When it comes to executive recruitment in retail, you obviously want to ensure you’re getting the cream of the crop. You want candidates who are going to be able to take charge of situations and set a positive example which the staff they manage can follow. While every company is different and will be looking for different assets, there are a few universal leadership qualities to look for when recruiting executives…

A proven history of skills development

Great retail leaders should be constantly looking for new ways to improve themselves and take initiative by identifying and then carrying out ways they can work on their existing skills, and develop a repertoire of new ones. When you’re interviewing executive candidates, make a point of asking them how they’ve developed their skills. Their response will give you a clear picture of how passionate they are at seeking out professional development on their own initiative.

Courage in decision making

Great leaders don’t clam up when there’s a possibility of making a mistake, especially if they’re taking a risk which may lead to a monumental benefit for the company. This is why you should be looking for signs of courageous decision making in your executive candidates. This can be done by asking them about a difficult professional decision they’ve had to make for a retail company, or how they found a solution to a major dilemma.

Openness to criticism

The highest-performing executives in the modern retail arena are acutely aware of the need for criticism and subsequent improvement. Look for candidates who will actively look for feedback on their performance, and appreciate it once it’s given. You can ask about this directly, or drop the classic “biggest weakness” question, and judge how sincere they are with their response.

Emotional intelligence

Finally, make sure there’s a certain degree of emotional intelligence in the executive you end up recruiting. This is exceedingly valuable in a fast-paced business environment, and the further up the corporate ladder you go, the more important it becomes. Executives who understand the emotions that drive the people around them, and how to channel those feelings into productive and innovative work, will prove themselves to be one of your company’s biggest assets. This quality can prove itself to be much more important than any kind of intrapersonal skill. When it comes to the interview, ask candidates about a situation where they’ve used their emotional intelligence for the good of a past company. This is a tough one, making it easy to hone in on the best response.

If you need support with your executive retail recruitment, call us today to see how we can work together.

leadership by nist6dh licensed under Creative commons 5