Category: News and Press Releases

“Executive Search needs to recognize the opportunity in new technologies ” – Interview with Klas Karlsson (Talentia – InterSearch Sweden)

The future of executive search in Sweden and other Western European countries is facing significant changes. Many of these developments have been accelerated by the radical change in people’s work lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions on travel and meetings. In addition to more flexible remote work models, the world of work seems to have taken a big leap, especially in the area of digitization. Klas Karlsson, executive search consultant in Stockholm and CEO of Talentia AB – InterSearch Sweden, sees the challenges for recruiters – as well as their clients – in identifying technological developments early on.

Professional social networks are changing all the time – executive search must keep up

Karlsson is convinced that an excellent headhunter cannot rely solely on his network and negotiation skills, but must keep an eye on technological developments. He sees the rise of social networks as particularly crucial: “All executive search consultants work with LinkedIn. Those are the basics. But are we perhaps missing candidates there?” Every executive search consultant would need to be aware that even now, candidates may be falling through the cracks because they are not signed up on LinkedIn. Therefore, to stay competitive and reach early adopters of new technologies, a recruiting firm must anticipate where the journey is headed. “LinkedIn has already taken over some of the functions that Facebook used to fulfill. People are also sharing more personal updates and interacting with personal acquaintances.” So, according to Karlsson, a new network that is more distinct from any “private” social networks might emerge in the near future. Such a network would be the place to look for promising executives in the future. “These are precisely the developments we need to help shape, not merely react to.”

The consulting process is becoming more transparent – and starts earlier

Karlsson sees the increasing technologization of the recruiting market as an opportunity for executive search firms to advise their clients in greater detail on other parts of the process  that are not “purely transactional”. A consultant should at least anticipate if not initiate a client’s expansion activities. This includes questioning established assumptions that clients might have and also bringing less obvious candidates into the mix. These might for example not currently be working at a competing firm in exactly the same position that you are looking to fill. Discovering young talent and lateral entrants who take unexpected paths is part of that evolution, he says. “We as recruiters need to be more active in helping the clients in their decision making process by providing insights and data – qualitative as well as quantitative –before we start a search or even advise them against a traditional search and instead to go for an acquisition of a company and then support them in the due diligence process.” Although large companies and corporations already have insight departments that work with extensive quantities of data, Karlsson foresees a greater focus on quantitative data for executive search, looking not only at the individual and more at big trends and developments. “This will allow us to approach companies – especially mid-sized companies – directly and to anticipate their needs as part of our services.”

Entrepreneurs and startups in particular demand flexibility from recruiters

Karlsson specifically emphasizes the importance of flexibility when working with entrepreneurs and the startup sector. This concerns established fee structures in particular. “It’s not about pushing a ‘cut-rate’ approach, but developing flexible fee structures that reflect the reality of young, agile companies.” For example, a combination of cash and equity compensation could be a feasible model.” Traditional benchmarks that might work for large corporations cannot not be applied to startups in the same way. The advantage of an international network like InterSearch, Karlsson emphasizes, is not least the opportunity of cooperatively developing innovative approaches and learning from partners in other countries. “I’m excited about what our Indian colleagues are doing, for example, they are real entrepreneurs. I’m definitely closer to them in this aspect than to some companies here in Sweden.”

Klas Karlsson
InterSearch Sweden

Klas Karlsson is the founder and CEO of Swedish executive search firm Talentia AB. The company has been focused on proactive recruiting in the Swedish executive search market since 1999 and has offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Talentia AB has been a member of the global InterSearch network since 2015 and is leading the global Practice Start-up. Scale-up, Venture Capital & Innovation

#KlasKarlsson, Executive Search, global executive search, InterSearch, Intersearch Germany, InterSearch Worldwide, interview

Shopping after the crisis: omnichannel management remains in demand

The corona pandemic has changed the shopping behaviour of Germans – for both non-food and food. You shop more online, pay less often in cash and you like to have everything delivered to your home – this is how the trends can be summarized. But despite this change accelerated by the pandemic, Germany is lagging behind compared to other European countries, as Heinz Leopold, client partner at InterSearch Executive Consultants GmbH in Hamburg, explains.

Although 47 percent of Germans state that their shopping habits have changed due to the pandemic, this is below average in an international comparison. This is shown by the data in the current “FMCG Report” by the polling institute YouGov. In eleven of the 17 European countries examined, more than half of consumers say that their behavior is different. The international average is even 59 percent.

 

Online commerce is growing

Current data from the online monitor of the German Retail Association (HDE) make it clear that “Click & Collect”, i.e. the collection of goods that have been pre-ordered online or by phone, is becoming more important. At the same time, the sales of stationary retailers from the sale of goods via online marketplaces increased. 45 percent of stationary retailers are now also represented on the Internet, but not always with their own shop; they also join sales platforms.

 

Experience before a pure transaction

Online sales will continue to increase”, predicts Leopold. What must be offered in retail in city centres, on the other hand, is a shopping experience, not just the shopping itself. “People like to be around people, they want to examine the products themselves before they buy.” Their own assessment always means more than the widely available online reviews. Do stationary retail in the city centres define itself only through the price, be it not to convey why consumers should go shopping in the city centres.

In today’s retail trade, the on-site shopping experience goes far beyond the mere purchase transaction, according to Leopold – especially when retailers offer an e-commerce shopping option. This applies to all ways of reaching and interacting with customers. “The shopping experience is a critical and differentiating component of retail today and in the future” says Leopold.

While the traditional shopping experience focused on how customers interacted with and felt about the business and the brand, today’s shopping experience must convey exactly the opposite, according to Leopold: The focus should be a customer-oriented omnichannel strategy that addresses the customer and their different expectations focus on the sales channels available to him in parallel.

 

The omnichannel manager is the key to success

Ideally, an omnichannel manager ensures that customers can experience the same language of the company on all channels across all platforms. The sales channels relevant to the company must be optimized in this context, not only to further boost sales, but also to create a comprehensive brand experience. Such experts also take on the strategic planning, management and control of all sales activities and the responsible employees.

However, these are still rare skills, which is why we are specifically looking for people with these skills on behalf of our customers” explains Leopold. Most suitable candidates have already been active in channel management or sales marketing. “The best thing is an experience in both areas in order to manage the holistic customer and brand experience in all channels as omnichannel manager in the future” says Leopold.

Heinz LeopoldInterSearch Germany, member of the InterSearch Worldwide Consumer Global Practice

The members of InterSearch Worldwide successfully partner with 250+ companies in the Consumer sector. Contact the Practice leader in the region where your business needs top talent: https://intersearch.org/expertise/fmcg/

 

e-commerce, Executive Search, industry insights, InterSearch, InterSearch Worldwide, online shopping

InterSearch Worldwide welcomes Jyorden Tshering Misra on the Board of Directors

Jyorden T Misra, managing director of Spearhead InterSearch, joined the five-member global management Board of InterSearch Worldwide, leading executive search network operating in 70+ countries with 90 offices.

Jyorden is a founding member of Spearhead InterSearch, which represents InterSearch Worldwide in India through its presence in four metro cities across the country: New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkota, Mumbai. He drives the firm’s strategic direction across the Indian subcontinent and international markets.

His search consulting experience spans over two decades covering multinational, regional and domestic clients in the engineering/industrial sector, energy, automotive, consumer, life sciences, social impact/development, public policy & government affairs, ICT sectors and across the innovation and R&D space.

The seat on the global board demonstrates the recognition of India as a mature market in this highly specialised service field of leadership talent management” said Jyorden Misra. “The opportunity to improve cross border business promotion and efficiencies puts one in a pole position to bring in India and Asia-pacific specific programmes that have the potential to bolster business growth in this region. There are also several strengths that India possesses in terms of research capabilities, technical and technology enabled support systems, global business language fluency, which can be leveraged for advancing the global organisation’s capacities and capabilities to make it more competitive for the future”, he added.

Prior to entering executive search, Jyorden was with the international division of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He holds a Master’s degree from Delhi University (St. Stephens College) and is an Alumnus of Mayo College, Ajmer.

Get to know more about InterSearch Worldwide and contact us keyaccount@intersearch.org

 

director, Executive Search, India, InterSearch, InterSearch Worldwide, leaders, leadership, Welcome

How to competently strengthen the Board of Directors?

To be complete and to add value to the company, the Board of Directors must include several independent directors. Therefore, when we talk about search, we mean search from outside, and not within the organization. The more independent directors there are, the more benefits the Board brings to the business.

There’s a paradox: there are many candidates wishing to be elected to the Board of Directors, but when you start getting to know the candidates, only a few remain. This is partly due to high requirements. But it is much more important that only a few understand what kind of work it is and are ready to get involved in the process itself.

To begin with, let’s list the basic requirements for the Board composition.

Digital competencies. A modern Board of Directors must have a professional “skilled in IT and digital”.

Knowledge of the e-commerce market and marketplaces. Even companies that previously had a very indirect relationship to the consumer market are now looking for strategists who understand what e-commerce is.

Flexibility and speed. Making decisions in a situation of uncertainty and instability is the task of any leader on the Board.

Experience. As a rule, you need managers who run a business of the same or larger size. Another fundamental point is the experience of each director in different industries and different companies.

Basic competencies of a manager. Of course, the key competencies are strategic thinking, understanding long-term consequences, stress resistance. A candidate for the Board of Directors is required to have a balance: on the one hand, the ability to make other people hear you; on the other, listen to others and be able to negotiate. And of course, the talent to motivate.

How to find such people and make the right choice?

 

Monitor successful cases, select according to the task facing the business, do not be afraid to change people on the Board more often. If a company undertakes an IPO, the Board definitely needs a CFO who has recently led such a process. Is the key goal of the company digital transformation? List companies of comparable size that have implemented a digitalization project, review their Boards of Directors. If there is no BoD, look at the CEO, Strategy Director, or business owner.

Look in other industries. If a Russian company is faced with the task of creating a new marketing strategy and strengthening the Board with a Head of Strategic Product Promotion, then the best candidates are from international FMCG corporations or Russian tech giants. But back to the first point: look at the companies that have done similar projects, and at the specific people who have implemented this and who have proven experience and practice.

The diversity principle works great for the Board of Directors: the more people with different views on the problem and different experiences there are on the Board, the more effective the body is. The Boards don’t need like-minded people who agree with each other.

Estimate the real-time the candidate is willing to spend on you. The main stereotype that we face is: “You get a lot of money, you spend several hours a year at meetings, you don’t really need to do anything.” In fact, every Board meeting requires hours of preparation, metrics analysis, digging in numbers, and some serious diving.

 

Ask the candidate the right questions right away:

1. “Why do you want to serve on the Board?”
Correct answer: “I am interested to participate in the strategy to move the company forward and apply my knowledge”.
2. “How much time are you willing to spend?”
If a person says that 4 meetings a year are 10 hours of his/her time, then this is not your person.

Be sure to evaluate. Flexibility, strategic thinking, stress resistance, leadership are excellently assessed by professional methods, primarily the Hogan and Talent Q questionnaires. The assessment and recommendations of other colleagues in the market should be a mandatory stage of selection to the Boards, which are still formed on the basis of acquaintance and friendship.

Look for the successful and wealthy. As practice shows, people who have already achieved financial well-being and have proven everything to themselves are ready for real outputs. They have a completely different motivation: they go to the Board not for the sake of money, but in order to apply their accumulated experience and knowledge and expand their horizons.

By Marina Tarnopolskaya, Managing Partner at Kontakt InterSearch Russia

 

Directors, Executive Search, InterSearch, InterSearch Worldwide, russia

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