Competing for Top Executive Talent

Top executive talent positioned in the right role, has the potential to have an exponential impact on a business’s performance and provide a competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate. Bringing in leadership that can inspire and mobilise teams to drive change and realise new strategies with their new capabilities and expertise that enables a shift in businesses strategic focus is a critical success factor. Most importantly bringing in new senior talent can have a significant impact on shifting organisational culture to align with the new strategy and way of doing business, a differentiating element that is almost impossible to copy.

3 Considerations to Shape a Sourcing Strategy:

Hire for future competence and cultural evolution

Bringing in a new senior hire is a critical opportunity to align your executive team’s capabilities with and exposure to new markets, competencies and best practice global trends. Even and perhaps more importantly to make a critical shift in the organisation’s culture. The reflex to get more of the same, particularly when it comes to culture requires conscious effort and alignment with the team responsible for appointing the new executive to recognise and define the required shift. Allowing for an introduction of new practices and a fresh mind-set is often more critical than just getting someone who can do the job.

Don’t forget onboarding

If the decision is to bring in a fresh way of doing things to shake up the culture, then supporting the individual to make the transition and drive the change is key to success. Often individuals are brought in to bring about fundamental changes, but then find themselves hitting significant resistance as they start to introduce the new ways of working and thinking. The process of aligning individuals and planning the on-boarding process as part of the recruitment process is an absolute essential for ensuring that the individual is retained. This limits the chance of an early exit when they realise the appetite for change is not pervasive within the organisation, and will require significant effort and leadership.

You are competing for top talent

An obvious but often underestimated element of sourcing top talent is the recognition that many other organisations are also competing for the same mobile talent to secure their place in the industry’s premier league. A sourcing strategy therefore has to factor in which skills are they are competing for, against whom and how they are viewed or benchmarked within the industry. Top talent prefer to work for top organisations, or organisations that they perceive as having the potential to take a market leading position. A one size fits all approach to recruiting executive talent often fails to deliver unique and highly differentiated talent. This requires a focused agile approach that treats every assignment as unique, and develops a strategy that matches the role, the competitors and the individual you are engaging.

Organisations that get these elements right at the top tend to see these practices cascading lower down in the organisation, in a modified format or “philosophy” for building a pipeline to top talent. Those that struggle to get these elements right even at the top, are unlikely to see this cascading in a meaningful way further down in the organisation.

Driving the talent sourcing agenda is a key strategic imperative for the executive team, as organisations are people. Organisations rely on key individuals to lead teams in new ways of doing business, inspire customer engagement and source emerging opportunities. Sourcing and building the “talent” to do this into the future, is fundamental to any sustainable business.

Written by: John Brodie

Group Managing Director at Mindcor



Leadership, Talent