HR Roundtable: 2009 Career guide

While recruitment remains a focal point for the industry's HR leaders, this PRWeek roundtable reveals a greater emphasis on retention and engagement strategies

While recruitment remains a focal point for the industry's HR leaders, this PRWeek roundtable reveals a greater emphasis on retention and engagement strategies.

Participants
Michele Chase, MD of HR, worldwide, Burson-Marsteller

Bill Heyman, president and CEO, Heyman Associates

Stephanie Howley, SVP of HR, North America, Cohn & Wolfe

Richard Marshall, MD, corporate affairs practice, Korn/Ferry International

Maree Prendergast, SVP, talent and organizational development, Marina Maher Communications

Rachel Wallins, EVP, director, global HR, Ketchum

Lisa Welsh, SVP, HR, North America, Constituency Management Group (Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris)

Economic impact
Gideon Fidelzeid (PRWeek): The economy has had a huge effect on the entire industry. Be it at your own company or the industry at large, what have been the most evident impacts of the recession?

Bill Heyman (Heyman Associates): This is a much deeper recession than we've ever experienced. Therefore, the lack of hiring is more severe. I would also say that the PR function has gained far more respect. As such, corporate clients are hanging on to it in far greater numbers than ever, whereas it used to be that there were wholesale dismissals of the function or outsourcing to agencies or consultants. It's kind of a backhanded positive, though it doesn't make it any less painful.

Rachel Wallins (Ketchum): In terms of the effect on HR, we've been able to take our eyes off the recruiting ball a little. We spend a lot of time on talent acquisition, but now we focus more on talent engagement. This has been a change in the way we think about our talent.

Right now, because there are far fewer open positions, I am assuming our turnover rate has greatly decreased. Because of that, we've been given the unique opportunity to have the same group of people in our offices for, I would say, upwards of a year now. Ketchum has been focused on engaging our talent. Not just satisfying them, but helping them to see how valuable they are and creating programs that ensure that when the economy turns around – and it will turn around – we will not lose our most precious resource, which is our current talent.

That's been a key shift because sometimes the urgent crowds out the important. When you have 35 open positions, you've got to address that right away. It's been a little bit of a positive on the HR side in that we've been able to switch our energies toward talent management strategies.
 
Michele Chase (Burson-Marsteller): I agree. We are also looking at talent engagement very closely and making sure we are retaining our best talent. The strongest swimmers can always jump no matter what the economy is doing, so you always look at your people and “hug” them.

When it comes to recruitment, I actually have a team I'm still investing in. I want to know, whenever the market turns again, where everyone has landed and whom I need to bring on. We are still doing very targeted recruitment.

Wallins (Ketchum): We are encouraging tons of pipeline interviews, but we've still made some key hires in the past 10 months. You can never stop the talent acquisition process. It's just been a little bit less of an “urgent” and more of an “important.”

Maree Prendergast (Marina Maher Communications [MMC]): As a midsize agency, as well as an independent one, we have more nimbleness to invest in social media at the senior level, while at the same time investing in programs like training and development. It's important to keep the talent that you have, but it's also about making strategic investments.

Stephanie Howley (Cohn & Wolfe): I've noticed an interesting shift in terms of the mindset of both the candidates we are seeing, as well as our employees. Before, it was driven a lot more by work-life balance. I still see that at the senior levels, but at the more junior level it has softened a bit. Candidates coming in now are more interested in the company, how it's doing, the clients it works with, and career-path opportunities.

Lisa Welsh (CMG): When the question about the economic impact was posed, the one word that shouted out to me was “uncertainty.” There is uncertainty for us as employers. There's uncertainty for all those working in the business. That makes you regroup and rethink about what you do and how you do it, as well as how you react to everyone on the outside.

We really don't know what the future is going to bring or when this will all turn around. While our business is doing very well, from the outside everyone wants to know what's going on and when we are going to start hiring again in droves.

Everyone is always going to be doing some hiring, but the recruiting function has turned into a pipeline of candidates and trying to keep people interested. This is a challenge in and of itself when you know you can't just say, “In a week or two or three something is going to open up,” especially for the entry-level and mid-level candidates.

Internally, employees want to know why this affects them. They say, “We're doing fine, so why can't it be business as usual?” This is particularly the case for the younger professionals who have never gone through this before. It's been a slow acceptance that this is happening to them.

Richard Marshall (Korn/Ferry): What we see on the corporate side is companies pushing the pause button for the top positions. They want greater certainty about what is going on economically. They are finding work-arounds. There may be a number-two to whom they are giving a chance to step up and fill the post, or they are pushing the work out to the agencies.

At the same time, the really strong corporate brands see this as an opportunity to invest in talent. There's a lot of talent out there and some companies see these as strategic hires.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): What about layoffs? A down economy often prompts an uptick in layoffs in any profession. How has that situation changed of late?

Prendergast (MMC): As a midsize, independent agency, we made the decision to restructure in early April. We did not make any layoffs due to financial loss of business or anything of that nature. We basically took a look at our talent and decided what skill sets we were missing and where we wanted to invest. We invested in training, thought leadership, and research. As a result, layoffs have been very minimal. I think we laid off four people as a result of that.

Welsh (CMG): We're in a recession. What does that mean? You recede. If an individual in this business wants to run and hide under their desk because times are tough and they want to have a low profile in their particular company, that's the exact wrong thing to do. Every day, you need to be showing your value. You need to look for ways to make your employer say, “I can't do without that person.”

Heyman (Heyman): It's a great time to over-service clients.

Wallins (Ketchum): One change I've noticed in PR… It's not a change; actually, it's more in line with the evergreen of client service. Earlier, Michele talked about “hugging” your employees. It's also the time to be “hugging” your clients really hard. To that end, we've invested heavily in client-service training for our employees.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Are HR heads proactively engaging their employees more frequently now?

Prendergast (MMC): We have 80-odd people at our agency and they are all empowered to have their own voice. They all have their own forums, and we have always been transparent with them in terms of sharing information.

What I will say is that in the past six months, we have increased the communication. For example, our newsletter, which we always put out monthly, is now put out biweekly.

Howley (C&W): At all levels, we are over-communicating when we have the opportunity.

Chase (Burson): We build our business through the relationships we have with our clients. I think HR has always had a strong relationship with its people, and the current economy hasn't changed that. But I would say we are making a concerted effort to be very transparent, so people know what's going on and they know what they can do to help make things work better.

Howley (C&W): A lot of our training this year is focused on client service and business development, more so than on topics such as recruiting skills.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): So as the role of HR heads appears to have changed a bit, it seems you are now finding yourselves being your firms' biggest cheerleaders.

Wallins (Ketchum): I'd actually challenge that a little. Our senior leaders are becoming the biggest cheerleaders for our agency. We've allowed our executive committee's voices to be heard more frequently and passionately. At the same time, our communication has become more targeted. We might run a talent talk on how to get your own energy back.

We tell our senior leadership to go out and engage and empower your people, but sometimes you have to pause and say, “How's my own energy level? How do I feel about this?” We have employees whose partners, spouses, or parents have been laid off. There's a lot of personal and professional angst out there. We've allowed a lot of our employees' voices to be heard to help drive engagement throughout the agency, rather than it being seen as purely HR's responsibility.

Heyman (Heyman): HR's function is to make people mindful that others are nervous, mindful that there are family circumstances that you might not notice. Our values have become much more grounded.

Chase (Burson): We spotlight individuals who are energetic and put them in front of people. We'll have a brown-bag lunch where everyone comes in and talks about a great client win. Uplifting things. It's another way to “hug” your people. It also gives people the opportunity to shine in front of agency employees in smaller offices.

People in, say, our Pittsburgh office don't get to see the people in New York, Washington, or London. Being able to highlight those people helps everyone know that they are part of something bigger, an 1,800-person business.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Are employees coming to you more than ever, given heightened concerns over their jobs?

Wallins (Ketchum): They're not coming to us any more than they did. I think senior leadership is communicating more regularly with employees at all levels. This is not to say that they aren't feeling the pressure, but they're not necessarily coming to me. They very well may be turning to each other.

Chase (Burson): Any time we have a town hall, specifically in the US, the room is filled. People want that communication. If you're being as transparent as you can be and employees feel like you're being open, there's less fear. I don't think people are coming to me more, but they are actively listening to what's going on around them.

Welsh (CMG): Everyone knows someone or more than one person who is out of work. The unemployment rate is extremely high. As such, we now get more and more referrals. In general, people are happy to have their jobs. It's a whole different mindset and people are very protective and grateful.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): On the corporate side, people are more cautious. It's more of a challenge to recruit someone out of a role into something that's a little less predictable. If they're stable and more of a top-tier player, they're less inclined to want to venture out.

Chase (Burson): We are still investing in our internship program. Having those new faces around, with them being so excited and learning new things, serves as a morale booster. It's also from where we hire many of our junior-level people. I'm going to look at those people I know when a job opens up.

Wallins (Ketchum): We need that fresh talent. In fact, there are more people willing to do unpaid internships. But when it comes to a formal internship program, even if the economy isn't great, people still get promoted and there are still needs to fill.

Chase (Burson): Last year, we had 600 people apply for our internship program. This year, we had 1,200.

Incoming talent
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Recent grads still want to get into the industry, but, as we've established, there are fewer jobs available for them. In this competitive reality, what traits are you focusing on in evaluating young talent?

Welsh (CMG): There's so much competition. Everyone needs to be creative. They need to have somewhat of a business sense. They need some experience in the marketplace, so internships are even more important at this point in time. There are probably more cases of rehiring interns who have worked with you in the past than ever before.

Prendergast (MMC): Because there is such a high volume, you really can pick from the cream of the crop. But as the industry changes, I look for a significant immersion in social media. I seek a true understanding of it. Yes, they've grown up with it, but they need to know how to apply that to the business world.

For us in particular, I look for pop culture and consumer understanding, and the aptitude to translate that into their jobs.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): On the corporate side, one of the big things that's going to be important for anyone coming into the field – and it's great that there are a lot more [university PR] programs out there than there used to be – is business acumen. It's not only having functional expertise, but having an understanding of business, how to read a financial statement. Those are the things that will allow them to progress through the organization and engender greater respect for the function on the corporate side.

Prendergast (MMC): I think it's the same for agencies. Our clients are looking for a business partner, so that knowledge is important.

Heyman (Heyman): When I'm asked to speak at the College of Charleston, the University of Alabama, or with the Lagrant Foundation [all entities on which Heyman is on the board], we really focus on the intangibles. We focus on understanding business, but also on how you carry yourself.

I always get a kick out of it when a corporate client says, “We're looking for a new head of communications and we'd like someone who is kind of young.” That's always sort of [like] saying, “We don't understand the digital space and therefore we need someone who does.” But they really don't want someone young because they want someone who has experience and business acumen. 

There are tactical things people need to have, and I think schools of communication don't do a good job of looking at those intangibles, which I think management schools do a better job at. That's learning the business of the business and learning how to carry yourself.

Half the time when we're asked to talk to students, it's about putting together their resumes, how to dress for success, how to put together a cover letter, how to respond in a thank-you note, etc. When you start to thin-slice those things, they're all the tipping points of whether a person gets a job or not.

Today, it's one little thing, like not writing the thank-you note, misspelling, that makes a huge difference.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): In past roundtables, your HR counterparts have lamented the continuing erosion of the basic PR skill of writing. Is that ability as vital today, especially given the proliferation of social media?

Chase (Burson): You lose credibility if you don't write well. This is what our people do.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): It's the absolute basics.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Let's say you have a young candidate who is a social-media whiz, but their writing is merely OK. Are you more inclined to work with an average writer who has other desired qualities than you were in the past?

Heyman (Heyman): We've had clients who have felt that candidates we've submitted were good writers, but not as good as they'd like them to be, so they have to be willing to get better. And many corporate entities have corporate writing workshops because they feel their people could always be better writers.

Welsh (CMG): I think the key here is being more strategic in digital. To me, people talk the talk, but can they really come through with thinking strategically for the client and being able to roll out a program. So through the interviewing process, more and more, people are saying they can do this, but we have to dig down even deeper to understand if they can truly do it from a marcomms standpoint.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): How do you assess if a junior-level candidate has the analytical aplomb?

Welsh (CMG): You can speak to them about the business, put them in a what-if scenario, and see how analytical they are and what their basic gut reactions are to company or client issues. They won't have the answers because they lack the experience, but if they just talk about the avenues, that's not all there is.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): One of the things we'll look for is portfolio work. Show us how you write for different audiences. In the new-media world, there's a different language than in a formal script or in an Op-Ed piece, so it's important to distinguish what certain people's writing capabilities are and how they write for different channels.

Heyman (Heyman): Twenty years ago, writing tests became somewhat frowned upon because that's what people did for a living and they felt it unnecessary. That's not the case anymore. We will ask candidates for examples of their writing. Moreover, we'll tell them, “Here's the client you are trying to get a job with. Talk to us about how you'll do this.” It's both a writing piece and a thinking piece.

Social media
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): How are you using social media to engage senior-level employees and possible recruits?

Howley (C&W): We have our intranet set up where our leadership can communicate and create communities. It's like Facebook, where they create their communities, whether it's consumer or geographical, where they can connect with people to do online training or have discussion threads on particular topics that are highly relevant.

Welsh (CMG): All levels are into social networking, so you need to know what it is to survive in this business because it's such a crucial aspect to our practices and it's embedded into all the work that we do.

A lot of our senior people have blogs. Our CEO has a Twitter account. There are LinkedIn and Facebook pages you can interact with. You have to be there because people are there. It's a new way to create thought leadership, or assure that your thought-leadership is out there for people to understand how you think, so they can understand your culture.

Chase (Burson): We're engaging our alumni and key stakeholders through social media, as well as current employees. When it comes to senior-level hires, if they're not on LinkedIn, I don't know how I'm going to find them. You have to embrace social media. It's where everything is going right now.

Wallins (Ketchum): We've been doing a lot more reverse mentoring. A lot of our junior-level talent adopted senior leadership – whether they're executive committee members or me or whomever – and they're providing a lot of great insight to how we can continue to use social media as an engagement tool, be it for our clients, future or potential clients, as well as for our employees.

This has been really exciting. We're all on Facebook. We're all on LinkedIn. We have an internal Yammer where we have a lot of dialogue. This is really helping to drive that knowledge throughout the agency from the folks who are really the experts in it.

Howley (C&W): Social media has made us a truly global agency in terms of building bridges between staff members and other offices.

Wallins (Ketchum): There's an openness like there's never been before from more seasoned executives to learn from younger pros who have that really in-depth knowledge. That kind of openness is relatively new. There really are a lot of things we can learn from our recent college grads and our interns.

Heyman (Heyman): It also merges the knowledge of business with new technology. That person who says to me, “I want to hire a young CCO,” is sort of saying, “I'll take care of this business. I need someone to help me understand how to communicate with the world in a more effective manner.”

I am reminded of a very senior communicator, arguably one of the most respected ones in the business, who on his LinkedIn page said something to the effect of, “I played golf with my two sons on Father's Day and they let me win.”

At some point you have to think if that's something that the CEO of one of your clients really wants to read about. It's a fine line.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): Some of the more senior candidates who might not have naturally gravitated to technology are now using it, but the whole rules of engagement about what's appropriate and what's not are changing. Those rules are still being written.

Heyman (Heyman): Kids have to think about what they should and shouldn't do with their Facebook account. How is that going to follow them?

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): What you put out there never goes away. Particularly at the senior level on the corporate side, but even for junior people, you have to be mindful of how your position yourself, what you say, and what forums you're in.

Welsh (CMG): People are very causal because it's a casual way of communicating. That's how it started. But now it's progressed to a much more business-oriented communication, so while the casualness is still there, the challenge is to not misspell things nor put inappropriate information there.

Heyman (Heyman): In the HR space, we often get asked, “When is this economy going to end?” We don't know, but social media makes more people feel compelled to talk about things they're not quite sure about.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): I don't know if there have been any case studies yet, but with Sarbanes-Oxley and now what's discoverable and what's part of the dialogue if you're a publicly traded company, I wonder if any of that is usable in court. There are a lot of issues and challenges around for senior-level communications executives. It's great to use the technology as a tool, but these days you have to be especially careful.

Broader perspective
Wallins (Ketchum): A challenge for all of us who run HR for global agencies is that the economy is challenging to different extents in different places around the globe. I hear from colleagues, “I think we're about to come out of the recession,” then I hear from people overseas who don't feel that way at all.

As a lot of people come out of college today and are looking for that global experience, they choose global agencies. We have to be sensitive to the fact that the economy is suffering all over. We have to be careful as we talk about coming out of the recession that we provide support around the globe to the different economies.

Chase (Burson): It seems to me the US felt this economic impact first and most intensely, and then it rolled out to the other regions.

Not knowing what's going to happen and just seeing everyone feel it at different rates, it becomes very difficult to manage everyone's expectations.

Wallins (Ketchum): There is a desire in young people to work in [various global regions], but that opportunity has been lost somewhat in this situation. It's not going to happen as quickly as they want it to.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Are you finding that a lot of younger pros want to work overseas?

Chase (Burson): Absolutely. They want that global experience and we try to provide it to them as much as we can, but it has to make sense for the client, as well as the individual.

Wallins (Ketchum): And it could be a great opportunity, not only to share what the US is doing, but also, when they come back to us, to share what other regions are doing. That experience is somewhat challenging right now because of the economy.

And because every economy is in a different place right now, instead of being able to say, “Sure, let's set that up,” I now have to check in, see how our clients are doing, and so on. It's simply an opportunity that's not as readily available as it once was.

Howley (C&W): We've slowed down our exchange efforts, but we're still doing it.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Is this global desire evident at the senior levels, too?

Wallins (Ketchum): There are a lot of executives who say, “I'd love to see my kid go to high school in a different country,” or “My kids are at the age where I'd love to see them learn a new language.” I'm noticing the desire more in recent grads, but it is relatively pervasive.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): On the corporate recruiting side, this is a real plus. Anyone with the global experience is highly marketable. That used to not be the case, but now, having that global mindset is extremely important. And I think it's a great trend if we see more young people wanting that experience.

Heyman (Heyman): Especially the kind of experience you are all describing. Our clients are not just interested in a candidate having a tattered passport. They want to see that the candidate actually lived overseas.

Wallins (Ketchum): And language skills are a huge plus, too. Being bilingual or even trilingual is much more common on resumes now.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Is there a particular region that draws a lot of interest?

Chase (Burson): People want to go “someplace. Wherever it makes sense, I'll go where you want to send me.”

Wallins (Ketchum): Sometimes that decision is more driven by wanting to work with a certain client than in a particular region.

From press to PR
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): The journalism sector has long provided the PR industry with talent. But with the traditional media struggling, do you find more journalists entering PR than ever before?

Howley (C&W): Yes. We've always been open to nontraditional hires if it helps further our clients. We've created a program where we help move their knowledge up about how an agency works. I think that's something a lot of agencies will have to consider.

Heyman (Heyman): I see this, too, in both print and broadcast. Think about it. When you see the 6pm or 11pm news, whomever the talking head is, that person is basically delivering all the news. So all of a sudden, whole sectors are fading within broadcast news. So we're seeing just as many broadcast journalists looking to enter the field as print journalists. However, their big disadvantage is the price tag [as broadcast reporters tend to make more than their print counterparts].

Welsh (CMG): On face value, it does make a lot of sense because they all have one common denominator: writing. But sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. And it won't work unless you have the right infrastructure to help that person succeed. To acclimate that person to the business and the needs, you must have a concentrated effort to help them understand the economics of our business. A writer, you would think, is more of an independent person, as opposed to working on a team. So it's possible [journalists entering PR] could work well, but it's not a slam-dunk.

Heyman (Heyman): We will see journalists come to us who have done a couple of stories on healthcare, for example, and they'll ask me to submit them for the CCO job at a pharmaceutical company or to run healthcare at an agency, and they're making $650,000 a year. I'll tell them that they have some valuable experience, but it's not worth that full amount to the hiring entity.

Education
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): There seem to be more PR programs at universities than ever before. What has been the greatest contribution these programs have brought to the young talent pool? On the flip side, what areas need improvement in that regard?

Heyman (Heyman): I think they are great at the graduate-school level, but at the undergrad level, it's more like a trade school.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): How important is the APR credential?

Heyman (Heyman): I've been doing this for 26 years and I've never had one client ask me for it.

Howley (C&W): If you see it on a resume, it would make that person a little more interesting. It shows the person is serious about the industry.

Fidelzeid (PRWeek): If you could give one piece of advice to someone entering PR, what would it be?

Chase (Burson): Getting those internships, getting involved, and just showing you have an interest in PR is important. However, you also need to be knowledgeable about the company with which you are applying. The worst thing anyone can do is come into my office and have no idea what we do or have no idea who our founder is.

I'm always impressed when I hear that someone learned about Harold Burson while they were in school – and that they can talk about it.

Wallins (Ketchum): I'd remind every individual that they own their career and they have control, even if they feel they may not. People need to spend time thinking about what they want their career to be like. That could include pondering whether they have an interest in going overseas. How do you feel about working with a great variety of personalities? How do you feel about a relationship-based environment? How do you feel about client service? What is it about professional service that interests you? I'd encourage people to make decisions based not on the job they want today, but what's the career that they want.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): Diversity of experience will help to shape you as a PR professional. It's a combination of the industries you're in, the experience you have in different roles. Accumulate as much experience as you can. Don't specialize too quickly.

Prendergast (MMC): A diverse skill set and the ability to adapt easily to change – and a willingness to do so – is very important.

At the end of the day, we're businesspeople. Yes, there's a PR function to that, but there is a business purpose to what we do. You need to want to become a businessperson, too. I think that's crucial.

Howley (C&W): You need to demonstrate that you're digitally savvy and creative. Networking within the industry is also vital. We get thousands and thousands of resumes, so things like that help set people out from the pack.

Welsh (CMG): Everyone needs to create their own personal branding. In this business, reputation management for our clients is paramount. You need to take that, internalize it, and understand that you have to manage your own career, but really think through carefully the brand that you want to project. Have your own personal marketing plan when you're out there looking for the next best opportunity at any level.

Everyone is working so industriously with social networking. Networking has always been there and there are a lot of rules of the road pertaining to it. Those are still the same, but they've been taken to another level with social networking, so your personal brand is heightened even more. As HR heads, we're looking at that, so candidates really need to manage it.

Heyman (Heyman): First and foremost, be self-confident without being arrogant. A young person needs to demonstrate integrity. Clients really want to know whether or not you're a critical thinker. They want to see you have a point of view on an issue, no matter what that issue is. Someone might ask you what you thought of the editorial in The Wall Street Journal that day. It's not just enough to have read it. You must show a viewpoint.

Hopeful outlook
Fidelzeid (PRWeek): Despite the economy, there seems to be optimism about the industry.

Wallins (Ketchum): Now that we have been in this economic state for a while, it's become the devil we know, as opposed to the devil we don't know. A year ago we were a lot more afraid than we are now. Employees were afraid, too, because they didn't know how hard we were going to be hit.  And what has me excited is that our clients are sticking with us.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): I've never been more bullish about the profession. The growth of this function and the importance that it has relative to the C-suite has never been more apparent.

When I started my practitioner career, communications was part of marketing. Now we see that marketing and communications are on level footing. In some cases, we see communications now owns the marketing side.

If you look at the macro trends of what we're seeing in this profession, it's never been better. As people work their way through their careers, people will accumulate more experience and have more influence in this profession on the corporate and agency side than they ever had before. So despite the current malaise, I think it's the best time to be in this profession.

Heyman (Heyman): The fact that there are places where the communications function owns marketing is a result of the talent that the PR profession has been able to attract. A CEO didn't just wake up one morning and say, “I'm going to put marketing under communications.” A CEO woke up one day and said, “Communications is really well run. Let me have my communications person bring these things together.” You're seeing that happen more and more. The function isn't going away.

There have been times during recessions where people would disintermediate the function to the point where the CCO is nothing more than the head of media relations. That is not happening now.

Also, companies aren't looking for people to stay 15 years at these jobs anymore. All of a sudden, someone older isn't yesterday's news if they are really good at what they do.

Marshall (Korn/Ferry): I think CEOs are, frankly, agnostic. They don't think in terms of silos; they think in terms of solutions and who can step up and provide guidance and counsel as we go through these really difficult business challenges. I think the talent we're seeing now at the senior level is coming in with the breadth of experience and the understanding of tactics and strategy. They are the best ones to advise the CEOs and the boards on how best to navigate these business challenges.

The title of this story appears as "A look inside" in print

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