Odgers Berndtson Expands Leadership Services

February 13, 2017 – Executive search firms continue their push into offering accessory services, from talent mapping and coaching to assessment and high performance team building. The latest entrant: Odgers Berndtson, which is expanding its leadership practice to include executive and team leadership assessment, coaching and onboarding. Organizational psychologist Dr. Robert Satterwhite is spearheading the new effort.

“With a shortage of qualified leaders in the marketplace, an executive team replacement strategy is critical for organizations to build and sustain strong growth,” said Steve Potter, managing partner at Odgers Berndtson in the U.S. “Our new leadership practice will help boards of directors and CEOs build their C-level bench by rigorously assessing and developing executives so they can quickly jump into action and tackle difficult business challenges – whether they’re new hires or up-and-coming leaders.”

Driven By a Candidate Market

Dr. Satterwhite, who is based in the firm’s New York office, has extensive experience designing and delivering robust assessments for measuring executives’ potential, readiness and fit. Over his nearly 20-year career, he has served a wide range of industries, including retail, manufacturing, financial services, insurance, pharmaceutical, hospitality and federal organizations.

Services offered under Odgers’ new leadership practice will include assessing and selecting external or internal candidates; identification of high potential leaders using data analysis and assessment; onboarding of executives transitioning into a new role; executive coaching of senior leaders and C-suite executives; leadership team effectiveness and alignment of senior teams; and CEO and board evaluation.

It’s a candidate market, said Dr. Satterwhite, therefore, he added, “organizations are demanding a higher level of rigor in their vetting process.” The firm’s new leadership practice brings a quantitative element to executive selection and succession planning which will help assist in client’s requests. “We are working with more and more clients on evaluating executives, both externally as new hires and also internally to identify and develop those who have the potential to be the next leaders,” he noted.

Demand Growing for ‘Complete Talent Solutions’

Search firms of all shapes and sizes are wagering larger bets on increasing the diverse range of talent advisory solutions they now offer. And the timing might be just right. According to CHROs and talent acquisition leaders our editors regularly poll, demand for ‘complete talent solutions’ is high and expected to expand considerably in coming years. Improving service models in the leadership solutions business seems to be on everyone’s mind right now as recruiters pull out all the stops to help clients achieve their business objectives through talent acquisition, assessment, coaching, team building and more ….. Here’s some further reading from Hunt Scanlon Media.

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What Makes a Successful Executive

According to PWC’s annual CEO succession study, planning ahead can save an organization billions of dollars. The global consultancy estimates that in recent years, large companies that underwent forced successions would have generated an average of $112 billion more in market value in the year before and the year after their turnover if their CEO succession had been the result of planning.

“We have a lot of data looking at what makes a successful executive,” Dr. Satterwhite continued. “No candidate or leader is perfect. We quantitatively evaluate executives based on each organization’s unique business needs and challenges to gauge personal strengths and risks, and then we use this data to advise companies on whom to hire and how to prepare them for their leadership role.” Assessing them for fit early on is very inexpensive, he said, compared to the cost of turnover and the negative brand impact of a failed transition.

The trend towards succession assessment and development of high potential talent can be seen globally, with multinational organizations increasingly vying for ways to identify and accelerate the development of their senior leaders.

“We are seeing companies use talent data in increasingly sophisticated ways in order to bolster their chance of attracting and retaining top talent,” said Eric Beaudan, Odgers Berndtson’s global leadership practice head based in Toronto.

Odgers Berndtson’s global clients in the assessment and executive coaching spheres include Siemens, Mazda, and Fresenius Kabi as well as a host of financial services regional powerhouses, including CIBC in Canada, Santander in Spain and Nordea in Northern Europe.

Assessment Tools Gaining Traction

A number of executive search firms have been stepping up with an array of leadership assessment services that are starting to make big strides in the field of predictive analytics. But what’s been most surprising is the large numbers of boutique entrants. Historically, this space has more or less been owned by the industry’s Big Five: Egon Zehnder, Spencer Stuart, Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry and Russell Reynolds Associates. Not anymore.

Greenwood / Asher & Associates, a higher education-focused search firm, and The Devine Group, a behavioral assessment and development organization, formed a strategic alliance recently to leverage and integrate the science of predictive talent analytics into the executive search and leadership development process. The partnership is designed to tailor an assessment to higher education position profiles.

In October, London-based advisory firm ALC launched a new assessment tool, ALC Insights. The offering is designed to fill a knowledge gap in the hiring process and, once employed, according to ALC founding partner, Tim Connolly, in just a matter of hours it could provide a more complete and dynamic profile of any candidate being screened. The ALC assessment tool can be licensed by any search firm. That, its founder said, could level the playing field in the hotly contested area of assessment and leadership solutions services.

Caldwell Partners recently formed a partnership with Caliper, a research-based talent management consulting firm focused on assessment and leadership development. The agreement will integrate Caliper’s assessment and onboarding services into Caldwell Partners’ research-based executive search process in Canada. CEO John Wallace said that competency assessments performed by the firm’s partners “remain the most valuable aspect of our service,” and give them a “distinct advantage” in the marketplace.

Executive search firm Allen Austin recently partnered with ENGAGE, a sourcing intelligence platform that combines big data and predictive analytics to identify potential targets, to increase overall business intelligence, and enhance sourcing efficiency. The firm forged the alliance as it looked for productive technology to improve speed, execution and growth predictability, particularly one with advancements in analytics.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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