2022 has been a very challenging year for the Executive Search business. First we faced a long period of (un)expected constraints, balancing and keeping “hybrid forms of work” and the uncertain economic outlook.
But … there was light at the end of the tunnel. The market was picking up and companies were experiencing growth again. And growth also means attracting talent. Again, we noted the emergence of a “candidate driven” market where there are more open positions relative to the number of candidates.
Alternative opportunities with the courtesy of a partnership
Employers did not adopt a wait-and-see attitude in this situation and started looking for alternative opportunities to attract talent. On the one hand, efforts were made to identify the talents present in their own organizations, both in domestic and foreign branches. On the other hand, customers could count on an active partnership with their CFR recruitment partner to start the search externally. After all, a CFR Executive Search partner knows the specific operations and thus needs of their clients. In addition, critical thinking along with the client is self-evident. After all, we are there to support growth together.
All these joint efforts led to more structured in-house communication to internal talents to apply. Furthermore, the external focus could be placed on online spotting and attracting new employees. Consequently, within the partnership between the companies and the CFR partners, efficient ways of attracting candidates, including passive candidates, were developed.
With the year end in sight, managers are drawing up the balance sheet.
Not only for the organization they lead, but also for themselves. It is this momentum where we as an Executive Search firm keep a finger on the pulse. We think along with the organization and with the managers’ careers. Just because we know the market, we already know where the needs and pain points will be in 2023. The managers are also engaged in the same exercise and are weighing the next steps within or outside the current organization.
Provide ‘chairs’ already
We will continue to advise companies to provide ‘seats’ even if there are not immediate vacancies. The moment one needs candidates and the necessary preparations have not been made, the ‘seat’ will remain empty for a long time. Therefore, we need to look ahead and dare to invest in those managerial positions that will be needed, such as sales, finance and IT.
The qualified candidate
Keep in mind that the candidate-driven market will continue and the proverbial “white raven” will not always be found. Therefore, dare to apply the 80/20 and invest in the potential and support the new employees with their growth path. Turn them into ambassadors.
Lay out the red carpet
Candidates can choose from the offer. Keep the lead time short and efficient. Deal online which makes sense; meet the qualified candidates at the company. Act as candidates’ reason: with a work-life balance. Learn to think and act hybrid.
Yes, paper is back
Don’t limit the search only to advertising online through various media, specialized or otherwise. Candidates read newspapers and magazines, and seeing job openings repeatedly makes the company top of mind and potential candidates respond faster. Turn the passive candidate into an active and therefore prospective new employee. CFR partners think along to apply these techniques. In addition, there are other, more targeted actions that can be set up. We will gladly explain these in a personal contact.
Together with our clients, we are looking forward to an exciting Talent Acquisition year in 2023.
Article written by Maurice Gorissen, CFR Global Executive Search Belgium
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