Key Skills To Look For When Hiring A CEO

Key Skills To Look For When Hiring A CEO

If you are considering hiring a CEO for the first time, your business might definitely be at a point of high growth potential – UAE-wide or global market expansion, operations launch plans in new territories, business plans for 60%-200% revenue surges in the coming years, or inorganic expansion plans like mergers and takeovers.

The skills of your future CEO are crucial to making such high-growth business plans a reality. When companies approach us for CEO recruitment, our C-Level headhunters take a very cautious and insight-driven approach. There is no general set of skill sets that makes a business leader a great CEO.

The skills required for CEO roles need to be aligned with the duties and responsibilities of the position, which depend on the type of business, the markets the companies are serving, and the unique challenges of the businesses.

Here are some key insights into determining the skills of CEO roles based on the nature and size of the businesses and CEO hiring objectives.

CEO Recruitment Objectives

Before sitting down to brainstorm about the ideal skills for the next CEO of your business and make a checklist of CEO hiring technical skills or business skills of CEOs, you need to have the right context in your mind. You need a CEO profile based on the size of the business the CEO will be leading and the geographies where it will have operations or markets.

CEO Recruitment For UAE Operations

How strong is your business in the UAE functioning? Is it facing uncertainties that are increasing business risks? Are you planning to diversify? Are you planning to expand your business to cover more cities in the UAE?

Would you need a CEO from the USA, Canada, the UK, or Europe to represent your business? Are your markets Asia-focused with a major focus on India? You will need to draft a CEO profile considering all these aspects. The skills of CEO roles cannot be created without any clue about the profile and role descriptions.

CEO Recruitment For UAE-Based Global Companies

If your UAE-based business has operations units in other countries and you are in the midst of accelerated growth in those markets, the recruitment of CEO needs to be someone with a deep understanding of those markets and a track record that shows great capacity for market expansion. Drafting a profile for such a position will be a humongous task.

You might need to work with reputed management consultants to get a clear idea of potential threats, risks, opportunities, low-hanging fruits, and long-term benefits of your business operations in new markets. For IT, manufacturing, or engineering operations, a list of CEO technical skills that are essential to understand your business and products needs to be listed.

Based on these insights, you can create a CEO persona that is ideal for your company’s future prospects. These steps are essential in finding out all the skills required for CEO roles.

CEO Recruitment For Offshore Units of UAE Companies

When you need to hire a CEO for the offshore business unit or units of your UAE company, the profile has to be drawn from a local perspective – a face that will build trust in your company in the target markets in that country. The skills of CEO roles for offshore units should be tied with how to gain more traction in those markets and create a competitive edge.

CEO executive search consultants require a detailed profile that identifies the different roles the future CEO will play and the duties and authorities that go with each role. The CEO search process can then be initiated by making a checklist of the skills required for CEO roles.

Identifying Skills Required For CEO Roles

People Skills Required for CEO Roles

The people or manpower consultancy your business needs, their level of expertise and knowledge, and the kind of management and leadership styles that best suit the people are also key factors in determining the kind of leader you need.

CEO Technical Skills

Many companies chose to have CEO search with strong sales backgrounds, giving CEO technicals a lower priority (as COOs, Vice Presidents, and other roles can take charge of the technical side of operations). In many such scenarios, problems and conflicts occur if the CEO lacks a clear understanding of the actual project work or product development processes.

Our CEO executive search consultants suggest that CEO technical skills should never be given a lower priority. For example, a CEO of an online business offering surgical equipment for hospitals needs to be someone with engineering and product knowledge as well as sales experience in the hospital sector.

Financial Skills Required for CEO Roles

The financial skills of CEO roles cannot be generalized. The financial knowledge and experience of a CEO of a startup offering venture capital funds differ from that of a CEO of a business selling AI-based app development solutions to e-commerce firms.

Identify if your business will benefit from hiring a financial genius for the CEO position. In that case, you need to look for CFOs who are ready to take on CEO roles or a CEO with a financial management degree.

Business Skills of CEOs

These are skills related to strategic planning for business growth, sales, and business development to increase client acquisitions and the skills required for enhancing your brand value and market value.


The CEO hiring process is always a complex process. Identifying the key skills required for CEO roles requires time, clear business insights, competitive research, and market mapping. All these activities help you identify the right CEO candidates for your company. Taking assistance from a CEO recruitment agency can make a huge difference.

Alliance Recruitment Agency-UAE

Alliance Recruitment Agency is a global manpower agency offering C-level recruitment services to organizations across the UAE. We have interacted closely with 100,000+ top management leaders across Asia and have CEO recruitment consultants for the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, and Australia..

Wherever you seek to launch your business, get the best C-level recruitment assistance from our agency. Contact us and book a free consultation!