Expertise and narcissism

A necessary change in recruitment

The challenge: In today’s business world, we are experiencing a paradox: While specialist positions are often filled in a rigid and rigorous manner by requiring candidates to have decades of experience in exactly the same industry, the opposite seems to be true for CxO positions. Managers from outside the industry with little specific expertise are often hired here, with narcissistic attributes being seen as a strength.

The paradox of job advertisements: professionals vs. CxOs

For specialized positions, applicants are often expected to have in-depth knowledge of specific tools and methodologies, as if an engineer could only work with specialized software tools. This narrow view ignores the potential and ability of professionals to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. In comparison, CxO positions are often filled with candidates from outside the industry who do not necessarily have in-depth specialist knowledge, but rather stand out for their charismatic leadership qualities and assertiveness.

Narcissism instead of expertise among CxOs

In many cases, narcissistic attributes seem to play a greater role in filling CxO positions than actual technical knowledge. Self-confidence and the ability to present yourself well are often valued more highly than a deep understanding of the specific industry. However, this can lead to dangerous wrong decisions due to a lack of the necessary expertise to meet the complex challenges of the industry.

A dangerous trend

This discrepancy can be risky for companies. Managing a business, especially in a specialized industry, requires not only strong leadership skills but also a deep understanding of market conditions, technological developments and specific challenges. Without this knowledge, companies run the risk of making wrong decisions that can have negative long-term consequences.

The value of comparable experience among skilled workers

Comparable experience and potential for the position to be filled are of far greater value to skilled workers than rigid requirements. Candidates who have worked in similar roles not only bring technical know-how but also the ability to think outside the box and find innovative solutions. This flexibility encourages change and enables companies to benefit from new perspectives.

Final thoughts

The requirements for specialist knowledge in job advertisements should be realistic and future-oriented. It is time to recognize the value of comparable experience and potential and turn our back on rigid requirements. At the same time, when filling CxO positions, companies should ensure that in addition to leadership strength, in-depth specialist knowledge is also available. This enables companies to attract the best talent and create a dynamic, innovative yet informed work environment.

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