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 nineteenth 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
Mark Trepanier is the Chief Operating Officer of TransformAI. TransformAI helps global companies grow and scale using the world’s most sophisticated robotic process automation (RPA) solutions to transform their customer facing and back office functions.
Mark is an accomplished executive with a long and extensive record in developing and executing transformative service delivery models. Prior to joining transformAI, he served as EVP Client Services at Axiom with global responsibility for its Technology-Enabled Contracting unit. He was also a partner in KPMG’s Advisory practice, an executive director at Accenture with its Outsourcing unit, and a Managing Director at Exult, an early BPO innovator.
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.
Competence – the ability of somebody to do or grow into the role they have. There needs to be a core executional capability for anybody to add value to an organization and its clients.
Commitment – commitment means a core value based on integrity, and an earnest willingness to achieve the objective.
Confidence – this one is a bit tricky, but it’s a confidence to be able to meet a challenge, even when venturing into unknown territory, while still showing a level of humility. The most confident people I know are the ones most likely to ask a question or admit they were wrong but not be afraid of a new idea – and it’s not all about them. That is the balance you want.
Curiosity – what I call “an intolerance with the status quo”. While they might drive you crazy at times, it is that intellectual curiosity to not accept what is, and explore alternatives to make something better. That is what drives innovation in a sustainable way.
EQ – business is hard, and success requires working with a diverse (however you define that word) set of people. A calmness to keep one’s head, a respect for different perspectives, empathy for another’s position and communicating clearly (both transmit and receive) to ensure expectations are understood are key to sustained success and developing a “fellowship” among colleagues.
How do you communicate these characteristics to your HR and senior management team?
Actually, it needs to be communicated up, down and across your organization. As a quickly growing company in a disruptive but still developing marketplace, at transformAI we have taken the time to write down what we want to be, and as part of that, defined the culture we want . The truth is, like most things in life, you get the culture you deserve too. We invest in acting and holding each other accountable to the tenants of our desired culture. The characteristics described above frame our culture so our approach is to bring people in who align to that, which will reinforce and continue to evolve our culture.
How do you handle challenges to the existing culture by talent you have brought in?
Again, we are growing quickly, and we are adding people with diverse skills, work experiences, from different generations and cultures, and finally from around the world. We expect that our culture will be challenged every day. Its important to distinguish constructive tension, which will drive our culture forward and is encouraged, from inconsistent behaviors that could have a negative impact on our cultural development. In the case of the latter, it is important we root out the underlying issue and address it directly either with the organization or the individual as appropriate. Very consistent with our culture is transparency and jumping on issues. We do it here too