As headhunters, our natural focus is on identifying talent for our clients that materially benefit their business strategy. We then manage search processes effectively and in partnership through to completion. But that is not where the hard work ends. Getting leadership onboarding right is critical to the success of any senior hire, as this HBR article explains.
The mood inside the boardroom was celebratory. For months the directors of this multibillion-dollar industrial and consumer-goods company had been searching for a successor to their longtime CEO. After interviewing multiple candidates, they’d unanimously voted to make an offer. The outside recruit—let’s call him Harry—had an exceptional record of growing sales while running a large division of a multinational known as a training ground for world-class CEOs. In interviews he was polished and poised. His references were effusive. Harry, who was simultaneously in the running for two other CEO jobs, accepted their offer—largely because he felt that this company offered the most autonomy and upside. he arduous work of succession—their most important duty—was complete. Except it wasn’t, because the board, the outgoing CEO, and the chief human resources officer hadn’t laid the groundwork for Harry to succeed.