In the old days, jobs in the “executive search industry” were an inadvertent layover for early career professionals with little experience, for administrative employees who deserved recognition, and for people struggling in other parts of the business – but who were seen as “good with people”. It wasn’t a career destination and those who ended up with a lifetime of professional experience in the field – more often than not – saw it as happenstance.

It’s taken the Talent-management industry literally generations to unwind the mess that those practices left us with. Tactical worker bees, with little formal business expertise or education, filled the ranks of “executive search” jobs and in some cases, still do. They weren’t seen as strategic, influential or particularly credible.

Now flash forward to today with all the changes COVID-19 has inflicted on how we look at organizations, cooperation and the way we do or don’t commit to our jobs and employers. Add up the global economy changing the talent landscape faster than we can predict, much less keep up with. But think of the influence an executive search partner can have on an organization if they’re adept at driving change, managing without authority, leveraging technology and partnering strategically.

Think about it: in the past years, organizations have grown leaner, with fewer front-line and mid-level managerial positions than ever. There are broader spans of control, more direct reports, matrixed responsibilities, and differentiated workforces (think contractors, virtual employees, part-timers). All this, during the most challenging economic times our global economy has ever faced.

Hence the need for top talent in all leadership positions. An organization cannot drive its talent strategy – or the people it needs to achieve its business strategy – without high performers in these key roles. So how can we ensure that we pick the right people for these critical jobs at this rate of change in the world we live in? You need an active differentiator!

In electronics, a differentiator is a circuit that is designed such that the output of the circuit is approximately directly proportional to the rate of change (the time derivative) of the input. A true differentiator cannot be physically realized, because it has infinite gain at infinite frequency. A similar effect can be achieved, however, by limiting the gain above some frequency. The differentiator circuit is essentially a high-pass filter. An active differentiator includes some form of amplifier, while a passive differentiator is made only of resistors, capacitors and inductors.

As said, the real differentiator in talent acquisition …. especially for your leadership positions is ….. rather than searching for ….  finding the talent you need. Let me be amplify that. And let me and my colleagues at Alexander Hughes be the amplifier of your talent acquisition success.

I wish you enough!

Harmen Stakenburg

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