Does Your Recruiter Listen to You, Understand Your Business…. And Then Get You The Best People Available?
ESN does….And Here Is How We Do It!
Welcome to an official ESN website. Beware, as there are many recruitment companies now, in the other Southeast Asian countries, who use our name or one very similar in order to confuse potential clients. Only this ESN, Executive Search Nusantara, and the Executive Search Network – Asia, has a track-record of more than a quarter century in the Developed, Emerging and Frontier Markets of Southeast Asia, and we are now in Cambodia.
With the new tools of the internet, the executive search industry has experienced the influx of what is known as “mass amateurization”. People are easy to find using various web tools and job boards. Job descriptions can be written using automated tools. Even CVs can be written automatically from inventories of people looking for jobs thru the web. Notice, the word “candidates” is not mentioned even one time . Nor is the factor of the knowledge-base of the consultant, as part of the process, mentioned. These are factors which separate the amateur from the professionals. But these factors cannot be seen during the process, as the automated tools are actually doing the work. Their impact can only be seen in the finshed product, when it is too late to rectify. The true difference between the seasoned professional and the less experienced and lower priced “nouveau professional” is in the foundational background and understanding brought to the execution of the project. The true professional understands more than just how to use the new tools; he also understands the background of the client, the background of the project, and the profile of success. The true professional has at least 15 years of experience, which predates the web tools. You can usually tell what you are getting by just knowing how long your consultant has been practicing. And listen carefully as you brief your consultant. Does he truly understand your business; can he convey anecdotes of experience in some of the issues you face; can he, himself, add value to the process? Or is he just an order taker?
The first step in the recruitment process is to find the potential candidates. This is done through a process which is called “Research”. This is the step in which the talent acquisition project can be destined for success or doomed to failure. The old saying in computer processing is “garbage in, garbage out” or GIGO. If you do not find good potential candidates in early research, it is not possible that the final candidate will be good. But these days, using internet sourcing and internet searching tools for passive candidates, you can only find either inaccurate third-party information or self-proclamations of achievements and capabilities. Nobody posts to a job board and says, honestly, “I am not capable. I am not motivated.”
The second step is known as “Candidate Development”. During the 1990’s, this phase of the process was eliminated by many firms in an effort to streamline their process. Today most recruiters will go directly from Candidate Identification in the Research phase to Candidate Presentation, bypassing the development phase which is both time-consuming and costly. Why has this phase been dropped? As clients put on pressure to shorten cycle times, this was the most obvious function to cut. Unfortunately, the reduction of this phase had its costs in the quality assurance process of evaluation of all candidates. Less time spent with the candidate meant less understanding of the candidates’ capabilities and needs. It might have dropped the quality, but it met the objective of shortening the cycle time. Without any checks in the system, this process short-cut spread throughout the recruitment industry as more recruiters rushed to try to meet the clients’ demands for shorter cycle times. The good news, however, is that, with the new internet-based recruitment tools available to the professional recruiter, this shortened cycle time no longer requires short-cutting the process. And the professional recruiter, with his vast foundation in industry knowledge, is able to not only compete in terms of cycle-time, but he can apply his deeper knowledge of the industry and of the candidates within the same timeframe.
The third step in the process is what we call the “Contact Phase”. In Step I, Research, the internet can compete in terms of volume, but not in quality; but you can get lucky, if you want to rely on luck for your hiring of key individuals, which is obviously not a prudent fiduciary move. In Step II, Candidate Development, the internet cannot perform this process, but the tools of the internet for candidate experiential evaluation most certainly enhance and complement the experience of the qualified executive search consultant. In Step III, the Contact Phase, the internet can help quantify the candidates personal profiling. But in the Contact Phase is where your Professional Consultant’s experience becomes extremely important. It is in this phase that the candidate, who has presented themselves in writing and then been interviewed extensively on the phone, will be met face-to-face, so that a full evaluation can be performed, with the assistance of body language and other non-verbal communication analysis. We have found that even video-conferencing cannot replace face-to-face contact.
The fourth and final step in the process is “Talent Acquisition”. In this phase, the client has identified the candidate who best meets the criteria. It is at this point that the hiring company’s requirements and compensation must be balanced with the candidate’s capabilities and needs, so that the process can be brought to a successful completion and result in a long and fruitful relationship. Too many hiring managers do not fully appreciate this step. In the New Millennium, this is crucial, more so than in the past. Candidates, your employees, expect to have their needs respected. Although this was somewhat important at any time in the past, it is even more critical now. Social networking tools have opened up communications between people much more than ever before. And so if the socialization, the on-boarding, the integration of the new employee is not started in the negotiation process, it can have later impact and could, at worst case, result in a failed hire. Failure might not be reflected immediately in not hiring Mr Right, but it could result in demotivating Mr Right, or in losing Mr Right later. All negative outcomes have significant cost impact, especially in the case of key positions.
We are much more than just a recruiter or headhunter. Our systematic approach to executive search normally involves selecting target institutions and, within those targets, individuals identified as having the appropriate experience, education and personal characteristics to meet your requirement. This is done in a highly confidential manner. Our systematic executive search process saves a client’s top executives valuable time, which can be more productively spent fulfilling other corporate/institutional responsibilities. We prepare a comprehensive confidential report on each candidate, which covers the candidate’s working career, those personal aspects which are relevant to the position and our appraisal of how the candidate’s qualifications relate to this specific opportunity.
Based on more than 25 years of direct operating experience in Southeast Asia, the Executive Search Nusantara/ESN philosophy of executive selection is that what a person has done in the past is a very reliable indicator of what he or she is likely to do in the future, especially if supported by the appropriate levels of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). If an individual has been as effective performer, thinker or leader, that person will likely bring the same qualities to the position under consideration. A compelling personality, for example, means little if it has not resulted in superior on-the-job performance. The average recruiter or headhunter will not consider such in-depth evaluation of candidates, especially in Cambodia, where qualified candidates are extremely scarce..
Confidentiality: it is our general policy not to divulge our client’s identity without prior permission. Candidates will not be apprised of your identity until we have preliminarily confirmed their qualifications and potential interest. Our usual plan is to defer that until time of face-to-face interview.
Exclusivity: Executive Search Nusantara/ESN establishes an exclusive consulting agreement with our clients. We expect you not to separately advertise nor use a competing organization on the same engagement during the period of involvement. Unnecessary duplication puts all parties in a potentially embarrassing situation and may result in the downgrading of the position in the eyes of potential candidates, not to mention resulting in unnecessary additional costs.
Communications: Establishing frequent and effective communications between consultant and client is often the key to completing a search successfully. Our rule of thumb is simple: more is better than less. The same holds true for the front-end discussions where we are introduced to the specific issues driving the search. The more we can learn from a client, the more familiar we are with your goals, leadership and culture, the more effective we can be serving as your enthusiastic and informed representative in the market-place. Many tough searches have been completed because the search consultant was able to sell as well as evaluate.
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