Photos by Hilary Ehlen
As we know, finding the right employees and creating the right culture are two of the most important things for a business’s success. Although they are important, they are not always easy. That’s where a company like Allegro Group can help take your business to the next level.
Kara Jorvig, Allegro Group’s Founder and CEO, managing director Ashton Hansen and their team consult companies on executive- and professional-level talent acquisition and business strategy development focused on leadership competencies and company culture. We sat down with Jorvig and Hansen to get a better understanding of this work that they do to help businesses thrive.
Can you walk me through what you do when partnering with a business on an executive search?
K: Hiring an executive or key leader is a big decision, so the first thing we do is work hard to build a trusted relationship with our clients. I know that sounds cliché, but the best way to partner on a successful executive hire is to have a true understanding of our clients’ current state and future goals. By living our values, leading with results, providing consistent communication and committing to our team’s leadership competencies we’re able to earn trust and execute our process.
A: Our Talent Acquisition team starts with a discovery process that includes meetings with our client’s leadership team and/or board of directors to bring clarity and focus around what level of leader is needed within the organization. We partner to understand the technical skills, experience, leadership competencies and culture fit needed to help the business reach its goals. After establishing a baseline for the leadership role, we develop a custom strategy to identify, target and engage professionals with specific career experience, job titles, industry exposure and geographic relevance. Throughout this process we often have upwards of 100 conversations with various professionals in and outside of our network, so we are constantly recalibrating approaches based on the market analysis gained.
As we evaluate and interact with the top candidates over the course of the search, we get a true understanding of each leader’s skillset and goals. If they have genuine motivation for advancement, pure and honest motives, relevant business acumen and shared values with our client we then proceed to introduce our client to the candidate. Our custom evaluation and engagement process ensures only leaders who are qualified and ready to compete for the role are introduced, which results in our clients typically interviewing less than five professionals before presenting an offer.
Allegro Group focuses on leadership in three categories:
- Leadership of self
- Leadership of others (teams, people, clients and projects)
- Leadership of organizations
What types of businesses do you typically work with?
A: Our clients vary in size and industry, but the commonality between all of them is that they are positioned for growth. Whether it’s an early-stage company or multi-billion-dollar corporation, that growth could mean increased revenue, increased efficiency through infrastructure improvements, navigating leadership transitions or succession planning for a leader who wants to retire in five years. We look at where our clients are today and where they want to be, and then we partner to develop strategies to accomplish those leadership goals.
What are the benefits of working with an outside partner, like Allegro Group, on these leadership topics?
K: I think the biggest opportunity for organizations is not just attracting and engaging talent, but defining what level of leader a business needs based on their strategic goals and business stage of growth. Many of our clients leverage an outside partner to help them gain clarity on where their business is at and what leadership experience will take their business, team and infrastructure to the next level.
A: A recent study showed Fargo, ND is the hottest job market in the United States. This means job openings are plentiful, wages are high and unemployment is low, so it can be incredibly hard for businesses to find and retain top talent. Allegro Group is committed to helping our clients develop strong talent strategies that impact employment brands and culture. This ultimately helps them attract, develop and retain leaders at all levels.
Our team has worked with thousands of leaders and hundreds of business models throughout the United States, giving us access to some of the very best case studies. We understand this candidate-driven market and the motivations, hesitations and even fears of leaders as they navigate and advance their careers. Leaders become more strategic and intentional as they professionally mature and our team takes great responsibility in advising these professionals as they make extremely confidential career decisions.
- According to IBISWorld, 74% of companies prefer to hire C-level leaders through an executive search firm. President, CEO and board of director roles are rarely advertised and the leaders who fill these roles make their moves through relationships with firms like Allegro Group.
So how does talent acquisition and development of top leaders relate to setting a company culture?
K: Company culture starts at the top and is created by the leaders of an organization. Being aware of the current culture, setting culture goals and finding leaders that are in true alignment to build upon those things is key. Allegro Group is passionate about healthy leadership, which involves a holistic approach focused on keeping leaders balanced between personal growth and professional development. We strive to identify leaders that not only practice areas of healthy leadership but are positioned to continue growing in this area as well. Additionally, as the motivations of the next generation of leaders continue to put more emphasis on people, the planet and then profit, we continue working with clients to support culture, talent and organizational development relevant to these topics.
A: Every person within an organization will have a different idea of what a great culture is, just like each person will have different goals. In our experience, the common theme is that people want to feel engaged, maximized and energized as a human in all aspects, which ultimately impacts growth and leadership. When people develop awareness around these topics and make a conscious effort to act accordingly, their businesses begin operating at an entirely different level of success.
Can you tell me about some of the successes you have seen with your clients because of the work you did?
A: Some of our favorite success stories involve working with local businesses as they expand their footprints throughout the Midwest and beyond. Through partnership and a comprehensive understanding of these businesses’ long-term goals, we can identify leaders that allow our clients to open additional locations and build out new product and service lines. By establishing strong leaders in these new spaces, the companies can build infrastructure and teams around them, which trickles down to so many other people and businesses. It’s extremely fulfilling to see how much of an impact expansion has, beyond just the business itself.
K: Some of my favorite projects involve working with boards of directors and CEO’s to develop high-performance teams and set business strategy. Once healthy leaders are injected into a business and take strategy, execution and culture to the next level, the possibilities are endless.
To connect and learn more, visit allegro-group.com or find Allegro Group on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.