Access to Information Raises Stakes, and Heat, On Leaders
Companies are under the gun to make the right leadership decisions – the first time around. They are demanding more from their search providers as well. We look into how recruiters have responded.
The Hunt Scanlon Media article, “Access to Information Raises Stakes, and Heat, On Leaders,” interviewed Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Constantine Alexandrakis. His insights about the intertwining challenges when hiring executive talent were featured in the article. The article is excerpted below.
These are exceptionally high-pressure days for corporate leadership. Choosing the right talent has always been serious business, but in today’s environment the consequences of a misfire loom larger than ever. Likewise, if a leader fails to deliver, the pain can be deeply felt throughout an organization and beyond.
Constantine Alexandrakis, U.S. region head for Russell Reynolds Associates, sees intertwining challenges in the macroeconomic forces that affect clients as well as in the new capabilities those clients now have access to. “Boards and executive teams are under more scrutiny than ever before,” he said in a recent interview with Hunt Scanlon Media, “whether from shareholders, armed with new visibility into leadership decisions, some driven by new regulations; institutional investors, armed with greater detail on governance decisions via proxy scoring or direct engagement; or even employees, armed with ability to view and voice dissent via tools such as Glassdoor.”
All this significantly raises the stakes for the talent that companies recruit and for meeting near-term performance expectations. “The risk associated with executive selection and hiring has always been high,” said Mr. Alexandrakis. “But, as executive roles have become more complex, the risk of making the wrong hiring decision has increased meaningfully. At the same time, the cost of executive failure has increased dramatically.”
Today, corporate leaders have greater access to knowledge about their talent, both through improvements in human capital development as well as highly advanced third-party talent-related tools. That can have an impact on search firms. “This has the effect of blurring the lines between what companies can do on their own and where executive search firms can help,” said Mr. Alexandrakis. “So we often compete as much against the status quo, or ‘do nothing,’ as anything else.”
To read the full article, click here.