How To Find Leaders in a Crowded Pool of Applicants

How To Find Leaders in a Crowded Pool of Applicants

It’s no easy feat to find potential leaders in a wide pool of applicants. It’s something that, in spite of decades of experience, leadership teams still get wrong to this day. In 2020, we’re faced with more uncertainty and restrictions on business-as-usual than ever before, so it’s imperative that teams are led by proactive and impactful leaders that can inspire the best possible results from their team day after day. 

The question, though, is how can we find these leaders in a crowded pool of applicants?  

As you’re about to find out, there’s two ways of approaching this. The traditional way, and the new-school way that in a year like 2020 thankfully helps to give your organisation 20-20 vision when it comes to picking leaders from the bunch. Our partner, PXT Select has penned an article talking about exactly this, and states that organisations, particularly in the wake of the pandemic “need leaders who can adapt to change, maintain communication, and guide their organisations toward brighter horizons. Organisations need leaders that see a crisis as a challenge and as an opportunity to create something even better than before.” 

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The authors at PXT Select note that there are four key aspects to this process. Maintaining that the applicant is the perfect fit for the role, providing them with the feedback they need to improve in their position, giving them the coaching and training they might require, as well as inspiring them with the motivation they might need to endure a particularly disastrous quarter for the organisation. 

The question remaining, though, is how can we find those A-players in a crowded talent pool? Well, currently there’s two ways of going about this. 

Shortfalls in the Traditional Search for Leaders 

The traditional approach to scouting and hiring leaders, or applicants that exhibit leadership qualities that could be trained, is to check through CVs, analyse their previous work experience, call their references and go from there. The problem remaining, though, is the fact that your organisation is essentially gambling precious time and resources with the traditional means of searching. With all the due diligence you can possibly take into account, it remains undeniable that you’re leaving the choice to what we can generously call informed guess-work. 

How To Find Leaders in a Crowded Pool of Applicants

The Modern Approach to Identifying Leaders 

While it has stood the test of time, there’s significant shortfalls of the traditional means of searching for leaders, or any staff member for that matter. With Best Practice Talent’s modern approach to identifying and recruiting candidates into your organisation, we’re eliminating as much of the guess-work as possible from the process, instead opting for data to make informed decisions for you. Leaders, while they can differentiate in terms of their individual styles, typically exhibit similar characteristics when it comes to their work ethic, productivity levels and their ability to inspire people around them. These are qualities that are unobtainable through the traditional means of recruitment, and can more effectively be identified with Best Practice Talent’s PXT Select software test that asks the candidate a series of questions to determine where they sit on certain scales. 

This creates a far more detailed picture of the candidate’s suitability for a particular position, or their ability to work – and lead – a team, as well as things like their coachability and willingness to challenge themselves and learn new skills. While yes, you can ask these questions in an interview, it’s likely that you’ll receive a scripted answer in return, and miss out on an invaluable opportunity to position the perfect candidate in that vacant seat in your organisation. 

There will always be a place for old-school approaches, but I think 2020 has been a clear sign to organisations that the traditional means of operating won’t suffice every time. 

Thanks very much for your time, 

Kelly John Woods, Best Practice Talent. 

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