Upping Your Company's Magnetism: The board's role in attracting the best executives, directors, and employees
By Eve Tahmincioglu

Whether in the corner office or on the factory floor, people increasingly want jobs that are fulfilling, challenging and fun and, most importantly, purposeful.

Companies that successfully promote all those things can win the war for talent, but the strategic push and sales pitch needs to also come from the boardroom because directors can play a key role in promoting the purpose proposition.

Purpose “explains how the people involved with an organization are making a difference, gives them a sense of meaning, and draws their support,” according to a recent Harvard Business Review article “Creating a Purpose-Driven Organization.”

What is the board’s role in creating such organizations, ones everyone wants to work for? 


Directors & Boards answers this question by drilling down on best practices for attracting the best CEOs, directors and employees.

• Attracting the Right CEO

The board’s role in wooing top talent to the corner office. 

By Maureen Milford

Following a massive cyber attack at credit-monitoring behemoth Equifax late last year, the company’s long-time CEO retired, an interim chief was installed, and the search for his successor began.

Given the public relations fallout and congressional scrutiny into the security lapses, filling the position with a top chief executive seemed daunting.

In March, however, the company announced Mark Begor would be taking the helm. He spent 35 years as an executive at GE, was a board member at Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), and most recently was the managing director at private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

How did Equifax land Begor? The Wall Street Journal reported that Russell Reynolds Associated was the headhunting firm behind the placement, but a company official would not confirm or deny the story.

That said, Russell Reynolds’ Constantine Alexandrakis, leader of the firm’s U.S. business and its global leadership & succession practice, did agree to talk to Directors & Boards about how boards of troubled companies and beyond can attract the top C-suite talent.

“The fundamental rule is that no strong and dynamic leader wants to be a caretaker CEO. He or she — it’s in their DNA — will inherently want to go into a situation and drive growth, change, transformation and disruption,” he explains.

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Not Getting the Most Dynamic Directors?

Start selling your company’s values, especially if you want younger directors. 

By April Hall

When considering a board appointment, Tanuja Dehne looks for a board that promotes a strong culture and a company where she can have an impact on the business, one that focuses on more than just the bottom line.

 “It’s the recognition and awareness that culture matters, your people matter, that other stakeholders matter,” Dehne stresses.

As a corporate attorney and a former chief administrative officer for NRG Energy, Inc., as well as a young woman of color, she knows her value in the boardroom. To attract directors like Dehne — as it is with many of the tech-savvy, engaged directors organizations want and need — board members must drive their companies to promote their values and make clear the impact a new director can have on the business and society at large.

Board positions at public companies are sought after, but finding the most dynamic directors, those with digital and disruption know-how, can be a challenge, especially if a company is looking to bring on younger directors.

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The Board’s Role in Attracting & Keeping Productive Employees

Talent experts should be given a seat in the boardroom. 

By Jan Alexander

Alan Guarino does not only chair the compensation and human capital committee for The Chefs’ Warehouse, a specialty food company. He’s also the talent expert in the boardroom.

It’s all part of the proactive role Guarino believes boards should be playing in the hunt for the best employee talent. Since The Chefs’ Warehouse went public three years ago, the company has begun to put detailed HR analytics in place that allow the board to monitor revenue per employee to get a sense of how productively the workforce is operating and the costs per hire, says Guarino, who is also a vice-chairman in Korn Ferry’s CEO and board services practice in New York.

“Many boards still have HR committees sitting under nominating and governance, because most of the focus was on CEO succession,” he explains. “And boards need to make human capital a quarterly agenda item, at a minimum.”

Guarino co-authored a Korn Ferry study called “The Global Talent Crunch,” published in May, that sounds an alarm, about how unready most companies around the world are for the human capital needs of the next two to 12 years.

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