Replacing Someone Irreplaceable? Take a Thoughtful Approach to Selection.

Here at MRG, we pride ourselves on our reputation for providing top notch customer service to clients around the world. The secret sauce, so to speak, is the longevity and commitment of our client services team. Recently, one of our valued team members made the decision to move on to her next adventure. Karen Young has been with MRG for 25 years and, while we are thrilled to support her on her journey, we are sad to lose such an integral part of our team.

Our business is built on encouraging growth and development. We know how to celebrate both the small and big steps and encourage positive change. But how do we replace a quarter century of knowledge and relationship building?

The short answer is, we can’t. Nobody is going to walk through the door knowing who MRG is and what our clients need the way Karen does.

What we can do is take this opportunity to review this important role in the company. We want to ensure that we are capturing all the wonderful things Karen brought to the role, while also making room for new energy and a new perspective. Change can come with uncertainty; especially change that means losing a constant source of stability for all our customers and colleagues.

With a thoughtful selection process that strategically leverages assessments and qualitative feedback, we can use this opportunity to make sure we have solid roles and practices in place so that both a new team member and our clients are set up for continued success.

Navigating this shift started with a few basic questions:

  • What are the current responsibilities of this role?
  • What do we want the responsibilities to be in the future?
  • What key factors would make someone successful in this role?

We dove into answering these questions by having our Client Services team take our Service Excellence Strategic Directions assessment. This gave us insight into what our team members think makes MRG client services so effective. Tricia Naddaff led us through a review of the results so we could talk through any areas with large variances.

Involving the entire team in this work has been key not only to truly understanding our needs from different perspectives, but also making sure everyone feels involved and heard. While replacing someone who has been a team member for more than two decades offers an opportunity to take a fresh look at what the organization needs from the role – both now and in the future – it can also leave people feeling unsettled or disrupted. Our Client Services team members have always been our most vocal client advocates. This way, our team knows we are all in this together and we have their voices and the best interests of our customers and team in mind.

Tricia also facilitated a brainstorming exercise to create a unified vison of what a successful candidate would look like:

  • Success Outcomes: What outcomes would be indicative of the most successful candidate possible?
  • Challenges that will be encountered by the new person
  • What do we need this person to do and know?
  • What don’t we need this person to do and know?

We will also work with David and Drew to utilize the Individual Directions Inventory™ assessment during the selection process to help us formulate customized interview questions for each candidate, based on their personal drivers and sources of energy.

This information is incredibly helpful as we move into the interview and selection process. We’re thankful to have our assessments and amazing resources to guide us along the way.

Stay tuned for a more in depth look at how we use those resources to help find the perfect fit.

About the author

Jillian is Head of PMO and Service Delivery. She’s a lifelong learner who loves deep dives into life, the universe, and everything.

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Carol Ryan Ertz
Carol Ryan Ertz
1 year ago

Love how you are sharing your own journey in filling a key vacancy! Great role modeling for all of us to learn from as you highlight key components and use of MRG tools.