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Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right by Laurence Prusak, Brook Manville, Thomas H. Davenport

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McKinsey & Company

Should We Recruit from a Different Pool of Talent?

DURING THE 1980S, the partners of the global professional services firm McKinsey & Company struggled with an enviable problem: explosive growth of their consulting practice. But for a professional services firm committed to competing on the basis of distinctive talent, it was a fundamental strategic challenge: how to find enough McKinsey-qualified associates to meet the demand.1

“We were at the beginning of the curve of some of the greatest thirst for talent we had ever known,” recalled Jerome Vascellaro, then director of personnel at the firm, adding with characteristic humor, “we had so much work, we could almost have started hiring llamas.” The idea of hiring llamas brings ...

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