HRD Can Help CEOs Succeed – Cornerstone

Two recent studies suggest a seldom-spoken secret about leadership: in essence, the corner office may not be the source of strength we assume it is, but a weak link in the chain. The first study was Cornerstone International Group’s annual Cornerstone global probe. We were looking for solutions HRDs could implement to help CEOs /Business Division leaders hire suitable executives when their businesses appeared to be running out of steam. Developing diverse management teams emerged as a solution for producing better results.

Cornerstone International Group

The second study was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC). Their survey report on talent acquisition revealed that 93% of CEOs fully understand the importance of strengthening their organization’s talent acquisition program. But 61% haven’t done anything about it.

The PwC survey points out that most CEOs display superior strategic abilities by the time they arrive in their positions, so most understand that talent acquisition should be a priority. If they are fortunate, they will have the assistance of an experienced and focused HRO. But if not, going outside the organization for a seasoned HRD is the appropriate decision.

Cornerstone Group

A lack of familiarity with the means of building a high-potential management pipeline is one of the core arguments for seeking out a retained search agency like Cornerstone International Group. A leader can direct his or her team to search on their own, using all the in-house tools at their disposal, but experience shows that the leader will not be given results that meet expectations.


Some companies turn to contingency search firms as a cheap and quick solution for executive hires. But these firms use the same tools and in the end leave the leader with the same dilemma: a flood of candidates, but with no solid recommendations for the ones, if any, who might be right. This disappointing result stems from contingency firms’ way of doing business. “Cheap and quick” means that their clients will not be supplied with the knowledge, experience and thoroughness in evaluating candidates that the clients are missing to start with.

Cornerstone China

Assessing who might be right for a specific role is one of the critical parts of the hiring process. The executive search firm builds its business on knowing this and knowing how to make precise and specific evaluations for its client. That’s why you – the hiring executive – will be given a list of possible candidates that are already highly suited and motivated. You can be sure they have passed a rigorous assessment of their ability to fit into the firm’s culture.

The search expert will work with you to get that down to a short list and from there help you select one or two finalists. And, in the unlikely event that none of the possibilities appeal to you, the search goes on.

CEO Advisory China

The Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) , of which Cornerstone International Group is a global member, describes its members this way: “……specialized management consultants retained on an exclusive basis by clients in an advisory capacity. An executive search consulting firm typically partners with a client to identify, assess and select the very best possible candidate.”

It is difficult to imagine identifying the very best possible candidate for an executive job without that element of partnership. The search firm works hard to build its awareness of the client, to find out what the client’s needs and objectives are and to evaluate how these requirements might be impacted by the ongoing evolution of the working environment.

As an expert partner to the process, the retained executive search firm understands completely the necessity of success and the potentially catastrophic cost of failure.

Cornerstone International Group

CORNERSTONE INTERNATIONAL GROUP – We Promote Healthier Businesses and Lives.

The competition for qualified leaders is fierce: the best candidates could be across town or across the globe. With our 70 offices worldwide, 19 of them in Asia and 7 in China, and our depth of experience across industries as well as geographies, Cornerstone Executive Search consultants will bring you the best, wherever they may be.We have the know – how to help clients identify, recruit and retain top leaders. Search is what we do: we know the business, and we take the time to know your business. Find out more about our award winning executive search service at or email

If you would like more information please email me, Laurie O’Donnell at or call me at 86 10 6518 3126

Laurie O’Donnell

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