Ways to Identify Leadership Potential from Candidates Outside Your Sector
The experience and core attributes of senior leaders are vast. That’s why along with hard work, continual development, and peer support, they’ve reached such points in their careers.
When looking for a senior leader or board-level executive, we all seek out those same special qualities. Demonstrable skills and a natural charisma that instil confidence, inspire, and build trust on organisational and personal levels. After all, it is these types of people that will drive businesses forward, right?
However, candidates of this calibre can take time to find. This isn’t because they’re not plentiful – we can all name leaders within our own circles who are achieving great things.
But they may not be immediately visible. This could be because they’re out of sight for some strategic reason. Perhaps driving initiatives in the background or down in the trenches, finalising a major project. But oftentimes, they’re hidden in places you may not immediately look – other business sectors.
So, how can your transport organisation tap into this cross-sectoral talent and identify leadership potential?
How Organisations Can Identify Candidates with Leadership Potential
Firstly, cast a wider net than you’ve perhaps done in the past
This may mean stretching your recruitment comfort zone and checking any unconscious bias (we can all be guilty of this one!) Read more about unconscious bias here.
If transport organisations want to identify that stellar leader, consider enlisting the services of a talent consultancy who is well used to taking a cross-sectoral approach, and has a placement record and candidate list to back it up.
Here at Intuitive, we have the knowledge, the experience, and the ability to match leadership candidates from outside the transport sector with organisations that will benefit from their character, experience, and values.
And secondly, look for key attributes and transferable skills
For us, it’s not solely about seeing in-sector experience and a track record of success and saying, “hey presto!” It’s so much more than that, which we’ve spoken about on our blog previously.
Making a success of cross-sectoral leadership recruitment is about identifying a myriad of attributes. From rising to a tough challenge and taking fearless but responsible initiative. To demonstrating that KPIs can be met while being well-liked and respected. And getting the most out of people and their time and knowing when it’s time to adapt.
Stellar Leadership Candidates and Cross-Sectoral Experience
Good senior leaders will possess invaluable cross-sector professional attributes, whether they bring a legacy of success in the financial, pharmaceutical, healthcare, utilities, or any number of sectors. It is these candidates who will bring a new perspective, ideas on how to improve operations, enhance your organisation’s reputation and much more.
5 Attributes of Stellar Leadership Candidates
- Finding Solutions
They tackle any challenges they face, minimising obstacles by acting quickly, therefore reducing or, ideally, removing any short- or long-term disruption. These attributes are especially prevalent in candidates from the communications, utilities and IT sectors.
- Communicating with everyone
Everyone wants to work with someone with the charisma and diplomacy to garner respect and to inspire. The best leaders are empathic, recognise the efforts of their team(s) and manage conflict constructively. This pragmatic ethos is commonplace in candidates from the retail and healthcare sectors, who manage wide demographics within colleague and customer communities.
- Adapting to digital innovation
Every sector is digitally transforming. In the last few years, we’ve borne witness to a digital revolution across all sectors of which passenger transport’s sustainability depends. Leaders will embrace digital technology – especially technologies that refine processes, save costs, and improve accessibility. This streamlined, detail-oriented approach is often associated with candidates in the utilities and finance sectors.
- Being accountable
Transport has a lot of interconnected moving parts. There’s timetabling and safety, infrastructure and maintenance, and environmental and compliance policy considerations which must operate in tandem with one another to offer a valued service. This means that senior leaders need to be accountable, responsible and make the right decisions. Candidates with these attributes are often found in distribution, medical, food or manufacturing.
- Stakeholder management
We’ve saved, arguably, the most important attribute for last. Senior leaders must be someone who is admired, respected and trusted. They must be able to balance relationships effectively with everyone. They need to invest in their colleagues and know how to get the most from people. Candidates with a strong background in the public or third sector will, likely, have interpersonal skills in spades.
Remember, identifying potential leadership candidates is not solely about hunting for sectoral or role alignment. It’s about identifying core attributes and experience regardless of sectoral or specific role experience. Like being strong, capable, inspiring, diplomatic, approachable and flexible, to name (just!) a few.
To book a video chat with Nina or Caroline about tapping into wider networks, contact Inuitive today. Nearly 40% of our placements are from outside of the passenger transport sector, so we can guarantee diverse candidates with the potential to be game-changing transport leaders.