9 Qualities to Look for When Making the Right C-Suite Hire for Your Business

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: When hiring for a C-suite position, what’s one quality you’ll want to look for in your candidates that might differ from other positions? Why?

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs in the employment market.

1. Strategic Thinking

A C-suite candidate needs to be able to think strategically. At this level, the candidate needs to be more than the most technically proficient, but rather someone who can create strategy and, more importantly, communicate strategy in a way that allows others to execute on the strategy. — Zane Stevens, Protea Financial 


2. A Sense of Calm

Doing hard things is already a part of the C-suite position’s role. We need a leader who will take action with strength, wisdom, and peace. This person should hold the team together with their words and presence. They should be able to make swift and right decisions without panicking, and their example inspires others to do the same. With a higher position comes stress, but with a mind at peace comes good solutions. — Daisy Jing, Banish 


3. A Collaborative Nature

For C-suite positions, I’d look for someone with a collaborative quality. A collaborative leader encourages employees to have a shared approach and work toward company goals. They’ll also be more willing to break free from outdated processes and expand their role to grow the company the best they can. — Benjamin Rojas, All in One SEO 


4. A Focus on Problem Solving

If a candidate for a C-suite position is going to work in our organization, they must have a focus on solving problems. At that level, no one else will do it for them. Over the wall, under the wall, through the wall — it’s all about solutions and getting things done. Excuses don’t matter. — John Lie-Nielsen, One Park Financial 


5. The Ability to Manage Change

Apart from communications, strategic thinking, and management skills, the one thing I look for in a C-suite candidate is change management. They need to have the capability to identify opportunities for change and then help steer the organization to the new path forward. It’s an often overlooked skill, but learning about change management is very important for good leaders. — Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms 


6. Self-Awareness

One quality I would look for in C-suite candidates is self-awareness. It’s not enough to just be able to do the job well. You need to also be able to understand how your role and your personality work together. This means that someone needs to know how to self-reflect and think about how they can improve their own performance, as well as the performance of their team. — Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC 


7. A Passion for Helping Others

The ability to and passion for helping others is the main quality I am looking for when hiring someone for a C-suite position. If the person has this ability, they will be strong enough to solve any issue, make a hard decision when needed and be capable of communicating with everyone. — Alexandru Stan, Tekpon 


8. Strong Leadership Skills

When hiring for a C-suite position, you’ll want to look for candidates with strong leadership skills. This is because the C-suite is responsible for setting the tone and direction of the company, and they need to be able to lead the team effectively. They also need to have a clear understanding of the company’s goals and how to achieve them. — Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner 


9. The Ability to Ask the Right Questions

Ideally, my preferred C-suite applicant knows how to ask the right questions. You need someone who is inquisitive and wants to get to the bottom of business issues while helping the rest of the team reach their goals. — John Turner, SeedProd LLC 



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