Businesses recognise Leadership as a unique and vital skill03 Dec 2013
With the current demand for talent being a hot topic for businesses across all industries, Richard Hansen, Partner of The Grichan Partnership tells us about the trends he’s been seeing in leadership recruitment and how companies are looking at specific skills to secure that all important leader.
Whilst not a new phenomenon, movement between business sectors at senior management level is becoming increasingly common. On the one hand many businesses are undergoing rationalisation as part of their strategy to address today’s business climate, the side effect of which often means that opportunities for furthering oneself become very limited; other businesses are looking not just to batten down the hatches but also to aggressively plan for the future.
Increasingly organisations are realising that the skill sets previously required for the health and wealth of the company are now no longer a match for their sector moving forward and that to remain competitive adjustments and additions need to be made.
Competency and experience gaps are being highlighted that are not serviceable from within the given business sector. Companies are now being forced to look outside of their own sector to find the talent to address these gaps to enable the organisation to move forward ready to challenge their respective markets and competently address the opportunities presented in the near, middle and distant future.
We have seen examples of large pharmaceutical companies, traditionally quite insular and self supporting, going out to the FMCG sector to recruit senior leaders with expertise in account management from the likes of Mars and Unilever to help them in their serious intent to improve customer focus. Logistics companies in turn going to pharmaceutical organisations to recruit expertise in talent and performance management. And in the past few years we have seen some quite high profile sector switches such as Jeremy Stafford who having started at a small strategy consultancy moved to British Airways, and from there to B.T, then on to the Phoenix IT Group before taking up his current position as CEO of Serco Plc.
This demonstrates that there is a market for excellence in leadership and as transferable skills go, companies will pay well for it without consideration or fear of lack of previous sector pedigree.
And so the clear message here is twofold; As an employer be bold, be adventurous. Be prepared to look outside of your normal visual scope when seeking to address skills and knowledge gaps and you may well find what you’re looking for in the way of transferable skills, fresh blood and new ideas.
A broader approach to recruitment does require effort but, as we all know; anything that’s worth having always does.