Research by Orange into what headhunters look for when recruiting chief
executives points to excellent people skills, experience of international
management and financial experience as being key requirements.
Experience of international management has become far more important, because
of the need for a global strategy in any sizeable business. Candidates who have
led business strategies in emerging markets are often regarded as an asset.
While you would expect CEO candidates to possess outstanding people skills,
chief executives are increasingly being asked to be leaders rather than bosses,
according to headhunters, 11 of whom were interviewed for the research.
“Increasingly the decision-making process is perceived as being a team effort
rather than simply assuming the ‘boss’ role,” states the research findings. “For
the CEO, this means managing expectations and visions and ensuring that they are
aligned towards the same goal.”
As for financial experience, FDs will find themselves in an excellent
position. “It is still finance people and senior operations people who tend to
be the most successful candidates,” said one headhunter.