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The formation of TOP achievers: are all means good?

HRD-Ukraine, № 5 (236), 2013
Article written by Evghenia Khvostova
Senior Consultant of NRG Company


The ability to deal with people is as purchasable

a commodity as sugar or coffee.

And I will pay more for that ability.

John D. Rockfeller

(American businessman, the first

dollar billionaire in the history of




Evghenia Khvostova
Senior Consultant of NRG Company

The labor market is saturated with top achievers who are actively considering job offers. It seems as if it would be difficult to form an excellent team of managers. However, this is only true at first sight…That is the reason why sometimes Ukrainian companies undertake non traditional approaches of searching for managers.

There are times when in some Ukrainian businesses, for instance, the owners and the shareholders make the decision of hiring a top executive manager based purely on emotions while interviewing the particular candidate. Nevertheless, charisma and oratorical skill – have never been the key qualities of top managers. These kinds of choices sometimes lead to unforeseen results that range from the disintegration of the team of high achievers and all the way to the shutdown of the business.

Some companies go even further in their “creative search” of top executive positions. There are instances on the Ukrainian labor market when the selection of the top managers’ team is based on their zodiac signs. Frequently, such kind of choices is made by the owners and not by the HR managers who in this case have to follow the management’s wishes. The hiring of top managers via these types of criteria cannot guarantee success. It is possible to get completely opposite results if the team is selected in such a manner. Even if it is assumed that this type of selection will let us evaluate the candidate’s character it is important to understand that people who are compatible on a personal level may be least compatible on a professional level.

The selection of managers according to the numerology –is another controversial question which, nevertheless, takes place in practice. The results observed from the use of this unusual tool, according to those who uses it, provides information about the pronounced characteristics of the specific person. But if so, it still does not provide any information on the professional qualifications of the candidate – and therefore, if the desire to use numerology, graphology, and horoscopes persists than it is important to do so in accordance with the proven business methods of recruiting.

There is a view that a top manager can be successful in any business regardless of the direction of activity. This is not always the case. There are multipurpose managers, but they are very limited on the labor market. For example, the general manager, who built a successful career at FMCG, was invited to take the position as the head of a pharmaceutical company where he was trying to change the structure of the business based on FMCG’s example by creating trade-marketing departments, changing the approaches to the promotion of the products and the positioning of the company as a whole which in turn affected the status, the stability and the performance of the team. The sales as well as the target customers for FMCG’s market differ from the promotion in the pharmaceutical business. In this case the manager turned out to be ineffective, and his management of the organization resulted in a drop in sales, the breakup of the team and the transfer of the company’s products to an exclusive distributor in Ukraine.

Therefore, in order to create a truly effective top team, the owners should clearly identify the goals of the business, understand which kind of managers they need and what styles of management each manager should possess. For example, in the selection of the top candidates for a startup project the main target are usually the young leaders with great potential because a new project represents a challenge for them, and they can show the maximum results in the shortest possible time while supporting the implementation of their ambitions.

Progressive businesses are built as an investment: the owner is committed to achieve the maximum capitalization of the company. One can achieve great results only if the business is managed by a professional top team. This goal could be achieved only with the correct approach to the selection of the key managers.


















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