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A ‘strained relationship’ with psychometric assessments

A ‘strained relationship’ with psychometric assessments

You may have recently heard Jack Hammer’s fabulous COO, Advaita Naidoo speaking on Cape Talk about psychometric assessments. Listening avidly, I was pushed to finish writing this blog which has had far too many edits and versions to count. If you know me, you probably...

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Non-executive appointments – Time for Fresh Eyes

Non-executive appointments – Time for Fresh Eyes

Non-executive Board appointments are a growing part of the Jack Hammer business offering. Increased complexity around conflicts of interest and the need for impartiality and good governance is partly driving this. Board diversity is another.  Interestingly, the...

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My Market Map Lightbulb Moment

My Market Map Lightbulb Moment

I admit that for many years I was a little cynical about the value of market mapping as a tool to help businesses. “Why spend the money? What value can this really add?”, were the thoughts commonly occupying my mind. And then I had a lightbulb moment, and now I truly...

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African Ivy League grads – it’s a war!

African Ivy League grads – it’s a war!

Whether you’re Google or a small business, hiring managers will all say the same thing. It’s a war for talent. As executive recruiters we hear this daily, and we also know where the biggest battle-fields lie. A battle field where the demand for talent so far outstrips...

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Easing into 2019

Easing into 2019

I’m a massive goal-setter. I have spreadsheets for my big picture life and business goals, my one-year goals, and every month….yes…a spreadsheet for my monthly goals. My lists are legendary and, although I don’t always achieve everything I set out to do, my mantra is...

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CEO Appointments – Career Trophy or Career Suicide?

CEO Appointments – Career Trophy or Career Suicide?

Many of the ambitious executives I speak to on a daily basis have aspirations to ultimately become CEO. In fact, at least 80% of execs will take the call from a headhunter when the role has this 3-letter acronym as its job title. They’re interested for a range of...

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The Top-Job Gender Gap

The Top-Job Gender Gap

You may have seen my colleague on the news recently discussing gender diversity in South Africa. It is a hot topic and her interview was the result of Jack Hammer’s recent findings around the lack of women in the CEO job in South Africa. This data is not new, and it’s...

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Career Success in the Digital Age

Career Success in the Digital Age

What’s going to put you ahead of the other 1 billion talented people out there? We’d all like to believe that a combination of talent and hard work will lead to career success. This is partly true. Talent and hard work may lead to some success – if you measure success...

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Executive stress levels – And what to do about it!

Executive stress levels – And what to do about it!

Stress can kill you. Fact. And even if one’s heart remains beating, it can wear one down so significantly that life loses its meaning, and you spend your waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours in a state of despair, anxiety and misery. The frequency of executive level...

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The Hustle of the Kenyan Side Hustle

The Hustle of the Kenyan Side Hustle

WHY DOES THE INFORMAL ECONOMY OF THE SIDE-HUSTLE THRIVE IN KENYA? To ask a Kenyan, “what do you do?” is a singular question that can lead to many other questions: “Do you mean what I do as my full-time job from 9 a.m. or 5 p.m.?” “Or what I do from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m....

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Jack Hammer – What’s in a Name?

Jack Hammer – What’s in a Name?

When we decided to call our executive search firm ‘Jack Hammer’, we were in the early stages of establishing ourselves as a boutique, with an approach to delivery that was obsessive and fierce. Our tagline, ‘relentlessly getting it right’, encapsulated our rigour,...

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Hiring the ‘best’ person or the ‘right’ person

Hiring the ‘best’ person or the ‘right’ person

“Have you found me the best person out there?” So often in my career I have been confronted with the requirement of clients looking for the “best” – urging me to do whatever possible to secure these ‘mythical beasts’. But, increasingly, I am working with organisations...

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The Zero Budget Growth Strategy – Leadership Alert!

The Zero Budget Growth Strategy – Leadership Alert!

It's a story I've heard several times in the last month or so. A story about companies making leadership appointments with the objective of organizational growth and transformation - only to discover that they no longer have the budget or investment appetite for said...

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Winning a C-Suite Role – How important is a Referee?

Winning a C-Suite Role – How important is a Referee?

In a nutshell – a great referee is EVERYTHING! (almost) Here’s why: Two Executives. One great job. Both executives show up admirably through all three stages of the Jack Hammer screening process, including the face-to-face interview. On paper, by achievements and...

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‘Yente the Matchmaker’

‘Yente the Matchmaker’

Potential clients often contact us when they have urgent need of an executive of some description. “Surely you must have someone in your network?!” they exclaim, incredulously. And of course we do. Sometimes, we can channel Yente, the village matchmaker, and...

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Rise of the Chief Digital Officer

Rise of the Chief Digital Officer

It's official. 'Digital' has made it to the C-Suite. From the lowly corners of the marketing department a few years ago when companies started recognizing that they'd better pay some attention (and allocate some budget) to digital and social marketing, organizations...

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Executive Appointments – Do you need to be Discreet?

Executive Appointments – Do you need to be Discreet?

Over the last few years as online platforms like LinkedIn have entered and substantially shifted elements of the recruitment sector, I’ve received many queries from industry insiders and outsiders, asking about the viability and future of executive search. 'Do...

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The Future of Jobs in Africa?

The Future of Jobs in Africa?

As a mother, I think about the future for my child. As an executive search professional, I think about the future role my son will play in business. Perhaps even as a leader in business. In Africa. Yes, he is only four years old, but when you read about statistics...

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The CXO – Saving the Day for the Retail Sector?

The CXO – Saving the Day for the Retail Sector?

There's a sombre tone accompanying the latest sets of financial results from most retailers in South Africa. The size of consumers' wallets is certainly smaller - and shrinking - in many segments, there's less discretionary spend across the board, and many people are...

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CEO Appointments – Time is of the Essence

CEO Appointments – Time is of the Essence

I spent a lot of time over the holidays plonked on an outdoor sofa under the trees, catching up on my reading. If there’s one thing I wish to do a lot more of in 2017, it’s just this – read, plonked on a couch! New year’s resolutions aside (sadly, these don’t last...

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Your Executive Role – ‘It’s not what they promised!’

Your Executive Role – ‘It’s not what they promised!’

So, you’ve left your old job – which was actually quite a nice one, even though your career wasn’t really going places – and joined a new company, because the role on offer sounded really great! Now you’ve been in your new executive role for a few months, and it’s...

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A global perspective of leadership in Africa

A global perspective of leadership in Africa

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Europe to participate in the annual IRC Global Executive Search Partners meeting. In case you’re not aware, Jack Hammer is the South African partner of the global executive search network, IRC – which is rated in the...

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Executive Search: Four critical elements for success

Executive Search: Four critical elements for success

The success of an executive search process depends on four broad categories: Research, Headhunting, Interviewing and Selecting the Shortlist. If the executive search team is not highly accomplished in all four of these areas, the process is pretty much a hit and miss...

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Executive hiring – Do you really ‘know everyone’?

Executive hiring – Do you really ‘know everyone’?

From time to time, I engage with companies with a critical vacancy to fill, who are firmly of the belief that they ‘know everyone’ in their industry, and that they have no need of any external support in identifying and securing a candidate for the role. “We know...

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CVs for executive leaders: Back to basics…

CVs for executive leaders: Back to basics…

On a daily basis, I deal with executives who lead companies or sizeable businesses in large corporates, are adept and confident around the negotiating table, and orchestrate complex deals but, when it comes to putting together a CV that is essentially their personal...

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Leadership mastery in chaotic markets

Leadership mastery in chaotic markets

I was winter-vacationing on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean when the Brexit vote came out, and watched from the sidelines with sporadic internet signal as markets roller-coasted and whiplashed with shock. A short while later, there has been some...

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Hiring for diversity, or hiring for fit?

Hiring for diversity, or hiring for fit?

Fit. Hiring for fit is the one constant, overriding demand from companies recruiting new leaders. Because, regardless of skill and capability, fit is the key that will ensure long term success or seemingly never ending hassles and, ultimately, middling performance....

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Counter-offer: Appreciation or a slap in the face?

Counter-offer: Appreciation or a slap in the face?

In my daily dealings with executive and senior candidates, one of the most important discussions I have during the interview process is around counter-offer. Because one thing is almost certain: top professionals will receive one from their current employer at the...

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Purpose, People and Growth

Purpose, People and Growth

My team and I interview hundreds of executives every year. Almost none of them are actively looking for a job. In spite of that, many of them are open to exploring new career opportunities, and some of them will land up accepting an offer to join a new organisation,...

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The Year of the Blog – or not!

The Year of the Blog – or not!

First blog of the year. I had resolved to do this monthly, but we're mid-Feb already and the first one has only just hatched. At this rate, 2014 could be the 'Year of Sporadic Blog-posting'. But I'll do my best to at least make it interesting! Point of interest number...

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Name Dropping – When Not To…

Name Dropping – When Not To…

Here’s a (fairly) true story. Candidate X - let’s call him Jim - attends an interview for an Executive role. His resume rocks – he has all of the required skills and experience, and he comes across as professional, committed, enthusiastic and interested in the...

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So are Executives Coming Home…or not?

So are Executives Coming Home…or not?

In the recent Financial Mail (April 25), an article on the ‘Brain Drain’, and whether it still exists, caught my eye. Are executives coming home or not? Various parties were slinging mud at one another regarding the data around returning South Africans – on the one...

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The First 100 Days

The First 100 Days

Initially used to describe the first period of a first term presidency in the US, this phrase has become commonplace in the executive landscape and is now part of the rhetoric of ‘leadership development’. Many books have been written on the topic (a scan through...

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Executive Interviews – Beware the ‘Informal Dinner’

Executive Interviews – Beware the ‘Informal Dinner’

Anyone who thinks they've nailed their next top job because they've sailed through the formal interview process (most likely around 5 - 7 interviews with all key stakeholders including the Chairman of the Board) as well as the psychometric assessments, and have now...

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Jobs in the C-Suite – an alternative approach

Jobs in the C-Suite – an alternative approach

More and more frequently, I see that the executives we appoint to C-Suite positions who take a stance of listening, observing and questioning, transition best into their new roles. It seems that 'slowly, slowly' is in fact what enables successful leaders to reach...

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Search Engine Optimisation and Executive Jobs

Search Engine Optimisation and Executive Jobs

One of the reasons that I write this blog is to pen down the ideas about the executive search landscape that pop into my head every few days (or weeks, or months....sometimes ideas are scarce!). It's nice to have an outlet for those random thoughts that roam inside by...

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Talent Mapping – not always worth the money!

Talent Mapping – not always worth the money!

If you're a specialist in executive search (ie. you focus purely on senior level appointments, using a search methodology), there is limited scope for 'product innovation' and Talent Mapping. One could do the process faster, and/ or at a reduced cost, but these...

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Why Google discarded a Key Hiring Requirement

Why Google discarded a Key Hiring Requirement

Did you know that Google, the icon of legendary recruitment process, has apparently discarded one of its key hiring criteria! According to George Blomgren (Director of The Good Jobs in the USA), Google have decided no longer to focus on academic grades (college GPA's)...

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Leadership Lessons – from a 7-year old!

Leadership Lessons – from a 7-year old!

One of the key descriptor of a ‘Leader’ is one who can create a vision, and inspire others towards its achievement. Implying a relatively strong orientation towards goals and outcomes. Set the goal, figure out a way to get there, and motivate the troops towards the...

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Leader or Psychopath?

Leader or Psychopath?

I've just read a fascinating and scary book: "Snakes in Suits. When Psychopaths go to work", by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare (both are PhDs). The fascinating bit is the comparison the good doctors make between psychopaths and leaders. The scary bit is how close the...

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