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How to Hire a True Leader

How to Hire a True Leader
ArticleInterviewingRecruitment Process
Publish Date: January 22nd, 2024

​What does “decision making” mean to you?

It sounds simple, I know. But as one of the most important indicators of a future leader, and certainly an attribute to seek in current management, it’s something which doesn’t always get the investigation it needs at interview stage.

When you’re looking to make a hire into a position of responsibility, you need to know that this person is not only able but also willing to make key decisions well; and simply saying they’re able to isn’t going to cut it. Just because their current job requires it, doesn’t mean they’re doing it well.

So, what attributes should you look for at interview stage which spell real decision making capabilities?


Whilst you want somebody to refer to the chain of command when necessary and seek advice when necessary, initiative is a hugely beneficial attribute in someone who’s going to be responsible for many moving parts – the whole operation can’t fall down based on one task pending.

A decision maker utilises the tools and knowledge at their disposal to define and take the best course of action known to them at that moment. Whilst they’re able to hold their hands up and ask for help when they need it, equally they know how and when to make the call themselves.

Further to this, a decision maker will stand by that decision and see it through, despite any fall out or consequences. They’re able how they got there and why; their decisions, right or wrong, will be well thought out and rational – even if not the right one.

Hey, nobody’s perfect.


A decision maker should be able to put their own ego, interests and gains aside to make the decision which most benefits the company and team – end of.

Call it what you like – altruistic, magnanimous, or other; to make a decision is one thing, but to make it for the right reasons another entirely. You want to hire the people who truly place the company’s best interests at heart and base their thinking on that line, rather than simply progressing their own career, earnings, status or otherwise. A great decision maker is one who considers ALL angles, not just those that benefit themselves.

Problem solving

Thankfully, this one is a trait we can pretty well test and probe for at interview.

Decisions should be made with a view to solving a problem, or moving things forward, rather than just masking over issues or achieving empty goals – ever heard the phrase “busy doing nothing”? A decision maker is also a problem solver – someone who sees through the tasks which need completing, all the way to the ultimate resolution and achievement of the job in hand. They’re able to problem solve and make calculated, well thought out choices based on what they know.


Pushing or hiring someone into a position which requires them to make business-critical decisions on a daily basis isn’t something to be taken lightly; you need to be sure that they’re not only capable, but that they share your business’ goals and motivations, too. We all make decisions, both conscious and subconscious, hundreds of times every day – from what’s for lunch to how much effort we’re putting in, how we communicate to the attitude we turn up to work with – but when it comes to your organisation, ensuring you have somebody who’s equipped to take your business to the next level, whether now or in future, couldn’t be more vital.

As recruiters, we make decisions day in, day out on the people we interview – and you can rest assured that if decision making skills are what you need, we won’t make the call until we’re certain they’ve got them.

Certus specialises in building sales, marketing and IT teams from the ground up, with each of our teams possessing their own ‘sweet spot’ in terms of what and who they know best. If you’d like to talk through the benefits of having a dedicated team aiding in your middle or senior management hiring plans, get in touch today.

We love a chat, and we certainly know a thing or two about sniffing out a great decision maker!

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