The notion of a war for talent was introduced in 1997 by McKinsey: the idea that since people are a critical driver of organisational performance, organisations' ability to attract, motivate, and retain them determines their success. Today, with rising employee expectations, the development of the gig economy and transaction platforms, and AI breakthroughs, some argue that there is in fact a war for skills. In both cases, it matters that an organisation is attracting and hiring the best talent to critical roles. Here, the organisations that do this best use quantifiable measures to identify the skills, behaviour, and attributes necessary for performance.
Most organisations continue to use hiring practices that reduce performance outcomes for teams and the organisation. Such practices include over-reliance on interviews or unstructured interviewing, over-reliance on resumes or references, and the decision not to use validated tools measure key role competencies. All the foregoing practices are proven to use flawed criteria to evaluate candidates, fail to consider the context in which the talent will operate, and introduce 'noise' to candidate evaluation, including unconscious bias. Employer branding suffers as candidates report higher rates of perceived unfairness in hiring practices. Talent pipelines reduce by removing or deterring suitable, qualified talent with the use of vague or unscientific hiring practices. New tech solutions may appear to address such problems, but the majority simply digitally replicate the aforementioned, misguided recruitment practices.
Organisations that demonstrate excellence in talent acquisition not only deploy sound methods and tools to accurately assess talented people, but they also only use what meets their strategic imperatives. Critical considerations include whether they require new hires for critical roles to be high-performing immediately, or whether there are resources to train and impart expert knowledge to talent that has 'foundational potential'; whether a particular quotient of 'dark triad traits' might actually drive growth in key areas, or whether certain traits are inimical to their organisational culture. Organisations who take a strategy-driven approach to talent management, and apply theory-based and data-driven solutions it, win the war for hiring and retaining the best people.
We help organisations identify the key criteria that describe what high potential and high performance talent looks like for them. We use proven processes that deliver high performance outcomes for investment in talent acquisition. In particular, we help organisations identify innovative and entrepreneurial talent, detect derailers and dark side traits, and sustain their target workplace culture. We prevent “gaming”of the hiring process through application of our proprietary approach to leadership selection. We help organisations implement talent acquisition solutions that address their unique challenges, and that can also enhance their employer brand, improve investor confidence, and achieve higher rates of star performer retention.
selecting a good leader
How do you know which leaders are the right hire? There are two parts to selecting the right leaders for your organisation. One, accurately assessing an individual's potential and performance. Two, for those that fit the bill above, selecting the right candidates for your particular organisation and the leadership mandate in question.Peak performance in assessment and leadership selection requires scientifically validated and proven methods, including psychometric assessment tools and structured interviews. Psychometric assessment tools and structured interviews count among these. Its increasingly essential to screen for candidates with transformative leadership traits, since they achieve more in a disruptive context.
hiring the best talent
The first step to high employee engagement and retention is hiring the right people for the job and your organisation. What does success in this role look like, and which candidate has a track record and the personality traits that predict that kind of success? Where you recruit the right people, and continue to support their career growth at your firm, they become ambassadors for your organisation who in turn attract the top talent.
Retaining talented employees is the foundation of a high-performing company culture. With organisations offering ever more creative perks, it can be hard to stay competitive in the job market, especially when people are more likely to move jobs in a shorter amount of time. Establishing a solid talent development process and investing in an environment tailored for the optimum engagement can inspire loyalty among your best and brightest.
We help organisations identify and acquire the talent that will drive them forward. We follow proven methods and use cutting-edge tools capable of delivering cost-effective and superior results.
To discuss your requirements or find out more about how we can help your organisation, please contact us.
We help organisations attract and select the leaders and high-level contributors required for growth. We review existing procedures, and provide clear, actionable recommendations to improve performance outcomes at the organisation. Our advisory and assessment services include psychometric assessments and interviewing, as well as advice on enhanced selection procedures.
Our talent acquisition solutions detect gaps that undermine effectiveness in hiring the right people. We help remove bias and other 'noise' from the hiring process, and identify and measure hard-to-assess skills in candidates. We provide organisations with the tools they need to understand which candidates will deliver real long-term value to the business.
The average cost of losing a leader is 213% their salary. We optimise leadership selection processes to deliver longer retention of the best leadership talent. We do this using insight about legacy creation and career development from our private career management practice. This also enables us to evaluate candidates against key variables associated with transformative contributions to organisational performance. Our insights increase confidence in hiring and L&D decisions.
We develop customised and full solutions for talent acquisition, from competency frameworks and situational-judgement tests to assessment centres and selection procedures. We follow proven, established methods that work, and augment these with cutting-edge research and tools capable of delivering cost-effective and superior results. We develop solutions in-house and integrate third-party applications where preferred.
Research indicates that up to 25% of CxOs score high on the spectrum of psychopathic traits. A proportion of these traits may contribute to higher leadership effectiveness, but unchecked they can lead to fraudulent or criminal behaviours that cause lasting damage to organisational performance and reputation. Our expertise in derailers and dark triad traits - psychopathy, narcissism, and machiavellianism - means we detect hidden leadership characteristics to inform better selection and leadership development decisions.
People who've done the job before make good interviewers
Unstructured interviews, and those conducted by people untrained in proven technique, are key sources of unconscious bias and inaccurate assessment. Although most people consider themselves objective judges of candidates, there is only ~11% overlap in ratings of the same candidate by different interviewers - a 89% variance. The statistic holds across sectors and seniority levels.
Source: MacRae, I., & Furnham, A. (2014). High Potential. How to Spot, Manage and Develop Talented People at Work.
Psychometric assessments are a waste of time and money
The best psychometric assessments have higher validity and reliability than ibuprofen. The average validity correlation between psychometric assessment and job performance is 0.2-0.4. This is higher than the average correlation between ibuprofen and pain reduction, which is weaker at 0.14.
Source: Kuncel, N. R., Ones, D. S., & Sackett, P. R. (2010). Individual differences as predictors of work, educational, and broad life outcomes. Personality and Individual Differences, 49(4), 331-336. (Statistic in reference to Big 5 psychometric assessments.)
Resumes can be judged fairly and objectively
For identical resumes, employers are twice as likely to call back candidates with 'white' names than those with 'black' names (e.g. Amy or Aaliyah). Significant hiring biases exist where CVs indicate the candidate is female. In one study, women were 25% more likely to be hired in a gender blind hiring process.
Source: Bertrand, M., & Mullainathan, S. (2004). Are Emily And Greg More Employable Than Lakisha And Jamal? A Field Experiment On Labor Market Discrimination. American Economic Review, 94(4), 991-1013. Goldin, C., & and Rouse, C. (2000). Orchestrating Impartiality: The Impact Of 'Blind' Auditions On Female Musicians. American Economic Review 90(4), 715-741
An international law firm based in the UK
An international legal firm with a high-profile client book, the managing partner of this firm approached us to find an Executive Assistant with the discretion, grit, and talent necessary to support them effectively. The firm had previously had previously experienced difficulty selecting the right hire for their workplace culture. We ran a bespoke talent acquisition process, identifying the best candidate using job analysis, team-fit assessment, and stakeholder interviews. The firm chose not to hire the candidate we recommended; the candidate they selected ended up leaving the firm within weeks of joining.
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