WHAT IS TOP TALENT AND HOW IS THAT IDENTIFIED?

As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the thirtieth in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.

 

Mita Gupta

Mita is Senior Vice President at Globality, a venture-backed technology company which is the world’s only AI-powered marketplace for the buying of enterprise services.  With 20+ years of experience, Mita is an executive focused on building and expanding high-growth, global B2B companies.  She was previously the Global Vice President at GEP, leading growth strategy and vision, business development and solution design across key global and emerging markets including the US, EMEA and APAC. As part of the senior leadership team that generated the highest and most consistent growth rate in the procurement services and technology industry, she also served as the Executive Sponsor for many key client relationships across the Fortune 500/Global 2000.  Prior to GEP, Mita was part of the founding team at Procurian (acquired by Accenture), a provider of procurement business process services to Fortune 1000 companies, and she was a management consultant with Kearney.

 

Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each. The following are examples, please add or modify as you see fit.           

Passion

This is the key characteristic I seek in team members to help drive high growth businesses.  Passion fosters enthusiasm, passion fosters curiosity, passion fosters innovation, passion fosters commitment, passion fosters effective team building and passion fosters fun.

 

Integrity

Integrity is essential – individuals who will do what’s best for the business and for their people will enhance long-term loyalty, from customers as well as employees.

 

Competence

It goes without saying that being competent in one’s relevant role, industry or function is critical for success.  Beyond the technical competence, it also speaks to the ability to think broadly and creatively around a problem and how to solve it.

 

Articulate Communicator

I highly value an articulate communicator who can thoughtfully and effectively deliver messages to our organization and/or relay our value to our prospects and clients.

 

Visionary

Vision provides focus, motivation, and direction to move through change and obstacles. Good leaders have a clear vision and are able to articulate the path forward to their team.  Leaders who can do this help employees understand and align their work strategically and engage with their work more meaningfully.

 

How do you communicate these characteristics to your HR and senior management team?

The key characteristics described above are typically derived from the critical elements needed to drive functional excellence and overall company success, in addition, to fostering the company’s core values.  If we hire the right people, we will foster a culture that drives superior performance but also ensures we have a collective employee base that values and embraces the company culture.  Ultimately, the best way to convey these characteristics is to “just do it”.  Work with your HR business partners to find and hire the best and drive excellent performance.  Not every hire will be the best-fit, and for those that are not, it’s also important to learn quickly, make swift decisions and continue to build a team that thrives.

 

How do you handle challenges to the existing culture by talent you have brought in?

Maintaining the established culture in a high growth, diverse environment, is a continuously evolving initiative.  Staying true to the core values is foundational to our business and becomes the north star in being able to handle challenges/changes to the culture, while keeping an open mind about how to continue to improve.  There can be additive improvements to culture over time, and it’s important to ensure individuals can be their authentic selves for the organization to identify and implement those improvements.  Furthermore, having a strong leadership team, who consistently “lives the culture” and advocates for it globally, is key to ensuring a strong, healthy, and enduring culture.

 

 

WHAT IS TOP TALENT AND HOW IS THAT IDENTIFIED?

As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the twenty-ninth in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.

 

Jeff Goldstein is a partner at Monomoy Advisors, an advisory firm that provides financial and operational consulting to early stage and mature companies.  Jeff is a global business executive with over 30 years of broad operating experience building, rebuilding and leading high performing organizations, delivering operational excellence, cost savings and value creating capabilities. Jeff started his career in public accounting with KPMG where he focused on audits of smaller private companies as well as large manufacturers.  He moved from Public Accounting into industry where he became the Chief Financial Officer of a small, privately held distribution company where he was rose to become responsible for all internal company operations.  After joining PWC consulting where he focused on large finance transformation and shared services projects, Jeff developed a strong track record of transforming business operations, implementing enterprise continuous improvement programs, and leading cost transformation programs. Jeff’s experience spans across industries, including life sciences, consumer products, and technology. Jeff built and led shared services and Global Business Services for EMC, Boston Scientific, Newell Brands, and Biogen.

 

Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each.

1) Functional and technical Competence – It might go without saying but I’ll say it anyway.  The most talented people I have observed are all experts in their chosen profession.  No one can pull the wool over their eyes and they can engage in thoughtful deep functional/technical discussions.  Further, they have the requisite experience and skills to set appropriate goals, understand issues and avoid pitfalls as well as relate to other parts of the business.  I say both functional and technical on purpose.  Possessing strong functional skills is important but then bringing the deep technical skills to the table brings the credibility.  This is the foundation on which all else is built.

 

2) Calm Confident Demeanor  – Adding to a strong foundation is demonstrating the emotional intelligence to lead teams and engage with colleagues and customers with a sense of calm that enables focus from distractions that could impede achieving goals.  The most talented people I have observed have a “calm confidence” that creates a “can do” environment and attracts people to the team.  This is not to say these people are introverts…they could be or maybe not.  They seem to understand teams are under enough stress and de-stressing the situation through calm leadership enables people to give their best with clear minds and a feeling of support.

 

3) Team Oriented – Along with a calm disposition, the individual must be a team player.  The most successful people I know gain confidence and support from people around them by their selfless approach to not only leading the team but being part of the team – an ability to connect at all levels of the organization.  This skill not only helps them motivate the troops but it builds trust as well.  Leaders who can gain the trust of the team invariably maintain a stronger pulse of what’s actually happening on the ground -very useful in ensuring risks, issues and status are known.

 

4) Deep Thinking and Intellectual Curiosity – I had to sneak in two on this one.  At any level of the organization, deep critical thinking, analytical skills and solution design skills must be demonstrated.   Very talented people show an intellectual curiosity to understand the problem statement but also invest energy in the solution design and implementation plan. These thinking skills are crucial to running a business or driving a project.  Invariably unanticipated problems might arise, and the ability to analyze and react thoughtfully to the new situation is imperative.   It’s a skill that needs to be nurtured from the beginning of a career up through leadership roles.

 

5) Results focused – Early in my career I heard the phrase “activity doesn’t matter, results do”.  These words stayed with me throughout my career.  Successful people realize that outcomes [to customers, P&L, or balance sheet] should be the goal, not the number of meetings or tasks accomplished.  Along with driving results, talented people demonstrate unwavering accountability to deliver impact.  They’re never out of the fight to adjust to circumstances and deliver.

 

How do you communicate these characteristics to your HR and senior management team?

Working with my human resource partner, I augment our organizations competency models and value statements to include key attributes I find important to success.  Further, our reward systems supports people who excel at these characteristics.  We talk about these characteristics in my leadership team to not only have everyone talk about their importance in searching for talent but use them in assessing new talent and coaching our team’s skills.  The goal is to live these attributes everyday – to make them part of our DNA and hold ourselves accountable to making them more than words on paper. It’s a journey that never ends.

 

How do you handle challenges to the existing culture by talent you have brought in?

This is an interesting point.  I don’t look for mavericks who turn off their colleagues. Its too important to play nice in the sandbox. While often my team challenges the status quo, its important for talent to work within the organizations culture, and use their influencing and relationship skills to help challenge and influence change.  Results speak for themselves and influence others over time.  Anyone who truly gets into hot water challenging the existing culture will receive coaching and support.

WHAT IS TOP TALENT AND HOW IS THAT IDENTIFIED?

As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the twenty-eighth in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.

 

 

Peter Allen serves as SVP for Sales & Marketing for Benefitfocus, a leading SaaS solution provider to Employers and Health Insurers for the enrollment and administration of employee benefits.  Benefitfocus is the platform used by over 25 million Americans to engage with the benefits industry.

Leveraging the experiences derived from long career centered on “as a service” forms of contracting, Peter has built and led growth-focused organizations across several businesses.  Notably, Peter was EVP for Global Sales & Marketing for CSC (now DXC) when it was a $17B/year IT services business with a sales and marketing team of 3,000 professionals.  He also led the Global Data Management business for Iron Mountain, trusted by thousands of organizations to preserve and leverage digital assets.

An active learner, Peter was CEO of Data Dimensions, Managing Partner of TPI (now ISG), Managing Director for Alvarez & Marsal, and served on public and private company Boards of Directors.

 

Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each.

Continue reading

WHAT IS TOP TALENT AND HOW IS THAT IDENTIFIED?

As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the twenty-seventh in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.

 

Becky Schmitt leads all aspects of people management and company culture at Cognizant, one of the world’s leading professional services companies that is transforming clients’ business, operating, and technology models for the digital era. She has more than 20 years of HR leadership experience, including previous roles as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Sam’s Club, and various HR leadership roles at Accenture. Becky received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and serves as a Board Member at Large for the Girls Scouts of America.

 

Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each. Continue reading

WHAT IS TOP TALENT AND HOW IS THAT IDENTIFIED?

As a part of our talent acquisition engagements, we ask our clients how they define “top talent” and how they would assess those traits in the interview process. Reflecting on the insightful comments we hear every day, we thought there would be great value in a new blog in which senior executives/thought leaders share their “Take on Talent.”

This is the twenty-sixth in a series of blogs/interviews with senior executives who are thought leaders in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Career Development and Leadership who will share their perspectives on this ever present question.

 

Esteban Herrera is the Senior Vice President and Head of B&PS Atos|Syntel North America. He is responsible for managing the $1+Billion Applications and Platforms business in North America. The organization is the fusion of Atos’ applications portfolio and the Syntel acquisition. He leads a rich portfolio of applications and platforms solutions through a variety of sales, marketing, delivery and operations functions to create secure, de-carbonized digital value for his North American clients. He is a member of the Atos North America Executive Committee. He also leads Atos|Syntel’s global Public Sector and Defense business unit.

 

 

Please share with us the top five characteristics (in priority order, first to fifth) of the most talented people you have encountered during your career, and your definition of each.

Empathy. I was taught that business isn’t about making friends, it’s about making money. As I have grown older and wiser, I’ve changed. Life is too short to spend it with jerks. Furthermore, unpleasant people weigh down the team. They tend to use fear and authority over understanding and analysis. I am happier when I work with pleasant people. I know that when I am happier, I deliver better results. This doesn’t mean rolling over anytime there is a disagreement. Differences of opinion are healthy and necessary. Empathetic people take those differences and make better decisions. They make the best leaders, because they know what makes each person tick. That knowledge helps maximize their contribution. They serve clients the best, because empaths understand why they behave how they do. They make the best colleagues, because collaboration is natural to them. Empaths are great with feedback, because they absorb the human context.

Continue reading