Executive Hiring Mishaps: 3 Signs You Hired the Wrong Executive

The hiring process, no matter the position, is a stressful endeavor, especially in a crunch where you need to fill a position quickly. This rings especially true for the recruitment of a C-level employee who you hope will be a guiding light for your organization’s future. When you post a job opening, you undoubtedly have an influx of applications coming in, and it can feel overwhelming trying to vet each and every one to find the right fit.

Aside from the obvious red flags of a bad employee hire, there might exist more endemic issues that may not surface in the interview process. Unfortunately, these undesirable characteristics will rear their head later, leaving you in a tough situation. How can you tell if you’ve made a wrong executive hire? And what is the solution to ensuring this pivotal position is filled by a qualified applicant? This is an issue that we are all too familiar with at NewConfig, and we have the experience to know when a potential candidate just won’t be the right fit.

The new hire doesn’t align with your core values.

Every company in some form or another should build core competencies that reflect the integrity of the organization. Successful companies understand the importance of conveying their commitment to fairness, quality, and stewardship to their employees, customers, and communities. And it is crucial to have an executive suite that is dedicated to upholding those values.

In an interview with Simplus CEO Ryan Westwood, Chris Barbin (global culture officer at Appirio) compared company values and culture with organizational DNA. These tenets, whatever they may be for your company, are the fiber that keeps things running.

“They keep a company focused on what motivates employees to go above and beyond for customers and the company,” Barbin said. “Just as our DNA defines us and makes us unique, it does the same for companies.”

When executive headhunting, you should be sure to place an emphasis on finding a candidate that meshes with and is a champion of your core values. If your top employees cannot echo your values, how can you expect other employees to operate by them? NewConfig has the processes in place to properly vet these integral players to see where their core values truly lie.


The new hire isn’t spurring change or progression.

Innovation, forward-thinking, and questioning the status quo are just a few sure-fire ways to guarantee a competitive advantage for your organization. And these are just a few of the responsibilities of your executive employees—to be perceptive and able to identify ways to ensure the future success of the company.

As mentioned, it can be tempting to hire any candidate for a position in a pinch. And it can quickly become evident that your new hire is just maintaining instead of innovating. After all, routine and sustaining the status quo are the killers of creativity.

You should be looking for the players who can push the envelope of progression for your business. “People who think differently create the kind of friction that generates new ideas,” says Joan Michelson, executive producer of Green Connections Radio. These are the types of candidates you should be striving for.

The new hire isn’t a champion for your employees

A company is only as good as the people who work for and believe in the mission of the organization. As such, you need champions at the top that motivate, respect, and coach the employees underneath them.

Executives who are disconnected from their employees are an auspicious sign. It creates a rift between the two camps and cultivates an “us versus them” mentality that is not conducive to the success of a business.

Your executive hires should be champions of your employees. They should aim to have an ear to the ground and a finger on the pulse of the needs and concerns of their employees. The ability to lift up, encourage, listen, and adapt to these needs is imperative to the correct applicant for the job.

The solution? Work with an executive hiring agency!

Brian Sutter, marketing director for Wasp Barcode, cites executive hiring agencies as a critical component to finding the right individual for the job. These agencies have the know-how and experience to identify the correct candidate that aligns with your values and goals.

“For small business owners with a lot to do and not enough time to do everything, it may be tempting to hire someone quickly to help with demands,” Sutter said. “Unfortunately, quick decisions made on hires often turn problematic for companies, costing money and time small business owners don’t have. If you simply can’t do the legwork, consider using an employment agency or recruiter to help you find the right fit.”

This is what NewConfig can help you accomplish. You have many responsibilities running your company—why not get the help of an executive hiring agency to help you find the right fit for the job? We have the network, experience, and process to ensure that you are getting the right candidate every single time.

Don’t hire the wrong executive for the job. Get in touch with us today!