Whenever we are engaged for a leadership executive search assignment, one of our early initiatives is to naturally reach out and lure the very best candidates to our office for an initial meeting. What tends to happen more often than not is that most executives come armed with their resume at their side. As an icebreaker, we often seek their perception of the purpose of the resume document. Some candidates see it as their life story. Others view it as a badge of honor. Some even see it as the main ingredient for being considered for their next leadership opportunity.
From our clients’ perspective, however, the resume does very little to predict a candidate’s success in the defined leadership role. In fact, all Dinte clients insist that the candidates must first and foremost have the personality, style, and chemistry to succeed in their environment and culture.
So why is it that the executive always reaches for their resume when confronted with the chance for a new leadership challenge? To our way of thinking, the main event is personality, style, and leadership. Then the resume must become the leave behind, and not the door opener.
Our philosophy about resumes at Dinte Global Executive Search is that nothing happens without a relationship. We believe that getting the job is 70% key cultural competencies and only 30% expertise. It is important to have the knowledge and skills to do any job. However, understanding and fitting well into a specific corporate culture is the key to success for both the executive and the organization. Unfortunately, many candidates are putting 100% of their efforts into only 30% of the battle.
In a recent Wall Street Journal article, it was found that more hiring managers are specifically interested in “what people are like, what they are like to work with, and how they think.” For example, IGN Entertainment Inc, a gaming and media firm, required participation in online challenges that revealed the candidate’s thought process. Candidates were also required to submit a video demonstrating their love of gaming instead of a resume. While not all companies need to be this extreme, it is still important to remember the impact of good cultural fit can have when choosing the right person for a job.
We are very interested in your perspectives and experiences pursuing a new leadership opportunity or when deciding on the appointment of a new executive leader to your organization. Please feel free to leave your thoughts.