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Recruiting for Success: Hiring and Keeping the Right Management Talent

  • ID: 42767
  • Report
  • July 1998
  • 75 pages
  • American Productivity & Quality Center, APQC
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Today’s demand-filled business environment requires companies to operate at
staggering paces—often with leaner, flatter organizations. Pressures from Wall Street and global competition combine to make effective leadership crucial to the success of a business. It is essential for companies to find the best management talent to lead them through these challenging times. Leading companies recognize that a strong management team is a real advantage over the competition, enabling a company to achieve strategic growth and performance objectives. While internal promotion fills many management needs, companies must supplement their internal resources by recruiting outside talent. However, a full employment economy and the general erosion of loyalty have made attracting and retaining this management talent much more difficult.

The purpose of this multicompany benchmarking study was to discover and examine innovations and best practices in the area of management recruiting. The insights and learnings of the study serve as a vehicle for companies to guide their own management recruiting function more efficiently and effectively and address performance gaps. The study also provides a forum to better understand the obstacles and challenges involved in improving the management recruiting function. The Recruiting for Retention consortium benchmarking study, on which this report is based, began on September 30, 1997, with an organizing meeting in which the study team, the subject matter expert, and the sponsor companies agreed upon the study scope. The following study scope areas were identified at the organizing meeting:

Conducting a Needs Assessment
- Understanding the needs and context of the position
- Identifying organizational issues and cultural success factors
- Defining the position
- Defining and prioritizing candidate profile elements

Gaining Organizational Commitment
- Understanding the value proposition
- Determining compensation
- Gaining buy-in from decision participants

Sourcing a Pool of Qualified Candidates
- Identifying the best means for finding “targeted” candidates
- Attracting a group of on-profile candidates

Selecting and Securing a New Manager
- Developing an internal evaluation process
- Narrowing the candidate field
- Positioning the opportunity
- Negotiating the offer “package”

Improving the Retention Factor
- Transitioning the new manager into his or her role
- Creating organizational support to shorten the new manager’s learning curve
(i.e., providing a mentor)
- Assimilating the new manager into the organization

Measuring Results of the Recruiting Process
- Efficiency
- Effectiveness

The Recruiting for Retention study researched best practices in each focus area.


The Recruiting for Retention consortium benchmarking study focused on how leading companies successfully compete for management talent—identifying, attracting, and retaining managers who fit the company culture, quickly contribute, and become committed to the organization’s long-term future. Recruiting management talent is time consuming, expensive, and risky, and market competition dictates that companies simultaneously improve the quality and reduce the costs associated with their recruiting efforts. The following findings detail how leading companies accomplish this.

Section I: Evolving a Successful Recruiting Infrastructure
Section II: Sourcing and Selection
Section III: Increasing the Attraction and Retention Factors


Benchmarking is the process of identifying, understanding, and adapting
outstanding practices from organizations anywhere in the world to help an organization improve its performance. Companies participating in benchmarking activities report breakthrough improvements due to direct and indirect improvements in cost control, quality, cycle time, and profits. Recognized as first among 10 leading benchmarking organizations’ models by the European Center for Total Quality Management in 1995, the APQC consortium methodology, developed in 1993, serves as one of the premier methods for successful benchmarking in the world.

The project team conducted the Recruiting for Retention consortium benchmarking study using its established benchmarking methodology, as described below.

Phase 1: Planning
Phase 2: Collecting
Phase 3: Analyzing and Reporting
Phase 4: Adapting

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- Sponsor and Partner Companies

A listing of the sponsor companies in this study, as well as the best-practice (“partner”) companies that were benchmarked for their innovation and
advancement in recruiting and keeping managerial talent.

- Executive Summary

A bird’s-eye view of the study, presenting the key findings discovered and the methodology used throughout the course of the study. The findings are explored in detail in following sections.

- Key Findings

An in-depth look at the 13 key findings of this study. The findings are supported by quantitative data and qualitative examples of practices employed by the partner companies.

- Partner Company Profiles

Background information on the partner companies, as well as their innovative recruiting processes.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown