Perspectives

Creating an Environment to Attract Talent


Recruiting executives has never been easy and it's getting even harder.  According to the 2019 Conference Board Annual Survey, a CEO's #1 worry is hiring leadership talent. (1)  Most senior-level candidates already have a good job and can choose where they want to work and when to make a change.  Since today's job market is as much as 90% candidate-driven (2), always treat your candidates like you treat your customers with the utmost respect.

At Sockwell Partners, we have observed our clients meet, assess and bring candidates on board for more than 30 years.  Obviously, we've played some role in this endeavor.  However, candidates ultimately decide to work for the company, not the recruiter.  Some of our clients recruit exceptionally well, separating themselves from the market in the "War for Talent".  Those clients who focus on creating a memorable candidate experience from day one attract a higher caliber of executive and better position the company and the executive for success.  Click here to read more.


Why are Relocations So Difficult?


Relocations have never been easy for candidates and their families, but until the 1990s they were frequently the norm for executives on the way up.  Last year, only 3.5MM U.S. workers (from entry level to the C-suite) made a job-related move.  That was down 10% from 2015 - and down 22% from 1999 (when the U.S. government started tracking them) - all while the population grew by almost 20%.  Click here to read more.

Reexamining the Annual Performance Review


Is it time for organizations to rethink how they evaluate their employees?  Many top executives believe it is.  A recent survey by Deloitte found that 58% of executives believe their current performance management processes are ineffective.  In April of this year, Deloitte redesigned its own internal performance management process to assess future potential rather than past performance. Deloitte is just one of several large organizations that have drastically changed, or eliminated altogether, performance reviews over the last few years.  Click here to read more.

Sockwell Partners is in the leadership business. We are also Trekkies.


Whether or not you are a Star Trek fan, you'll enjoy the Alex Knapp article that appeared in Forbes earlier this year. For a real trip down memory lane, watch the video instead. Although Captain Kirk and his intergalactic team are fictional characters, we think that the Starfleet Commander's five leadership lessons are useful to all who want to boldly lead their teams "where no one has gone before."  Click here to read more

Traits That Characterize the Best Leaders


In 2010, we started a dialogue about traits that characterize the best leaders and asked you to share your thoughts.  Many of you responded with new ideas and important nuances. We believe the conversation is worth continuing. Now we turn to William C. Taylor for new perspectives about leadership particularly as it relates to building human capital capacity and "getting the best contributions from the most people." Taylor is a co-founder of Fast Company magazine and author of Practically Radical: Not So Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself.  Published January 4th, it is already generating a lot of buzz.  Click here to read more.

The Power of Networking


Networking:  Creating a group of acquaintances and associates and keeping it active through regular communication for mutual benefit. Networking is based on the question "How can I help?" and not with "What can I get?" Much has been written about the importance of networking.  As executive search consultants, networking is a significant part of our business. We begin each assignment by tapping in to our database of contacts within a given industry, geography and/or job function.  Each conversation we have is an exchange of information: we share our client's opportunity and, in return, we gain key market knowledge and/or introductions to potential candidates. Each search expands our contact and knowledge base, leaving us better positioned for the next assignment. Click here to read more.

Reflections of an Executive Recruiter


I recently interviewed an outstanding middle market CEO candidate.  Our discussion reminded me why I enjoy the search business so much.  We meet so many interesting and successful people who do what they do so well.  These conversations help my client, but they also teach me about myself and help me learn and grow.  This particular discussion forced reflection.  How many people have I met as a search consultant?  Collectively, how many people has Sockwell Partners met over the years?  Considering we do 50-60 searches a year, I figure we interview roughly 300 executives a year.  Over the partners' careers, we've interviewed over 4,500 people since our firm began in 1982!!  What have we learned and what does it mean?  Click here to read more.