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CareerBuilder’s Matt Ferguson, on the importance of agility in 2011

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Matt Ferguson is the president and CEO of CareerBuilder. I spoke with him as part of a special year-end report for SmartBrief on Leadership.

What do you think is the single biggest trend that will shape how organizations recruit talent in 2011?

Online recruitment, generally, will be a key component as companies move to strengthen their talent pipelines. We recently launched our Talent Network solution, which we believe is a game-changing offering for the industry. We’re leveraging more than 12 years of experience matching candidates with jobs and 15 billion points of job-search data to help employers build an exclusive pipeline of passive and active candidates. The solution has multiple engagement features such as job distribution across the Web, social media, SEO, CRM, personalized job recommendations, mobile-friendly career sites and more to help employers connect with talent in a relevant and action-provoking way.

What do you look for when you’re hiring for your own team?

The most important things I look for are passion, a positive outlook and critical thinking. Also, it’s important for candidates to have a vision and be constantly looking beyond today.

Briefly describe your leadership philosophy.

Develop an agile organization that can adapt to changes (big and small) in the industry.

What leadership skills or traits do you think will be crucial to doing well next year?

Critical thinking skills and education are the most important things a leader can possess in 2011. Also, it is increasingly important in a technology-driven global labor force to have the ability to assimilate information quickly and translate it into action for the organization.

You were named CEO of CareerBuilder in 2004. What would you say is the most important thing you’ve learned in that role?

Being CEO of any organization is a role where you can impact many lives. I believe that about CareerBuilder. I have learned I am lucky to have a job where you can help people. It is something you should be honored to have and take very seriously.