Source Notes

November 11th, 2010

The Executive Source’s forum for articles, links and materials for the HR community. We select topics based on the issues and interests of our clients and candidates.


The Future of Data Analytics in Human Resources

July 5th, 2017

In many organizations, human resources (HR) has been slow to integrate analytics despite its promise to transform how the function operates and the value it can contribute. Marketing provides a relevant parallel: before 2004, it was nearly impossible to track return on investment (ROI), and budgets were constricted as marketing departments became cost centers. Then something changed. Technology automation, the introduction of new skill sets (for instance, data scientists), and real-time analytics led to predictive funnel metrics and accurate ROI tracking. Budgets expanded, marketing became a profit center, and chief marketing officers started getting the top job.

Click here to read the full article by Rebecca Foreman Janjic and Brad Warga


When Leaders Are Hired for Talent but Fired for Not Fitting In

June 16th, 2017

Over and over again, organizations are unable to appoint the right leaders. According to academic estimates, the baseline for effective corporate leadership is merely 30%, while in politics, approval ratings oscillate between 25% and 40%. In America, 75% of employees report that their direct line manager is the worst part of their job, and 65% would happily take a pay cut if they could replace their boss with someone better. A recent McKinsey report suggests that fewer than 30% of organizations are able to find the right C-suite leaders, and that newly appointed executives take too long to adapt.

Click here to read the full article by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Clarke Murphy


“A Friend of a Friend” Is No Longer the Best Way to Find a Job

June 8th, 2017

How do you get a job these days? The answer often involves networking — it isn’t what you know, it’s whom, we’re told. But what does that mean? After all, we’re connected to many people, in countless ways. So who can actually help? What kinds of relationships should we try to use when we are looking for a job?

Click here to read the full article by Ilana Gershon in the Harvard Business Review.


Why More Executives Should Consider Becoming a CHRO

May 22nd, 2017

If you’re a business leader looking for an opportunity to have real impact on your company — and position yourself for the top job — which career path is best? CFO? COO? CMO? What if we told you that the CHRO role might be the best job you could ever have, with real opportunity for reshaping an organization? That the CHRO role, although at first it may look career limiting, can have more impact than any other position reporting to the CEO?

Click here to read the full article in the Harvard Business Review.


What makes a CEO ‘exceptional’?

May 1st, 2017

We assessed the early moves of CEOs with outstanding track records; some valuable lessons for leadership transitions emerged.

New CEOs face enormous challenges as they start assembling a management team and setting a strategic direction in today’s volatile environment.  To provide some guidance for transitioning CEOs, we looked at the experiences of exceptional CEOs, those defined as the very top performers in our data set of roughly 600 chief executives at S&P 500 companies between 2004 and 2014.

Click here to read the full article from McKinsey & Company.


Talent Acquisition: Enter the Cognitive Recruiter

April 17th, 2017

Talent sourcing and recruitment face tremendous pressure.  Talent and skill shortages are widespread.  Employees are demanding new careers and career models.  And technologies and innovations — including cognitive, artificial intelligence, social collaboration, crowds, and the sharing economy — are reshaping the workforce.  Leading companies are turning the open talent economy into an opportunity by embracing technologies and developing new models that make innovative use of on- and off-balance-sheet talent sources.

Click here to read the full article on Deloitte University Press.


How to Bridge the Gap Between HR and IT

April 3rd, 2017

A poor IT-HR relationship can lead to bad IT hires.  IT managers need to provide HR with sharp questions about applicants’ technical skills.  And HR pros need to do their homework about IT.

Click here to read the full CIO article by Rona Borre.


How Leaders Inspire: Cracking the Code

March 15th, 2017

What makes a leader inspiring?  Companies that can answer this question have a powerful tool to increase their competitive edge.  Inspired employees are more than twice as productive as satisfied employees, according to research Bain recently conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Click here to read Mark Horwitch and Meredith Whipple Callahan’s article in its entirety on


Give Subject Matter Experts Their Place

March 1st, 2017

Many businesses still run talent management on the assumption that senior leadership roles are the inevitable destination for people who perform well at lower organisational levels, even though performance as a subject matter expert is not an indicator of potential as a senior leader. Even seasoned HR professionals can still be tantalised by the notion that excellence in one field can be converted, through development, into excellence in another.

In our experience, it is better to be absolutely clear about the strategic future value the business hopes to get from its senior SME roles and to manage the best SMEs in ways that reinforce their significance to the firm. This is particularly true of expertise – existing and prospective – that is expected to yield the innovations on which future success will be built.

Click here to read the full article on Kiddy & Partners’ website.


What Are 3 Key Trends In the Next Generation of HR Design?

February 15th, 2017

There are three key trends in the next generation of HR design, according to an expert in HR disruption, who says HR needs to be more focused on building competitive advantage through a more agile approach to talent management.

“The first trend is the move away from HR business partner to account manager,” said Lucy Adams, CEO of Disruptive HR and ex-HR director of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

“Given HRBPs are both scarce and expensive, account managers can undertake the strategic and commercial parts of the role, with a pool of HR generalists and technical experts who deliver.”

A second key trend is focus away from centres of expertise towards the employee experience, said Adams, who recommended the EACH model (Employees as Adults, Consumers and Human beings) as a good approach.

The third trend is about building capability, not just compliance, Adams said.

“This is a fresh response to a disrupted world where the abundance of employment policies and rules often stifle innovation and increase frustration,” she said.

Each of these trends relates to important aspects of talent management, and Adams observed that there are many factors that have shaped HR’s approach to talent management over the years.

Click here to read the full article by Craig Donaldson from Inside HR.