Last week, Harvard Business Review released a study looking at how CEO’s manage their time*. They tracked 27 CEO’s over a three month period for 24 hours a day in order to build up a picture of just how CEO’s typically use their time.
To summarise the study in one sentence; CEO’s are busy people.
They work, on average, 9.7 hours per weekday, 3.9 hours on 79% weekend days and 2.4 hours on 70% of holidays.
72% of working time is spent in meetings and 24% on electronic communications. The role is by no means an easy one, with responsibilities and duties seemingly making it an endless task.
But while there are various things that HBR suggests CEO’s could do to manage their time more efficiently, one message is clear. Spending time with employees and involving themselves with developing the leadership pipeline is crucial to business success and time well spent.
So what are the benefits to a CEO of allocating their scarce time to recruitment and talent management?
1. Helps to attract the best talent in the market
HBR’s research found that building the company’s leadership pipeline cannot be left to HR or line managers alone. CEO’s must be personally committed to improving the quality of the company’s leaders.
Obviously, CEO’s can’t be expected to interview every single candidate, but you’d be surprised at the difference 10 or 15 minutes of their time can make when wooing the best talent and attracting them into the business.
From our own experience, having the CEO or Managing Director present at the final interview stage, even just for a few minutes, can significantly impact the candidate’s decision to join the company.
For hard to fill or senior positions, we would always suggest that CEO’s are involved to explain the long term business plan and persuade candidates that by joining the company they will have the opportunity to develop and progress.
2. Shaping the culture of the business
Joe Pinto, CEO of 7-Eleven recently said that the Chief Executive’s main role is to set “the right culture, the right tone, demonstrating that this is the way we want to do things.” He goes on to say that you do this through “picking the right folks”**.
Culture starts at the top and a CEO’s presence throughout the organisation will encourage and reinforce the values that the company stands for. This is particularly important at the recruitment stage where meeting candidates will ensure that the CEO is happy the individual is aligned with the company’s values and culture.
Leadership choices will undoubtedly shape a company’s culture. The candidates that get hired, promoted, or fired demonstrate the key values held by the CEO and the company.
3. Helps to define the organisation’s strategy
CEO’s must ensure that the company’s strategy is being well executed and that new recruits line up with the needs of the organisation and the business situation at hand.
Likewise to culture, the strategy and business objectives are determined from the top and input from the CEO when making critical senior hires will mean that candidates sourced, interviewed and hired will align with where the company wants to go and how they will achieve those goals.
Not only this, but if the CEO is certain that new senior executives buy into and understand the corporate strategy, then they will find it easier to delegate responsibilities to them and trust them to work autonomously. Therefore freeing up some of their valuable time in doing so.
Time is one thing that Director’s across all functions can’t get back, so if you’re looking to recruit senior executives to your teams, click HERE to see how we can make the process as quick and efficient for you as possible.