I recently had a chat with a client who was wondering how he could be a better manager and I was surprised by what he shared with me.Read More
Executive search consultants weren’t supposed to survive in the digital world. After all, why pay a recruiter a fee when a large percentage of candidates put their information on job boards, LinkedIn, and soon on Facebook and Google? Hiring managers could cut out the recruiter and go find qualified candidates on their own.Read More
You’re the head of a market-leading company. You can offer talented executives and managers a lot.Yet, You consistently lose talented candidates to start-ups
Why? and What Should You Try?Read More
Many of us are about to start our summer holiday, and that can mean only one thing:
Thinking about your job as little as possible.
Seriously, the whole point of a summer holiday is to leave the office behind, right?
At some point, though, your holiday will end, and you may want to come back ready to explore new career opportunities. You can use your holiday break to increase your chance of being a more appealing candidate—while still having fun.
Here's how.Read More
Macron' victory at age 39—without the backing of any established French political party—provides lessons for candidates aspiring to leadership positions.
If you’re looking to step into an executive role, you should learn from Macron and do the following:
- Create a compelling personal brand.
- Don’t wait. Seize your opportunity now.
- Invest your time and resources in building a strong network.
3 Lessons Recruiters Can Learn from Emmanuel Macron’s Victory
Macron’s victory has lessons for both recruiters and executives.
- Don’t let youth stop you from hiring the right candidate.
- Selecting the right person can bring a lot of enthusiasm to stakeholders.
- Globalism is here to stay—and you need executives who are comfortable working with multi-culturalism and diversity.
Research shows a company’s brand is perceived twice as favorably by job seekers when they speak with a recruiter rather than with the company direct.
Working with a recruiter does strengthens your brand.
In 2017, the most powerful brand-building begins with relationships, starting with Hiring the Right Way!
Here is whyRead More
You show up to work. You do your job. You say the right things. You work extra hours when asked. But you’re heart isn’t in it.
Sound familiar? You could be suffering from a condition called "brownout."
Learn more from Robertson Associates Senior Partner and executive search though leader Pierre Collowald on what you can do to get excited about your career again.Read More
A candidate’s decision to accept your position comes down to three things: Company brand + Job content + Money.
These three factors comprise the “Risk Premium” for anyone considering changing jobs, and managers who understand the Risk Premium increases their odds of hiring their preferred candidate.Read More
Your company has an important hire to make. After working with your executive recruiter to identify and hire the perfect candidate, suddenly he or she has to leave the company for reasons no one could have anticipated.
Your firm may have been on the receiving end of bad luck.
So what can your firm do to minimize the chances of an unlucky hire?
In this article Pierre Collowald, an executive search and recruiting thought leader and Senior Partner at Robertson Associates AG, will discuss how bad luck can impact even the most careful hiring process—and what your company needs to do next.Read More
It’s a fact of life, and a fact of our careers. As much as we hate to admit it, there are times when the events of our careers are beyond our control.
When that happens, what can you do to recover from bad luck and move forward with your career? And is there anything you can do to increase the likelihood that you’ll experience good luck?
The answer to both questions is yes.
In this article Pierre Collowald, an executive search and recruiting thought leader and Senior Partner at Robertson Associates AG, will discuss how you can minimize the impact of bad luck and maximize your chances for good luck in your career.Read More
Recruiting executives in less-than-glamorous industries remains a challenge.
Here are a few ways to make your hiring process in a “boring” industry a little easier.Read More
The world is still reeling from the result of the “Brexit” vote.
And while there will be a significant amount of dialogue on why British voters chose to exit the European Union, business leaders need to start proactively planning for the changes that will result from the vote.
Here’s what you need to know:Read More
Gender diversity has become more than just the right thing to do—it has become the law. However, promoting gender diversity is more than a mandate.
It’s the smart thing to do, for economies and companies.
Here is why you should careRead More
Diversity is one of the most important – and challenging – concepts in hiring, particularly in executive and managerial searches. Diversity can conjure up thoughts of hiring quotas or requirements based on demographic qualities like ethnicity and gender.
And while almost everyone would voice their support for diversity, there is an element of the word that can conflict with a basic principle in performance management: that advancement should be based on merit and achievement regardless of diversity factors.
Yet, ensuring diversity within your managerial and executive team is becoming more important in a global economy.
For your company, the value of diversity isn’t about meeting specific demographic quotas. It’s about having multiple perspectives that come from a wide variety of experiences, ideas, and individual thoughts. Those perspectives will help provide insight into your current and future customers and help your organization become more adaptable and competitive.
You shouldn’t consider diversity when hiring just to meet a quota regarding the right mix of ethnicities and genders.
You should consider diversity as a way to push your organization out of its comfort zone and, more importantly, to create a competitive advantage
Selling Automobiles in France
If you are a German automobile manufacturer and want to grow or expand your presence in a different market—for example France—who should you hire to manage that initiative?
If you are like most companies you will likely task someone who has succeeded in growing sales in an existing market. If your head of sales in Germany has shown consistent, year-over-year growth, you may send him or her to develop your French market.
But is that really the best decision?
The French and German markets are very different. A German executive may not know the French regulatory system or understand how the two countries very different cultures may affect attitudes toward automobile ownership.
For a French automobile owner, will their new car be a status symbol that says something significant about that individual? Or is the French consumer merely looking for a convenient and cheap way to be mobile? And if that’s the case, how do you position your product against car sharing services, or even bicycles?
You could hope your German head of sales has such a strong skillset that he or she can overcome those challenges—however, at Robertson & Associates we are often engaged after a company’s current managerial talent fails to understand and adapt to an unfamiliar culture or market.
Ultimately an unwillingness to hire managers with diverse backgrounds and experiences can mean failure in a new market.
There is, however, an alternative.
You could search for a head of sales that may not know your product, but knows the French market because his or her family settled in France long time ago, or search for a head of sales who is already succeeding with a French company.
I here considered a simple case with Germany and France. Now, imagine lesser known parts of the world and how exponential the challenges get!
Without knowing it, or planning on it, with either one of these approaches you’ve just made a diverse hiring decision based on taking an innovative approach to a strategic need.
A Changing World
Our world is changing rapidly. Every day millions of new people become economic participants for the first time. Those participants may be a Greek college student looking to buy his or her first car, or an Italian highly qualified mother entering the skilled labor force for the first time.
In order to remain competitive, your company is going to need a strategy to ultimately reach these new consumers. You need managerial talent who has some understanding of what it’s like to be the first member of their family to leave the village, attend college, and build an entirely different life than anyone in their family has ever known.
You need managerial talent who knows what’s like to move out of a kitchen and into an office for the first time, to feel the pride of earning her first pay check -and to consider how she will spend it, and what she will want to buy just for the sake of showing she can buy it, on her own.
You need to consider diversity when hiring not just because it is the “right” thing to do.
You need to consider diversity when hiring because it is the strategic thing to do.
Pierre Collowald is a Senior Partner at Robertson Associates, a European Executive Search and Leadership Solutions boutique. Pierre is working out of Brussels, Paris and Zurich. email@example.com
With 98% of your managerial staff open to new opportunities, your company needs to have a deep roster of potential talent both inside and outside of your organization ready to step into leadership roles.
Seems obvious, right? After all, that’s just basic succession planning.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the way most companies approach succession planning. Too often organizations wait until a vacancy occurs before coming up with a plan to fill that position.
In the meantime:
- Your company still needs to serve customers and clients;
- Your company still has strategic goals that need to be achieved;
- Your team needs to remain motivated;
- Your external partners need to see you still have a strategy in place;
- Important decisions still need to be made.
The world doesn’t stop just because you lose a key manager.
Because business still needs to get done, all too often the succession plan comes down to hiring a candidate who meets the basic qualification and can quickly fill an immediate need. Strategic hiring is pushed aside in favor of necessity.
That approach to succession planning is like a football club waiting until their goalkeeper is injured and then replacing him with the first person available, with little evidence that the player is actually the right choice.
No serious football team approaches succession planning this way. Instead, successful football clubs:
- Understand that their current players may retire, become injured, or become less effective with little warning;
- Understand the entire competitive landscape, including not only their own talent pool, but the talent pool of other clubs;
- Understand the need for “scouts” who can help evaluate the entire spectrum of potential replacements;
- Understand the need to invest in developing and assessing the leadership skills of their future stars.
Successful football clubs employ a systematic, data-driven approach to succession planning and talent development that ensures their teams remain competitive despite inevitable changes in personnel.
And that’s exactly the approach your company should take to succession planning, because companies that succeed over the long-term understand both the importance and risk of hiring exceptionally talented managers. The top-level talent your company needs to remain competitive is also highly desired by other employers.
Because of this simple reality it is critically important to have a strategic succession plan to fill vacancies when they occur.
However, many companies still approach succession planning like they were playing with friends on the neighborhood pitch rather than leading serious, Premier League clubs.
It is virtually impossible for in-house HR departments and staff to have this type of comprehensive data on the skill and availability of employees at other firms. However, executive search consultants can identify and engage in discussions with potential future managers currently on another team’s roster.
Robertson Associates is currently partnering with a brand name, best-in-class consumer products company to create this type of innovative, strategic approach to succession planning. Rather than waiting until their Directors and Vice Presidents leave, this global market leader has asked our firm to assess and evaluate one in-house talent and build a “roster” of three talents currently working at other companies to fill future vacancies.
This “roster” of potential future talent Robertson maintains includes individual profiles, assessments, and rankings. As high-potential candidates develop they are added to the list, and our interaction with talent at other firms gives our clients invaluable “back-market” intelligence.
As a result, the international Partners at Robertson Associates serve a similar role to the talent scouts employed by football clubs.
Start succession planning like you are worthy of the Premier League!
Pierre Collowald is a Senior Partner at Robertson Associates, a European Executive Search and Leadership Solutions boutique. Pierre is working out of Brussels, Paris and Zurich.
Transition at the managerial level is one of the most difficult experiences an organization can have.
It can disrupt an organization’s culture, and potentially signals instability to employees, partners, customers, investors, and other stakeholders. For these reasons, and a lot of others, change at the management and executive level is something a company wants to experience as few times as possible.
The bad news: 98 % of European Managers are on the leave
According to a recent Robertson Associates survey of more than 450 managers across Europe, managers are very open to changing companies. In fact, 98% of European managers are open to new career opportunities, with 68% indicating they are “definitely open”. If you are the CEO or owner of a company, the harsh reality is that nearly every one of your managers is at least considering working for someone else. Planning your long-term corporate strategy is a bit more difficult when you realize that the very people responsible for implementing that strategy are open to leaving.
Why are so many managers willing to consider other opportunities? The Robertson Associates team asked that, and the answers were surprising.
- 43% of managers indicated a general need for change - by far and away the number one answer
- 27% of managers said that their main reason for looking elsewhere was a lack of opportunity at their current employer
- 20% of managers were just dissatisfied with their current employer.
The least mentioned reason for considering other opportunities? Salary!
The good news: There are proven ways to make them stay
What does this data mean for employers? It shows managers are leaving because of boredom, lack of opportunity, and general unhappiness. Companies can proactively try and address these issues through creating new challenges for managers as well actively coaching senior talent. While there is a limit to how many new opportunities can be created (a company can only have so many managing directors), companies should try and stretch an employee’s skill set, especially when the employee in question is a senior executive. Giving managers new challenges is not only a way to improve retention, but also an opportunity to create pockets of innovation within an organization.
Another strategy for limiting managerial transition is to invest in coaching and assessment. Engaging in dialogue through coaching can help identify sources of dissatisfaction before your manager starts looking for another job. A good coach not only helps prevent talent from leaving – they can also play an integral role in helping a dissatisfied manager become a high-performing future executive.
Understanding the motivation of the potential new hire.
That said, sometimes managers inevitably leave. Your company just may not be able to offer an employee the opportunities he or she needs to grow. If that happens you will have a position to fill, and then your company is on the other side of this dissatisfaction dynamic. You now have to hire a manager, and your next hire is likely leaving his or her old company for the reasons listed above. While the potential hire may think a new job is the answer to his or her troubles, the reality is that a new job may be a temporary antidote, at best.
Yes, the employee will meet new people and learn new processes at a new job, but is that really enough to satisfy a need for change? Is a need for change even what the employee is looking for? Or are they part of the 20% that are just unhappy with their current employer? If so, why are they unhappy? Potential hires are trying to sell themselves, and may be reluctant to talk about why he or she is leaving the last job. They are there to talk about the new opportunity, and to convince you that they are the best possible fit. However, make sure you know exactly why your new hire is leaving their last job, otherwise you might find your company becoming a revolving door of management talent.
An executive search consultant can help your hiring manager.
As a hiring manager you need to know exactly why your potential new hire is leaving their last job. Maybe they needed change – and maybe your company shares a lot of similarities with their last employer. Maybe they hated the culture – and maybe your culture is very similar. In my view, a good search consultant isn’t just a “recruiter” but must be his client’s trusted Partner. Executive search consultants get to know your industry, your competitive landscape, and most importantly, your company culture.
Moreover, potential hires tend to be more open with search consultants, particularly regarding the reason he or she is considering leaving their last job. If I look at our mandates, we serve as both an informational bridge between employers and job candidates and as a coach and motivator for current managers.
The combination of all these elements is what we call durable leadership solutions.
Pierre Collowald is a Senior Partner at Robertson Associates, a European Executive Search and Leadership Solutions boutique. Pierre is working out of Brussels, Paris and Zurich.
An increasingly common misperception is that there is no need for executive search firms when companies can find all of the information they ever needed about a candidate on LinkedIn.
Without a doubt, LinkedIn does plays an important role in the executive search process. Tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, which I use, can help provide basic information on a candidate and his or her history—information that was more difficult to find prior to the advent of LinkedIn. Additionally, there is a level of public validation to a LinkedIn profile, meaning candidates willing to lie or exaggerate must be willing to do so in full view of their entire professional network.
However, here are a few of LinkedIn’s limitations when it comes to the executive search process.
1. Executive candidates might not be on LinkedIn
While LinkedIn can be an excellent source for identifying potential entry or mid-level managers, many senior executives do not have a LinkedIn page and if they do, it is often incomplete. For example, only one member of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s six members of the board has any presence on LinkedIn. And this lack of a senior executive presence on LinkedIn is not unique to Europe or the logistics industry. A quick review shows that of the 14 members of Yahoo’s senior executive team, only two have LinkedIn profiles that include recommendations, and very few of those profiles even include descriptions of past positions.
Senior executives often do not have the time required to create the type of robust LinkedIn presence that gives search consultants the information they need to identify potential candidates. Or, even if they do have the time, those senior executives may not want their employers to think they are actively job seeking. So, they minimize their presence on LinkedIn.
which brings us to the next point.
2. LinkedIn does not differentiate between active and passive candidates
As minimal or incomplete as they may be, Yahoo’s executive team has LinkedIn profiles. Does that mean they are all in the job market? No. And even with tools like LinkedIn Recruiter, there is no definitive way to tell via a candidate’s profile whether or not he or she could be converted from a passive job seeker into an active job seeker. Stated differently, candidates might not even think they are in the market for a new position until they are told by a recruiter that they may be exactly the person their potential new employer is looking for.
Converting passive job seekers into active job seekers requires more than emails. It requires sound conversations. The candidate needs to be able to speak freely about his or her present role, motivation to move, personal values, salary package and environment, as well as be able to ask candid questions about the new opportunity. That type of exchange occurs in phone conversations, which are both more informative and carry less risk than electronic communication.
which brings me to the last point.
3. LinkedIn can’t ask the right questions – or gather valuable competitive intelligence on your company.
One of the most valuable components of the executive search process is the time your consultant spends on the phone with potential candidates. This phase of the search requires digging deeper and learning far more about the candidate than what can be learned from a LinkedIn profile. A candidate that may appear to be a perfect fit might lack the confidence needed to succeed in a new role. Or, conversely, the candidate may have such an abundance of confidence that he or she risks alienating their colleagues.
You’ll never gain this type of insight from a LinkedIn profile, and candidates tend to be far more candid with search consultants than they are with the hiring company.
Lastly, an often overlooked benefit of the recruiting process is the competitive intelligence an executive search consultant gathers on your company, particularly on your brand perception. Are candidates eager to join your company because of its reputation? Or, are they staying away because of that reputation? Does your firm even have a reputation, or are you largely unknown? Gathering competitive intelligence through conversations with candidates currently working for your competitors is priceless.
That sort of insight makes an executive search consultant more than just a recruiter. It makes him or her a trusted business advisor.
and that’s something LinkedIn definitely can’t replace.