How To Choose The Best Candidate For Executive Positions

Best Practices and Solutions for Sourcing Executives in Fashion

What’s the difference between finding a decent executive in fashion and getting one that changes the game? It’s all about how you handle the recruitment process. You begin by drilling down on what you really want and need and then building out your ideal candidate profile.

Beginning by outlining what the ideal candidate would look and feel like. As you do that, begin matching people on a system that goes beyond their experiences. Yes, you can find some good candidates that are strong in the skill sets you require. But if they lack the cultural fit they're likely not the best choice. An ideal candidate is well rounded and shows a greater aptitude for the skill set required combined with a proven track record. But it's more than that. As part of the hiring process, go beyond the past roles an individual has had. If they don’t have both the desired skillset and background to fill the position you have open, they aren’t the best match. When you bring people in for an interview, you need to go beyond these areas and expand on them to determine cultural fit.

When hiring, it is a good idea to look at their resume and LinkedIn profile and answer the following questions.

  • What type of companies have they worked for in the past?
  • Have they worked effectively in a similar corporate structure?
  • Are they well versed in a similar market segment and product type?
  • What contributions have they made to their current and past companies?
  • Do they have any LinkedIn recommendations that can speak to their personality and style of work?

With a list of candidates, create an interview team that understands the role and what the company needs in the executive position. These individuals should review the profiles and determine if based on their knowledge and background, this is a person who could fill the position. This should include their experience in the industry, potential cultural fit and any skill sets required as well as noteworthy accomplishments.

These individuals should be a combination of executives in the company and a select group of trusted internal people.

As the candidate is moved further through the process, it is critical to check references. While the person might interview well, are their references verifiable. This should include not only past coworkers but also managers and direct reports. Once you’ve confirmed this information, begin to do a background check on their employment history.

Finally, you reach the lonely decision. Based on the complete picture, you determine if the candidate is the right fit for the position. If they’ve made it past the interview stage and successfully passed the investigation stage of the hiring process, they are likely a good match. Of course, the final decision is ultimately up to you. Just make sure you aren’t stringing several people along and dangling the position in front of you. Otherwise, if you have an open position later on, people will begin to talk and you’ll struggle to have executives apply for future open positions.

 

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Photo: TIME