Bernhard Raschke joins Korn/Ferry – top supply chain consultant makes the move to executive search

We told you back in July that Bernhard Raschke, PwC’s lead supply chain partner in Europe was leaving the firm. He’s now decided on his next step and has recently joined top leadership consulting firm Korn/Ferry International. They’re one of the very top firms in that business, publically quoted on the US market, with annual revenues close to $1 billion. They’re best known still as top-level “headhunters”, but as we’ll see, they have expanded their range of services in recent years.

I caught up with Raschke for a chat to find out more.

So, what have you been doing since you left PwC?

I’ve had a great summer - I walked the Pennine Way, took a motor cycle trip to the Cote d'Azur doing la Route Napoleon, saw the Rolling Stones in the Hyde Park and watched my sons playing a lot of cricket! But I was also busy looking at a number of very interesting ventures and I seriously considered becoming an entrepreneur. I also had two interesting offers in the consulting and BPO space, but in the end it was a very easy decision to join Korn/Ferry International and to become a ‘talent consultant’.

What appeals about the new industry and role?

I believe that all successful transformations - procurement or elsewhere - start with appointing the right leaders, who will then design, attract and build the top team. There is no better way to make a contribution then by finding and supporting the leaders who will drive these changes.

I will stay focused on Procurement and Supply Chain across industries, working on C-level appointments. I’m also working with Korn/Ferry Futurestep who serve the ‘vital many’ at wider management levels. I’ll work across the whole spectrum of the function, but my deep sector interest will be in Transportation and Logistics – there is a natural fit there with wider Supply Chain focus.

You’ve changed industries obviously - I guess you see “talent management” as a good bet for the next few years?

All the market indicators suggest that the “war for talent” will increase in most sectors and functions - and the supply chain and logistics sector faces a major human resources challenge in the coming years. By 2017, some observers suggest the supply chain industry globally needs an additional 500,000 qualified and skilled individuals to address increasingly sophisticated supply chains.

We did a study at PwC and all our expert interviews in the sector highlighted that the biggest challenge for the industry over the next 20 years will be access to a more diverse and better qualified talent pool.

Is the role purely headhunting or are there wider elements to it?

In today’s environment, global organizations have increasingly complex talent management needs. A piecemeal approach to talent-oriented services is no longer viable nor valuable to clients. These organizations need a true talent partner – someone who “connects the dots” across their entire talent continuum. This excites me.

I have been hired not because of my search experience obviously but because of my consulting background and subject matter expertise. Of course executive search will be the foundation, knowing the market and the candidate talent pool is most critical, that’s where the benchmarks and insights will come from. I know it is a huge responsibility, one that has an immense impact on someone’s life, so it’s not about ‘selling’ candidates but finding the one who will excel in the role.

However, a significant part of my role will be to get involved in LTC – Leadership and Talent Consulting. The Korn/Ferry services range from organisation design, Top Team effectiveness, onboarding, all the way to board simulation exercises to address issues such as succession planning.

In combination with Korn/Ferry’s Futurestep organization we can also deliver scalable solutions for the ‘vital many’ - offering RPO (recruitment process outsourcing), project recruitment, individual search, talent consulting and employer branding services – all backed by the industry-leading insights and methodologies of the full organization. So my role will definitely cover more than headhunting.

We’ll be back with part 2, where Bernhard provides some interesting insights into the future of the headhunting industry…

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