Executive Talent is on the move

Even before the phrase ‘the war for talent’ came into being in 1997, having the right talent in the right roles was a prime concern facing all executives and HR professionals. And now, identifying and supporting talented individuals is so important (and at the centre of successful enterprise management) it could be a practice area of its own.



At Page Executive we use a specific methodology to better understand the traits leaders bring with them, ensuring at all stages that the analysis follows a strict role-based path, never deviating from linking the personality to the position. Our methodology aims to combine softskill analysis during the interview stage (both in person and with tools) with deep understanding of the technical skills that make-up the position.

Personality factors or more specified dimensions/traits are not visible to us. We translate them in certain behaviours that we can observe. E.g. Planning = providing accurate forecasts, projects plans, structuring your workload, etc. Networking = feeling comfortable approaching new people, etc.

These observable behaviours are assessed through different strategies:

  • Competency based interviews
  • Online personality assessments
  • In person case studies, role plays, and presentations



In online assessments we ask a person to rate themselves on behaviours statements. From this we assess their score on certain personality scales. From scientific research, we know the strengths and areas to develop, and the advantages and disadvantages for different high/low scores on personality scales. We can then map the required profile for the job with the results/profile of the candidates.

In competency based interviews we ask candidates about previous situations and rate their behaviours on a rating scale to assess their competency score.

In role plays/ case studies candidates are also assessed against competencies on a rating scales by observers.

Personality traits/ behaviours are assessed through different tools/channels. The profile of the candidate reviewed against the requirements of the role/ competencies needed.



Talent planning has been pushed to make earlier decisions on individuals about their potential for roles farther into the future. This is the basic challenge in identifying high potential talent. What we look for in individuals earlier in their career indicates they have what it takes to be successful and in some cases, may not yet exist, in addition to being an effective component to a leadership team. It pushes us to focus on a different set of individual variables and an ambiguous criterion.

Many organisations spend time and resources on identifying and developing the talent that is needed to achieve business strategies. Talent is gaining in status, critical foundation for business success. Organisations now have formal talent strategies that help them successfully compete for the best talent.

These models should include foundational, growth, and career dimensions. Organisations should keep in mind that many signs of potential might be latent because of the context and situation. Employees who are in a position that is different position with more interesting tasks and challenges and management support, before a conclusion is made about their potential.

Finally, leaders may consider assessing signs of derailment in their employees as part of their strategy for identifying potential. But with that said, the central question remains: potential for what?





Stephan Surber

Senior Partner
T: T +41 44 224 2235
E: [email protected]

Looking to hire your next leader?

Get in touch with one of our consultants now to discuss your leadership talent requirements. 

Find a consultant

Looking for your next leadership challenge?

Explore our open opportunities right now. 

Search jobs

Looking to build a Sustainability function in your organisation? Download our free eBook now

Are you hiring? Reach out to our team now. 

Please select your location: