Unboxing C-Suite Hiring Decisions
Can non-traditional hiring decisions be a game changer for companies looking to power transformations within their organisations?

A company is most vulnerable when it undergoes CXO changes or during major phases of transition. It is suddenly faced with the prospect of losing its momentum hence choosing the perfect candidate for the role becomes of utmost importance. With so much hinging on this period of transition, it’s hard for a Board to wander too far off the beaten track when it comes to selecting their new candidate.

As executive search specialists, we place strong emphasis on hiring candidates for the skill sets they bring to the table and not their pedigree alone. When a domain-specific candidate is not available, selecting a candidate from an unconventional domain or with a non-traditional academic profile/ skill set, may help companies discover an alternative route to achieving their business goals.

For example, does the CEO of a young fashion and personal care start-up have to come with prior experience in the FMCG sector or in the e-commerce sector with giants like Amazon, Flipkart or even Nykaa? Or can a successful Fintech or EdTech CEO also lead this young fashion startup in its quest to grow consumers and grow revenues? We think so.

What about hiring candidates who have performed a role requiring a similar skill-set but with a completely different mandate? How fungible can the CIO/ CTO/ Head of IT Infra/ Chief Architect pool be? Is a chartered accountant certificate from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) a ‘must-have’ even for the unlisted, young, Indian start-up’s CFO candidate pool?

Specific positions are more at risk of losing out on a good candidate. The role of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is a prime example. Many companies now require their CMOs to have experience in social media marketing. On the flipside, senior marketing roles at traditional companies would rarely consider a candidate experienced in digital marketing from a young-startup. They would definitely prefer a candidate with experience in ATL/ BTL marketing from a leading FMCG company or any of its allied industries. In both scenarios, companies limit themselves by narrowing their talent pool.

We have heard of thinking outside the box but is it possible to do away with the box altogether?

Being a Maverick is about making decisions like this and at LM, we are constantly improving the depth of our search by offering our clients potential matches that straddle diverse sectors. We have found that such an approach enriches searches and makes the likelihood of our clients meeting their business goals that much higher.