What Would Happen If Your CEO Interviewed Everyone?

What Would Happen If Your CEO Interviewed Everyone?
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What Would Happen If Your CEO Interviewed Everyone?
A recent client asked us, what would happen if our CEO interviewed everyone?  While it sounds crazy, this high growth company was afraid of losing their amazing culture if they hired the wrong type of people.  Many leaders have a similar concern about hiring the wrong talent.

CEO’s Do Not Have the Time – It is Not Scalable
We had never heard of a mid- or large-sized company where the CEO interviewed everyone.  In large companies especially, CEOs typically rely upon their staff to interview and hire new, qualified candidates. CEOs typically do not have the time or the interest in getting involved in the interviewing process unless it is for a very high ranking or strategic position. 

What Happened When the CEO Interviewed Everyone
Occasionally, however, a CEO wants a closer look at who is coming aboard and why. This happened at one high growth mid-sized company we were working with where the CEO interviewed everyone.  And this is how things immediately changed.

  1. More Rigor
    Knowing that final candidates would be screened by the CEO brought more rigor to the entire talent acquisition experience. Interviewers knew that their selection would be overseen by their boss’ boss. Wanting to look good themselves and also to make their boss look good, they made an extra effort to be selective and “followed all the rules” of an effective behavior-based interviewing system.

    Recruiters and interviewers were much more careful to filter through the candidates and present only the highest quality prospects for the CEO to review.

  2. Immediate Re-evaluation
    Though the hiring team had initially designed their talent acquisition process according to best practices, they had not reviewed the process for some years. Was there a better way to do things? If so, now was the time to take a closer look so they did not look behind the times.

    Were there more effective ways for interviewers to dig beneath the surface? Were interviewers being truly objective in the way they rated candidates? Were their questions still predictive and yet legal?

  3. Increased Focus on Corporate Culture
    The hiring team realized that they were hiring job-by-job. Now that the CEO was part of the process, they felt they needed to expand their view and be more strategic. Instead of looking solely at a candidate’s skills and knowledge, they spent more time looking at the job seeker’s attitudes, beliefs, and values.

    Would they be a fit with the company culture? Were their values in true alignment with organizational values?

  4. Prompted More Challenging Questions
    In participating with the CEO on a few interviews, the hiring team picked up on questions that they had not thought to ask. Questions as simple as, “Why do you want to join us?” And, “Where do you want to be in five years and how can we help you get there?” And, “What sets us apart from our competition?”

The Bottom Line
Even if it is crazy for your CEO to interview everyone for your organization, it may be worth your while to pretend your CEO is looking over your talent acquisition shoulder. The whole company and its culture depend upon the quality and attitudes of the folks you hire. Do it right, do not settle, and all will benefit.

To learn more about interviewing best practices, download 5 Steps to Defining & Attracting Top Talent

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