White Paper: Best Practices in Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

To read the full nineteen-page copy of the white paper, please use the following link:


The process, described in the nineteen-page publication, outlines a methodology that includes the following seven sequential steps. Key questions and considerations are part of every section along with stories, tips and tools to help families customize their process:

  •     Foundations for Success
  •     Strategic Human Capital Plan
  •     Assessment Process Design
  •     Executive Search Process
  •     Onboarding Plan
  •     Performance Management Plan
  •     Retention Plan

“Every family would agree that it is critical for them to successfully attract and retain the right leadership talent to enable them to achieve their long-term goals and objectives and to support family sustainability. But in the absence of a proven process, we see many of these searches fail,” said Linda.

Highlights of the white paper include the following excerpts:

Successful processes begin with laying the proper foundations. Before creating a family office, it is important that the family first take the time to define their overarching vision for the future and the mission, purpose, goals and objectives for both the family and family office. Roles and scope of authority assigned to the board and committees and decision-making protocols should be clearly defined as well.

Leadership roles, position descriptions and ideal candidate profiles must be clearly defined. Only then will the family have the information necessary to develop a comprehensive assessment process that will be used to identify and select candidates in an absolute sense against the requirements as well as in a relative sense – benchmarked to one another.

Linda emphasizes that most family offices searches fail because they don’t recognize a basic truth: A successful hire requires that the candidate not only have the requisite skills and competencies to perform the job. They also need to meet the culture fit requirements to be successful and effective. In the family office world, culture fit will always trump technical expertise. Assessment criteria and tools including interviewing techniques are discussed and outlined in the paper.

During the recruiting process, a timeline, milestones and deliverables must be established. The individuals involved in the process and their respective accountabilities and responsibilities should also be clearly defined. Elements of search strategies and a candidate engagement process is described.

An onboarding plan is designed to help the new leader become acclimated to their role, the family and family office culture, and to the family’s advisors. The goal is to help the new family office leader build relationships and achieve results quickly and effectively. Creating early wins for the new executive promotes credibility. Commitment to the success of the new leader and creating an environment to foster success is critical. Linda includes stories of her work with family offices demonstrating, describing and reinforcing the importance of a well-conceived onboarding program.

Performance expectations and metrics must be aligned with family philosophies, values and objectives. They must be mutually agreed upon and clearly communicated. Effective performance management plans define expectations and metrics to be used to evaluate success that are objective, results driven, quantitative and qualitative. Ongoing, open communication and feedback regarding performance is critical. Compensation and reward systems must be carefully designed, and incentive plans tested. Linda cites two stories that underscore this point.

Retention plans, and succession plans should not be taken for granted. Components of an effective retention plan are outlined in the conclusion of the paper.

“The process described in our white paper is the culmination of 15+ years of working with Family Offices and their leadership needs,” said Linda. “It works best if followed completely and sequentially…short cuts or cutting corners can lead to very costly failures. Following the process consistently as prescribed will ensure the family can indeed “get it right” the first time, every time.”