Hiring managers are always faced with the problem of how to
differentiate candidates with similar backgrounds. This occurs
most often when assessing middle and junior level managers, and
especially when choosing young people to be fast-tracked into
management development programs.
In the Good
Many indicators thought to be of great importance in the past
have been found to be delusions when long-term outcomes have
studied. Obvious examples are grade scores in school and IQ
tests which used to be given significant weight. Today, these
measures are considered of minor importance outside of a few
professions. Some studies have even shown that advanced degrees
like PhD's (and the high marks required to get them) can even
lower the chance of achievement in the competitive private
Many people still believe that charisma and sociability are
critical success factors for senior leaders of organizations.
Certainly charming personalities are important for many
individual contributor roles but studies have shown that mundane
attributes like problem-solving proficiency, self-discipline,
organizational skills and ability to make difficult decisions
are more important for achievement as a senior manager.
Another indicator that still is given weight but is coming into
question more recently is the value of ivy-league schooling to
future success. One of many concerns is the over-use by many business schools
of former senior executives as professors. While
such people have much to offer in theory, many
are lecturers for short stints and naturally lack experience
in educating young minds. More significantly, too many lack the motivation to do the
drudgery it requires. These "rock-star professors" often
deliver performances rather than lectures in theatre settings to huge
classes with predictably substandard results. Tier 2 schools continue trying harder to improve and
generally employ a greater percentage of dedicated career educators. In the future, it
may be that the advantages of high-prestige schooling are shown
to be less than compelling.
the Bottom of the Resume
In order to differentiate high potential candidates from others
with similar work experience, education and credentials, it can
useful to actually read the bottom of the resume. It is here you
can find information that might indicate something special or
unique about the person. Similarly, in interviews, it is also
important to go beyond people's career basics and get to know
their personal stories.
What to look
Most people would agree that the earlier people start learning
how to do something, the better they should become at doing it. As
an example, it is considered a truism that to produce world-class athletes or musicians, people need to start
playing in early childhood -- age 3 is often quoted as a typical
starting age for future stars in tennis, golf, music and so on.
This early-bird-gets-the-worm maxim is true for most
professions. People who were successful selling as teenagers
will usually be good sales people for the rest of their lives.
People who wrote computer programs early on will have tremendous
advantage over those who just played computer games.
Similarly, individuals who grew up in families where members
worked in skilled professions -- whether doctors, lawyers,
carpenters, policemen or entrepreneurs -- will almost certainly
gain more knowledge about the vocation than those who don't.
The indicators below are the most common ones used to determine
the possibility of future success in management.
Leading Indicator 1:
Most people appreciate that starting and running your own
business is an achievement at any time in a person's life. Young
people who start businesses are, therefore, especially
interesting because many of the key skills necessary to be a
successful manager of a business unit are often already in place
-- sales and marketing skills, organizational ability,
self-motivation, risk reduction, etc. In most cases, the
businesses they started will not have been overly successful --
that is why they are working for someone else. The key is that they tried and
Business owners sometimes worry about hiring such people since
they don't want to train future competitors for themselves. This
is usually a short-sighted approach since building a successful
business from scratch takes a lot of luck to carry out. That said,
it is a lot easier if established competitors have not developed suitable people in key
management roles. Entrepreneurship at a young age is a good
predictor of future success in business management.
The ability to teach and develop other people is a key skill
that every manager is judged by. People who have experience
training or coaching others in an organized setting are
therefore of interest. Examples include people who tutored
individuals, led a group training program (in school or sport),
or coached a team (sports, music, debating or whatever). Young
people who gain this experience learn far more themselves than
those they helped and bring a healthy mind-set into an
Volunteers are special people because they contribute their time
and energy without financial compensation. Young people who
become involved in noble pursuits that they have passion for are
usually valuable. The quality and type of non-profit organizations
varies widely so it is important to understand its structure and
leadership, and details about the involvement. Participation
that involved independent initiative, leading others and defined
outcomes is ideal. Look for people who were involved over an
extended period and speak knowledgably and with enthusiasm about
what they did. If the person got involved for a short time, he
may only have wanted to put something on his resume or it was
part of a school program and this is less appealing.
Similar to volunteership above, civic involvement in politics or
community building organizations involve organizing people to
achieve defined goals but without financial compensation. It can display the same impassioned enthusiasm
as a charitable pursuit and does offer the leadership
experience and competition since positions are often jockeyed
It is reasonable to suppose that people who grow up in families
of lawyers will know something about law when they are adults. In
Asia, it is more common for young people to follow in their
parents' professional footsteps or, at the very least, to pay attention
to them when they drone on and on about what they do for a
living. The result is that young people's understanding of the
workplace of their parents becomes somewhat second nature and
their functionality in a related workplace can begin at higher
levels and continue upward faster. This is a good thing if
parents are involved in occupations involved in managing others.
As well, family relationships are more important in Asia and
those relationships will help adult children in ways that
foreigners can only imagine. Parents even take an active role to
ensure their children's success.
People who work themselves through school need to be
particularly self-disciplined and organized since they are doing
2 jobs at once. This is especially so if people take on
leadership responsibilities -- very possible if working in
industries like retail or restaurant that employ large numbers
of young people. Such people will generally be a good bet since
they are used to taking on commitments, meeting deadlines and
working under stress.
Accomplishment in competitive sport is another endeavour that
develops valuable skills. Merely being involved in a sport is
probably not a differentiator. The person must have achieved
success in organized competition. Achievers in individual sports
like golf or tennis usually bring strong personal discipline,
motivation and similar abilities necessary for management.
People who were part of a team that succeeded need to be more
carefully assessed unless they were leaders in the group.
Note: While athletic pursuits when a person is young can be very
good for skills development, the same is not always said of
adult involvement. Adult team sports like rugby, football
(soccer) and so forth are too often entangled with
self-destructive behaviours like substance abuse (especially
heavy alcohol consumption). The result, over time, is a
professional whose effectiveness declines in a steady manner.
Individual sports like triathlon or tennis are more wholesome
but can be a distraction from career attainment if the adult is
an overly zealous participant.
In many emerging countries, young
people are often made responsible for raising younger brothers
and sisters, especially in larger families. They are accountable
to ensure they are fed, clothed, do their school work and pay
for many of the costs. Many expatriate managers have discovered
that such people (often females) can quickly become exceptional in
leadership roles and are highly motivated to achieve since they have
heavy financial responsibilities.
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CEO Forum presented by PLDT ALPHA Enterprise is the largest
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most important in the Southeast Asia region. The forum serves as a
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Attendees are both expatriate and Asian management personnel
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CEO Forum is operated as a CSR (Corporate Social
Responsibility) activity of Chalre Associates, one of Southeast
Asia's most prominent senior management executive search firms, to
promote Philippines as a premier business destination in the Asia
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CEO Awards presented by Aseana City represents the
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largest events of its kind in the Asia Pacific region, it is
considered a must-attend occasion for business leaders active in
The star-studded Board of Judges of Asia CEO Awards give
away 10 awards to many of the most accomplished leadership teams
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The awards recognize extraordinary leaders who have demonstrated
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throughout the world call upon the Principals of Chalre Associates for thought leadership.
Below are some examples of published material written by our
consultants or international journalists who refer to them. For a complete list of published work,
Getting Ready For The
Deluge: Outsourcing in Philippines
Chalre Associates senior staff
Economist Intelligence Unit of the Economist magazine
asked Chalre Associates' Chairman, Richard Mills,
to write a chapter about the Philippine outsourcing sector
in its annual Business Guide Book. The material
provides a Executive Briefing on the progress and major
issues facing this industry that is certainly one of most
significant growth stories in the world.
Asia Pacific Mining
Conference 2007 - Report
Chalre Associates senior staff
The 7th Asia Pacific Mining Conference put on by the Asean
Federation of Mining Associations was perhaps the largest
such event in the region. Richard Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates
gave this report on what was said by the prominent mining
people who presented.
State of BPO in Philippines: Dan Reyes Speaks
Chalre Associates senior staff
Mills, Chairman of Chalre Associates,
interviewed Dan Reyes of Sitel for ComputerWorld (US) recently to get
his views on the state of the BPO industry in Philippines. Dan
presented US readers with compelling information to support his view
that Philippines is currently seen as the "Number 1" option by global
companies sending BPO work to offshore destinations.
Dan Reyes is easily one of most experienced Business Process
Outsourcing (BPO) managers in the Asia Pacific region and the world. He
is head of the extremely successful Philippine operations of Sitel, the
world's largest call center organization. Among other things, he is a
founder and former president of the Business Processing Association of
the Philippines. more