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Seek & find

Released at: 07:11, 25/07/2014

Seek & find

You have advertised in the newspaper and online, asked your friends for help, had your secretary search Vietnamworks, and still no luck. Your HR team is doing their best, but now you realise time is running out, your competitors are getting the best talent ahead of you. What can you do?

Use a headhunter?

   In the age of LinkedIn many businesspeople think that Executive Search - the polite name for head hunting - is dead. These people have missed the point, and you have the chance to get ahead of the game by using Executive Search in a strategic way.

Has LinkedIn killed executive search?

   Linkedin has definitely helped with the “Research” phase of Executive Search (see box). No longer can an industry insider “sell” their little black book of contacts. These days the main value to your business from a headhunter comes from the other phases of Executive Search. It is no longer enough to “find” talented people.


   The trend these days is for business to set up large, in-house “do it yourself” (DIY) recruitment teams. These teams have fast short-term cost savings as they are good at filling “replacement” jobs where there is a lot of talent in the market. In Vietnam this approach does not work well. The best talent are often “passive candidates” who will not be actively seeking work. You may be able to find them on LinkedIn, but how will you get them excited enough by your business to make the move?

Know who you are

   When dealing with an external Executive Search Specialist, one of the first things they will do after signing a contract with you is to find out about your company culture. Having to explain to someone outside your organisation how you operate your business is a useful exercise for all managers and business leaders. Why would a talented person choose to work in your team? What is your employer brand?

Any road

   Headhunters are used to dealing with a wide range of companies, jobs and people. They are expert at helping you define what you want. To paraphrase of an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: “If you don’t know where you want to go any road will take you there.” The same is true with Executive Search. Having a company outsider ask for a clear job definition will help you avoid major hiring mistakes into the future. Selecting the right person will be easier if you have written down your business objectives for hiring before looking at CVs. This document is called a job order.

Process matches perfect

   A key value from your headhunter is their ability to run a “matching” process. A skilled consultant will create a win-win deal for you and the candidate. Relationships that start out this way usually last longer than one-sided arrangements.

   Executive Search Professionals will give you a report showing how the person they are introducing fits with the job order defined earlier. They should show you how the person matches in terms of personality and company culture as well as skills and experience. Include the headhunter’s opinion to your selection decision. Ask them “Who would you hire? Why?”

An offer you can’t refuse

   The best way to start a relationship with “hard to find” talent is to make them a one-time offer that is difficult for them to refuse. The trick is to make this happen. Unskilled handling of the “negotiation” phase can lead to unhappy outcomes for all concerned.

   Once you have selected the right person, involve your Executive Search Consultant in creating and presenting an offer to the person. This is especially true when dealing with the classic Vietnamese professional/manager “passive” candidate who is happy in their job right now.

After sales service

   The first day of work is not the end of service from your headhunter. Good Executive Search firms will seek feedback from both sides of the relationship during the critical first few weeks of the relationship. For high-level headhunting the Executive Search consultant can help create “onboarding” job goals that address risks identified during the recruitment process. All good Search firms offer a guarantee that if the relationship does not work they will find another candidate free of charge.

HR2B helps our customers find talented and well-matched professionals and managers nationwide in Vietnam. In operation for over ten years, HR2B’s 30+ consultants have the market knowledge, process driven approach and world class customer service to help you win the talent game in Vietnam. Contact HR2B today at http://www.hr2b.com

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