Has the War on Talent changed the demands employers have for their high potentials or leadership cohort?
As Executive Search specialists or Headhuntters, we work across a range of different industries and until the last few years, our clients would definately have invested in us to find specialists for their roles involved in their Talent succession planning. I must say that clients are now far more interested in individuals who have moved around organisations and have a deeper understanding side to side and top to bottom.
For example in such previously considered "support functions" as Human Resources, IT, Finance, R&D etc.., employers now want these specialists to have a much deeper understanding of their organisations than their legal or regulatory requirements and are much more demanding that these experts apply their knowledge to ensure the organisation achieves its commercial, innovation or growth ambitions. We see far more individuals in Leadership roles who have founded their careers in a Specialist discipline but have then added sales, marketing, supply chain etc... before taking up the reigns of a role in the Boardroom.
CEO's and Managing Directors were traditionally from a commercial function but this really is changing.
Focusing on developing your career experience and competencies as a generalist, I believe, will provide future Leaders with more opportunities to progress into the Boardroom and shine in the roles they take on.
The Research: Jennifer Merluzzi, an assistant professor at Tulane, teamed up with Damon Phillips, a professor at Columbia Business School, to study the records of nearly 400 students who graduated from top U.S. MBA programs in 2008 and 2009 and then went into investment banking. The two researchers constructed a detailed profile of each person, including grades and work history before, during, and after business school. Their analysis revealed that students who had specialized in investment banking throughout were less likely to receive multiple job offers than students who had broader backgrounds and experiences.