Public and Social Sector

The demands on govern­ment, NGO, and academic leaders are more complex than ever. Has your senior talent strategy kept pace?

Egon Zehnder has been helping governments, international organizations and civil society around the world to develop human capital for over 20 years. Our Public and Social Sector Practice – a cohesive global team of more than 40 consultants – brings dedicated expertise and in-depth knowledge of the leadership, talent management and governance challenges facing this growing and increasingly influential sector.

What sets Egon Zehnder apart?

Deep Knowledge

As we serve the world’s most respected public and nonprofit organizations, we proactively gather and generously share the insights we have gained, including best practices and key lessons learned from the private sector.

Specialized Expertise

To focus our deep knowledge of the Public and Social Sector, our Practice is organized to serve clients in the fields of:

  • Government / Regulatory – including government departments, regulatory agencies, state-owned companies, public utilities, infrastructure bodies, and municipalities.
  • Intergovernmental / Multilateral – including development, health, humanitarian assistance, finance, environmental, and education organizations
  • NGOs / Charities / Foundations – including humanitarian, development, public health, and social welfare organizations, and private foundations.
  • Interest representations / Associations – including business, professional industry, chambers of commerce, trade unions and sports associations.
  • Academic / Education – including universities, research institutes, business schools, educational organizations, and think tanks.
  • Arts / Culture – including museums, galleries, performing artists, entertainment venues, festivals and events, and art centers.

Bold Talent Strategies

The times call for bold talent strategies. The global shifts that have placed many new complex demands on your organization have also opened unprecedented opportunities for you to attract more diverse, top-caliber talent. Our experienced consultants work closely with you to bring your strategic talent and governance needs into sharp focus, then help you craft and successfully execute thoughtfully focused action plans. For example, we can help you to systematically infuse your organization with strategically vital leadership competencies such as change management, strategic orientation, developing organizational capability, and stakeholder impact. We help you make better people decisions for critical roles, systematically increase your leaders’ readiness to take on bigger challenges, build a sustainable talent pipeline, and ensure that your leadership teams have the diverse strengths required to fulfill crucial missions.

Comprehensive Services

As we offer you thoughtful, pragmatic counsel, we blend a range of proven capabilities to meet your exact needs. Our comprehensive services include:

Collaborative Approach

The consultants in our Public and Social Sector Practice work as your partners to assemble and develop world-class leadership teams and governance bodies. Referencing our globally researched benchmarks, we help you pinpoint your ideal leaders’ demonstrated leadership competencies, personality traits, and behavioral characteristics, so you can objectively benchmark internal and external candidates against the same rigorously defined standard. Significantly, we also help you assess leadership potential – using a unique methodology that helps you anticipate how your rising leaders will perform in new and more demanding executive roles – to help you create more accurate and reliable leadership development and succession plans.

Personal, Global Search

When the candidate profile calls for external search, our consultants personally and confidentially engage their local and global relationships and Egon Zehnder colleagues to identify candidates prepared to meet your needs. All of our consultants are motivated via our equal partnership structure and fixed-fee pricing policy to work on your behalf. The power of this trusted network places the insight and resources of our entire firm at each consultant’s fingertips, making our solutions richer and more responsive, and creating tangible and enduring impact for our clients. Your search consultants are supported by a dedicated team of researchers who simultaneously run your requirements through relevant segments of our database, which continually tracks top executive and director talent worldwide. Through this rigorous process, we closely examine candidates who demonstrate a potential match, analyzing critical incidents in their careers for insights into how they might navigate the challenges they would face in your targeted role.

Close Connections

We are in close contact with top government, NGO, and academic leaders as well as great functional and technical leaders in each geography. We know who can meet your evolving needs, and how to attract them to your organization. As we move deeper into conversation with interested, well-qualified candidates, we conduct interviews grounded in our sophisticated and rigorously validated leadership Competency and Potential Model. Our evaluation encompasses far more than the customary professional track record check and referencing. We methodically surface the candidate’s full range of capabilities, personal tendencies, and behavioral characteristics, gain penetrating insights into their readiness to perform in the targeted leadership role, and assess how smoothly candidates would integrate into your organization and culture.

Trust-based Negotiation

Our consultants invest personally in their relationships with candidates, gaining intimate understanding of their requirements and concerns. So as your search progresses into the hiring phase, we are thoroughly prepared to serve as problem solvers and facilitators. Our fixed-fee policy assures that we can play this vital yet sensitive role with no conflict of interest.

Accelerated Integration

Our value add does not end with a successful hire. For newly appointed senior executives, the first few weeks and months in the role are critical. They must quickly understand the organization’s culture, set the right priorities, and establish credibility with colleagues and stakeholders. This is of particular importance in the context of transitions from the private to public/social sector and vice versa. Our Accelerated Integration service speeds your new executive’s journey to full impact. We start supporting executives well before “Day One” in a new role – ideally, as soon as the appointment decision is made. Working in collaboration with the hiring manager and the HR manager, we help your executive build an accurate and insightful picture of the upcoming integration challenge, making the keys to leadership success vividly clear and crafting a plan to hit the ground running. We also work personally with the welcoming leadership team as well as the executive to quickly cultivate interpersonal trust and open dialogue. Through the first 90 days, our consultants gather and distill candid feedback on the first impressions the executive is creating during the initial integration. We meet one-on-one with the executive at regular intervals – creating “islands of time” to allow them briefly to set aside all-consuming operational priorities, reflect on progress, identify and prioritize early wins, and calibrate their approach as needed.

Assured Results

We pride ourselves on the fact that most of our client relationships are long-term. We earn your loyalty by being consistently effective, energetically responsive to your needs, and tenaciously committed to your ongoing success.

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