March 31

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Hire and Inspire: Choosing a Leader, Not a Boss


There is something common between a leader and a boss; they both can get people to do things. How they do this is what makes all the difference. A boss will use his or her authority to give orders in a not-so-pleasant manner, set unreasonable expectations, and exert unnecessary pressure to get things done. However, while they can get people to respect them out of fear, it can damage team morale and be detrimental to the company culture. This results in poor retention rates and reduced productivity. On the other hand, a leader motivates, guides, and empowers employees to be their best and do great work. Rather than making employees do things, a leader inspires them to want to do it. When you have a leader, teams are highly engaged, which is good for employee retention and productivity. So, how do you choose a leader and not a boss? Here are some guidelines.

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Determine the traits to look for

Leaders are expected to communicate to the management and employees about projects, goals, milestones, and more. They also have the responsibility to evaluate and report the team’s performance as well as provide feedback. In addition, they identify areas for training, resolve conflicts, answer team questions and lead team meetings, and more. However, besides having the necessary skills and experience to carry out these duties, a leader should have personal attributes that can spark good leadership behaviors. In addition to determining qualifications, look out for traits such as:

  • Excellent communication skills – This includes being an active listener and ability to understand non-verbal communication
  • Ability to inspire and motivate others to influence the team to work towards the company goals
  • Results-focused
  • Emotional intelligence to help foster and nurture relationships and teamwork
  • Ability to take responsibility for own actions and words
  • Ability to lead by example to fuel a positive and vibrant company culture
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Ask the right questions

To determine the above attributes in a candidate, you will need to ask questions that can help you unearth their inner personalities. You can ask them about their previous experiences with candidates who have worked in leadership roles before. For those who have no prior experience, ask them about instances that they have shown leadership qualities in the roles that they held previously. Some examples of the questions that you can ask include:

  • What techniques have you used before to motivate and inspire people?
  • How would you describe your leadership style?
  • How have you handled conflicts between employees in the past?
  • What does effective communication look like for you?
  • What are the steps that you took to create a successful team for a project?
  • What obstacles have you had to deal with and how did you handle them?
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Request for reviews

When it comes to choosing leaders, just taking their word for it isn’t enough. It is important that you hear of their leadership abilities from other people. If you are planning to promote from within, ask for feedback about the people you are considering from employees who they frequently interact with. If you are hiring from outside, consider contacting their referees or former employers to understand what type of employees or leaders they were in their previous roles.

Put the skills to a test

Before settling on a leader, it is important to be sure that they can actually execute the skills and personality traits that they say they possess. The best way to do this is to take them through various tests. You can have the candidates take up tests such as communication tests, people skills tests, personality type tests, business skills tests among others. You can find such tests on online platforms and select the ones that suit the type of leader that you are looking for. Another way that you can test the candidates is by giving them leadership duties before appointing them, especially when promoting from within. This will allow you to see how they will perform once you give them the position.

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Outsource the process

Hiring leaders isn’t an easy task. It especially gets harder when you have to hire internationally. However, you can get around this by partnering with a global PEO to help you hire leaders for your teams in other countries. You stand to realize several advantages of using global PEO in your international hiring strategy. With their immense knowledge and experience in hiring, a global PEO can help you find the best people with excellent leadership skills and traits. What’s better, you can hire through them without setting up a legal entity in the country that you are hiring. Besides that, a global PEO ensures that you hire compliantly with the local labor laws.

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Conclusion

Exemplary leaders are rare. Moreover, finding them can be quite a challenging journey. However, if you are committed to seeing your business grow, going through the pain-staking journey of ensuring that you choose leaders over bosses is critical. Start by identifying the traits that you require and ask questions that can help you identify these traits. In addition, give tests and ask for outside opinions. Lastly, make your work easier by hiring a global PEO when hiring internationally.

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