Todd Hamberg

Suzanne Miklos

The process of planning, assessing and recruiting talent allows companies to find the right technical and business competencies paired with the right leadership skills to fuel the organization’s growth strategy.  In most organizations, the availability of new technologies, big data, and product advancements are rapidly reshaping the demands on key leadership roles. Most of our clients are updating the expectations of traditional roles and launching new leadership functions to handle emerging risks and opportunities.

Putting in the effort to select, develop & retain the best leaders is not an easy road but it is the right path to growing or transforming a business.

Our clients tell us that mediocre talent is one of the biggest drags on profitability that they face.  And yet many organizations default to only looking at the candidates already within their organization without identifying an external pool as well. Talent is the largest expense and most critical resource of any enterprise.

If the goal is to hire the best talent then strictly choosing to recruit internally or externally is like prescribing before diagnosing. The first step is to understand the strengths and diversity of available skill sets in the internal and the external candidate pool. Key characteristics such as learning agility, innovation and emotional intelligence are critical to roles, such as CFO, that in the past were largely driven by functional expertise only.

By broadening your talent pool to include both internal and external candidates you get a better understanding of what the entire market has to bare. Engaging industry leaders in a well-defined search process will deepen your company’s understanding of what the full potential of a specific leadership hire could be in the short and long term.

What does an exhaustive search accomplish?

  • Allows the organization to understand how the market or function is strategically evolving
  • Creates a clear understanding of what top talent looks like in your market
  • Identifies the best possible talent for a given position, at that particular moment in time, taking in to account a full range of options
  • Provides a company with valuable insight on their bench strength for succession planning by allowing internal and external candidates to compete for the same position
  • Take-aways from a search done well allow an organization to really think about what methods they are deploying for developing leadership in their company that is consistent with its vision

Assessments are particularly important when what got you here won’t get you there.  Executives cannot be evaluated just on their past experiences.  It is critical to understand what they can and will do in a new context. Strategic problem solving, leadership skills, influence and innovation skills are examples of talents that emerge as even more important than specific technical skills. Professional assessments can predict future performance and potential pitfalls. A great recruitment process will identify multiple viable candidates and the assessment process can help describe how each will function and fit in the organization.  Choosing between 2-3 great choices is more effective with a clear view of how each potential leader will show up to the role.