The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Korean firms advised to adopt data-driven talent search

By Korea Herald

Published : March 19, 2015 - 20:04

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In today’s competitive business environment, it is crucial that organizations should have the best available talent positioned in the right place and in order to address such needs, a combined mechanism of behavioral science and business strategy may be of use.

“Companies pay much attention to talent, as well as to their organization, but few tend to take the two aspects in a comprehensive perspective,” said Ted Bililies, managing director and chief talent officer at AlixPartners, in an interview with The Korea Herald.
Ted Bililies Ted Bililies

“This is what our new global Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness practice does ― identifies both the business outcomes demanded from a specific role and the way a specific individual interacts with the company’s culture.”

The LOE practice refers to the way that Bililies and his team use a data-driven approach to offer advice on the leadership selection and organization change of the client company.

“Among our clients was a private equity firm, one of the largest in the world, which took over a $6 billion worth insurance company, with extremely weak management and slow operating processes,” he said.

“That’s where we came in and realigned the talents in an optimized way.”

AlixPartners’ LOE team assessed over a dozen senior executives, reallocated people, and promoted talented younger employees who earlier did not have the chance to expose themselves.

The consequences turned out successful after a year, with the company’s total revenues up considerably and employment almost doubling, according to Bililies.

“The allocation of talent, especially when it comes to top executives, is a critical decision for an organization and thus requires sophisticated cognitive science and extensive business experience,” he said.

“Even the most established companies can change, if only their leadership would change, either in terms of members or the way they operate.”

As a clinical psychologist at Harvard University, the official stressed that behavioral science is the key to grasping the feature of an organization and placing the right person within the organization.

“I believe that a multiple background is of high use in our field because, after all, our job requires a wide-angled perspective, as well as insight into individual talent.”

Also, this systemized method of searching talent and realigning the organization could especially be of use to Korean companies, which still tend to be highly dependent on personal ties.

“Some may not be fully ready for our LOE practice, but to those Korean companies that are willing to find people based on their job appropriateness, we may offer the optimal tool,” Bililies said.

By Bae Hyun-jung (