On March 2, an exclusive practical seminar of an expert with twenty-five years of experience, Chairman of CONSORT Group Mikhail Bogdanov, took place at the Moscow Savoy Hotel. The topic of “Catching the firebird is not easy” was all about the secrets and techniques of Executive Search and headhunting. “Personnel Management” magazine was the seminar’s information partner.
It is a common belief that when searching for, negotiating with, discussing the range of targets and compensation package for top managers, Executive Search consultants use some privileged technologies. In general, it is so. However, those who think that those are not accessible to “mere mortals” are mistaken! They can and should be applied in any company but how this should be done was explained at the master class.
What are the requirements for the senior executives that help cut off “personnel trash” (burnt-out, disloyal, single-task candidates, potential criminal characters …)? What are the techniques for evaluating candidates and ensuring their success? What if, on the eve of signing the contract, the final candidate changes terms and conditions or, conversely, the company has a major force majeure? What is to be done if the General Director and the HRD have differing opinions on an ideal candidate? And also, when a search assignment is formulated like this: “Go there — I do not know where, and bring that — I do not know what”?
Before you plan the search stages and apply evaluation methods, you must correctly understand the search mandate, determine the “habitat” of those who are being headhunted, and decide on methods, recommended Irina Schavinskaya, CONSORT Group’s Project Director, and an experienced psychologist.
And in order to increase the probability of “hitting the bull’s eye”, one should master the art of establishing and maintaining useful contacts (Social Networking) of which Mikhail Bogdanov told the master class participants.
HRDs and HR specialists from a number of large companies shared their opinions and experience in searches. According to Pony Express CEO Georgy Alikoshvili, the right choice does not always lie in the obvious professional segment for which the top manager is needed; his own professional experience speaks for just that. It is better to rely on the candidate’s personal qualities: leadership, balanced judgments, structured thinking, inner core, ability to manage the ambitions of subordinates … And Dmitry Vasiliev, the CEO from St. Petersburg’s TA Vostok company, following up on that idea, adds the candidate’s pronounced motivation to work in that company to the list of advantages of the said candidate — in particular, it can indicate readiness to relocate from another region of the country.
Elena Ozertsova, Zeppelin Russland’s HRD, brought forward a case on how to timely determine the candidate’s weaknesses. This, perhaps, will help avoid mistakes and a feeling of guilt towards the person who was headhunted, and who did not fit in afterwards. And Natalia Gruzdova, Itella’s Head of Recruitment Department, shared her “adventurous” experience when, in order to reach out to the right person, she had to invent legends and feel like a scout behind the enemy’s lines.
Author: Elena Mamontova, “Personnel Management” magazine