The first step in successful recruitment is understanding exactly what you need. Countless companies make the mistake of talking to recruiters like ourselves about wanting to recruit "superstars" and "rockstars" in their field before fully defining what they need.

It's crucial to be as detailed and specific as possible when identifying your ideal leaders. These employees have the power to transform and augment your company in a range of different ways. Not only will they make a significant difference to the success of essential projects and tasks, but they'll also be responsible for leading, motivating, and guiding the rest of your team.


The Characteristics of Great  Leaders

Consistent research reveals that 75% of workers who voluntarily leave their jobs do so because of their bosses – not the position or role. Failing to recruit the right leader from day one could mean you risk having to replace not just your senior staff member but all the employees they drive away to.

Alternatively, choose the right leaders for your team, and you could benefit from higher levels of motivation, reduced turnover, and better business outcomes.

While the exact characteristics you need to look for in your leader will depend on the role you're trying to fill, the following characteristics are crucial for all effective managers, supervisors, and motivational staff members:


Vision and Adaptability

The first thing any business leader needs to thrive is a clear vision for your team and your company. They should understand exactly what goals your organisation is trying to achieve and what kind of path they need to follow to see results. However, in today's transformative landscape, it's also important for leaders to be able to pivot and adapt their strategies quickly to achieve a goal.

A great leader will always keep your company's values and mission in mind while remaining open to new ideas and adaptable in times of transformation.

A good way to test for vision and adaptability is to ask your leader how they believe they'll be able to help your company achieve specific goals.


Clear Communicators

Communication skills are admittedly crucial to every position in a business. However, they can be particularly important for leaders. At all levels, leaders must communicate messages clearly, in a language their audience can understand.

Your leaders may need to be able to connect with shareholders regularly and get their buy-in for specific business strategies.

They'll also need to regularly communicate with employees and keep team members engaged and informed wherever they are. Increasingly, maintaining strong communication is beginning to evolve through various tools, from video conferencing apps to collaboration software.


Impactful Influencers

Communicating with the right people in a team effectively is one thing, but leaders also need to be able to convince the people they connect with to do specific things. A good leader will be inspiring, persuasive, and data-driven.

They'll know how to gather the right information before a presentation to shareholders to make their argument as compelling as possible. A good leader will also know how to assess the most important motivating factors driving your team and use them to encourage action.

Influential leaders can rally an entire team behind a cause and keep your employees focused, even during confusion and disruption. A good way to test the influence of your potential team leaders is to ask them to describe a time when they inspired, motivated, or persuaded a team to do something which led to positive outcomes.


Decision-Making Based On Data

Most of us make daily decisions, from which tasks to do when we sit down at our desk to when to take a lunch break in a flexible office. However, leaders make choices more often than most, and their decisions greatly impact the wider company.

When you are looking for leaders for your team, it's important to look for people who feel comfortable making decisions quickly and accurately with access to the right information.

Look for people with an analytical approach to making complex choices. The best leaders should be able to research and build a case for their decision based on the information they find. Asking applicants to discuss difficult decisions they made in their past roles and how they arrived at their choices can be useful here.


Problem Solving Skills

No matter how streamlined and efficient your business is most of the time, there will always be problems to overcome.

Some simple issues, like re-arranging a team's schedule when someone calls in sick. Others are far more complex, like deciding how to organise your team when a global pandemic causes you to shut down the office.

Great leaders should be able to face problems head-on and look for creative solutions to overcome them. While leaders might not have answers to every issue on their own, they'll feel confident seeking guidance, doing their research, and presenting optional routes to consider.


Can We Help?

Here at Lucy Walker Recruitment we have been helping firms with their talent acquisition, and job seekers find their ideal roles for over 30 years. We have placed thousands of candidates and filled thousands of roles for our clients; if you want to find out how we can help you call us on 0113 367 2880 or email us here.


About the Author: Mark Woffenden

Mark Woffenden is a Director at Lucy Walker Recruitment and has an extensive knowledge of the issues and workings of the West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester Commercial markets developed over the last 20 years in the Industry