Today’s politicians, as we well know, often have more of an interest in promoting themselves and their personal agendas than proving themselves worthy of the most important job in the nation: the President of the United States.

If you are as tired of the lying and self-serving agendas in politics as I am, perhaps you also wish that there was a better way to find the next President.

To me, the answer seems obvious – why not use the same processes of identifying and qualifying a great candidate that we do in recruiting to find the next POTUS??

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
For those of us in recruiting and HR, it’s not difficult to identify the similarities that would come with “placing” this candidate in much the same way as we would for any other role. If we were to draw comparisons to common recruiting beginning with a fictitious presidential job description, for instance, it might look something like this:


  • As chief executive, this individual must be comfortable enforcing rules, developing policies, overseeing preparation of the budget, and appointing officials
  • Individual must have a genuine passion for being a truly innovative “change agent” and facilitate and implement ideas to better the team as a whole
  • Prior experience leading a large team is required
  • 15-20 years of overall business leadership experience with a track record of success proven through detailed performance metrics – people, fiscal, etc.
  • Financially savvy and politically astute leader with the ability to set clear priorities, delegate, and guide investment in people
  • A persuasive negotiator able to achieve consensus among differing opinions
  • Must be at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and have lived in the United States at least 14 years

Let’s consider a few more factors that we use in recruiting that should be – but aren’t – utilized when “hiring” the President:

Finding ALL of the Candidates

Recruiters often utilize competitive intelligence and recruitment research to target passive candidates because they are frequently more qualified than their active counterparts. Why shouldn’t this apply to the presidency?

Many of the loud-mouthed lifelong politicians hoping to reach the highest rank in the United States often have little experience successfully running a business, dealing with the military, forming foreign policy strategies, or even working with the public. In essence, they are active candidates!

Meanwhile, there are many passive candidates with all the necessary experience who are not in the running and will never become president simply because no one is uncovering them for consideration, as we would in recruiting. Assessing only a fraction of the qualified candidate pool is something that would be frowned upon with any other open position in recruiting!!

Assessing Candidate Competencies

Just as a recruiter and hiring team (board) considers past experience, qualifications, and personal characteristics when considering a candidate, the same should be done for the POTUS. A good recruiter will determine how the candidate’s DNA, or Dimensions of Necessary Attributes, align with the role. These include not only skills, but the cultural fit, competencies, and attitude of the candidate.

Too often these attributes are overlooked in the race for presidency. Instead, the politician making the most promises usually wins.

In Recruiting, we would focus on behavioral based examples of real life accomplishments to determine the odds of future success, and in fact, the overly boastful and arrogant candidates probably wouldn’t make it to the next round of interviews!!

Of course, the American people should always have the final say, just as a hiring manager has the final vote when making a hire.

But rather than political machines determining who is allowed to run, maybe experienced recruiters who can conduct a thorough assessment of the attributes of all possible candidates would better determine the best fit for POTUS.