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Five crucial traits when recruiting for mid to senior-level

1st Feb 24 7:28 am

Recruiting for middle to senior-level positions is a complex task that requires a nuanced understanding of both the candidate’s professional qualifications and their interpersonal skills.

Beyond the technical competencies on a CV, successful candidates for these roles possess certain key attributes that contribute to their effectiveness as leaders and decision-makers.

Here, I share the five crucial attributes that employers like me look for when seeking candidates for these higher-up-the-ladder roles within a global organisation in a highly competitive industry.

Leadership and vision

Leadership is perhaps the most critical attribute when recruiting for middle to senior positions. Effective leaders inspire and motivate their teams, driving them towards common goals. Look for candidates who have a proven track record of implementing strategic initiatives and facing complex challenges head-on.

A visionary mindset is also essential as leaders at this level must not only manage day-to-day operations, but also envision and implement long-term strategies that match the organisation’s overall mission.

Strong communication skills

Communication is the cornerstone of successful leadership, to my mind. Candidates must be adept at articulating their ideas clearly and concisely, both verbally and in writing. They should also possess strong interpersonal skills to build and maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

The ability to listen actively, provide positive feedback, and tackle difficult conversations is crucial for creating a healthy – and rewarding- working environment.


Seek out those candidates who have demonstrated resilience in the face of change and have successfully led teams through transitions.

Those who embrace innovation, pivot strategies when needed, and guide their teams through change will be valuable assets in middle to senior-level roles.

The ability to face ambiguity and make informed decisions in uncertain situations is a testament to a candidate’s adaptability.

Problem-solving and decision-making

Recruiters should seek candidates who exhibit strong problem-solving skills and a track record of making sound decisions based on a combination of data, experience, and critical thinking. The ability to analyse complex situations, identify potential risks, and develop effective solutions is crucial for leaders in these roles.

Emotional intelligence

This is one which is too-often overlooked, in my opinion. Emotional intelligence (EI) is increasingly recognised as a vital attribute for effective leadership.

Leaders with high EI can understand and manage their emotions while also empathising with the feelings of others. I look for candidates who can take on interpersonal dynamics with empathy, resolve conflicts diplomatically, and create an inclusive and supportive space.

By prioritising these key attributes, in my experience, employers are able to identify candidates who not only have the necessary qualifications but also the qualities that will contribute to their success in driving organisational growth, resilience and sustainability.

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