Monday letters: S.C. must recruit, hire top leaders

May 20, 2013 

A better jobs outlook in South Carolina requires better leadership outreach beyond South Carolina. Too often, the discussion of jobs and economic growth turns to native skills and frontline hiring issues alone –– manufacturing, customer service, hospitality and hands-on craftsmanship jobs.

What about the expertise, experience and brilliance of the very best and brightest executives, professors, investors and graduates from around the country? The best of the best. The elite. Top leaders and performers. How can South Carolina increase its business management and leadership brainpower sustainably?

One strategy is for progressive organizations to attract and hire from the world’s top business and law schools, military teams, dual-degree and doctoral programs, and fastest-growing companies.

Blackbaud reached out to Marc Chardon, a magna cum laude Harvard graduate and Microsoft business unit CFO, to take the helm of the Charleston software company in 2005. Bryan Derreberry, president of the Wichita, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce, was hired away to run Charleston’s growing chamber in 2011.

In fact, after Hurricane Hugo, one Charlotte leadership strategy was to recruit, hire and compensate the very best leaders to move to Charlotte.

Why? Great leaders invest in, give back to and support their communities. If South Carolina is not producing enough top leaders, companies and cities and chambers can benefit by opening up their hiring spheres to include experts and top candidates nationally.

Baron Hanson


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