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Executive search и Headhunting

At present there is a strong competition for professionals: the contemporary globalization processes, growing competition on the markets generate the demand for exclusive specialists. The management of every company understands that success largely depends on the specialists’ qualification. And recruitment agencies are confident that any vacancy is unique: it emerges in a particular company in a particular period of time and, therefore, no two companies and requirements to the specialists for the position are identical. A distinguished from simple recruitment projects when vacancies are filled by means of publications on several Internet resources, more complicated and expensive search projects need using more sophisticated and time-taking approaches to fill the vacancies.

Recruiters and HR experts are sure that it is Headhunting that constantly keeps the HR market up. For employees this is one of the ways of promotion and career growth. For an employer this is, on the one hand, the way to find the necessary specialist and, on the other hand, an incentive to be concerned about retaining its personnel by increasing their loyalty and motivation.

One of the most important tasks both for HR experts and the management now is the ability to choose the recruitment strategy for the company vacancies in a proper and timely manner. To do this it is necessary to understand clearly where and how Headhunting or Executive search should be applied. This requires understanding of the specificity of these methods.

The contemporary scientific and practical literature gives different interpretations of the terms of Executive search and Headhunting. According to international standards Executive search usually implies search for a specialist of a particular qualification. In this case the market, customer and search sphere are known. A specialist in personnel sourcing and selection chooses five or six people on the market and identifies the person that may be suitable. The term of Executive search is also used to designate the search method and the kind of the service of selecting senior executives. This method differs from traditional recruitment by the executive search methods applied and the package of the services accompanying the search. Detailed analysis and appropriate formulation of the client’s order is the lion’s share of success in the entire process of search for an ideal candidate. Therefore, a recruiter works in close contact with the client.

The Executive search service is rendered by several stages:

· preliminary consulting;

· market research;

· selection of candidates;

· assessment;

· conclusion of a contract;

· guarantee support.

A distinguishing feature of Executive search is the fact that the client states the list of the companies he is interested in or informs that he needs specialists from the companies of a certain sphere. The task of the personnel selection specialist is to select and draw the list of necessary specialists, to find contact information, to conduct negotiations, to assess and organize negotiations with the client. This method is distinguished by the minimum number of the recommended candidates. This is “qualitative search” taking account of the specific features of the customer’s business, working environment, business and personal qualities of the candidate and generally organized directly; without announcement of the vacancy in mass media. Candidates are usually selected among successfully working specialists rather than those looking for a job.

Headhunting is “qualitative search” taking account of the specific features of the customer’s business, working environment, business and personal qualities of the candidate and generally organized directly; without announcement of the vacancy in mass media. Headhunting is essentially one of the stages of executive search service although lately there has been an emerging trend to synonymize these notions in business practice.

Headhunting implies poaching of a particular person whom the client wants to work for his company. These are usually the people that can create a team, that is top managers; the company puts a great stake on them and needs their connections. A distinguishing feature of Headhunting is its “point character” compared to “the assembly line production” of mass selection and traditional recruitment. This is probably the most effective technology so far that has formed in response to the need for exclusive candidates for the positions of top managers and key specialists. Besides, the candidates themselves are most often not likely to be looking for a new job and it takes quite a lot of efforts to get them interested in considering the recruitment proposal, let alone to prompt them to change the place of work. Therefore, “superstaff” can often be found by means of executive search only.

If Headhunting and Executive search are to be compared, Headhunting is the “easier” variant of Executive search, i.e. this is actually the search without the initial stage of market research. The client sometimes points directly to the specialist he needs. In this situation the task is only “to poach” the specialist. And the classical technology of executive search provides for large-scale research of the labor market with a view to identify all the specialists that may potentially meet the requirements of the vacant position. Labor market research is a mandatory condition of executive search as the essence of this service is to provide the client with the best people on the market. Every order for search for an employee for a certain position using the Headhunting method is a separate project of high complexity.

Differences between Executive search and Headhunting

Executive search is always attended with preliminary diagnostics. The customer applies to the company providing the services with a view to selection of an executive or a key employee. This employee is to be one of the best on the market and to propel the customer’s company to the top. The condition that makes a top manager interesting for the headhunter is successful experience of work for the benefit of the company and the achievements known to the key market players. Therefore, it is not surprising that HR specialists and promoters try “not to expose” their key employees. An executive search specialist acts rather as a management consultant whose purpose is to resolve the customer’s problem consulting him and the candidates during the process.

The headhunter is usually provided with a list of the companies from which the customer would like to employ the personnel. His task is to establish contact with a successful manager, to identify the conditions on which he will agree to change the place of work, to assess how much the potential candidate is manageable, safe and compatible with the client’s corporate culture and then to poach, “to hunt” him. The objects of headhunters are most often directors and executives of functional divisions that have excelled in the leading companies, successful and known.

The specificity of the headhunter’s work is as follows: he establishes contact with the successful manager identifying the conditions on which he could move to the customer’s company. This is often not so easy: if the employee is of value for the company, the company safeguards him against outsiders. Te condition which makes a top manager interesting for the headhunter is successful experience of work for the benefit of the company and the achievements known to the key market players. Therefore, it is not surprising that HR specialists and promoters try “not to expose” their key employees.

As distinguished from headhunters fulfilling orders for poaching of senior and middle managers, executive search consultants carry out preliminary diagnostics of the client, market research, long post-guarantee service and many other things.

The customer applies to the company providing the services with a view to selection of an executive or a key employee. This employee is to be one of the best on the market and to propel the customer’s company to the top. Therefore, it is not surprising that HR specialists and promoters try “not to expose” their key employees. The executive search specialist acts rather as a management consultant whose purpose is to resolve the customer’s problem consulting him and the candidates during the process.

Headhunting also has the reverse side of the coin. For example, one can mistake the candidate selection. Te market may already have an opinion about a certain specialist; however, it may fail to correspond to the reality. Te employee may just have a high position, be responsible for the area of the company’s activities and have excellent skills of self-representation while actual work may be done by other people, his deputies. The foundation of his success may have been laid by his predecessor. It takes much time to understand it.

There is another danger behind the expectation of immediate actions from a new employee that has been obtained with such difficulties. HR managers often forget that the new specialist needs time to take in the situation and still more time for the measures taken by him to yield fruit. The higher the position, the more time it takes to see the results of the work. For example, effectiveness of the work of a finance director can only be assessed after several months of work.