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One of our prestigious clients, a Luxury Jewelry Retailer, needed to enhance the capabilities of its workforce in order to accelerate sales. Their strategy identified a need to increase the succession bench strengths for the sales population to aggressively compete in the market. From this strategy a full organization review started.

A bespoke development program was designed and deployed across markets globally to identify employees’ potential and their capabilities, and target sales growth through people.

The objective behind the partnership between Luxury Jewelry Retailer and AK+Partners was to secure a high performing retail talent pool – for the present and into the future – through the Program. A central pillar of the Program was to determine employees’ readiness to step-up to more senior positions and identify development areas to stay competitive in the ever-evolving luxury retail market.

Close to 2000 employees across 3 continents have taken part of the Program between 2016 and year-to-date 2020.

Must-have Criteria Identified
Sales Forces Assessed
Markets Covered


In collaboration with the Luxury Jewelry Retailer, AK+Partners designed the Program, which involved three key phases. First, there was a need to create a benchmark of the “ideal employee” for each position (or what success looks like in the position) which determined a set of must have competencies. Key stakeholders at the Luxury Jewelry Retailer contributed to the internal benchmark and AK+Partners provided external benchmarks based on their expertise and long-standing experience in the retail industry. Second, validated diagnostic tools – the Predictive Index® Cognitive and Behavioral assessments, and CATIL® Talent Review survey – were used to assess each employee’s readiness and career potential, as well as their strengths and weaknesses to drive continuous improvement. Finally, the Luxury Jewelry Retailer’s human resources departments were trained and certified to use the selected appraisal tools so as to permit a powerful debriefing with each employee, and ensure a structured, highly objective and successful recruitment process for new hires. Individual development plans were designed to help employees understand how and in which areas to improve with linkage to the Luxury Jewelry Retailer’s mission to boost sales performance.


The Program helped determine the readiness of 1923 employees: almost 25% of the assessed population was ready to assume higher ranking positions, 60% was within the benchmark and 15% was ranked as low potential. For the employees not yet promotion-ready, it defined the areas that required improvement to eventually drive their professional development forward.

Management feedback is very positive. People are their business. One executive remarked “It brings objectivity and measures in talent potential assessment, and supports targeted development investment”.

In addition to that, the Program helped the identification of global development areas that need to be addressed.

  • X promotions
  • Reduced low performance
  • In 4 years, 0% sales population turnover in one market


Building on the Program’s success, AK+Partners recommended the Luxury Jewelry Retailer to standardize and professionalize the recruitment process using the Predictive Index® and CATIL® suite of solutions on a Company-wide basis. The objective is to provide human resources across the Company with the right tools for selection and on-boarding of higher caliber talent.

Specific training programs were deployed to the identified talents focusing on areas which support performance in the job and shape future store managers.

Following an initial pilot in four markets, the Luxury Jewelry Retailer decided to open up the Program to 7 other markets in 2017, and promote it as part of their annual Talent Review. The Program is ongoing and is being deployed across the world as a standard process for talent identification and development and extended to other job function and level.

In 2018 the Luxury Jewelry Retailer started a new Project to assess the readiness of Young Talents. In 2019 and 2020 new Projects to assess Managers’ readiness have been launched.

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