1. Have specific goals in mind

Take some time to think about your long-term goals and strategies. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, so you can hire someone who complements you.

2. Don't make the decision alone

Get advice from your board, a trusted mentor, or a consultant. Allowing others to aid in the vetting process frees you to concentrate on the intangibles that others may miss.

3. Evaluate personalities as thoroughly as resumés

No matter how sterling their resumés, some candidates just don't click. To get a sense of candidates' personalities and managerial styles, interview direct reports at their three previous positions, suggests Dick Strayer, founder of Strayer Consulting, which advises firms on hiring executives.

4. Take time to adjust

The transition from a leading to a supporting role within your company can be disorienting. You may need to try a few positions at the company before you find the best fit.