When you imagine your ideal hire, you probably picture a confident, charismatic extrovert with major gravitas and the expertise to boot. 

Everyone knows there’s no one-size-fits-all mould for leaders – they come in all shapes and sizes. While you won’t be on the hunt for a particular stereotype, you may not know what powerful traits you should be looking for. 

If you’re stuck in a recruitment rut and want to broaden your retail executive recruitment horizons, look no further. 

Here are the top 3 unexpected traits of candidates that can turn out to be effective retail leaders. 

1. Modesty 

While confidence in leadership roles can be key, you may want to pass up the overconfident or arrogant candidate. Yes, your new leader will need to be self-assured in delivering the task at hand, but that doesn’t mean they need to be aggressive – a certain level of humility goes a long way in influencing others in high pressure environments. 

We tend to romanticise charismatic leaders and look for those who ooze charisma, but this can be a red flag. Make sure that your candidates, while confident, are backing up their claims with cold hard facts, and can remain effective when faced with challenging situations. 

Research shows that choosing a narcissistic leader can have a detrimental impact on their team’s behaviour, and fosters an unhealthy working culture. So, if your client values honesty, engagement and team working, choose a leader that displays these values than one who may be all talk. 

2. Introversion

There’s a huge difference between what people think success looks like and what qualities actually deliver strong performance. 

We are biased to favour extroverted individuals as they tend to naturally lead. However, when digging a little deeper, it is clear to see that this doesn’t necessarily play out in an individual’s performance, and that often, the introvert will be just as effective, if not more so, than the leader of the pack. 

This is a difficult trait to spot, however, as often, extroverts will interview much better than their shyer counterpart. Encourage the client to ask questions and set tasks around performance so that introverts are able to let their talents shine through without the gift of the gab. 

3. Consistency 

Many organisations value fast paced, dynamic individuals who are able to think on their feet in times of crisis. While this is an extremely positive trait to have when working in the retail sector, there is a lot to be said for a calm and consistent approach. 

When everyone is running around like headless chickens and stress levels are through the roof, it’s the leader with a cool, calm and consistent approach that often saves the day.

Instead of wanting your next hire to be a power-driven, top-down controller, look for the orchestra conductor who is able to steer his or her team without missing a beat. Keeping everyone on track so that individuals can focus on what they do best is the key to motivating large teams.