Leading Property Developer Completes Talent Selection for Leadership Succession Planning 3x Faster with Accendo


Talents Selected

1.5 Months

Completion Time

5 Assessments

Used to Create A Holistic Profile

“We wanted to implement leadership succession planning in the shortest time without compromising on assessment accuracy. With Accendo, we completed 3x faster, relied on advanced dashboards for analyzing results and real time talent decisions, and met our board’s robust requirements. Accendo’s TalentPulse is a wonderful asset for talent management teams”
Shamsul Zahrin Sulaiman
Head, HRA, IT & Legal Central Spectrum

About Central Spectrum
Central Spectrum is a renowned property development company known for their success in developing Pulau Indah, an island off the coast of Malaysia. They aspire to develop Pulau Indah into a progressive and modern island featuring countless opportunities for business and living.

Business Challenge: Develop Succession Plan for Key Leadership Roles to Ensure Business Continuity

Shamsul Zahrin, the newly appointed Head, HRA, IT & Legal of Central Spectrum, had been tasked by the Board to complete the succession planning exercise before the end of the financial year – a time period that is considered too short to implement such a critical exercise.

Earlier in the year, the Board at Central Spectrum had identified leadership succession planning as one of the most critical initiatives for the year. While the organization had grown extremely well with its current leaders, many of them were due for retirement in the coming years. Given the aggressive growth plans for the company, finding suitable successors and developing them to eventually take on leadership roles was a huge business priority. Shamsul’s predecessor had started the process but had to leave the company for personal reasons. And by the time Shamsul was hired and took over his new role, precious time had already elapsed.

Shamsul, who came to Central Spectrum after senior level HR stints in leading corporates, knew from experience that “traditional succession planning exercise in similar sized businesses would take anywhere from 3-6 months, while in larger firms the process can take double or triple that amount of time. On top of that, finding a suitable talent management partner would take another 2-3 months. The opportunity cost of not completing the exercise in time would put the organization’s growth plans severely at risk. Given the lean team, this seemed like an extremely daunting challenge.”

Along with Farhana Ahmad, Assistant Manager HRA, Shamsul started exploring various options available in the market.

According to him, “We did our due diligence and looked at multiple talent assessment options. We considered traditional options available in the market – psychometric tool providers, global HR consulting companies and boutique consultants. However, they couldn’t make the business case work. We realized we needed a technology driven solution that would enable an accelerated implementation and address the aggressive timelines we were facing, without in any way compromising on assessment accuracy.”

Moreover, Shamsul and Farhana were looking for a way to not just address the needs at the executive leadership level, but to eventually have a solution that would address the talent needs for the entire organization.

Solution: A Talent Intelligence Platform with Best-In-Class-Assessments, Process Automation and Deep Talent Insights from Accendo

“I had heard of Accendo’s technology + consulting approach in a previous organization, and when we were looking for recommendations, their name was regularly coming out on top in terms of the best overall package. What I personally like about Accendo’s TalentPulse solution is that it helps CHROs be the trusted strategic people advisor to the CEO – with anytime-anywhere access to all critical talent data.”

After a thorough evaluation, Accendo was selected and made aware of the challenge. Recognizing the time urgency of the situation, Accendo’s consulting team started on an accelerated journey to help Shamsul and Farhana meet their commitment. The solution included the following steps:

1. Decoding the talent strategy through an interactive consulting session with the CEO and his team
The Accendo consulting team started with a “strategy decode” workshop with the executive leadership to understand their perspectives, priorities and business strategy. The session equipped our consulting team to do 2 things for Central Spectrum 1)Narrow down a competency framework relevant to Central Spectrums succession planning needs 2) Craft a unique approach to succession planning that would address priorities across the business, assessment accuracy, process and timeline.

2. Contextualizing success profiles from Accendo’s library of validated job profiles
To make sure that Central Spectrum used this opportunity to define the right role benchmarks for the identified positions, Accendo’s consulting recommended the use of validated success profiles instead of relying on non-standardized, existing job descriptions.

For this purpose, the Accendo team relied on its library of 3000+ validated job success profiles. The library, which contains not just job descriptions, but also detailed competency definitions, proficiency level expectations and interview questions, significantly fast-tracked the process while ensuring higher standards in line with Central Spectrum’s aggressive growth plans. To ensure that the success profiles reflected the finer nuances of Central Spectrum’s business model, additional competencies and skills were added to the mix.

The output was highly appreciated by the Central Spectrum team because this would not only ensure the right standards going forward but also help the company save significant time, effort and money when compared to traditional consulting options.

3. Designing the assessment center
With the right job profile benchmarks hence defined, the consulting team decided to recommend that Central Spectrum go beyond Psychometrics to assess the individual’s “behavioural preferences”, but also add business simulations into the assessment mix to capture “behaviour in action”. After a thorough review of the leadership team’s expectations and future business requirements, simulations that measured an individual’s business acumen, strategic thinking and leadership adaptiveness were included into the design.

All of these assessment tools are pre-integrated into the TalentPulse platform. This meant that Shamsul and his team would not need to be concerned about the user experience, or worry about how to integrate data across different tools.

Moreover, reports generated by the platform were configured to represent Central Spectrum’s leadership competency definitions. This meant that while interpreting the assessment reports, everyone with access to the data – the CEO, the individual leaders and the HR team – were all familiar with the language and didn’t not require any significant effort to interpret the report, thereby eliminating a common pain point while using such tools.

4. Running the assessment center
While dealing with assessments, especially at the leadership level, a common challenge is the user experience. Accendo’s TalentPulse platform, with its modern look and feel and intuitive workflow provided the candidates with a wow experience, something they had not experienced with other tools in the past.

The entire assessment was carried out online – all candidates were sent an email invitation to register on the platform, along with all relevant details of the succession planning exercise, and given a fixed window of time to complete the assessments. Accendo’s consulting and support team were available to address any user questions, whether concerning technology, process or tools.

The entire process was completed hassle-free within the prescribed 5 days time allocated to it.

5. Designing a CEO debrief report
Once all the assessments were completed, Accendo’s consulting team, which consists of industrial psychologists and talent consultants, analysed the reports and created a customized report to assist the CEO in this crucial exercise. The report contained insights, comparisons, development gaps and recommendations to help the CEO take succession decisions that would help the organization achieve its business strategy objectives.

A summary of the report was also presented to the CEO

6. Enabling HR
A key part of the project was to equip Shamsul and Farhana with all the knowledge they needed to become internal owners and champions of the succession planning process. This included training that covered:
a. Setting up assessments
b. Inviting candidates
c. Tracking progress
d. Interpreting assessment reports
e. Analysing data using interactive dashboards

Results: Central Spectrum Completes Its Leadership Succession Planning Exercise in 1.5 Months

Overall, Central Spectrum was able to achieve its aim of completing the talent selection process before the end of the year. Shamsul and Farhana could now start working on the results of the exercise, including identification of positions that required external hiring and creating development plans for identified leaders.

By fast-tracking the entire process, Shamsul and Farhana saved valuable time that could now be used to proceed with the next steps in the exercise, all at a pace that is in line with business and the CEO’s vision.

Want the same success?