Below is the final tally on top metrics for measuring executive success in the C-level and VP level team CEOs bring on board to help them executive on their businesses. Thanks to the CEO input of more than 60 poll responses to this latest venture-backed company CEO survey.
The question we framed was phrased as follows:
"In evaluating the success of an executive hire after 12 months, what would be the top 3 criteria that you would use?"
The first choice from the poll results is somewhat self-evident-- that the executive has exceeded performance expectations (goals, milestones, objectives, etc.) for the specific role from the CEO's perspective.
However, the second most popular metric was "established internal and external reputation as functional expert." Essentially, this means that the executive has built his or her own political/social capital with internal peers and external influencers, customers, vendors, or other external relationships key to the success of the company.
The third most important metric was "culture fit." This was selected over the other 4 remaining metrics offered by a more than 2 -to-1 margin.
The question that pops up is how a CEO might best measure the #2 and #3 metrics. For both of these metrics perhaps a 360-degree review at the end of 12 months would be beneficial. There are tools offered by the likes of the Hay Group and others that do an online version of this contextual employee review that can be quite useful to determine an objective read.
Perhaps it would also be interesting if an executive search firm who brought a candidate to an organization also made this part of their fee structure. And facilitated the process/offered the tools to make it happen. Food for thought. The goal of the executive recruiter would be to serve as that often mythical "trusted adviser" of executive talent, facilitating as much objectivity around executive team-building and talent assessment as possible.
Worthy of note is the fact that "integrity" ranked near the bottom of the list of success criteria. No doubt CEOs assume perhaps that this is a given in any candidate.