Best practice succession planning increasingly considers not just internal options but also external candidates that would be considered if a key job became available.

Our work helps Boards and CEOs understand the best talent in the marketplace, providing invaluable context for their development work with their best internal talent as well as with a head start if they need to launch a search for a particular role.

We start each exercise by agreeing with the client the objectives for and scope of the exercise. We then develop and agree job specifications for each role in order to clarify the skills and level of experience required, taking into account not only existing priorities but also any future requirements in light of the business’s strategic imperatives.

We identify best-in-class talent both through our existing knowledge of the marketplace but also through exploring on a global basis target companies where the best qualified candidates might be found, adjusting this list by business area or function.

We then identify and evaluate potential candidates through extensive sourcing and referencing, followed by face-to-face interviews – although without revealing the identity of our client.

Based on this, we develop a sharp sense of the best external talent and for each individual have a clear understanding of: their career history, current responsibilities, strengths and weaknesses, future potential and personal agenda.

We then review the results of this work with the client and use it both to inform succession and development planning for the internal team as well as agreeing any particular high-calibre individuals to approach.