167 – High performance: ‘Why I Like People with Unconventional Résumés. Claudio Fernández-Aráoz.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         500 words

its not the what or the how cover

This is the title of a chapter in Fernández-Aroáz’s book ‘It’s not the How or the What but the Who’. It is also the title of a blog he posted for HBR.org . In it he discusses the unconventional candidate with exceptional potential. I was surprised at his honesty in discussing his personal ‘epiphany’ when he realized that, as a recruiter, he had been advocating a recruitment strategy that his own company did not follow.

Fernández-Aráoz starts the chapter by discussing his HBR.org blog post and the response it prompted. Many of the respondents described their frustration at recruiters who didn’t appreciate, understand, or even consider their track record. For many people who have pursued executive roles in local government this is not news.

Many councils or almost all recruiters play it safe. Continue reading

147 – ‘The Voice’ for local government. An alternative recruitment approach?

Posted by Whistler                                                                                          600 words

the voice

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Did any of the judges in The Voice Italy expect to see a Nun when they turned around?   Watch the linked video. My guess is, no. Would a Nun have won through normal auditions? Maybe in Italy (she won by The Voice by the way). I am not saying that she wasn’t a good singer. The question is, would she (and other winning contestants) have found their way through the first round of auditions if they could be seen by the judges as they performed?

Blind auditioning removes some of the obvious prejudices that hamper institutionalised selection processes, like television pop music. You might ask why it is potentially useful to local government. Continue reading

145 – The deep web and local government recruitment.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                                         1100 words

deep web

Local government executive recruitment is a game. Often recruitment is not genuinely based on competence and ability. In many cases, relationships are far more important. I have heard it described as the ‘deep web’ – what you see isn’t all there is. So, how does it work?

Councils recruiting a new CEO tend to go for ‘tried and true’ or ‘shiny and new’.  I think analysis will show an alternating pattern from one to another. It is almost as though councilors become bored with their CEO, or, more likely, the CEO refuses to do what they tell them to do. Once a CEO stands up and says ‘no’, they are likely to be on the way out.

Councilors know that they can demand that a CEO does what they want – whether or not it is in their or the community’s best interests. I think that once a council has dismissed a CEO and they have a ‘taste of blood’ they are more likely to do it again and a cycle of CEO non-reappointments and appointments begins (with all the disruption this brings).

When councils are recruiting a CEO, they rely on assistance from the recruiters – companies that specialise in helping councils to recruit executives. These companies can be highly influential. Continue reading

111 – High performance: ‘The Best and the Rest’. Claudio Fernández-Aráoz.

Posted by Colin Weatherby                                                                         560 words

star

This is the title of a chapter in Fernández-Aroáz’s book ‘It’s not the How or the What but the Who’. It discusses the difference between a typical worker and a highly productive worker. I was surprised at the differences in performance between the best and the rest.

Fernández-Aráoz says that a ‘star’ worker in simple jobs, for example an assembly line, and a ‘typical’ worker is about 40%. The distribution of performance follows a normal distribution, or bell curve. The distance between the best and the rest grows quickly with increasing complexity of work. He cites a top life insurance salesperson as being 240% more productive than an average salesperson, and star software developers outperforming others by 1,200%. Continue reading