Egon Zehnder is a Global Executive Search firm serving Fortune 500 companies around the world to fill executive board positions. In the 2014 HBR article 21st-Century Talent Spotting, Egon Zehnder’s senior advisor Claudio Fernandez-Araoz explains that in the last few decades organizations have emphasized competencies in hiring and developing talent.
“Jobs have been decomposed into skills and filled by candidates who have them. Yet, past experience and skills no longer guarantee future business success” – today’s business environment is too volatile and complex for that. Moreover, globalization, demographic shifts and failure to retain talent through leadership development have resulted in an increasingly scarce market for top talent – a trend that will only exacerbate in the years to come. Egon Zehnder proposes that those responsible for hiring and promotion decisions must instead focus on potential: the ability to adapt to ever-changing business environments and grow into challenging new roles. Managers must learn to assess current and prospective employees on five key indicators: motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. Firms then have to help their best get better with smart retention and stretch assignments to foster and accelerate top talent potential.