Category: InterSearch Russia – Kontakt

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Multiple growth in 2 years – How does InterSearch members collaborate on an international executive search project?
Successful searching for a President to a manufacturing company responsible for several markets

Joint project of InterSearch Russia and InterSearch Europe.

Natalya Chuiko, Department Director at Kontakt InterSearch Russia, Project Manager, describes the challenges of the international assignment and the positive conclusion.

Case

An international family-owned manufacturing company had a need to select a successor for the presidency, who would be in charge of the Eastern European macro-region. The new leader had to fulfill the task of increasing the market share in these regions, as well as quickly, smoothly and efficiently launch local production. This multinational company headquartered in Europe is a global client of InterSearch in various countries.

The main challenges

It was important for the client to see an expat in this role. On the one hand, the candidate had to have experience in innovative businesses and be adept at the best western business practices. It was also agreed that he or she would participate in the work of the European industry association. On the other hand, it was important that the manager had an excellent understanding of the Russian market, understood the mentality and also spoke Russian, because for the tasks assigned it was required to communicate with specialists who did not speak foreign languages well.

The area of responsibility of the new director assumed a huge scale. The segment in which the company operates is narrow and requires work experience in leading companies with similar specifics. All these conditions made the search incredibly difficult: it turned out that there were only a few candidates on the market who could qualify for the position.

Project progress and details

The entire project took 8 months from the start of negotiations with the client. The consultants conducted a careful and scrupulous search for candidates who could meet all the stated requirements. As a result, the team managed to get to know the head of the Russian branch of a large international company and introduce him to the client.

As an expat, the candidate was fluent in Russian, had a vast strategic experience and industry knowledge. But most importantly, he fully shared the family values of the company, which declares honest relationships and attention to employees.

An important point was the negotiation of a motivating compensation package with the candidate, for whom it was important to maintain the usual level of income. In addition to paying for housing, as well as extra benefit (driver, insurance, etc.), the social package included compensation for the education of the candidate’s children, which constituted a significant part of his annual income. By agreeing to take over the tuition fees, the employer reaffirmed the company’s focus on people and family values. Such a caring attitude of the employer persuaded the candidate to take the offer. Thus, the social package in the first year amounted to almost 10.5 million rubles.

Result

For the last 2 years after the candidate was hired, the company has been demonstrating multiple growth and increasing dynamics, overtaking all market players. The production was successfully launched and became the catalyst for a quantum leap forward. Observing the results, we can safely say that the employer’s multimillion-dollar investment in a key manager not only paid off, but also returned with a huge plus. Today it is a company in which almost all candidates in this segment dream of working.

The most common Board recruiting mistakes

by Marina Tarnopolskaya, Managing Partner, Kontakt InterSearch Russia

When Russian companies declare that they have a board of directors, it often turns out that it consists of the owner and hired top managers who have been working in the organization for a very long time. However, even the most excellent strategists are unlikely to bring something new to the business if they have been working with it for 15-20 years. The lack of independent directors on the board is the biggest mistake organizations make.

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How Do Companies Look For Top Managers?

Why are companies looking for replacements for their directors, what mistakes do they make when selecting leaders, and why, in some cases, is it better to trust an executive search agency?

An article from Elena Kolpakova, senior consultant at Kontakt InterSearch Russia.

Why is there a need in companies to select a top manager?

The most popular reasons for finding managers today are increasing the company’s profitability, the need to increase the efficiency of business processes, business automation and digitalization, as well as the development of new directions in accordance with the current market needs.

It’s no secret that the pandemic and the subsequent crisis helped to clearly understand what bottlenecks in the company are, and in order to improve them, you need to radically change processes.

Often, the current management cannot cope with the challenges it faces, because leaders were taken on completely different tasks. As a result, the business faces an acute problem of finding new top managers.

Other additional reasons include redefining teamwork, where old methods no longer work and new challenges require inspiring the team in a different way. Often, managers simply cannot cope with the workload, and this can lead to the fact that the team simply scatters. Here there is a need for a leader – a leader not only of changes, but also of a team leader, since she/he will be the agent of change in the company.

How is the process of finding and hiring managers usually organized?

The process of recruiting in-house managers and with the help of a third-party agency can be very different, since a partner who provides search services for top managers has much more resources for analysis, assessment, and prompt resolution of the issue. In general, the entire task of selecting managers can be divided into several blocks.

Preparation

At this stage, the customer (or a manager within the company) describes the task and transfers the necessary information to the agency (or a contractor within the company), which will take over the search function.

Market research

At this point, the formation of a search strategy takes place: an analysis of the market for potential candidates, interesting donor companies, methods for finding managers.

Search and motivation of candidates-leaders

Depending on the task and the level of the position, the agency, or the employer itself can use different options: in-depth research of the market of candidates-leaders, their own database, recommendations, social networks, communities, connect a network, etc. At this stage, the agency and the customer conduct interviews with candidates and determine finalists. Each candidate is assessed based on experience and personal competence. A separate issue is the correct motivation of managers to move to a new company: from income to freedom of action, team, scale of projects, promotion, and many other options. An experienced head-hunter can determine the right motivation.

Finalist selection

At this stage, recommendations are collected for key applicants not only from the boss, but also from colleagues and subordinates. In this case, it is also correct to conduct a professional assessment of the personal competencies of each finalist, for example, Hogan. If we are talking about cooperation with an agency, then consultants accompany the negotiations of the best candidates with the customer, advise him on the choice of an employee and the preparation of a job offer, accompany the candidate during dismissal from the previous job.

At this stage, the finalist often receives a counterfeit from the employer. The task of the project manager is to properly motivate the candidate and convey the risks that arise in this case. For example, it is highly likely that they will look for a replacement for him, because he announced his interest in changing jobs. In addition, according to world statistics, the probability of leaving the company within six months after the counter-offer is about 80%.

Completion of the project

In this case, an HR specialist or consultant monitors compliance with the timeline for the employee to move to a new job. If the company worked with an agency, then usually guarantees are prescribed between the parties in the event of the dismissal of the candidate-head.

What mistakes are made in the selection of leaders and how to avoid them?

Perhaps the most common mistake in the selection of managers is to look for the very “charisma” and fire in the eyes of the candidate: the candidate must show with all his looks that he is “ready for battle” and can move mountains in the company and will also be the leader of changes and teams. You cannot rely only on charisma in the selection of leaders – this will be a biased assessment.

Another common misconception is a “narrow view” of the candidate: in this case, the top manager is assessed only for the tasks that he did. And if there were no others in the experience, it means that he will not cope.

It is also important to note the high expectations from the candidate (the search for a certain “Phoenix bird”), who will build everything in the shortest possible time, “digitalize”, and inspire the team. At the same time, the company may not realize that it itself must correspond to the level of such a candidate: it needs a clear strategy, specific tasks, decent financial conditions, the presence of an understandable transparent, long-term motivation system, etc.

How to avoid mistakes when hiring managers? To attract a strong top manager to your company, you need to prepare comprehensively, because for the candidate it is very important how the company positions itself in the market. Another point is how ready the top management is for an open dialogue: this requires a strategy formulation, an understandable, clear story about the current situation in the company, a willingness to answer questions and not hide from the candidate.

Recruiting leaders is not easy. When compiling a position profile, systematic, teamwork of HR and the hiring manager is required to get a clear portrait of a candidate without overestimated expectations. In addition, at a meeting with a potential manager, it is important not to conduct a dialogue-conversation, but to build your interview on a professional approach, with an assessment of competencies, involving, if necessary, an HR-manager as a business partner or an executive search agency.

Types of leaders

Which leaders should you look out for first and which directors are the future?

Experts call different classifications, one of the most popular is Daniel Goleman’s system. According to him, six types of managers can be distinguished.

  • Prepare people for future challenges: “Try this”
  • Set high standards of performance: “Do as I do”
  • Seek agreement based on collective participation in problem solving: “What is your opinion?”
  • They create harmony, make emotional contacts: “People first”
  • Mobilize people around their vision of the future: “Follow me”
  • Require direct submission: “Do what I tell you”

What is the most efficient and optimal management style? There is no consensus, since much depends on the tasks and level of business development, however, most employers believe that the coronavirus crisis and the transition of many employees to “remote work” have changed the requirements for managers. According to a Kontakt InterSearch Russia survey, 40% of companies have chosen an inspiring style as the most important for a manager today. About a third of employers noted an urging style, 12% – democratic, the same number – supportive. The minimum number of answers was collected for the options “consulting” and “directive” (4% each).

These data are confirmed by the leaders themselves. In a Kontakt InterSearch Russia poll conducted in March 2021, most directors-respondents confirmed that they most often use an inspiring and democratic style in their work. However, pure types are rare, and many successful managers change their approach depending on the tasks and people in charge.

Leadership type Answers from women, top management Answers from men, top management
Consulting 14% 15%
Urging 8% 10%
Democratic 24% 20%
Supportive 20% 15%
Inspiring 28% 29%
Directive 0% 0%
Depending on the situation 6% 10%

Pros of finding executives through an agency

To ensure the most accurate and quick search for a candidate and to avoid mistakes in hiring managers, you can use the services of an executive search agency. Consultants of such companies, like no one else, have an up-to-date picture of the market. They will help you understand what kind of employee the company needs, how it can be attracted and retained. An executive search agency in this case is like a business partner: involving business and HR in the process, consultants build the most systematic and understandable work. They rely on a deep knowledge of the candidate market and its trends, and therefore are more likely to help find “the very candidate” that the company needs.

As an example: in my practice there was a project for the selection of a commercial director for a large international logistics company. The search was long, difficult, the market was revised, but we never found a candidate. We really wanted to help the customer in closing the position, so communication was initiated from our side: we organized a call with the customer, talked about the current search situation and the difficulties of selection, after which we offered the option of considering candidates from large international companies in related industries. We came to this option during the discussion. Having understood more deeply the customer’s request, we, being market experts, were able to offer him an alternative option. As a result, we have successfully promoted the candidate to the position. In this case, our goal is to give a broader picture of the market, to identify and communicate the risks.

Kontakt InterSearch Russia is an exclusive representative of the InterSearch Worldwide in Russia. The company implements projects in the area of management consulting, search and selection of top managers for managing positions and boards of directors. The alliance with the international network allows our consultants to communicate with candidates from all over the world and to quickly close difficult international vacancies.

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