I came across a new and hard-driving CEO of a billion-dollar private retail company who loved a CTO candidate after the first meeting. The candidate came from a top-notch external search firm. The external recruiter worked with the CEO in past and was an industry expert in retail, but not with this new industry. The CEO championed the candidate to all his reports, fast-tracked the interview process with little HR involvement, and candidate was eventually hired. The CTO lasted two weeks.
Little to no HR involvement in selecting the best outside recruiters for your company; no defined process; and when headhunters are the strategy — that’s when hiring goes rogue. I’m going to talk about how to handle these situations. keep reading…
While hiring by all employers is likely to be lackluster in the first part of next year, the intense competition for tech workers that has marked the last two years will continue in 2013.
Dice Holdings, parent company of the IT specialty job site Dice.com, and others in the financial service and energy sectors, says its most recent survey of tech recruiters and hiring managers found that 64 percent of them will add new tech workers next year. Compare that to a second survey of hiring professionals in all sectors, which found only 46 percent expecting to add new hires.
The results of the tech-only survey does show some softening of the market. In the spring, when Dice asked this same question, 73 percent of the respondents expected to make tech hires in the last half of 2012. That tracks with the general job survey in the spring when 51 percent of hiring managers planned second-half hiring. keep reading…
While all eyes last week were focused on the disappointing March job numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the report contained a curious blip that might be nothing more than a statistical aberration. Or it could be an early signal of employment trouble ahead.
The usually robust growth in temp jobs took a breather in March. Temp jobs dipped by 7,500 during the month, the first time since June the monthly employment report registered a decline. Out of a temp workforce of some 2.5 million, the drop is practically unnoticeable. But considering that staffing jobs grew by 91,300 in January and February, a reduction of any size is significant.
Recent history is also a factor. Looking at April 2011, the monthly jobs report said 251,000 jobs were created, the biggest rise since the census hiring of 12 months earlier. But that same report also showed the first decline in temp jobs in 19 months. Then in May, the economy added a mere 54,000 jobs. It was months before the pace of hiring returned to what it was in the first quarter of the year when 662,000 jobs were created.
Cautious employers can be forgiven therefore if they react as if last week’s Labor Department report were an omen. keep reading…
Bravo is airing a one-hour special tonight that may do for executive headhunting what Simon Cowell did for talent shows.
In the space of 60 minutes (commercials included), Wendy Doulton dispenses such bits of advice to her six-figure job candidates as “You need to lose the cleavage,” and “You make me feel like taking a nap.”
Born in the U.S., educated in London, Doulton’s blunt, unvarnished advice is delivered, in a clipped British accent. “A résumé should be like a skirt,” she declares. “Long enough to cover the basics, short enough to keep them interested.” keep reading…
There’s all sorts of tools for sourcing candidates. Much beloved are the resume search tools that leverage the search engines and scour pay and free sites to find resumes matching whatever criteria you select.
But when it comes to working the other direction — that is, sourcing placements and req –, the choices are pretty limited.
Now along comes BrightMove with a tool that turns resume sourcing on its head. Instead of searching for candidates to match a req, BrightMatch goes out and looks for job postings to match candidates you have in house.
How an agency might use BrightMatch is as obvious as it seems.
Say you have a particularly great candidate with unique skills, but no current req in house. With BrightMatch you can search thousands of corporate websites — more than 20,000, says BrightMove COO Mike Brandt — to see if there’s a match.
Find one, pitch the candidate, close the deal. keep reading…
As the hiring recovery gains momentum, some older recruiting strategies are coming back in vogue. One that seems to be high on many HR executives’ action plans is the need to develop an internal executive search capability within the corporate recruiting department. While the idea offers great merit, the approach many companies take is hiring recruiters or researchers who have worked in retained executive search and have them implement their personal “best practices.”
In my opinion, the likelihood this approach will work is problematic at best, idiotic at worst. keep reading…
Search is expensive, exponentially so relative to the level of talent that you are seeking. A failed search is expensive; even more exponential is that cost relative to its particular need.
Let’s talk through this one. You just made a hire. For the sake of round numbers and because it is too early in my day for me to break out my Ti 89, let’s call this person a manager making $100,000 plus 15% target bonus.
Since this manager is a “specialist” and you are a busy HR leader who doesn’t have the time or resources to conduct this search internally, you called in a headhunter. And by the way, I love this term. It is so aggressive, and whenever someone asks me “oh, so you are a headhunter?” I beam with pride. I have the image of some primitive tribal warrior with shrunken heads strung around his neck. But I digress.
When you were choosing to use a third party for this search, how did you evaluate that talent? keep reading…
In our experience at Dun & Bradstreet, rarely has either recruitment outsourcing or executive search been managed well for the long haul. I’m writing about this in more detail in the next (May) issue of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.
For now, a brief overview.
We took a hard look at the way in which we sourced, evaluated, and recruited game-changing executive talent. We questioned which processes should stay firmly in our hands and which could scale cost-effectively through a 3rd party. Our Chairman, Steve Alesio, and our new CEO, Sara Mathew, were open to new ways of not only finding, but also evaluating executive talent. They were willing to admit that our track record with executive search firms was spotty, at best, and that a complete reengineering of the acquisition model for our most senior leaders was in order. keep reading…
“Job growth is about to begin,” The Conference Board declared Monday. In the second quarter, says Manpower. “We are already seeing evidence,” insists the Association of Executive Search Consultants.
Even coming upon the heels of a robust labor report last week (that fueled a Wall Street mini-rally) these pronouncements probably won’t do much for the pessimists, but for recruiters, consider the collective news a call to reveille. keep reading…
A just-completed survey of more than 600 executives indicates that although executive hiring is selectively increasing, those increases have stalled since September 2009 and further growth in hiring is not predicted to be strong until 2011 and beyond for almost half the organizations. keep reading…
My company, Lockton, is a sales-led company that has a very intriguing setup. Salespeople at Lockton are very well-regarded, and an office can be built around a highly successful one.
Our model is a high-risk, high-reward type of opportunity that offers great financial success once you reach a certain level. Traditionally HR has not been involved at all in the sourcing and recruitment of these individuals. That all changed when in fall 2008 Lockton engaged in a sales recruiting experiment that I was fortunate enough to get involved with. keep reading…
For many organizations the time is right to build capability within the talent acquisition function to recruit executive level talent. Globalization combined with aging leadership demographics imply that a majority of organizations will need to recruit a record number of external leadership candidates in years to come, the cost of which would be prohibitive if traditional third party executive recruiters were widely used. If your organization is contemplating bringing executive search in-house, you need to develop a plan that covers several key elements. Those elements include assessing various executive recruiting models, making the business case to senior leaders, identifying potential problems, and putting together metrics to measure/demonstrate the effectiveness of your executive search function. keep reading…
Now is the perfect time for organizations to bring executive search capability in-house. While the business case for this strategic shift has been clear for some time, ongoing cost-containment efforts combined with increasing demand for strategic staffing make now the perfect time to execute the shift and build out the tools/approaches needed.
In many organizations, executive search fees consume double-digit portions of the recruiting budget, yet produce results only 45% of the time. Few budget items are more costly and ineffective, but the motivations behind this shift are not solely monetary. Executing executive searches internally dramatically increases the business impact of the talent acquisition function and raises the visibility of talent acquisition as a key contributor to business performance significantly.
After all, what else in recruiting could possibly impact business results more than bringing in a high-quality, innovative executive capable of delivering market-changing increases in efficiency and effectiveness?
The increase in “face time” between talent acquisition and the executive committee further increases the function’s ability to sell the vision of the organization and sustain operations when budgets get tight. In the following section, you will find numerous arguments supporting the shift.
When you add up all the positive benefits, it’s hard to argue that there will be a better time to explore this strategic move. keep reading…
Think there’s not much about recruiting you haven’t seen or heard? How about a NFL-style draft of experienced corporate leaders and MBAs?
That’s what a small group in Washington State is proposing and for no less a location than New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, where the National Football League draft is conducted.
Here’s the game plan, according to Corporate Draft and its organizers, Nolan Wheeler and Mike Gazdag:
Fifty companies are to pay $30k each to have a crack at 2,000 fully vetted veteran senior corporate managers and executives and 500 MBAs. There’s to be two days of “meet and greet” followed by two days of draft picks, during which the participating companies get to “draft” one of the hopefuls sitting in the Music Hall audience.
The companies, who also are present in the Music Hall, get five minutes to make a pick. When they do, they telephone their selection to the draft staff which delivers a custom stitched jersey to the master of ceremonies while the lucky job seeker is escorted to the stage as their 30 second video backgrounder is shown to the assemblage. keep reading…
It’s true! Although some of us have been preaching this for years, it’s amazing how some top executive search firms have buried their heads in the sand and continue doing business as usual.
- Corporate recruiters have access to tens of thousands of active candidates via job boards and specialized career sites.
- Corporate recruiters have access to information about tens of thousands of inactive candidates via a variety of Web tools ranging from Google to ZoomInfo to LinkedIn.
- Thousands of corporate recruiters have been certified in advanced sourcing techniques from firms like AIRS and the Adler Group.
- ATS and hiring management systems not only house customized resume databases, but they also enable recruitment processes to be streamlined so that recruiters are able to spend less time on operational details and more time delivering value-added services to hiring managers.
- Once the sole resource of search firms, research, and sourcing firms provide rapid candidate generation services to corporate recruiters at affordable prices.
…Why aren’t search firms out of business?
Korn/Ferry’s doing better than expected, results R.W. Baird analyst Mark Marcon calls “a clean beat” of expectations. The stock was up sharply Tuesday.
Some thoughts in an email from Marcon on the world’s largest executive search company.
Average fee/search increased a very strong 15%.
Growth is clearly decelerating — from +26% in FQ2, +22% in FQ3, +16% in FQ4.
Futurestep also had a solid quarter, and continues to make good progress of improving its operating margin. Revenue increased 22% and operating margin expanded from 8.1% to 9.2%. (Futurestep is the RPO division; it’s about 14% of the company.)
North America and EMEA, two largest segments, were significantly better than expected, while Asia-Pac was disappointing. The only real negative was Asia-Pac.
South America performed well, but is small.
Korn/Ferry’s top executives also talked about the business, the economy in general, and more, during a conference call.
The biotech firm Invitrogen has formed a new in-house team with the mandate of filling at least 10 executive (director and above) searches this year that would have gone to an outside, retained search firm. It hopes to save a half-mil in search fees (an initiative that Invitrogen’s James Seetoo goes into more detail about in the July Journal).
Here’s a look at Seetoo’s “SWOT” chart when it comes to moving search in.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
This past quarter, I conducted two senior-level management searches. Each one stands out as a shining example of what to do and what not to do. Understanding the differences can double your monthly placement rate in about half the time. Before reading the details, you should benchmark your own recruiting skills using this 10-Factor Recruiter diagnostic assessment to get a sense of what it takes to be a great recruiter.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines research as a “careful or diligent search,” a “studious inquiry or examination,” and “the collecting of information about a particular subject.” Why is it, then, that most executive search and recruiting professionals so often think of research as mere “name generation?” “Name gen” is rarely careful, diligent, or studious. More often, it involves a relatively haphazard scooping up of names and titles, willy-nilly. And that leads to a “kiss every frog” approach to recruiting in order to find your prince.
As the execution engine of executive search, your research can be either a Ferrari or an Edsel, a car that failed spectacularly due to poor workmanship and a failure to understand the American consumer. The Ferrari is Human Capital Intelligence: research that, through analysis, is transformed into actionable intelligence to provide your search with a competitive advantage. When you embed intelligence into virtually every step of your search process, you dramatically improve search performance. I’m not suggesting that you work harder. I am suggesting that by doing the following 10 steps, you can work smarter so you don’t have to work as hard.