Impact on the hiring processes of Executive Search Companies and their Clients
During the last couple of years, and more intensively after the pandemic, Labor Market news and trends are dominated by two words: “Talent Shortage”! The reasons behind it have been analyzed thoroughly through many articles, studies, and research.
Here, we will try to discuss its impact on the Executive Search industry’s hiring processes and phases and propose some adjustments we see necessary which obviously touch upon the clients as well.
The brief phase
In this phase both parts agree on the details of the role, the characteristics of the candidates and the search strategy. In normal times clients were quite demanding on requesting the PERFECT candidates for the agreed role.
The Consultant must clearly explain that the talent shortage will most probably make the quest for the PERFECT candidate a utopia, sacrificing time, resources, and, eventually, money, with no results. They must design a different search strategy, seeking candidates from extended hunting grounds, with, most probably, less skills than the PERFECT skillset. Knowing the Client’s organization, the role of the Consultant is to identify the skills that can be missed out from the skillset but will quickly become a property of the successful candidate, with the support and the training means of the Client’s organization.
The shortlist phase
During this phase the Consultants formulate the short list with the proposed Candidates. They must move faster than the previous years and decide on the short list quickly, without letting their natural tendency of trying to find more equally good candidates, conquer the process. Competition for Talent is fierce, so there is no time to spare. Find the right candidates and present them to the Client asap. In some cases, there will be only ONE right candidate.
The role of the Consultant is to educate the Client to even accept a ONE candidate short list, make them move fast and proceed with the meetings and if they are happy with it, they should proceed with an offer. It is the Client’s time to overcome their natural need to wait for more candidates and act fast! ONE DAY YOU HAVE A SHORT LIST THE NEXT YOU HAVE NOTHING
The offer phase
Reaching to the final phase, means that the partnership between the Consultant and the Client has worked well.
Once more, the Client must trust the Consultant and agree on a fair and attractive offer. For this to happen the Client must have a clear real time picture of the market in terms of remuneration trends. Only the Consultant can offer this. REAL TIME is the “secret”. All organizations use various Remuneration Surveys to design their strategy. The talent shortage has speeded up the changes in this area with a pace that the surveys cannot follow. Especially in some roles the speed is unprecedented. This knowledge goes beyond the financial part of the offer and covers all other benefits and perks that also evolve rapidly.
As specialists the Search Consultants have the real time figures and trends and their aim is to best support their clients, who in turn must learn to listen to professionals to whom they have entrusted this process – it’s a true partnership where both parties need to work together.
In this highly competitive talent quest, Professional Search Consultants and Clients must work fast and seamlessly. The main ingredient for this to happen is TRUST.
Trust appears in all three phases. Trust develops progressively. There is only one way for Professional Search Consultants to create a trusting relationship with their clients: TO TRUST THEIR OWN PROFESSIONAL PROCESS.
Article written by Nikos Floros, CFR Global Executive Search Greece
Photo source: Freepik