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News & Insights

Where Are They Now? - A Study of High Potential Candidates

Published on 10th March, 2016


A Study of High Potential Candidates Recruited By Kilpatrick


One of the most valuable indicators of successful recruitment is the ability to find, attract and place high potential candidates, i.e. those who are not only able to perform well at the level at which they are recruited, but also have the capability to  be promoted to larger roles. The investment by businesses in executive search can be more than justified if candidates stay with the organisation, help it grow, and add significantly more value than was originally envisaged.

At Kilpatrick we have always taken a long term view of recruitment. Retention is a key performance criterion for us, which we have continuously monitored. In 2015, 67% of our placed candidates had been employed by the client for more than 3 years. An even more important indicator is potential, so we decided to conduct a study of the potential of our candidates, researching people we have placed during the past 15 years, tracking their career progression and asking the question: Where are they now?

Here are the results:

-           61% have been promoted at least one level

-           38% have been promoted at least two levels

-           13% have been promoted at least three levels

-           6% have been promoted at least four levels

The survey population comprises executives (i.e. Board, Director, VP level), Managers and Senior Specialists. Both internal and external promotions are included. Sectors covered are life science, engineering/construction, manufacturing, and aerospace/defence

We limited the survey size to 75 people, to ensure accuracy of data, from our database and Linked In contacts. While we try to maintain contact with most of our candidates, inevitably we lose touch with some who cannot be tracked over such a long period.

Sheuli Porkess is an outstanding example of a high potential candidate.  Recruited by Kilpatrick in 2002 as a Medical Adviser with the international pharmaceutical leader Boehringer Ingelheim, she rose six levels within Boehringer before moving last year to her current post as Medical Director for Almirall. We caught up with Sheuli recently to find out more. Read the full interview here:

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