Why headhunters don’t return your calls

If you missed the Bangkok Post article on 19 June 2017, Why Headhunters Don’t Return Your Calls, read the full article here. It’s the story why I used to hate headhunters…

Once upon a time is the phrase which begins fairy tales and fabulous stories set in some unspecified moment in the past. Except the story you are about to read. There is nothing fairy or fabulous about this real life experience of mine. I absolutely hated headhunters. My story starts like this: Once upon a time when I was a candidate myself. Continue reading “Why headhunters don’t return your calls”

Forbes ranks Boyden in Top Ten in executive search

Forbes recently launched their first ever ranking of executive recruiting firms. Boyden has ranked #8 out of the 250 firms included in the set.

To assign rankings, Forbes gathered 20,000 responses from executives and HR managers. Forbes asked them to name the top firms with which they had experience. The companies with the most recommendations are ranked highest. Continue reading “Forbes ranks Boyden in Top Ten in executive search”

Secrets of successful selection

There are now about 300 third-party recruiters in Thailand who are licenced to help recruit Thais for jobs in Thailand. Not many know this, but the recruitment industry in Thailand is extremely regulated and is governed by the Job Seekers Protection Act enacted in 1985 (31 years ago). Recruitment companies must submit a monthly report to the Ministry of Labour showing the names and details of the candidates they have helped place with their clients.

Tom Sorensen is a 14-year veteran head-hunter in Thailand, now at Boyden, one of the longest established players in the executive recruitment business. In the world and in Thailand. We asked Tom Sorensen to discuss the changing face of recruitment and the role of recruitment professionals. Continue reading “Secrets of successful selection”

Two easy ways to test candidate personality and intelligence

Picture a jigsaw puzzle! Then think about the next candidate you are going to interview. This candidate is like the jigsaw puzzle you just pictured, a human being put together by many different shapes and forms of puzzle pieces.

Imagine for a second that you only have one single puzzle piece and are asked to guess what the complete picture is. Likely an impossible task, wouldn’t you say? Continue reading “Two easy ways to test candidate personality and intelligence”

What fee do you pay recruitment firms, 3 or 4 months’ salary?

Your third-party recruitment company, or executive search firm calculate their service fee as a percentage of the successful candidate’s first year’s annual income.

But what is the percentage and what does annual income mean?7013_dollar_stack_colorLow_resize

The percentage will typically vary from, and be anywhere in between, 15% and 35% and even up to 40%. A standard definition of annual income is the total of the gross salary per month before tax multiplied by thirteen months plus other monetary benefits such as fixed allowances times twelve (e.g. transport, mobile phone, housing). The thirteenth month represents any fixed and variable bonuses no matter how many months a client ends up paying. Continue reading “What fee do you pay recruitment firms, 3 or 4 months’ salary?”

10 things candidates will hate you for doing

This message is not for you if applicants and candidates are queueing up outside your office every day looking for job opportunities, and you have absolutely no problem in finding and hiring people. Google, Apple and Starbucks come to mind.3401_Production_line_Low_res

Your corporate brand and value proposition may be so unique and spectacular that applicants will be on their knees begging for a job. At that very moment, they will take any abuse and arrogance just to get in the door.

If you recognise yourself and your company in the lines above, you may stop reading now; better check in with me next month. Continue reading “10 things candidates will hate you for doing”

Is Interim Executive a job for you?

This is now a career choice for many. Perhaps it’s something for you?

1169_athlete_winning_colourThe interim executive is a highly skilled, seasoned manager who is available for assignments of any duration, to either lend specialised expertise to a strategic project or to fill a critical skills gap.

Interim or contract roles tend to be for a set period of time, typically several months, and tend to be more for experienced professionals with niche skills who have to hit the ground running.

Interim executives are also known as fixed-term-contract-employees. They are employed by our clients in much the same way as permanent staff but for a fixed period only. Continue reading “Is Interim Executive a job for you?”

When a candidate scolds a recruiter

You be the judge. A candidate forwarded me this email sent to a recruitment company where she was interviewed recently. She is well aware of my frank and candid opinion of those third party and in-house recruiters who still to this day have an air of arrogance in the way they treat applicants and candidates.7810_mailbox_blackLow

I have not heard from you for a few weeks since the last time we talked. I am wondering what the status of my candidacy is. I assume that you are either super busy or my candidacy is not making it to the next step.

However, I expect a big professional recruitment firm has the courtesy to send at least an e-mail to the candidates who didn’t make it to the shortlist.
Continue reading “When a candidate scolds a recruiter”

Love at first sight in recruitment

Why is it such a surprise that many employee and employer relationships end in what I call “recruitment divorce’: Employee Leaves Employer.8645_Fire extinguisher_70dpi

It is said that 50% (or more) of marriages end in divorce. That’s a scary prospect that makes many think hard before proposing or walking down the aisle.

Love at first sight during the interview process often turns sour because the assessment was artificial and the employer fell for the candidate’s well-practiced dance.

Too many get duped into assessing presentation over performance. You have just been outmaneuvered by a candidate who had prepared better than you. Basically, you have fallen victim to the 4A syndrome. Continue reading “Love at first sight in recruitment”

Why do you want to leave your current job?

It’s one of these questions an inexperienced hiring manager or over-smart recruiter may ask you next time you attend a job interview. Hat’s off to you and my respect, if you have the guts to answer: “To be honest, I am not sure I want to leave”.4692_Suitcase_red

If you are a candidate who was nurtured and convinced by an executive search firm or a recruitment company to consider an opening with one of their clients, if you agreed to an appointment with their client to explore a new job opportunity, you definitely have the right to say that you are not sure if you want to leave your current employer. If you are an interviewer, read on to learn what you really should ask instead.

What if the interviewer asks you: “How did the recruitment company find you?” Continue reading “Why do you want to leave your current job?”

Is hiring top talent important in your organisation?

If recruiting talented people is one of your top priorities (and it should be if you want to stay a top manager), then spending an hour of your time with your HR Department or your preferred Headhunter is critical to the success of the hiring process.5211_highjumper_70dpi_sky

I’m always puzzled when executives don’t take this briefing more serious because it leaves your hiring partner (whether HR or Headhunter) with a lot of guessing to do. When your hiring partner is left to fill out the blanks with their own ideas on what the job really is, you probably have a better chance of winning in the lottery than getting the best candidate for the job.

Continue reading “Is hiring top talent important in your organisation?”

Resumes lifted from job boards is not executive search

Finding a name in today’s wired and increasingly smaller world is obviously a piece of cake. But finding a name easily does not mean it’s easy to find a suitable person to hire. On the contrary, the truth is: easy to find = but difficult to hire. 4138_dominoes_charcoal

I mean, after you have that name and LinkedIn profile, just reaching out, asking the person if she is interested in a new job, surely will not cut it. But then again, this is the question inexperienced recruiters, corporate or recruitment companies, gladly ask right after they have introduced themselves. And don’t forget that HR managers are in HR and not in sales for a reason. Few in HR find cold calling someone and selling a job opportunity to their liking. And yes, a huge part of recruitment is Sales with a capital S.

3518_binoculars_greyYou must bring unique selling points to the table when you establish contact with a person you find on the Internet or LinkedIn. We call these points for Employee Value Proposition in executive search. You must be good at selling the job opportunity, have a high influence factor, be able to quickly establish a good rapport, have a strong impact when you communicate and be full of confidence.  These traits are the hallmarks of a great sales manager and a top recruiter. Continue reading “Resumes lifted from job boards is not executive search”

Do not use Myers-Briggs for recruitment

According to CPP, the exclusive publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment tool, the MBTI is not recommended for use in recruitment and selection. However, it has helped many people gain insights about themselves and how they interact with others, so it can be a great tool for team and leadership development or conflict and stress management.

1065_whistle_orangeIf your HR team is using the MBTI to support hiring decisions, ask them to stop. Do not reduce candidates to humorous stereotypes.

Management researchers, William Gardner and Mark Martinko, write in a comprehensive review: “Few consistent relationships between type and managerial effectiveness have been found. The MBTI is not a useful predictor of job performance… the MBTI measures preferences, not ability. The use of the MBTI as a predictor of job or career success is expressly discouraged in the MBTI Manual.”

Continue reading “Do not use Myers-Briggs for recruitment”

Should I trust my gut feeling when hiring people?

The short answer is no and never! If you want to know why, please keep reading. Using your gut is similar to scratching the surface of something; to examine and discover only the superficial aspects of something or in this case a candidate. We call it the Four A Syndrome, because when you trust your gut, you are assessing a candidate’s presentation skills over business performance and substance. The four A’s are:4558_stethoscope_burgundy

  • Articulate
  • Assertive
  • Attractive
  • Affable

For sure, we have all been there. Welcome to the gut club, you have just fallen into the typical trap of assessing presentation instead of performance. You are falling in love with the candidate’s personality. It would have been easier to just flip a coin, heads, you hire but tails, and you don’t. Think back to your latest recruitment challenge, and it might have looked something like this. Continue reading “Should I trust my gut feeling when hiring people?”

All I want for Christmas is…?

It’s that time of year again when friends and family think about the Christmases and New Years of the past and plan for the coming holiday with their loved ones in mind. Many will also be thinking about changing jobs in the New Year; perhaps starting to work on their New Year’s resolutions of losing weight, quitting smoking, drinking less or maybe all of the above. What have you got planned?8023_Stocking_72dpi

As we reflect on this wonderful end-of-year holiday, I am writing my wishes for what could improve candidate and client understanding of job and candidate hunting – gifts I hope Santa brings you in his sack this time around.

Are you stalking your headhunter?

Sorry to be so blunt, but someone has to say it. Even recruiters and headhunters sometimes refer to themselves as agents; this is in fact rather misleading. Whether they’re referred to as an agent, representative or broker, they are essentially a person who acts on behalf of another. In the recruitment profession this “another” is not the candidate but the client (or the employer), because that’s where the money is. You see, recruiters do not find jobs for people, they find people for jobs. Continue reading “All I want for Christmas is…?”