I’m talking with Alane Baranello about the exclusive dream assignment she just received to place a digital visionary.
TELL ME ABOUT THE NEW ASSIGNMENT
“It’s an awesome assignment to find a head of digital learning for a major financial institution. I got the assignment because I had placed someone in their leadership function last year – which is learning and development. That was a very specialized search and this one is even more so. I’m honored to have gotten the assignment. It’s an important job and is not a skill-set that is going to be readily found.
“Financial institutions are changing the way they provide services to clients. Virtually everything is going to be digital. The consumer facing division went to the training organization within the company and said: “We’re changing the way we provide services, and we think you should do that too.” As a result, they are adding this digital function in which they will look at all the training and change the way it’s delivered.
“I need to find a very innovative, technically savvy guru in the digital space. They do not need to know banking, but they need to be a visionary, who can also operationalize. In this instance, it’s not enough to say that this is what it should look like, they also have to make it happen. It will be difficult in a company that is so large and has such an enormous number of constituents to work with. Therefore, this person will have to have a tremendous executive presence and, of course, be exceptionally smart.”
HOW WILL YOU FIND THIS CANDIDATE?
For my initial research, I’m reading CLO Magazine (Chief Learning Officer Magazine), Training Magazine, The Harvard Business Review, and looking at associations where these people would be members. I’m identifying who the speakers are, what articles have been written, and going after these authors and presenters because that is a good place to start to build a network. The search is not going to be easy, but I’m confident I will find the right person.”
YOU SOUND A LOT LIKE A PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
“Well, this is not someone who is looking for a job. I’ll also look at someone who is currently at Google or Facebook, and I’m talking with someone at Adobe. I am looking at people from consumer products because they are all over the digital space. There are also consulting firms that help companies with digital learning. This is cutting-edge stuff.
I will also call people in my network that may not necessarily be in digital but in learning, and ask them if they have seen or heard anyone who has impressed them. There are more digital marketing people out there, and fewer people in digital learning – but it’s a good place to start.”
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE YOU FIND THEM?
“Once I find them, it’s determining whether they’ll work within this enormous institution, which is not for everyone. Could the person from Adobe with 15,000 employees make the leap to a company with over 10X the employees?
Part of my conversations with the hiring manager will be: ‘What is the onboarding plan for this person once they’re hired?’ I know they’ll have one. I will need to make sure there is something very structured in place. We need to set the candidate up to succeed. He/She will be very senior but will almost need a ‘Godfather’ to take them around because the company is so large.”
HOW WILL YOU CONVINCE SOMEONE FROM GOOGLE OR FACEBOOK TO MAKE THE SWITCH?
“Delicately. I would go after the person in the #2 or #3 position and say: ‘Do you want to run it?’ I will help them to visualize their future there and point out the tremendous opportunities for growth. They could be in this role for two years and then transform into something else. The company transforms all the time, and this role is so visible that if the person in this role is successful, the sky’s the limit.”
YOUR JOB SEEMS PART INDIANA JONES, SHERLOCK HOLMES & TONY ROBBINS?
Alane laughs: “I suppose so. Executive search does involve investigative work, career (and life) counseling, and the other skills we discussed earlier – experience, judgement, trust, intuition and yes, a healthy dose of determination and persuasion. In a way, I am a treasure hunter.
Blogger – Insights from Leaders
Blogger – ATW80B – Stories Worth Sharing
Scribd – In between the lines
Scribd – CoolBrands People
Tags: Alane Baranello, #AlaneBaranello, Executive Search, Executive Search New York, HR executive search
Leave a Reply