How to identify leadership when recruiting

We are often asked how do you identify leadership potential when recruiting. We have put together 5 key indicators that we find quickly and easily identifies potential leadership.

They have done their homework

Those with leadership potential have prepared well for the interview. They have researched your business and in many cases the key individuals within your business. They look for smart ways to show you they know. This means you should be asking questions that test their knowledge of your business. Also, don’t be afraid to present them with some real life challenges and see how they would approach those challenges. See if they actually understand the challenges and have the ability to outlines possible solutions.

Self awareness

The most effective leaders understand their own behaviour and how that impacts those around them. They will appear comfortable and most importantly they will actively listen. Ask them questions about things that didn’t work well it the past. Things that failed or didn’t turn out as expected. Look to see if they are reflecting on their own behaviour or blaming others or circumstance. Good leaders are aware of what they have done and most importantly what they have learnt, how would they do things differently next time.

Include peer and team input. Invite the candidate to lunch or after work drinks and ask their potential team and peers for feedback. This is a very important step as the candidate, if successful will be working with these people every day.

Flexibility, responsiveness and drive

These traits are vital in all leaders. One of the reasons for this is that cycles are becoming smaller and speed is such an important ingredient to business success. Test this in the interview with. Look to set a relatively complex task in a set time frame. Look to see if the candidate can adapt and change quickly without becoming flustered.

Integrity and transparency

Integrity and transparency are important qualities in a leader. The candidate should come across as being real. Their answers should make sense, especially when asked about failures or things they have learnt from failures and mistakes.

Ownership, passion and drive

Leaders that display a passion for what they do not only create the drive for themselves to succeed but also inspire those around them. Coupled with a sense of ownership these are strong leadership traits. Look to test these in the interview. Look for examples where the candidate has taken ownership of a problem or function, especially where others have avoided it. Look beyond the standard answers and try to understand what the candidate is passionate about.

If you would like to know more about discovering leadership talk to us at

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