Case Studies

Racing to Build the Best Leadership Pipeline

Tabcorp has committed to a comprehensive talent management initiative. It saw the potential for the quality of its leadership pipeline to become the largest handicap to executing business strategies and creating a high performance culture.

As Australia’s leading wagering, media and Keno operator, Tabcorp is not only an ASX 100 company but also one of the world’s largest publicly listed gambling companies. With more than 3,000 employees, it has partnered with HFL to institute a highly structured talent management strategy.
Tabcorp’s HR strategy contains  five key objectives: build a future-fit organisation; develop leaders for that future; create a sustainable, high performance culture; engage its workforce; and diversify the talent pool.
Tabcorp has adopted a two-pronged approach – to develop ‘home grown’ leaders and attract talent from the market place – as it increases bench strength in its current leaders as well as a pipeline of future leaders.
HFL has assisted Tabcorp with the adoption of a highly objective, data driven recruitment process. This process is underpinned by key selection criteria that include proven technical ability, organisational fit, leadership capability and potential strength, and succession planning.
Tabcorp uses a variety of channels to collect intelligence about their future leaders and to inform decisions on candidate selection. HFL helped Tabcorp design:
• Success profiles which are specific to role, function and level
• Leadership capability frameworks that define what leaders do
• Leadership performance models for each level of leader, including specialist roles such as sales
• Profiling measures such as verbal and numerical skills, abstract reasoning, and leadership style preferences measured through the Global Personality Inventory (GPI).
The success profiles have subsequently been used by an external search firm as part of the talent search process as well as by Tabcorp to draft best practice role descriptions.
The leadership frameworks inform the design and outputs from the selection assessment centres for both external and internal candidates. These centres provide a fair and transparent process for all candidates where candidates are assessed against a combination of behavioural and potential measures. The behavioural assessments are directly aligned to the Tabcorp leadership capability and competency model, specific to each leadership level.
Candidates have an opportunity to demonstrate these behaviours through participating in a number of role specific business scenarios that represent challenges and opportunities the candidates will likely face in the Tabcorp working environment. They are observed by experienced HFL assessors and scored according to competency against each leadership capability.
After completing the assessment, the assessors produce a comprehensive written report aligned directly to the role requirements and key areas of success with:
• Recommendations on leadership competency for the role
• Additional lines of enquiry through reference checking
• A breakdown of the strengths and opportunities against each leadership competency
• Results of cognitive abilities including potential measures; these are also aligned to each leadership competency.
HFL consultants hold a debrief with Tabcorp senior HR representatives and the hiring manager to report findings, and to compare and contrast candidate performances. The consultants contribute to an in-depth discussion about what each candidate brings in terms of skills and behaviours, and who has displayed the ‘non-negotiable’ requirements to get the job done. The conversation is focused on balancing views about capability, fit and potential, with a strong emphasis on succession.
Additional value is provided by HFL though discussing key strategic planning in terms of successful on-boarding of the new high potential talent. Tabcorp is alert to the vital role direct managers always play in ensuring the success of the new recruit and in accelerating their ability to have an immediate, positive impact on business results.
Once a final decision has been reached and communicated, all candidates are debriefed on their results by an HFL consultant. For candidates who were unsuccessful in securing the role, the insights are used to inform their personal development planning. This provides emerging leaders with a clear road map of how best to ready themselves for the next opportunity. It also reveals the experience, knowledge and skills they may need for future selection.
Successful candidates also have an extensive debrief with an HFL consultant to confirm which of their capabilities match the new role and any potential barriers to success. As part of the debrief, preliminary thinking and planning is covered to ensure successful integration into their new environment.
“We have been extremely impressed with the technical ability that HFL brings to the selection and talent management space. HFL has invested a great deal of time getting to know our business and our strategy. Its solutions are pragmatic and commercially oriented. We have established a true working partnership.”
- Sharon Broadley General Manager, Talent & Organisational Development at Tabcorp

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