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This report describes the results of a survey of over 200 Chief HR Officers (CHROs) regarding the assessment practices their companies use to gather information on potential CEO successors. The survey also asked them to describe practices used to socialize/orient a new CEO into his or her role. The most popular assessment techniques for internal CEO candidates consisted of past performance accomplishment profiles (reported by 95% of CHROs), past development needs (88%), 360-degree evaluations (80%) and unstructured interviews (69%). For external candidates, reference checks topped the list (87%), followed by past performance accomplishments (85%), unstructured interviews (72%) and structured behavioral interviews (71%). Formal testing such as personality tests (51%), cognitive ability tests (47%) and psychological interviews (47%) were far more likely to be conducted for external candidates than for internal candidates (42%, 36%, and 33%, respectively). CHROs reported that they felt multiple assessment techniques were the most valuable way to gather information regarding internal candidates (75%). Past performance accomplishments (59%) and 360-degree evaluations (34%) were seen as the most valuable single assessment techniques. Regarding external candidates, again multiple assessments topped the list as most valuable (73%) followed by reference checks (45%), structured behavioral interviews (35%) and past performance accomplishments (34%). Finally, CHROs who had been part of a CEO onboarding reported most frequently using a formal set of processes (82%) followed by building internal relationships (64%), building external relationships (36%) and coaching (35%) to acclimate the new CEO to his or her new role.

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© 2014, University of South Carolina

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