Global Korn Ferry Succession Study Shows Lack of “Ready Now” Candidates to Fill Critical Roles

Report Shows Going Beyond Development by Assessing “Readiness” Critical to Achieving a Robust Leadership Pipeline

LOS ANGELES, May 7, 2015 ­— Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY), the preeminent authority on leadership and talent, today released the third report in its “Succession Matters” series. An in-depth, global, executive study used as the basis of the report shows that a full half of respondents do not feel their organizations have a solid pipeline of “ready now” leadership candidates.

The study further showed that less than one-third (32 percent) of business leaders surveyed believe their organizations are doing a good enough job of cultivating “ready now” leaders.

“It’s not enough to develop leaders generically and expect them to take on the specific challenges of a company’s strategic direction,” said Noah Rabinowitz, senior partner and global head of Leadership Development at Korn Ferry. “Development needs to be inextricably linked to business goals and strategy.”

One of the issues, according to Jim Peters, senior partner and global head of Succession Management at Korn Ferry, is timing. “Organizations are not planning effectively, they are not starting succession deep enough down in the leadership pipeline. This is hugely detrimental,” he said.

According to the study, only 54 percent of respondents feel that their organizations are providing potential leadership candidates with new challenges and assignments, with only 53 percent saying their organizations identify candidates who are “ready now” for promotion to specific roles.

“Often times, leaders spend a good part of their careers participating in standard development programs that aren’t customized to their specific needs, which significantly hinders the fulfilment of their true potential being reached,” said Rabinowitz.  

To determine readiness for a more advanced role, Korn Ferry recommends live simulation assessments, where leaders face a unique, pressurized environment and decision-making scenarios that they would face in their new role.

“Simulated assessments clearly show a leader’s current state of readiness and provide a real taste of what a role will demand of him or her,” said Stu Crandell, senior vice president of Global Offerings at Korn Ferry and the Korn Ferry Institute.  

“When you know the development gaps that still need to be filled, you can target development, often through coaching, to specifically address those issues within a set timeframe,” said Crandell.

About the study

Commissioned by Korn Ferry, Hanover Research conducted a global survey in August/September 2014 across 54 countries around the globe, from organizations ranging in size from 500 to more than 50,000.

Visit www.kornferry.com/successionmatters to view the full report, infographics and videos.

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is the preeminent authority on leadership and talent. For nearly half a century, clients have trusted us to recruit world-class leaders. Today, we are their partner in designing organizational strategy and developing their people to achieve unimaginable success.