Executive Selection: Getting It Right

We’ve all heard about the high rates of failure in the selection of key executive hires—anywhere from 40-60% of new hires depart the hiring company within 18 months of hire. And we’ve all seen the cost estimates of this failure—from $500,000 to well over $2 million, depending on the method of calculation. What we have not seen until now, however, is a truly robust analysis of the broader impacts of this failure on the organization and a strategy that solves for the vulnerabilities of current practices.

 Well, we have finally “built a better mousetrap.” It didn’t fall from the sky fully formed. To paraphrase Louis Pasteur, opportunity favors the “prepared mind.”  In our case, it was the mind of our founder, Bill Macaux. He and our associates have many years of experience in doing executive selection assessments and onboarding for many firms across all sectors of the economy and around the world. So, we are quite familiar with the best of traditional practices in this arena.

We believe our use of these practices has made a difference as measured by reduced failure rates and improved retention of executive hires. However, we have also observed three important limitations in traditional practices:  

  • First, traditional psychometric tools and candidate selection practices focus too narrowly on the individual qualities of the candidate.

  • Second, they underutilize the potential for capturing vital and practically relevant observations and insights from management.  

  • Third, they can be expensive and do little to enhance your independent capacity to make more valid and reliable decisions on leadership talent.

What does the solution look like?

 What we can share with you now are the essential highlights of our solution, which for most readers will be sufficient to convey the innovations we are introducing to correct for the three limitations of traditional practices listed above. We call it the Get It Right Solution, and we will be providing webinar briefings with Q&A in the weeks ahead. 

Key Features of the Get It Right Solution: 

  1. Novel approach to candidate assessment. The Generativity multi-level, multi-rater candidate assessment (MLR) is a distinctively powerful way of collecting independent appraisals of the candidate from all participants in the candidate selection process. It goes beyond mere self-report and individual assessment methods to provide a rich, three-dimensional view of the candidates' strengths at the individual, interpersonal, and organizational levels of analysis. This more complete picture of the candidate ensures fewer surprises during start-up by better identifying potential gaps and adaptive goals, and by targeting high-value areas for feedback during start-up. Moreover, the MLR can be tailored to your company’s culture.

  2.  Situated appraisal of fit. We will help you efficiently and holistically construct and use a Situated Leadership Profile (SLP). When the MLR is used in combination with this vivid, consensus view of the business context and leadership challenges, it enables management (c-suite, line executives, key collaborators, and direct reports) to situate their MLR candidate appraisals in a real-world operating environment. This context-dependent view of the situation and role highlights vital areas of technical, functional, and strategic knowledge and skill. More importantly, it accounts for the constellation of critical relationships and interdependencies that the new leader will need to cultivate and optimize in order to maximize not just his/her performance but organizational performance.

  3. Enhanced affordability and capability. Our work for you promotes your independent capabilities to get your selection of key hires right. To that end, we see our role as “second chair” to you and your talent selection team. We will: a) consult on the development of your SLP; b) tailor the use of the MLR for your needs; c) co-create with you a process and procedures for applying these tools that is most effective and efficient for you; and d) train and support you in the use of these tools and practices. Optionally, we can provide an independent candidate assessment using your SLP and MLR tools to augment your own assessment. Finally, we can help you collect and analyze data to track the efficacy of your program over time.  

 High-level process flow of Get It Right

 High-level process flow of Get It Right

For more information on the Get It Right Solution: