Today’s career: the Head Hunter’s perspective. LUISS Business School hosts Kilpatrick

by Claudia Paoletti – Managing Partner Kilpatrick  

Against the beautiful setting of Villa Blanc, Rome, last 20th April the LUISS Business School hosted Claudia Paoletti, Managing Partner of Kilpatrick, who held a lecture targeting current and former participants of the Manager Development program.

The audience included entrepreneurs, managers and executives who, driven by the desire to enhance their roles and experiences, are eager to develop additional skills and competences so as to contribute to their companies’ innovative, cross-functional management.

Called “Today’s career: the Head Hunter’s perspective”, the speech was designed to provide the participants with thought-provoking ideas to approach potential professional changes, while giving them more information about the search and selection process. Dwelling on the multiple selection steps, the presentation also addressed topics such as the offer negotiation and the appropriate placement in the new company. As a matter of fact, after joining a new company, the first 100 days spent in the new position are crucial to establish the right relationships and to earn credibility in the eyes of chiefs, co-workers and, first and foremost, of the team of belonging. Besides the importance of understanding the strengths which set a person aside as unique and making the most of them to be acknowledged against one’s worth, it is vital spending the first days at the company to gain understanding of the team. During this very phase, in fact, the Manager is supposed to learn and view people apart from their roles and he/she must focus on the value they can contribute to the company. Unfortunately, the people within a professional organization are not always assigned the right role: it is a good Manager’s task to take a snapshot of the actual situation and bring about the right changes in the team, while thoroughly understanding each member’s inclinations.

Among the various topics covered, the speech also addressed “reputation” and the importance of networking.

Subsequently, the speech investigated the transformation of the competences of today’s managers. For some time, we have been operating in a very vibrant scenario where the digital transformation has reached an enormous scope. A Manager’s universally recognized skills such as leadership, driving change in the team, vision and consistency need being complemented by new, must-have skills which are paramount to keep going in the new corporate context:

Speed of adaptation: we live in a world where the rules of the game have become unpredictable. There is need for flexibility and the ability to lead the team without strictly planning.

Cross-culture and social skills: we live in a society where it is important valuing and enhancing diversity. Innovation originates from working in multi-cultural and multi-functional teams which can foster the fusion of ideas.

Ethics and responsibility: digitalization, privacy, roles and tasks being replaced by automation are delicate, topical themes which a Manager is expected to deal with.

Consistent empathy: remote management, empathy screened by a digital medium mediating communication, and awareness that the face-to-face interaction is not always possible to keep the team motivated are important topics the Manager must knowingly address.

Critical Thinking: in a world where Big Data is the core of business actions, the capability to receive, analyze and interpret data while checking the source and staying true to independent thinking, are paramount benchmarks to define a good Manager.

While in the past we used to live in a complicated economy which called for planning and organization, today we live in a complex economy. We are thus faced with the need to create innovation to tackle a growingly keen competition and thrive in an increasingly demanding, faster market.

At the close of the day, the Executive Speech investigated the tricky topic of Millennials management. In fact, used to a fast-paced world where they can access anything on the spot, where the mere touch of a button allows them to have products delivered at their doorstep one hour later, the new generation’s personal relations are mostly confined to social networks where they usually showcase their strengths and tend to hide their weaknesses. For this and many other reasons, the placement in a company often proves an uphill struggle. Youths, in fact, expect to impact the business performance from the very beginning and to receive on-going feedback and praise by their bosses.

Here then the Manager figure plays a crucial role to the aim of understanding this generation’s approach, idealism, fickleness. It is important holding their hand and leading them uphill while facing the multiple challenges and obstacles which lay ahead without them expecting to reach the top in next to no time.

Special thanks go to Maria Chiara Talamo, Coordinator of the Luiss Manager Development Program who invited Kilpatrick, in the case in point Claudia Paoletti, to deliver the Executive Speech held in the beautiful Villa Blanc.