Skills Every Leadership Candidate Needs

Aug 15, 2022 6 Min Read

Photo by Helena Lopes @ unsplash

The first step is always to assess your strengths and weaknesses!

Leadership hiring has been constantly evolving since its inception in the early 1940s. The scope of leadership hiring has broadened over the years, although its primary objective remains the same- to fill high-level positions in the company with the most suitable candidates. Gone are the days when seniority was the only criterion for leadership hiring.

Explore more: Tips to Grow Your Leadership Skills in Your Career

Today, companies take into account numerous factors and specifications before recruiting the right leaders for their workforce. In this article, we shall discuss some skills that every leadership candidate must possess. Before that, let's explore the world of leadership hiring in today's world a little more.

What is Leadership Hiring?

Leadership hiring is nothing but a specific recruitment service that most companies pay for. The objective of leadership hiring is to get in touch with suitable intermediate and senior candidates to fill up middle and top management posts, respectively. Leadership hiring must not be confused with Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) or executive searches, as these processes are more focused on recruiting for middle management positions as compared to top management positions.

Six skills every potential leader must possess

The optimum method for selecting leadership capacity is up for debate. For their clients, different recruitment agencies utilise various methods to find, engage, evaluate, and onboard talent. So, it is not possible to develop a one-size-fits-all approach for leadership hiring. However, if you are someone who aspires to be a leader, the following six qualities can be of great help.

(1) Emotional Intelligence

A person's ability to identify and manage his or her emotions in any situation is known as emotional intelligence. Self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, and relationship management are the four main aspects of emotional intelligence. It is an extremely important quality that every leader must possess because it is foundational. It defines his or her ability to communicate, delegate, and thrive under pressure. You can lead and motivate your team only when you are capable of controlling your own emotions.

Supplementary reading: The Four Pillars of Emotional Intelligence

(2) Effective Communication

Effective communication is crucial for anyone who aspires to be a leader. The leadership hiring process greatly emphasises the importance of effective communication skills. The effectiveness of the group and the manner in which tasks are completed are both influenced by the leader's capacity for successful communication with others. Some of the most important leadership skills include active listening, empathy, inquisitiveness, adaptability, body language, clarity, and transparency.

three crumpled yellow papers on green surface surrounded by yellow lined papers

(3) Motivational Skills

You can never be a great leader by simply dictating tasks or micromanaging your team. As a leader, it is important to be able to motivate and empower your team members. It automatically enriches your team's performance and saves time as well. Studies have shown that an empowered team leads to higher job satisfaction and thereby lower turnover levels.

As a leader, here are some easy ways to empower your team:

  • Support opportunities for growth.
  • Communicate effectively and be approachable.
  • Show empathy towards your team members.
  • Be driven by purpose.
  • Foster open communication and always provide honest feedback.

This may interest you: Top 10 Ways For Leaders To Be Inspiring And Motivational

(4) Be Resilient

Things rarely go smoothly as planned in business. There will always be factors that can derail your plans, regardless of how well your business strategy or product launch accounts for recognised risks. Therefore, as a leader, you must be resilient, come what may. Leaders must be able to thrive under pressure and use their critical thinking skills to solve problems. Leaders should be able to adjust to the dynamic nature of business and deploy new courses of action as and when necessary.

Following are a few ways you can demonstrate resilience as a leader:

  • Carefully assess the problem at hand and measure all options before taking any action.
  • Strive to continuously improve yourself and your team.

(5) Self-Awareness

One can never be a successful leader without self-awareness. Unless you are self-aware, you will be clueless about your own emotions and how to manage them. Your ability to recognise and manage your emotions while carrying out your obligations can help you continue to be productive in situations that are particularly difficult.

mindfulness printed paper near window

Self-awareness can help you identify your leadership style. There are different types of leadership styles, such as approachable style, credibility style, aspirational style, and the like. Big firms often look for a combination of these qualities to select the best candidates.

(6) Financial Literacy

It's critical to understand that a leader spends a significant amount of time on company strategy, choosing and pursuing corporate goals. These objectives will, of course, be closely related to issues with financial performance, including cash flow, profitability, and other important metrics. All corporate executives should maintain their financial literacy in light of this.

Apart from basic financial literacy, leaders must be aware of the following terms:

  • Cash flow management
  • Forecasting
  • Ratio Analysis
  • Financial Statement Analysis

Read more: Financial Literacy: The Essentials Of A Leader

Importance of Leadership Skills

Effective leaders put time and effort into mastering critical abilities that enable them to inspire others, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Everyone, regardless of their professional capacity, can benefit from the abovementioned leadership skills. However, leadership hiring necessitates that the following professionals are abreast with the most important leadership skills.

  • Freshly appointed leaders: Stepping into the world of leadership can be overwhelming. People who have been newly appointed as leaders can benefit greatly from leadership skills.
  • Professionals at the early and mid-career level: Early career leadership development can help you position yourself for promotion into a more senior post and show leadership ability.
  • Entrepreneurs: As an entrepreneur, you are invariably the leader of your organisation. The success of your startup depends greatly on your leadership skills.

Final words

Most of us aspire to be leaders in our industries. It can be beneficial to start assessing yourself in line with the leadership skills highlighted in this article. The first step is always to assess your strengths and weaknesses. Once you are aware of your position, make sure to set SMART goals for yourself. SMART goals stand for "specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely" goals. Getting through the entire process of leadership hiring can be a breeze if you are aware of the basic leadership skills.


[About Author: Jonathan Liebenberg is a technocrat and an avid outdoor enthusiast. He is a community manager and a committed team member. When he isn’t working to make the internet a better place, Jonathan can be found exploring the great outdoors and beautiful coastlines with his sidekick, Zen, a very energetic Weimaraner.]


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