Australian employees showing hunger for leadership roles

Having eager employees who crave the top executive positions is crucial to the ongoing success of your organisation, and the economy as a whole.

In positive news for Australian employers, a new survey from recruitment firm Hays reveals that a large proportion of Australian employees are indeed targeting those leadership jobs. In fact, more than half (55 per cent) of the almost 1,500 respondents said that they aspire to a high-level executive position.

Meanwhile, nearly a third (29 per cent) had their sights set slightly lower, and were aiming for a role in mid to senior level management. Only 16 per cent said they had no ambition to work in a management capacity.

However, Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, said that the increasing competition for these roles meant candidates had their work cut out when it came to standing out from the rest.

“Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organisation meets its goals. They need to have a wide variety of skills and abilities to plan, direct, and coordinate a company's operational activities,” he explained.

He added that mere technical skills and acumen are not enough for those who aspire to the top leadership positions. Organisations today value leaders who demonstrate competence in other areas such as emotional intelligence and the ability to work with a range of people.

“Executives who have made it to the top are those who have successfully used their expertise to become excellent operators, and combined their technical skills with the highest levels of people, management, communication and organisational skills,” Mr Deligiannis explained.

According to Hays, one of the five things budding executives should do to boost their chances is to “improve [their] personal qualities”. These include communication, decision making and the ability to successfully “negotiate with others”.

In the search for high potential leadership within your organisation, it's important to give these characteristics serious consideration as well. Personality assessments can dig deep into an individual's psyche to determine if they have the qualities to thrive as a leader.