Telstra people leaders play an integral role in the development and performance of their teams. As the Recruitment Delivery Manager for Retail, Marketing & Media, I keep this in mind when finding the next generation of leaders. Here are my top three leadership qualities I seek in candidates:
Ability to articulate ideas clearly
Communication skills say a lot about a candidate’s leadership style, particularly how they conduct themselves and interact with individuals at all levels of the organisation. For example when I’m hiring for sales roles, I take note if they follow up their application with a call and if they’re engaging and responsive – this may be a great sign they’ll do well in the job!
For customer-facing roles, I try to put myself in the shoes of our customers – does the candidate check if it’s a convenient time or do they pick up on social cues if I’m busy? If they do, this is a fair indicator that they have good people skills. Written and verbal cues may strongly indicate how a candidate will lead and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders.
Passionate about their field
One of the most foundational traits of a good leader is a genuine interest in the field in which they’re applying. To gauge interest, I may ask the candidate to elaborate on industry trends that are having the greatest impact on their role, team, business or industry. Succinct, thoughtful answers indicate a depth of industry knowledge –an invaluable trait for employees in leadership positions.
Great leaders are also passionate about their team development so as a recruiter, I seek to understand their preferred management style and perception of staff development. I may ask a candidate to elaborate on the best team they’ve ever led or a challenging team member they’ve managed and how they managed it. Successful leaders show a passion for winning as a team and not just as an individual.
Fit within workplace culture
In order to gauge a candidate’s cultural fit, I ask questions about their ideal role. I may ask what their best day at work was and why, or ask them to describe characteristics of their ideal company. Their responses help draw a picture of the workplace culture they’re likely to thrive in.
It’s also important that a candidate find out for themselves if a workplace is a good cultural fit for them. During the interview, a candidate could ask the recruiter what the culture of the company is like as well as what they enjoy most about working there. A candidate whose leadership style fits with workplace culture is likely to succeed in a high pressure role and build good working relationships.
If you’re applying for a leadership role with us, I hope you’ve found these tips and insights helpful.