Scott Wilson Case Study: Talent Management Programme

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Client Profile

Industry Sector: Professional Services

Number of Employees: 6000

Location: Worldwide


Scott Wilson Group has witnessed significant market and operational change over the last few years. The Group has doubled in size over this period and, in March, was admitted to the Official List of the London Stock Exchange, completing the transformation of the business from a partnership to a fully traded public company.These drivers, combined with a rapidly evolving market, demanded a revised Talent Management strategy which would allow the company to successfully capitalise on this new potential.

Cultural changes meant that any new process would need to begin by shifting the emphasis in required employee behaviour: the overall goal to transform the company from one that was project focused, reactive and opportunity led to one that is proactive, dynamic and strategically focused.  New Talent Management initiatives would play a crucial role in enabling the organisation to objectively identify and develop key talent at all levels.

a&dc have worked with Scott Wilson since 2007 to support and implement this new Talent Management strategy.  Key to the success of the new programme was the creation of a ‘talent culture’ within the organisation, in which talented individuals could be identified against a newly defined set of behaviours, and subsequently be provided with opportunities for career progression and development.  These behaviours were used to inform the design of a series of rigorous assessment and development processes, enabling the business to gain a clear picture of existing talent and to understand how this talent could be utilised to best effect in relation to organisational needs.


a&dc worked in partnership with Scott Wilson to design a specific solution to meet their unique requirements.

Competency Framework Design

The first stage of the project involved re-defining the behaviours that were important for success in the business, not only currently, but with an eye to the future.  a&dc and a number of trained members of the Scott Wilson HR team undertook extensive research with key stakeholders, including the CEO and Executive Board, encompassing all business units.  Securing early involvement from these key individuals not only ensured their buy-in and commitment to the programme, but also made certain that the new competency framework reflected the future commercial, strategic and cultural needs of the business.

Programme Design

Once the new framework had been designed, agreed and embedded, a&dc together with the members of the HR team began constructing various Talent programmes, each targeted at a different population ranging from recent Graduates through to the Executive Board.  Whilst the look and feel of each programme was necessarily different, reflecting the needs of each target group, common to all programmes were the central themes of assessing the key behaviours required for success at each level, the provision of individual feedback and the implementation of a targeted development plan.  The methodology included a nomination process, a sift process anchored to the identified competencies, and a Development Centre enabling individuals to participate in a range of relevant business simulations as well as a number of group development activities.

Following the Development Centres, individuals received in-depth feedback on the various activities that they had undertaken throughout the programme.  This included behavioural feedback from the simulation exercises, personality questionnaire feedback and, in some cases, 360° feedback.  All individuals were given their feedback in a one-to-one meeting and were encouraged to develop an action plan, enabling them to address their individual development needs and capitalise on their strengths.  Various development options were available to those taking part in the programme including executive coaching, on the job learning and self directed learning, all of which were supported by the Scott Wilson HR team and individual Line Managers.

Sharing Expertise

As part of a&dc‘s commitment to sharing expertise and enabling clients to become self sufficient, we provided various training courses, (including Centre Design and Management, Job Analysis training and Assessor Skills training) to enable Scott Wilson to grow its internal capability and deliver future events using internal resource.


The initial Development Centres have now taken place for the majority of the target population with additional programmes planned for the coming year.  The feedback, both from the business and from those engaged in the programmes, has been very positive.  The initiative is still underway and represents a journey of development both for the organisation and for the individuals taking part in each of the programmes.

This new talent initiative has not only enabled Scott Wilson to identify their high potential and high performing talent but to ensure that these people are in the right place at the right time to meet the existing and future requirements of the business.  With Talent Management now firmly on the map within Scott Wilson the business is well positioned  to capitalise on the commercial opportunities available to it as it continues on its mission to help transform societies’ greatest challenges into great results.

What the client says

“The impact of the Talent programme within the company has been significant: not only have we met our strategic business objectives, but the engagement and positive “word of mouth” from individuals participating has been tremendous and taken together this is enabling the re-positioning of HR as a business focused, added value function.  Our partnership with a&dc has been key to this success:  the a&dc Consultants we worked with were seen as highly credible by our managers.”  David Walters, Resourcing & Development Director