Hiring, Developing and Retaining the Best Leadership Talent

Hiring the best possible talent for leadership positions has never been so vital. 

The importance of performance, engagement and retention mean the quality, relevance and effectiveness of a new leader are essential to ensure high performing and engaging teams and businesses. 

So, what are some of the key challenges in hiring, on-boarding and performance measurement?

1) How do you know you’re getting the most relevant person for the role, the organisation and the team they will be leading?

Hiring the best person for a role and organisation should be based not simply on skills and leadership capability in isolation.  It’s essential that these attributes are measured and evaluated in the context of the current Team environment and climate.

2) How do you ensure a new leader becomes effective fast? 

Recent research by the Corporate Leadership Council highlights the impact of a new leader on their team and the broader business.  They concluded that:

  • Over 40% of transitioning Leaders underperform in the first 18 months of their new role. 
  • Direct reports of transitioning Leaders underperform their peers by as much as 18%
  • At any given time, 6% of an organisation will be transitioning Leaders with the potential impact as high as 45% of the organisation’s employees

3) How is leadership effectiveness quantitatively measured and benchmarked over time? 

With so much potential ambiguity around what an effective Leader looks like, being able to track and evaluate the component parts of leadership enables businesses to track progress and implement specific and relevant learning and development plans.   

How can the Performance Climate System (PCS) help?

​The Performance Climate System (PCS) is a powerful tool used for analysing, driving and tracking Team performance, and assessing the effectiveness of Leaders.

It provides an objective and accurate picture that crystallises what’s really going on within Teams in order to be able to address issues and improve performance.

PCS to define people specification:

​Understanding the type of leader required to be most effective in role is usually conducted during the selection process. To ensure the right search is conducted in the first place, PCS can be used to define what’s going on within the Team, where there are deficiencies and what needs to change or be focused on urgently to improve overall Team performance.

This useful handrail for HR Directors and Recruiters can assist in defining the fit of an incoming Leader or Manager, based on what the Team needs, not just a binary skill-set and experiences search.

PCS to assist with on-boarding and embedding new Leaders in position:

Taking a start-setting PCS report on a Team, with guidance on how the first 90-days could be tackled to support a new leader in role, can be critical to enabling success in the formative months. 

It allows a considered action plan to be developed, targeting areas of greatest need, and allowing the Leader to apply initial effort to best effect. Bespoke support throughout this process can also be applied, with a re-measure after a set period to prove new-leader success.

Using PCS as a fast, on-boarding tool can be equally as helpful for supporting Interim Managers and Leaders, who are required to have an impact quickly, by understanding key issues and addressing these problem areas.

PCS as a management tool:

​Following placement, PCS can be used at any time to assist in-place Teams and Leaders.

It can be used as a reactive engagement tool to identify strengths and weaknesses in a Team and Leader with specific actions on how to address the most critical challenges; or as a part of a wider, more focussed improvement plan.

For the Team, it acts as an excellent engagement tool, improving awareness and agreement of the key issues standing in the way of improvement; It ensures accountability and Team ownership.  

If you’re an executive recruiter, HR or L&D professional who would like to find out more and understand how PCS can help you, please contact us at

Zac's Challenges:

Zac’s tech business is growing rapidly. He’s gone from being a developer with a good idea to now overseeing an ever-expanding team. Zac knows that in order for the business to grow successfully, it needs to stay true to its founding values and his staff need to feel valued and engaged. Zac wants to understand if he and his team are on the same page and he needs to do it quickly and cost effectively.

Zac's PCS Solution

Zac decides to use PCS Lite to get a quick temperature check of how his team are performing and what they think about the business. The PCS Lite report quickly surfaces the fact that his team have lost sight of the organisation’s purpose and goals. Zac realises that he needs to improve his on-boarding processes and help orientate the new team members better in the company culture and vision. 6 months later, Zac uses PCS Lite to check his new onboarding process is working; concludes that the growing team are much better aligned to his vision and are generally operating in a more positive working environment.

Annabel's Challenges:

It’s Annabel’s job to help the Partners in the firm manage their clients and ensure they’re consistently adding value. Recently, Annabel has been asked by one of the Partners to find a tool or framework that the consultants can use to benchmark new clients looking for team and leadership improvement programmes. It needs to be cost-effective, established and reputable and able to be branded with the firm’s own logo.

Annabel's PCS Solution

Annabel recommends PCS Pro to the Senior Partners as it provides an objective measurement of team and leadership climate against which the consultants can build performance improvement programmes. PCS has a good track record, academic validation, excellent training and customer service, so she’s confident that it’s the right tool for the firm’s consultants to use.

Sarah's Challenges:

Sarah has to keep across the multiple training and development needs in the organisation and do it within a tight budget. Recently, Sarah’s been asked to design a L&D programme that improves the staff retention rate and helps staff feel more engaged with the changes happening in the organisation, not least the shift to more flexible working.

Sarah's PCS Solution

Sarah uses PCS to measure how different teams across the organisation are performing and look at any patterns which suggest the need for organisation-wide, leader or team training. Sarah notices that all teams and leaders have a low climate score in the Processes segment. Sarah knows that allocating budget in this area will improve performance. She works with the Senior Management Team to review the organisation’s processes as they transition to more flexible working and designs a training programme to support staff in the transition. She’s helped staff to feel supported, acknowledged and engaged which ultimately drives performance. 

Jim's Challenges:

Jim’s client has a team that’s not performing as well other teams in the organisation. The team has a high staff turnover, sickness and the lack of cohesion is impacting the team’s wellbeing and performance. Jim needs to get to the bottom of why this is happening and design effective coaching interventions which can generate tangible results for his client.

Jim's PCS Solution

Jim uses PCS Pro to measure / benchmark how the team and leader are performing across the 6 segments critical to team performance – Goals, Roles, Processes, Adaptability, Connection and Resilience. He can immediately see the disparity in Goals, Processes and Connection between the leader’s perception and those of her team. He uses this information to build a coaching programme designed align team and leader. After 6 months, the team seems to be more settled and productive. Jim remeasures using PCS Pro – the results show the client the effectiveness of his coaching intervention.