June 6, 2017 Emily Lierle

Hiring For Leadership: 3 Questions To Ask First

Hey, execs — is it time to pause and look in the mirror before hiring for leadership roles?

3 Questions To Ask Yourself As The First Step When Hiring For Leadership

With numerous years of experience in executive search, and a mission to connect 10 million people to work that matters, we will share with the world what we learn along the way. As part of that commitment, here is the first in a series of those discoveries.

Discovery: The process of hiring to achieve the best possible outcome for every role begins long before the interview process.

Here are a few clarifying questions to ask yourself before you start talking to candidates:

  1. Is my company crystal clear in its purpose and values? Which members of the team will serve as the culture evaluators during the interview process? Hiring today is a team sport and so we must inspire a mindset shift to embrace the hard work required to define the role and align the right leader.
  2. Has the hiring manager collaborated with multiple stakeholders to establish a clear vision for the role and the image of what success looks like when the right person is added to the team? (Note: if you are still thinking of your hiring process as filling the open box near the top of the org chart using yesterday’s job description, you have work to do.)
  3. Do you know what the most important leadership traits look like for your company? Our clients have constantly asked us for Relentless Learners, People/Colleague Developers, and Results Drivers. Yours may be different, but these have consistently come up for us over the past 5+ years.

Once you have clear answers to the questions above, you can begin your outreach and alignment process. Your goal when you get to an in-person interview stage is to spend time with as few, highly aligned candidates as possible. Your time is valuable. Their time is also valuable. Make sure your initial screening process is so strong that only the best of the best make it to the in-person interview stage.

Stay tuned for our next two articles featuring more expertise on Hiring Discoveries.

Looking to hire for leadership roles? Contact Y Scouts today.


Y Scouts, a leadership search firm, finds purpose-aligned as well as performance-proven leaders to help organizations achieve their missions faster. Ready to supercharge your leadership search and get the right person in your organization? Contact Y Scouts.