help them to increase their awareness and capabilities around emotional intelligence and support. It will also go a long way to improve the working relationship they have with us as executive search partners.

This is a great article as an introduction to soft skills for leaders. But if you want something more in depth we at Collingwood Executive Search also provide leadership training and executive coaching (a link can be found below).