The Secret Power of Org Charts

Org Charts are powerful things. You may not know that by looking at them. True, they simply detail the reporting structure of a company -> what underlings report to what direct superiors on up to the CEO. But organizational charts are so much more than that. Org charts are full of secrets. In fact, org charts of competitors and target companies are brimming with closely-held information. Most of them are not publically available. That’s because org charts make it far too easy for you to poach talent from the charted company. Org charts show you where the talent is; what they do; and what divisions, functions, and teams a company is spinning up and winding down. They show you how a company is organized, which speaks to their workflow, their operating structure, and their corporate strategy. In other words . . .

Org Charts are a Powerful Form of Competitive Intelligence

Now, I must confess a certain attraction to, if not delight in, diagrams. They are eye-candy. That’s because org charts often convey ideas more powerfully because they don’t have to spell it out. They simply show us. Here, Google Engineer and Artist Manu Cornet playfully demonstrates how the very structure of charts hold the power to convey corporate culture.

Credit: Drawing by Emmanuel (Manu) Cornet whose work can be found at


The Secret Power of Org Charts for Executive Recruiting

Org charts are executive recruiting gold.  The reason they are so valuable is that the information is organized, vetted, and actionable. Social network information is not. You don’t have to wonder whether you’ve found every potential candidate. You see them right there in the chart. Done.

LinkedIn Recruiter is Not the Panacea They Thought It Would Be

Heads of corporate executive search have told me they pay in excess of $1 thousand per month ($12 thousand a year) for each LinkedIn Recruiter license. Still, they can’t quite put their finger on why LinkedIn isn’t delivering the hires they thought it would. Their candidate sourcers are using LinkedIn to generate increasingly long lists of prospective candidates. Still, all too often, the candidates they are finding are somehow “off”. Hiring executives grow frustrated.

But it is not for a lack of trying.

Rather, corporate recruiters and sourcers frequently put in long hours to deliver the required hire. Only, for some inexplicable reason, they’re hitting the wall.

Well, it’s explicable.

Imagine a list of ideal candidates — dream executives that are perfect for the job.

Now stick that list in a blender. Leave the lid off. Press High multiple times.

Welcome to LinkedIn.

That’s why org charts are so much better.  Yes, they are an investment. But they are worth oh so much more than that. 

Interested in Org Charts?

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