Must-Have Qualities of C-Suite Employees

executive headhunters

The process of hiring a new senior or C-suite employee is one that should be taken seriously. These employees tend to set the tone for the rest of your business, in terms of both productivity and professionalism. The attitude and leadership ability of a CEO can literally make or break a business.

You might know your business best, but that doesn’t mean you should be the one to manage the hiring process. It takes experience and a keen eye to truly ascertain how well a candidate will fit in a position or company, which is why many businesses opt to outsource this task to executive headhunters.

Executive headhunters can innately recognize what qualities C-suite candidates possess and can provide an expert recommendation as to whether an individual will be able to lead your company towards success. Putting this responsibility in a professional’s hands is the right thing to do.

So, what qualities do the best executive headhunters look for in senior and C-suite candidates? Read on to find out!



This might seem like an obvious one, but your senior employees must be able to demonstrate leadership. But what is leadership?

It’s much more than simply having people who report to you. Leadership is not just being the person who is responsible for making big decisions. In a business context, leadership means possessing the ability to empower and motivate others. In this sense, anyone can be a leader — even a graduate employee.

Given the prominence of C-suite employees, it’s essential that they too possess these attributes. If your employees look to the top and find an uncommunicative individual who doesn’t particularly care about the job satisfaction of others, they’re unlikely to feel particularly driven or inspired.


In this day and age, the ability to empathize with others is critical, particularly in a leader. We are all juggling multiple responsibilities, between work, family, and maintaining mental and physical health. Employees need to feel that they can come to their boss and that their concerns will be heard. A C-suite team that demonstrates compassion and understanding can expect far more loyal, satisfied employees and a higher retention rate.


Communication is a broad skill that encompasses everything from presentation skills to body language. A CEO needs to recognize what information is pertinent to their employees and be able to communicate this in a clear, calm, and concise manner.

They should also be responsive to emails and be able to speak with their employees on matters not relating to work. A senior employee who spends their lunchtime getting to know their colleagues in a more informal setting is one who recognizes the value of productive working relationships.

Forward-thinking direction a company

It’s not easy to recognize what direction a company needs to move in to grow and evolve. If it were easy, anyone could do it! This skill is one of the reasons that top executive employees earn the big dollars.

Our current economic and political climate makes it incredibly difficult to make smart business decisions. A top C-suite team will use all the information at their disposal, plus their years of experience, to steer a company towards future success.


All businesses have problems to deal with. Some are small — having to replace a junior employee, for example. Some are not so small, like navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless of the size of the problem, you need a leader who will proactively meet challenges and use difficult situations to actually propel a business forward.

Problem-solving requires the ability to make informed decisions. A business can also benefit from having a leader who can look at a situation from outside the box, coming up with creative solutions to issues that would otherwise completely have a debilitating effect on operations.


Finally, and perhaps most importantly, integrity. Your C-suite team — which usually includes a CEO, COO, and CFO — will be responsible for making critical decisions that have a significant effect on operational and financial performance. These decisions must be made in the best interests of all involved, including stakeholders and employees. Taking shortcuts is not always the best pathway, particularly when the reputation of a company is at stake.

Senior team members must act with integrity and professionalism in all that they do.

The best executive headhunters can recognize these qualities in a person in a matter of minutes. While experience and industry knowledge is important in a leader, executive headhunters will tell you that they are nothing without motivation, forward-thinking, and a professional attitude. Don’t settle for less in your C-suite team.


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