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Client Chronicles with Kathryn Lattimer

Read Time
3 minutes
Spring 2024
Kathryn Lattimer

Client Chronicles with Kathryn Lattimer

This month's Chronicle features Kathryn Lattimer, Chief Strategy Officer, Center, Global Energy Policy, Columbia University.

A headshot of a dark blonde woman in a blue top

What are one or two things you look for when hiring executives?
When looking to hire an executive into the organization I think the two most important things are culture fit and demonstrated success.  I want to ensure an incoming candidate's values align with the organization and knowing that past behavior is an indicator for future behavior, I want to know what they have accomplished and how the will contribute to our mission.

For the last two years, it has been a candidate‚Äôs market. What have you seen recently and have things changed? 
Certainly, over the last two years, the job market has indeed favored candidates with low unemployment rates and high demand for skilled workers.  This situation has given job seekers more leverage in negotiating the terms and conditions of employment. On the employer side there is a competitive advantage in finding the right candidate with seeking specific skills to fill a role.  And employers could be seeking candidates with more specialized skills or a broader range of experience, making it slightly more challenging for some candidates to secure offers.  

What are the most effective (one or two) initiatives for retaining employees?
Employee retention is an important organization development focus area as not only does it contribute to the culture of the organization but it also helps the organization's bottom line in reducing costs around recruitment and onboarding.  The two most effective ways to retain employees is letting them feel valued as part of the organization and investing in their growth and development so they can see themselves growing in the organization.   

How are you using AI tools to optimize your organizational performance?
We leverage AI tools to optimize our performance across various aspects of our operations.  One example, is we use AI to analyze employee feedback through or annual employee engagement survey to to identify trends, issues, and opportunities for improvement. By understanding how engaged our employees are we can implement targeted initiatives to enhance employee satisfaction and retention.

What do you most value in a partnership with a search firm?
In partnering with a search firm, I value the relationship with the recruiter most.  It is important that the hiring manager and recruiter are in sync and understand what responsibilities are for a particular role and what type of candidate we are sourcing.  This will ensure that all three people, the recruiter, hiring manager, and candidate are set up for success.