Partner, Odgers Berndtson
Given the importance of talent in all organizations, initiatives to increase engagement and develop leadership qualities are becoming an important aspect of HR.
How is the company positioned to make change happen in the local business community?
CARLOS SEZÕES We are trying to address leadership and culture in a holistic approach and manner. We try to develop projects that can make the company more effective and a great place to work. That is why we address corporate goals and also assess people, employees, and their expectations. We address issues such as engagement and employment branding. We do both the human side of projects and the corporate side. We try to position ourselves across a wide range of sectors with companies. The company was born in Portugal, it is a Portuguese-based idea, but our mindset is global. Our first client was in Portugal. Our second client was outside Portugal, so we try to address these areas worldwide. We are looking to the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa to expand our business. The main sponsors for these projects are typically executive level management. They have a broader view of the company and they feel that something must be transformed. The top level management are the first enablers of change. The second enablers are HR managers, because they have the view of the people, the issues and expectations of the driving forces within the company. It is a matter of trying to define a specific scope of transformation and step by step, trying to address that.
LUÍS SÍTIMA We are a multinational company specialized in leadership and talent. For over 50 years, Odgers Berndtson has been helping some of the world’s largest and best organizations to recruit, advise, and develop their senior talent. We are in 33 countries and we have been in Portugal since 1993. We aim to be the trusted advisors on leadership and talent for our clients. We think of leadership from A to Z, including recruiting top leaders, namely CEOs, C-Level positions, boards, and directors. However, our activity is not limited to executive search; we also advise leaders on their assessment and development, how to build board and top team effectiveness, developing the best leadership and talent strategy for the company, and improving organizational effectiveness. We believe that progress and evolution are all about people. People make the difference, in all aspects of the business and the society. We focus on recruiting, advising and developing great people across the organization. We do it on a case by case basis, putting the right people with the right competencies in the right places at the right time. Our clients should be, and are, the most important companies in Portugal—mainly top-level companies but also medium-sized companies. We want to be their trusted advisor on integrated solutions and leadership and talent.
What are your key ambitions and targets set in your agenda for the year to come?
CS The quality of our targets is more important than the quantity. We want to impact as much as possible, and impact as many people as possible. The main issue in terms of providing change in organizations relates to impact. We have a B-side called social innovation which we are also focused on. We are providing mentoring and coaching for NGOs, associations, start-ups, community projects. That is also in our DNA to transform, positively, the world, not just the corporate world but also the entire ecosystem in providing support to three small social innovation businesses that are focused on education and fighting social exclusion and poverty. We want to try to improve literacy among children and to teach soft skills at schools.
LS First, we want to continue to growth. We have tripled the value of the company in the last four years. The objective is not to continue at this rate, though we want to continue to grow by double digits. The second point is to grow further on the leadership and organizational consultancy side, where we built strong track record and partnerships with some of the biggest companies in Portugal in last years. Third, we also have other areas of growth, both in executive search and consultancy, by investing more on technologies and AI. Finally, to continue to attract, retain and develop the best leadership and talent advisors in the market, because our business, as all business, is all about people.
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