Senior Hires: Stick or twist?

Author Adam Jasnikowski

Stick Or Twist

The lead up to Christmas was a mad one for us in Melbourne this year, although I’ll admit it’s becoming the norm; many clients scurry to secure those offers ahead of the new year, so they can rest easy over the holidays – as can their new hires. Everyone’s a winner.


Just the week before we broke up for the Christmas break, I travelled to Sydney to interview candidates for a Head of Sales position we’re currently working closely with a client to fill. The inevitable airport and in-flight time gave me ample time to be thinking about how best to fill this and other senior roles we’re working on.


Senior hires are tricky; after all, this individual is going to impact your business greatly, whether they’ll be working as high as board level, joining the senior management team or being responsible for the performance of certain individuals. You’ve exhausted all internal options and still, your business is faced with a problem or situation which requires talent and insight from outside of the organisation. The solution can’t be found from within, so we need to make a plan. And, sometimes interviewing isn’t just about spotting talent, but about understanding the reason behind the hire.


Do we need someone who knows our business already? Or do we need someone to come in and make change happen?


It’s an age old debate, that of hiring someone from inside your industry or with experience from those which differ to the space you operate in; in truly understanding what your business needs, right now, you’re able to make key decisions throughout the hiring process – namely, those which will provide an answer to the questions above.


If the business is stagnating and you’re needing to spark (or reignite) a period of growth, new insight and ideas are going to facilitate this. Hiring someone from a different industry – something disruptive, exciting and ‘new’ maybe – is naturally going to generate new ideas, inject your business with energy and give operations the boost they need; better yet, bringing in an entirely fresh set of eyes might just highlight problems you didn’t know were there, things which could be done better, areas where efficiency could be improved…


There’s absolutely no end to the benefits that sharing transferrable inter-industry knowledge can lead to.


But. A big but.


Maybe it’s not new energy and ideas you need – maybe, what your business needs is a firm, knowledgeable hand to steer the hull through an oncoming storm. Perhaps you need someone with years of experience and market understanding in order to – there’s that cliché old phrase – hit the ground running and take the successes you’ve built to the next level. Someone who understands your business, your market and your sector entirely.


So, what’s it going to be: stick or twist?


I’ll reiterate: it comes down to knowing what your business needs, which sounds simple and usually isn’t. Nor is interviewing an exact science, resumes accurate to a T, people able to fully articulate the extent of their skills and/or knowledge… Ah the joy of recruiting.


Which is why when we’re working with a client on something as important as an executive hire, we make sure that each candidate shares something we know you want and need – but we put together the best shortlist of talent, whether right on the money or a change you wouldn’t have thought about elsewise. Besides the obvious – that is, our sole purpose being to identify, interview and secure talent on your behalf – we recruiters are simply another set of eyes to look over your business, ears to hash out your thoughts with and minds to utilise in raising questions you otherwise might have not, red flags which may or may not be present and opinions you might need to hear.


We love what we do, even if it means flying from Melbourne to Sydney the week before Christmas.


What does your business need in the new year and, moreover, how can we help you achieve it?