Written by Peter Bowley
How do media and business information companies build teams that can not only execute, but build a Christen Clayton-like innovative organization? Will the Chief Digital Officer role exist in 10 years? What strategies and tools are the pros using to find and attract “A players”? At IIS 2014, Cormac Cullinane (Time Wartner), David Lord (ESIX) and Judy Chin Wong (Gartner) had the answers.
David Lord cited a number of practical tips. Firms that have fewer than 20 HR searches/year would benefit from using a retained search consultant, over an internal search group. However, firms can still become a sophisticated buyer of HR search services. It can take months to years to recover from a wrong hire, which is an important reminder that if no one is really managing the search process they fail.
All speakers discussed the imperative to hire executives to “drive change”. David advised a good search takes at least 3 months, and companies need to understand if you don’t give the process a chance to work, you reduce your chances of getting an “A” player. Cormac, Time Warner’s VP of Worldwide Executive Search discussed that technology has permanently changed the talent acquisition game. While LinkedIn may become “the world’s largest recruiting firm”, Judy also uses texting which candidates often respond to more quickly, especially Millennials. David said referrals have higher success rates, usually outperforming non-referred hires. Cormac and Judy reminded the audience great talent is usually comfortably employed, not looking for a job. To find “A players”, they recommended generating referrals by pooling employee contacts – in brainstorming sessions and utilizing existing employees who attend industry conferences.
Peter Bowley is currently an MBA student at Columbia Business School. Prior to business school, he started NEBSA, an educational company to help international students prepare to study in the U.S. Previously he worked in a Latin American farmland investment fund.