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New Employees Race To Make An Impact As Short Term Results Dominate Management Thinking


Marisa Kacary
Global Vice President, Marketing
+44 (0)20 7024 9491
Sally Gillespie, Krissy Koslicki or Mary Pollard
Bell Pottinger                     
+44 (0)20 7861 2559



Futurestep logo
Futurestep logo
Byrne Mulrooney, Chief Executive Officer, Futurestep
Byrne Mulrooney, Chief Executive Officer, Futurestep
Futurestep's Infographic demonstrating the race for impact
Futurestep's Infographic demonstrating the race for impact

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Key findings from the report found that: 
  • Performance is the number one measure of recruitment success

  • New staff under pressure to make greatest impact in their first year

  • Employers target recruits who make good decisions, bring creativity and build good relationships with bosses and peers

New professional and managerial level employees face a make-or-break ‘race for impact’ as businesses demand more from staff during the tough economic climate, according to a global study from recruitment solutions company, Futurestep.

The good performance of a new employee at this level is three times more valuable than retention. And three quarters (76 per cent) of those surveyed now measure the impact of new recruits within their first 12 months.

The inaugural Futurestep Global Talent Impact Study 2012: Understanding the Race for Impact surveyed over 1,500 HR professionals across five continents*, and examined their views of the impact of professional and managerial talent and how they measure it.

Only five per cent of respondents believe that an employee at this level has the greatest positive impact after three years, reinforcing the short term focus of businesses.

Futurestep found that the most successful new professional and managerial hires demonstrate three ‘golden keys to success’:

  1. Decision quality - Makes accurate and good decisions

  2. Action oriented - Is quick to take initiative

  3. Customer focus - Is dedicated to meeting customers’ needs and expectations

But businesses’ focus on the short term means many organizations risk overlooking the valuable contributions this employee group makes over the longer term. Despite three quarters of them measuring performance in the first year, over a third of these (36 per cent) admit that employees make the greatest impact after year one when they are actively contributing to the team and understand their organization’s culture and the over-arching business environment.

Byrne Mulrooney, Chief Executive Officer, Futurestep said: “The study highlights a risk that employers may lose interest in new staff after twelve months, overlooking the fact that if they continue to develop and measure the impact of talented individuals, they can contribute to the long term strategic success of the business.

“Fundamentally it’s about understanding how to unlock this potential beyond the honeymoon period. It’s crucial that businesses not only identify the competencies required to make an impact from day one but also cultivate the skills that will continue to deliver benefits in the medium to long term. Businesses that adopt a more future-focused approach to measuring the impact of talent will be best placed to grow and prosper.”

To be successful in the long term, new hires need to:

  • Show  decision quality in year one – making good choices and importantly not making bad ones (18 per cent viewed this as the most important skill if you are to make an impact in the first six months)

  • Have good relationships with peers and your boss. This becomes more important in the medium term with 26 per cent of respondents viewing poor relationships with bosses and 37 per cent regarding peer relationships as reasons for limiting career progression

  • Be able to motivate others (32 per cent viewed this as having the greatest impact on the team) and demonstrate integrity and trust (20 per cent  said this was most likely to positively impact peers and stakeholders)

Mr Mulrooney added: “To maximise the impact you make on the business you need well thought out decisions, great ideas and the ability to build good relationships with bosses and peers – these are the golden keys to success.” 

He concluded: “The big challenge for organizations is to successfully spot these attributes in candidates and help them develop to their full potential beyond the first year. The research also suggests our industry is too often focused on the immediate performance of individuals as the main indicator of a successful recruitment process. Instead, we need to work together to develop and adopt more holistic approach to understanding of the value of HR in the long term and in driving business growth.”


Notes to editors
* Futurestep conducted online surveys with a sample of 1,589 HR professionals in the US, UK, France, Germany, Brazil, China, Hong Kong and Australia. The fieldwork was conducted by Research Now, an independent research company, in accordance with the ICC/ESOMAR Code on Market and Social Research. Respondents were visitors to Futurestep websites or members of Research Now’s global business panel. Surveying took place between February 21 and March 9 2012. Data analysis was carried out by The Analytics Hub, an independent statistical firm.

Follow-up qualitative telephone interviews were conducted with 15 survey respondents who had agreed to be re-contacted. These took place between March 26 and March 30 2012.

Follow the conversation on Twitter @futurestep #talentwithimpact

About Futurestep
Futurestep is the global industry leader in high-impact recruitment solutions; offering fully customized, flexible strategies to help organizations meet specific workforce needs.

Our clients turn to us for proven expertise, a global process and infrastructure, proprietary competency models, innovative sourcing strategies, and a unique approach to measure and optimize business impact.

As a Korn/Ferry Company, Futurestep can meet a variety of workforce requirements; from RPO and project recruitment, to single search and consulting, our solutions apply a truly world-class capability to deliver talent with impact, providing the experience and global reach to identify, attract and retain the people who drive business success. To learn more, visit www.futurestep.com.

About Korn/Ferry powered by Lominger
Korn/Ferry International, the premier provider of talent management solutions, acquired Lominger in 2006. The Lominger suite of research-based, experience-tested, and internationally recognized methodologies are core to Korn/Ferry’s suite of service offerings and capabilities and can be customized to fit any organization’s culture or operating style.

Lominger was founded in 1991 by Michael M. Lombardo, Ed.D. and Robert W. Eichinger, Ph.D. The Lominger competency framework has been used extensively in this research. In developing the questionnaire, we selected 26 competencies that have been shown as being most related to performance in managerial roles on the basis of Korn/Ferry validation studies. Our sample of HR professionals then gave their views on the importance of those competencies in a variety of contexts, as discussed throughout the body of the report.

The framework of competencies developed by Lominger has been used extensively in this research. In developing the questionnaire, 26 competencies that have been shown as being most related to performance in managerial roles on the basis of Lominger validation studies were selected. A cross section of talent and recruitment professionals then gave their views on the importance of those competencies in a variety of contexts, as discussed throughout the body of the report.

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