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Leadership demands tough decision making : someone has to tell people what to do, ensure to hold people to their obligations ( as many forget to do it on their own !), be frank about the consequences if actions are not taken as expected – And under such circumstances, it is not really a sweet and rosy role to be a leader. Recruitment Consultants need to be taken into confidence, if the client company management expects re-structuring, remedy or not-so-easy business growth in sooner times.

I always feel a Recruitment consultant, a Lawyer or a Doctor should know what is actually expected from the situation the client is in. Sometimes, clients have to be very clear what they want from the new recruit. The job description says it all but there are many grey areas that cannot be put in print. Not that they are unpleasant but they are personal traits which cannot be explained in detail and can only be experienced. A common failing of leaders, from floor supervisors to top executives ( CEO or even department heads) is the failure to be emphatically assertive when necessary. One main obstacle to such assertiveness is passivity, as can happen when someone is concerned with being liked than with getting the job done right, and so tolerates poor performance rather than confronting it. This calls for right assessment of the personality of the applicant/ candidate and many recruiters fail to read the signs while shortlisting the candidates for middle or senior level positions in sales and marketing.

Incompetence is too costly to be overlooked and it can show up in something as common place as failing to take the leadership role in a group meeting to review the company sales output. Sometimes, the senior recruit is well experienced, has the domain knowledge to complete the role given to him – but he is not clear and firm. This leads to confusion among his juniors/ subordinates as to what is expected out of them. One sign of an assertive leader is the ability to say NO firmly and definitely. This ability is much required if a new business initiative has to be exercised in a business start-up situation. It is also required if a failing business enterprise has to be revamped, turned around or even re-built from the scratch. When people fail to perform, the leader’s task is to give helpful feedback and not let the lapse go un-noticed. This may mean getting unpopular but so be it, if the situation has to be improved.

Especially in new business start-up operations, it calls for setting employee discipline in force, placing everything else in order and rewarding or reprimanding as solicited by the situation. This does not recommend recruiting a tyrant or a bully to get things done. In fact, this strategy to be tough comes into play only when other, less severe approaches have failed as first steps. In fact, I know that constant toughness is a sign of weakness, not a sign of strong leadership. A certain toughness or decisiveness in making hard decisions is necessary- but if these actions are done ruthlessly, the leader ends up being hated or a failure as a leader.

As a recruitment consultant, it is necessary to have related industry/ domain experience or expertise while recruiting for senior positions in marketing. Otherwise, the recruitment becomes erroneous leading to business loss; waste of time and market opportunity. Call me if you would like to recruit the right talent to surmount the difficult sales/ business situation you are facing.

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Tags: Agency Recruiting

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