Skip to main content

DataLayer values:

** Values visible only for logged users. Editable only in edit mode. **

Local page
English (United Kingdom)

Recent blogs

The Crucial Role of Examining Commercial Competencies in C-Level Search

The Crucial Role of Examining Commercial Competencies in C-Level Search

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving business landscape, the recruitment of commercial C-level and management profiles is not merely about filling a vacancy. It's a strategic endeavor critical to an organization’s success.

Iris Schats at Morgan Philips Executive Search is specialized in such high-caliber positions: “It becomes imperative to evaluate not just the technical skills but also the commercial competencies, leadership qualities, and the overall fit with the company culture.”

This article delves into the importance of these aspects in the recruitment process, highlighting how they can be effectively evaluated to ensure that hires not only meet but exceed expectations.

Understanding Commercial Competencies

Commercial competencies encompass a range of skills and attributes that enable leaders to drive business success. As seen in the “Commercial Leadership: how to be a successful leader?” article, these competencies include market understanding, strategic thinking, customer orientation, and financial acumen. In the context of C-level/ management roles, these skills are vital as they directly influence decision-making and the strategic direction of the company.

Testing for commercial competencies typically involves a combination of behavioral interviews and scenario-based assessments. Behavioral interviews allow candidates to demonstrate their competencies through past experiences. For instance, a candidate for a Chief Commercial Officer position might be asked to describe a scenario where they developed a new market entry strategy and its outcomes. This not only showcases their strategic thinking but also their ability to execute plans effectively.

Scenario-based assessments, on the other hand, present candidates with hypothetical but job-related situations where they must outline their approach or decision-making process. These are particularly useful in evaluating how a candidate thinks on their feet and how they can apply their commercial knowledge in real-world scenarios.

Evaluating Leadership Qualities

Leadership extends beyond managing teams and projects; it involves inspiring and motivating a workforce, setting a vision, and leading by example. For C-level/management roles, leadership qualities are indispensable as these individuals are expected to steer the organization towards its goals.

To evaluate leadership qualities, tools such as leadership assessments or 360-degree feedback can be employed. Leadership assessments are designed to measure a candidate's ability to lead effectively, focusing on traits like communication, resilience, and adaptability. 360-degree feedback provides comprehensive insights into the candidate’s leadership style by gathering feedback from a range of coworkers, including supervisors, peers, and subordinates.

Assessing Fit with Company Culture

The fit with company culture is arguably one of the most critical elements in the recruitment of senior executives and it can also have a direct impact on leadership. A candidate’s ability to align with the core values, beliefs, and practices of the company is crucial for seamless integration and long-term success. Cultural misalignment can lead to reduced job satisfaction and ultimately, attrition.

To evaluate a candidate’s fit, it is essential to immerse them in the company’s culture through various touchpoints. This might include interactions with multiple team members, participating in company events, or even spending a day at the company to get a real feel of the working environment. Such immersive experiences are telling of how well a candidate will adapt to and thrive within the company’s environment.

Implementing an Integrated Approach

The most effective approach to assessing candidates for commercial C-level/management positions is an integrated one, combining interviews, assessments, and real-life interactions. This comprehensive method ensures a holistic view of the candidate’s abilities and their potential to contribute to the company.

Furthermore, incorporating technology and analytics into the recruitment process can enhance the accuracy of these assessments. Advanced analytics can provide deeper insights into a candidate’s performance in assessments and simulations, making the evaluation process more robust.


In conclusion, testing for commercial competencies, leadership qualities, and company culture fit is beneficial and essential in the recruitment of C-level / management profiles. These elements are the linchpins of successful leadership and can significantly impact the company's trajectory. Focusing on these aspects will not only improve the quality of company hires and also ensure they are well-positioned to lead the company into the future.

In this competitive market, companies rely on their leaders not just to foresee and react to changes but to act as visionaries who propel the company forward. Effective testing and evaluation practices are therefore not just tools but strategic assets in recruiting the best talent.

And you? How do you recruit and select your commercial C level positions?

Written by Iris Schats who has within Morgan Philips Executive Search a specialized focus on Commercial Leadership profiles and brings also a wealth of expertise in General Management, Marketing and HR leadership roles to the table. As an executive headhunter, she identifies and cultivates top-tier talent across these diverse domains, ensuring businesses thrive with the right leadership at the helm.


© 2024 Morgan Philips Group SA
All rights reserved