Tag: Executive Search

“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

Why Do We Fail In Job Interviews?

What brings an interview to failure?

We’ve all asked ourselves why this happens after a bad job interview. Even though we mostly like to blame our resumes, a resume actually has only one function in reality; to buy a ticket for an interview. If you get an invitation and the process has not continued, the reason must be sought elsewhere.

Generally, the small nuances that we live or encounter in the dynamics of the negotiations can put the negotiations on a negative course. Individual frictions with the interviewer, inability to express oneself, technical problems, might be some of the reasons in the list.

Let’s look at the most important reasons together.

1. Not Conducting Sufficient Research

Some professionals tend to ignore this step. Success is not a coincidence; it is result of hard working and preparation. This is not so different for job interviews.

Having not made required search neither for the company nor for the interviewer, or having not studied on the role brief sufficiently, may cause the candidate to miss critical information that will be required during the interview. It also risks being perceived as sloppy person or uninterested for the role.

In order to prevent this situation, it will be useful to search the company to be interviewed, obtain information about the corporate culture, examine the details of the role, check the information for the professionals that you will meet on social media, and talk to people who are related in your network.

2. Presenting Inconsistent Statements During the Interview.

During an interview, the interviewer examines how consistent the candidate is. Since it is not easy to analyse an adult in an interview that lasts for 40 minutes on average, interviewer will get tired and feel distrustful when he/she encounters contradictory and superficial answers. Unfortunately, this can lead you to a negative result in the final.

In order to prevent this situation, sending as clear, consistent, detailed and non-contradictory messages as possible may help you. This attitude will also create trust and make the interviewer feel that you have the required competencies for the position.

3. Fail to Express Yourself Clearly During the Interview.

Expressing yourself clearly and being able to set out the goals are indicators of a strong personality. The lack of interview experiences of candidates, their lack of clarity along with inadequate preparation or excitement, is often negatively evaluated by recruitment professionals. To rehearse before the interview, to get prepared psychologically and to express yourself as clearly and honestly as possible may help to prevent this situation.

4. Lack of Motivation.

A strong motivation puts a candidate ahead in the first place. The recruitment professionals who manage the interview, specifically question the candidate’s motivation for the company and position that is discussed, among many other characteristics. Even the process easily may go on negative, because a candidate simply shows an arrogant stance or considered as unmotivated by appearing irrelevant. One of the most important reasons for this is that candidates think that expressing their interest to the firm or position is an unfavourable thing.

When you come across an opportunity that really interests you, stating this and reflecting your motivation and goals clearly puts you ahead of your competitors.

5. Extreme Modesty/Extreme Arrogance

Since we are taught that “self-disclosure” is a negative thing in our culture, most candidates can be too modest in the interviews, leading them to be reluctant to reveal their strengths. Occasionally, some candidates may be extremely arrogant in order to retain the control of the interview. Unfortunately, in both cases, the result becomes negative.

Being able to express yourself without slipping to both sides, expressing your achievements without exaggeration, will support you in the way that the result of your interview can be positive.

6. Creating the Feeling of “Unrouteable”

Especially in an interview for a managerial role, candidates tend to over-emphasize their managerial competencies, tend to show that they are successful in this regard, and thus pass on the feeling that they can move away from team spirit in general. Today, in parallel with the importance of continuous development, institutions are looking for leaders who can support this development and who will develop in this way. And for sure, rather than trying to be Superman, those who will run for success with the team are preferred in this quest.

In order not to create such a negative perception, it will be to your advantage to correctly mention yourself and your “already existing” competencies, while correctly addressing your development areas, how you think you can reach them and how you can express yourself within the team.

7. Looking Sloppy

An interview isn’t just a process where you walk into a room and tell them what’s on your resume. From the moment you reach the place where the job interview will be held until the moment you leave there, your appearance, smell, movements, the way you express yourself will tell you as a whole. Therefore, not taking sufficient care when going to the interview, fail to be dressed in accordance with the culture of the relevant institution and the requirements of the role, of course without exaggeration, can cost you points.

In addition, this attentive appearance and integrated posture are no longer limited to your physical appearance. It’s also very important how you look on social media, especially on your Linkedin profile, and how much your profile in these media reflects you. It should be noted that many recruitment professionals are now getting to know you through your social media accounts before the interview. That’s why the footprints you leave on the internet are just as important as how you express yourself in the physical world.

Making sure that your social media profiles reflect you correctly, displaying adequate and non-contradictory content on your profile, especially your profiles in professional life channels, reflecting full and accurate information, will make it easier for recruitment professionals to reach you and make a positive impression before the interview. Afterwards, going to the interview in a punctual and prepared manner, choosing a dress that is compatible with the culture of the relevant institution together with the requirements of professional life. Also during the interview, taking a confident, comfortable stance, expressing yourself in a clear, detailed, energetic way will also make you stand out.

8. Failing to Capture Mutual Interaction.

Everything went well, you paid attention to all the key points, but you couldn’t express yourself because you couldn’t catch enough interaction with the other person in the interview, and one more process ended in a way that you didn’t want. In fact, this happens much more often than you think; a study conducted in the USA in 2017, shows that this reason is behind 68% of failed job interviews.

Research in the field of behavioural psychology shows that people’s impressions of someone they’ve just met occur within the first 10 seconds of their encounter. It takes an average of half a minute for the judiciary to become a verdict. So in fact, before the conversation even begins, the interviewer may have made up his mind about you. So how does this judgment form? Our smell, our body language, then our tone, our articulation, and finally what we say, builds this judgment.

That is why, as we explained in the previous sentences, showing a painstaking and consistent appearance will give you the chance to achieve the necessary interaction with the interviewer and, as a result, to express yourself effectively.

9. Technical Problems.

Perhaps one of the least mentioned, but one of the factors that stands out with the introduction of online interviews into our lives is technical problems. Many glitches, from your connection speed to equipment performance, can cloud your interview success. And unfortunately, these technical glitches are not limited to on-line interviews; your car may not work that morning, and your computer charge may run out of the time when you are starting your presentation.

Checking everything before the interview, being able to predict the problems that may occur by testing, will allow you to control these technical glitch risks by reducing them.

Paying attention to all these small points will change the course of a conversation, increasing your chances of success. But first of all, all these studies aim to raise your awareness, increase your chances of expressing yourself correctly and achieve your goal at the end of the day.

We support professionals who want to receive consultancy on these issues individually with our detailed designed and one-to-one coaching products.

#fail, Executive Search, InterSearch, Intersearch Turkey, InterSearch Worldwide, interview, job

Work from home – from benefit to need

I remember 2009, in a course of Compensation and Benefits were proudly listed the “unique” benefits with which some organizations pampered their employees. Among the most fanciful, especially for certain fields of activity, was “work from home”. At the same time, in the world, many companies had already made a practice out of it, but in Romania, in order to be able to implement such a facility you needed some imagination to be able to accommodate first of all the legislative and then cultural aspect of working from home.

#benefit, #need, #work, Executive Search, home office, InterSearch, InterSearch Romania, InterSearch Worldwide, work from home

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Paolo Piselli joins Green Park as director, change and transformation for private sector

“Organisational Change Management (OCM) is all about helping change stick. Transformations fail when businesses fail to look at the people side of things.”

Paolo Piselli joins Green Park as Director, Change and Transformation for Private Sector.

In autumn 2020, Green Park welcomed a new face to the team: OCM expert Paolo Piselli. Joining the business as a Director in our Private Sector Practice, Paolo is focusing on finding the best Interim Change Management and Transformation professionals for a growing list of clients.

While corporations in the US have long embraced Organisational Change Management (OCM), Europe and the UK and have been slow to reap the benefits. However, times are changing and OCM is gradually being adopted and becoming less of a niche concept. Having worked at the cutting edge of the industry for over a decade, Paolo is ideally placed to deliver the OCM talent that clients need to make their transformations successful.

Paolo began building his expertise 11 years ago with a niche recruitment company that focused on supplying interim Organisational Change and Transformation executives. Quickly rising to Director level and growing his division, he helped find talent for programmes and projects throughout EMEA, APAC, LATAM and the US. In fact, Paolo has been based in the United States for much of his career and has worked with household names including some of the world’s biggest corporations.

Paolo’s now looking forward to bringing this expertise to a market where there’s tremendous potential. “Businesses here are starting to look at OCM and ask themselves if it could bring benefits,” he says. For Paolo, there’s no question that OCM is a game-changer. And statistics confirm that OCM can be pivotal.

“OCM is all about helping change stick. It’s looking at how employees are impacted by transformation and managing it intelligently. Research shows that 70% of transformations fail1, with companies wasting billions. And all because they don’t consider the people side of change.”

So how can OCM help businesses? And what impact can it have? “It’s all about getting ROI and bringing employees on board,” says Paolo.

“Spending millions of pounds on a new IT system doesn’t guarantee it will be a success. Has the business told its employees? Have they explained why it’s needed? Have they explained the impact? And has the busines implemented a training plan, so its people have the skills to use the system? And have they re-organised their business processes? Because this is critical.”

Although Paolo admits that he entered the field of OCM by chance, it’s where he feels he belongs. With all the psychological implications of change implementation, Paolo finds the world of OCM endlessly fascinating.

“I’d like having conversations about OCM whether I was in Recruitment or not. It’s genuinely interesting stuff and makes my job stimulating and enjoyable.”

With the pandemic forcing many organisations to radically re-think the way they work, OCM is more necessary and more multi-faceted than ever.

Paolo looks forward to bringing his specialist knowledge and expertise to clients across an international market.

#private, director, Executive Search, Green Park, InterSearch, InterSearch Worldwide, sector

Reflections on the commission on race and ethnic disparities report

Working to continue tackling racial inequalities and remaining focused on increasing racial dialogue within the workplace

As Head of the Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Ethics (DICE) Practice and a Partner at Green Park, like many of us I have waited for the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report to be published. Having spoken to many people in my network, it goes without saying that there is both anger and disappointment at some of its conclusions, and its use of language. Senior leaders at Green Park were interviewed for this report, but we feel that our testimonies were lost, particularly concerning the institutionally racist systems in the UK’s largest organisations, which continue to thrive unchecked in a culture linked to personal risk rather than future organisational rewards. Whilst I have now had a chance to read the report comprehensively and gain some more context, I cannot help but feel personally disappointed and saddened for the many people within my family, friendship and professional circles.

Whilst the report did not deny that racism exists in Britain, it concludes that “claims of institutional racism are not borne out” and that there was no evidence “of actual institutional racism”.

It also suggests that the UK should be seen as an international exemplar of racial equality and has played down the impact of structural factors in ethnic disparities.

I personally struggle to accept that the UK should be cited as the model of racial equality. Whilst some organisations have indeed started to focus their efforts on addressing racial inequalities, we also know through our work how much is still to be done. The report goes on to propose that a framework should be put in place that distinguishes between different forms of racial disparity, detailing what is an “Explained” or “Unexplained” disparity. Of the organisations that the DICE team support, many are unaware of the true reasons behind such difference in outcomes; they lack the data and insight to understand the root causes and, I would suggest, that they would also struggle to assess what would constitute explained or unexplained.

The framework also provides proposed definitions for institutional racism, systemic racism, and structural racism. Whilst these definitions may be helpful, I cannot help but feel that this is somewhat missing the point. The crucial point is surely that disparities and differences in outcomes exist – in work, in society, and across many many systems and services.

Whilst the report details some areas in which more positive trends exist, such as within the educational system, it fails to explore in detail the disproportionate rates of school exclusion, or the ongoing attainment gap in higher education. It also provides examples of analysis which many of us will find extremely disturbing. The report states that it is 4 times more likely for a Black woman to die whilst giving birth than a white woman, yet provides no real insight as to why this is the case, but simply recommends that more research is required.

By not recognising the racial inequalities that still exist in our workplaces, healthcare and educational systems, and in wider society, we will be doing a disservice to the many ethnocultural colleagues, employees, and clients that we try so very hard to support.

When we layer in some of the more known statistics and events – such as the fact that Black people in England and Wales are 9 times more likely to be imprisoned than their white peers, the killing of George Floyd, the Grenfell tragedy, the Windrush scandal, and the disproportionate death rate during Covid 19, I can only imagine how let down some ethnic minority communities must feel at this time. Whilst the opening recommendations of the report focus heavily on the need to build trust within our UK communities, I feel that some of the contents of this report will only serve to damage this very goal.

Through our culture and inclusion audit work we work with private, public and third sector organisations, including government departments, to analyse data, insight and processes, and conduct qualitative and confidential interviews with Black and Asian colleagues. We see first-hand the disproportionate experiences that they face, whether this be in terms of their overall employee experience, within talent management processes, or the levels to which they are faced with microaggressive and racist behaviours. Many of those we interview articulate a lack of a sense of belonging in the workplace and describe how they have had to “dial down” aspects of their race, cultural identity, heritage, or religion, in order to assimilate into the dominant culture. These experiences are not just the perceptions of a few, but they are substantiated by a clear evidence base and data that supports that disproportionate outcomes exist in our workplaces and in our society. These outcomes go on to affect the promotion and progression of some groups. In our Green Park Business Leaders Index, the senior leader representation is both stark and clear, with many industries showing a distinct lack of ethnocultural representation at the most senior leadership levels across UK businesses, and an obvious lack of visibly diverse senior role models.

However, there are a number of recommendations which I do support. For instance, the request for more transparency around ethnicity pay gap reporting, the recommendation to publish a diagnosis and action plan to lay out the strategy for mitigating any disparities, and the need to disaggregate the acronym ‘BAME’ (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) to better focus on understanding disparities and outcomes for individual ethnic groups. This latter recommendation is an issue that we have been championing for many years now, as we know that this categorisation not only fails to acknowledge and appreciate the individual challenges that each of the B, the A, and the ME group may face, but also shields the true representation of each group within the workplace. The BAME acronym also disguises huge differences in outcomes between ethnic groups.

Within our learning and development programmes, we made a conscious effort many years ago to move away from delivering sessions on unconscious bias and instead focus on the need for inclusive leadership, cultural intelligence (CQ), and racial fluency. Delivering leadership sessions daily, I see first-hand the positive impact that this can have in building broader leadership accountability for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). This has enabled leaders to build improvement plans and apply a DEI lens to the decisions they make. Such realisations amongst the dominant culture of their own personal and organisational biases and the impact they can have in the workplace have enabled ongoing dialogue around race and impactful interventions to be put in place.

So…. Despite some of the report’s conclusions, we must continue to tackle the issue of racial inequalities and remain focused on increasing racial dialogue within the workplace.

What is reassuring is that many of the organisations that we are working with are now taking this issue very seriously and are acknowledging where they are on this journey. They are authentically working to affect change and address racial inequalities. I can only hope that the organisations and their leaders that see only snippets of this report do not just read the headline, but that they delve into the full findings and recommendations and start to educate themselves on the challenge that still lies ahead. I am confident that many of the business leaders that our DICE team supports will stay focused on the plans they have put in place and will measure their progress against the backdrop of their own organisation, by looking closely at employee experiences, promotion rates, attrition rates, local demographics, and acting on the listening feedback that they receive.

As a citizen of the UK and as a professional working at Global level, I do not dispute that compared to other countries we may be further ahead, but we are by no means an exemplar. By not recognising the racial inequalities that still exist in our workplaces, healthcare and educational systems, and in wider society, we will be doing a disservice to the many ethnocultural colleagues, employees, and clients that we try so very hard to support.

#ethnic, #race, Executive Search, Green Park, InterSearch, InterSearch Worldwide, reflections, report, UK

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