The Executive Search Process

Inspired by an article published by the website last September, originally entitled ‘What should I expect with an executive search process?’ Managing Director of The Director-e Ltd. #WhereExperienceMatters Les Phillimore discusses, The Executive Search Process.

Thank you Experteer Magazine and Dr Heiden for your detailed insight into the executive search process but we wonder whether this is an idealised perspective or a demonstration of the actual reality in Germany and indeed executive recruitment in the UK.

Here @ The Director-e we are extremely conscious of the challenges faced by recruiters who may for a single senior role receive 200, 300, 400 or more applications. Indeed one of our own Directors is aware of one national organisation who received over 2,000 applications for one senior vacancy. How does anyone not just cope professionally with such a volume of applications, but drill down to a sensible handful of interviewees?

Certainly, there is an increasing trend towards recruiters using software driven screening but that inherently introduces the increased chance of ideal or indeed the absolutely perfect candidate being electronically discounted without the candidates CV even crossing the recruiters’ desk. Some commentators are already recognising the negative risks with these software selection tools and could this be one of the reasons why we see so much commentary about candidates who seemingly tick every box required on the application, have bundles and bundles of relevant experience but do not get past the early screening process and invited to interview?

Is it even sensibly conceivable for executive recruiters to be able to personally engage as Dr Heiden suggests, with such high volumes of candidate applications, and are the expectations and aspirations of applicants to receive a personalised response, positive or negative or even realistic? Of course, candidates applying for advertised job vacancies are quite understandably expecting some form of positive response and no doubt recruiters would like to be able to respond to every applicant personally, but is that actually achievable with high volumes of applicants.

Dr Heiden suggests that “A top performing recruiter is recognisable in their ability to be transparent, as well as giving you the feeling of being looked after. As a candidate you receive continuous updates on the application process and are quickly informed if you proceed to the next round. If your application is not accepted, expect to be informed promptly.”

From a UK perspective, it is immensely interesting to hear how a German based organisation within a country renowned for recognising the value of experience and high-level skills and how the powerhouse economy of Europe views the process of senior and executive recruitment. Is the UK executive recruitment market the same or different? Can a few hundred miles reflect different recruitment techniques and are they better, the same or worse?

The team @ The Director-e are keen to open this debate up across the UK to understand how both recruiters and candidates see the jobs market in the UK.

  • What are the key challenges for recruiters in the modern jobs market with high volume applications and reducing timeframes?
  • Are the time and candidate profile pressures from the Hiring Managers helping or hindering effective recruitment practices?
  • What do candidates need to know to secure that all important first interview?
  • What kind of response and engagement should candidates expect from recruiters in the current jobs market?@TheDirector­_eLes
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