TOP FIVE REASONS WHY EXECUTIVE SEARCHES FAIL

EXECUTIVEExecutive recruitment is a daunting task. It entails working with a limited pool of talent in a given segment. The candidate who will ultimately fill the role must be someone who can be held accountable for the growth of the organization or growth of a key department within the organization. Some organizations successfully navigate the murky waters of executive searches then end up with a candidate who is not cut out for the job. Most organizations work with headhunters in their quest for executive talent yet they still end up with a failed executive search. Below are the top five reasons why executive searches fail:

Poor Research

Information is power, particularly in this age. In the quest for executive talent, some recruitment firms assume that all the information that they require about a candidate can be found in the candidate’s online profile. This conclusion is often arrived at following the delegation of the research work to someone who has little or no experience in research. As a result of this, the executive research is done haphazardly. The executive mapping process is characterized by gaping holes. The candidate sourcing process lacks discipline hence the recruitment firm ends up missing out on the best candidates who are hidden in plain sight. The digital age makes research even more difficult because recruiters need to have the ability to distinguish between the noise and the signal. While there are many executives who are a click away on LinkedIn, there are very few interested, qualified and passionate executive candidates.

Conflicting/ Unaligned Needs

This problem arises if there are multiple decision makers with conflicting views on the executive search process. For instance, the co-founders might consider a candidate’s experience more valuable while the board members consider the candidate’s educational background more important. Whether the executive search is being carried out by an external party or it is done in-house, conflicting expectations within the top leadership of an organization are bound to interfere with the process. Sometimes, it is not clear whether the organization desires to have a leader who will have an impact on revenue growth as soon as possible or a leader who will set up operational procedures that will translate into revenue growth in the long term.  The conflict in expectations can arise from an unrealistic desire to have a candidate who can solve all of the company’s problems.

Shifting Priorities Mid-Search

This problem is an extension of the aforementioned problem (refer to no. 2). A company begins an executive search, creates a job description, searches and interviews several candidates. Mid-way through the process, the organization realizes that there are aspects of the executive role that were not covered in the initial job description. A quick shift in gears takes place in order to correct this. In the process, precious time and money is wasted. To address this problem, firms need to recruit external recruitment firms to help them in the identification of priorities and drafting of a job description. An organization does not have to retain the recruitment firm after this. Consulting an external party gives the organization to save time and recruit more efficiently.

Creation of a Wish List

There is a common saying that states that perfect is the enemy of the good. This applies to organizations during the process of creating a wish list for the perfect candidate to fill a certain role. For most organizations, the wish list often comprises of a long list of acuities and experiences that the ideal candidate for the executive role is expected to have. This list may fail to account the realities in the talent market. For instance, it is difficult to find an executive who will accept a mid-level salary in order to perform a C-suite role. In other instances, a firm may require an executive with 10 years of experience yet the organization is in its infancy hence does not necessarily need someone with such experience. It is important to go through the wish list for the executive talent that is being sought by the organization and sift through the “nice-to-haves” in order to remain with “must-haves.”

Last Minute Executive Hires

Sometimes, organizations simply drop a post on their LinkedIn profile for an executive role and expect that executive talent will simply show up at their doorsteps the next morning. This often happens whenever an executive is leaving the organization or the company is launching a new service or product that requires a leader to spearhead the process.  Last minute executive hires often fail to meet the organization’s expectations. On average, an executive search can take up to 2 months from the signing of the contract to offering the letter of acceptance. If you know that your CFO is leaving in May, do not wait until mid-April to begin the process of recruiting a new CFO. Give your organization and your recruitment partner time to find, engage, interview and onboard talent that meets the needs of the organization.

We at Crystal Recruitment make it our business to find the right talent for your company as we are a leading Executive Search Firm in Kenya. Talk to us today and let us help you find the right talent.

Five Untruths You Need to Address Before Engaging an Offshore Recruitment Partner

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As the world increasingly shrinks and becomes a global village, most organizations find themselves grappling with the need for offshore talent. For most organizations, it is better to partner with an offshore recruitment partner than to rely on internal recruitment networks which take time to set up and manage. Making the most informed decision about offshore recruitment can be difficult because there are certain misconceptions that are associated with offshore recruitment partnerships.  Surveys that have been carried out across the globe indicate that most hiring managers are unsure as to whether they are working with the most suitable recruitment agency. This uncertainty particularly applies to offshore recruitment partnerships where the financial implications of recruitment errors are much higher. While the fears are based on valid reasons, there are certain untruths that also prevent organizations from engaging offshore recruitment partners:

Untruth #1: Offshore Recruitment Partners in Low-Cost Destinations Have Poor Infrastructure

What comes to mind when you think of an offshore recruitment partner? Offshore recruitment firms are often judged by their physical addresses. A fancy address does not always mean that an offshore recruitment firm is competent, techno-savvy and customer focused. A startup offshore recruitment firm might be the best offshore recruitment partner because of high levels of employee morale, dedication to its customers, investment in the best technological tools and data-driven decision making. For these reasons, an organization seeking an offshore recruitment partner should evaluate offshore recruitment partners based on their track record, competence and ability to make sound recruitment decisions that are backed by data.

Untruth # 2: Offshore Recruitment Firms are Not Dedicated to A Single Business Entity

Some organizations avoid engaging offshore recruitment firms because of the fear they have about the team structure. This is based on the belief that all of the firm’s employees are not dedicated to a single client hence they end up submitting the same candidates to a number of competing clients. Some organizations consider this threatening because it slows down the hiring process as a result of a low submittal-hiring ratio. While this may happen in some instances, not all offshore recruitment agencies are willing to compromise on their results and ability to deliver. Competent offshore recruitment agencies understand the organization’s culture and best practices hence they are dedicated to proper offshore candidate sourcing and screening practices.

Untruth #3: The Metrics of Offshore Recruitment Firms are Difficult to Determine

This misconception not only applies to offshore recruitment firms but it also applies to onshore recruitment firms. It is a byproduct of years of having incompetent recruitment firms that fail to develop metrics that are significant to their customers. This problem is further compounded by lack of transparency and accountability in the process of offshore recruitment. Prior to engaging an offshore recruitment firm, it is important to work with your preferred offshore recruitment partner to fine tune the metrics and align the recruitment services being offered with the objectives of your organization.

Untruth #4: Offshore Recruitment Makes an Organization Lose Control of Its Recruitment Process

Having an offshore recruitment partner can make one lose control of their recruitment process especially if the metrics are unclear. To avoid this, an organization should work closely with the offshore recruitment partner in order to give its input as the process of recruitment is going on. Unlike internal recruitment networks, offshore recruitment partners can provide an objective look into your organization’s talent needs and give a much needed fresh perspective.

Untruth #5: Offshore Recruitment Partners are Expensive

This misconception is often guided by a one-sided look at the recruitment process. Some organizations only look at the cost of engaging a recruitment partner but fail to consider the return on investment. A good offshore recruitment partner not only performs well but also provides a return on your investment as an organization. Some of the ways of evaluating an offshore recruitment partner’s ROI are:

  • Satisfaction ratings: Previously conducted surveys can give an indication of whether the firm’s offshore clients are satisfied with the services that they have been provided with.
  • Placement per recruiter: An effective offshore recruitment partnership should be measured by its effectiveness in placing candidates per recruiter.

In evaluating the cost of engaging an offshore recruitment firm, the organization should determine whether it wants to engage the firm on a permanent or on a temporary basis. It is advisable to have this in writing in the terms and conditions prior to any engagement. Your organization should also leverage the nature of the relationship it wants to engage in with the firm when negotiating the price.

To maximize on the ROI, an organization should ensure that its offshore recruitment partner provides some form of guarantee. For instance, it can offer a free replacement for a candidate who fails within the probationary period. The terms and conditions should also cover any eventualities such as waiting period for work permit approval.

At Crystal Recruitment, we make it our business to find the right talent for your company as we are a leading Recruitment Agency in Kenya. We have recently started engaging candidates who would like to work abroad in Dubai.

Talk to us today and let us help you find the right talent in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar and for your offshore Needs in Dubai!

5 Resolutions Every Organization Must Make about Talent

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The New Year is beckoning even as the lights go up in preparation for the Christmas festivities.  Making New Year’s resolutions is a tradition that dates back to the Babylonians about 4000 years ago. During a ceremony known as Akitu which coincided with the crop planting season in mid-March, they would make promises to the gods to pay debts and be on their best behavior in the New Year. Romans had a similar ceremony at the beginning of the year. It was based on the belief that Janus, the two-faced god after whom January is named had links to the future and insight into the past.

Many of us look back and wonder why we made New Year’s resolutions in the first place because we have nothing to show for it. Some of us quit before we fulfilled our resolutions. Others are proud of the milestones made after making their resolutions. Regardless of your take on resolutions at a personal level, every organization that is keen on growing and sustaining its growth must make resolutions. Your talent strategy must be carefully considered as you make your resolutions at an organizational level. You do not have to wait for January to consider your resolutions when it comes to talent.

Having worked with hundreds of successful organizations over the past year, we have identified a few of key resolutions that organizations need to make and keep in the New Year:

Resolution#1: Review and update your employee handbook

This may seem trivial at first but it is not. If you have an employee handbook, now would be a good time to carefully review it and consider what needs to be revised or updated. During the review, consider any changes that have been made to the laws or regulations in the course of the year. Work with your legal counsel during the process.

Do you have flexible working arrangements for some of your employees? Include it in your employee handbook.

Do you have guidelines on how your employees need to use social media platforms? Let it be clearly articulated in your employee handbook.

Do the policies and guidelines in your employee handbook support your recruitment and employee retention efforts? The employee handbook should have them.

Are you clueless about what you need to include or exclude in your employee handbook? Talk to us today.

Resolution #2:  Foster a learning culture

Are your employees keeping up with emerging trends? Successful organizations encourage their employees to learn continuously and come up with innovative ways of doing their work. Encourage the employees who have been working for the organization for long to acquire new skills or upgrade their skills. Provide them with opportunities to learn about new technologies in their field. Provide new employees with opportunities to up-skill or work in other areas of the organization in order to enhance their skills. These efforts will boost the morale of the employees, promote productivity and business growth.

Resolution#3: Avoid delays in acting on employee performance

Delays in acting on employee performance are a result of a variety of factors. Sometimes, the organization wants to find a replacement before firing an employee.

In other instances, the organization might not have the financial muscle to compensate an employee after giving him or her a promotion.  Regardless of the reasons for the delay, organizations end up retaining underperforming employees for longer periods than they should. In other instances, organizations lose their talent to competitors because they failed to provide them with career development opportunities. This does not mean that the decision to terminate or promote an employee should be rushed. However, the decision should not be delayed as long as there is sufficient information.

Resolution#4: Review your benefits program

Millennials are looking for more than a salary. They are seeking opportunities to grow and develop in their careers, advance in their education and work in an environment that supports work-rest balance.

Are you content in offering traditional benefits such as retirement, health insurance and annual leave? It is time to reconsider the benefits you can offer to your employees.

There are other benefits that help in retaining employees such as flexible working schedule, training and friendly maternity and paternity leave packages. An organization could reap immense benefits from its employees by including some of these benefits in its benefits program.

Resolution #5: Review your annual appraisal process

In most organizations, annual appraisals are considered mundane tasks that everyone simply wants to get over and done with. As a result of this attitude, most organizations miss out on opportunities to get feedback from their employees and to give feedback that will help them become more productive. Resolve to ensure that employees do not only hear about their good performance or areas of improvement during the annual appraisal at your organization. Effective managers have regular discussions with their team members about their good performance and areas of improvement. This can be done on a monthly or quarterly basis. The performance appraisal tool should be shared with the employee prior to the appraisal. This will enable the employee to understand what he or she is expected to do in order to be considered a performing employee. Develop a 360-degree feedback mechanism by obtaining feedback about the employee from his or her colleagues or immediate boss.

We at Crystal Recruitment make it our business to find the right talent for your company as we are a leading Recruitment Agency in Kenya. Talk to us today and let us help you find the right talent.

TO HIRE OR NOT TO HIRE? HERE IS YOUR FOOLPROOF CHECKLIST

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Sometimes, hiring a candidate can seem like rocket science before the era of Google. You hire an experienced sales manager only for you to realize that the manager cannot handle the changes in market dynamics. You hire a candidate who seems to have immense potential as an executive assistant only for you to realize that the assistant is tardy and untidy hence he can hardly keep up with the demands of the job. What are the indicators or clues that an employer should be on the lookout for before hiring a candidate?

Hire a candidate who has the right potential

Potential is often defined as the ability to grow and adapt to different working environments. It is easy to weed out the candidates who lack potential during the preliminary stages of an interview. However, determining whether the candidates possess the right kind of potential takes skill. Globally, jobs are increasingly subject to change due to the fast-paced nature of advancement.  A good employer knows that uncertainties are a part of the future hence he or she hires with that in mind. Look for interview questions and assessments that bring out a candidate’s inquisitiveness. Ask candidates about practical steps they have taken to learn something new and apply it in their field. Having the right potential is demonstrated through one’s eagerness to learn in order to reach one’s full potential. A candidate with the right potential is competent, curious, insightful and engaged. A candidate with a few years of experience may have more potential than a candidate with many years of experience. A candidate with the right potential does not want a new job because he/she “can no longer learn anything from their current job”. Instead, he or she wants a position in your organization because it is in line with his or her career goals.

Hire a candidate who understands their career trajectory

Some candidates are one disaster away from a career head-on collision. Their career journey is a random doodle with no goals, ambition or direction in sight. Other candidates know where they are headed, why they want to head in a particular direction and how they are going to get there. Job hopping might look like it is in vogue but from a recruitment perspective, it might also speak of indecisiveness and red flags in one’s character. There might be a shortage of permanent jobs in this economy so it’s okay for one to have some temporary jobs in one’s resume. However, if the stories behind the departure from one organization to another do not add up, then there is a problem.

Hire a candidate who can ask good questions

The wise man, as it is often said, poses the right questions. A candidate who asks questions for the sake of asking questions might be a disengaged candidate who is not curious. A good interview is engaging because it is a two-way conversation. Be prepared to answer a candidate’s questions with clarity and honesty. A candidate’s questions can be an indicator of the candidate’s ability to think creatively and learn. It is also an indicator of whether the candidate is eager to join the organization and bring new ideas.

Hire a candidate who is passionate and determined

Does the candidate have new ideas that can be applied in solving problems in your organization? What practical steps would they take to bring that idea to life? How would the candidate counter the legal/ economic challenges that might be encountered in the course of the implementation of their idea?

Sometimes, the most determined and passionate candidate who would be the right fit for the job does not have the academic skills required for the job. A good programmer might have coding skills that he or she learnt through open courseware on the internet while he/she was working at a restaurant to make ends meet. Such a candidate might lack some of the technical skills but their passion and determination makes them an excellent fit for the position. A good project coordinator might have the right skills and attitude but he or she studied biology as their first degree then took online courses in project management.

Do not hire a candidate who is overconfident and proud

Confidence is essential in successfully executing any role. Overconfidence, on the other hand, is a success killer. A candidate who is overconfident does not understand the importance of taking calculated risks. He or she does not know the limits of what they know and the importance of acknowledging that there is a lot to learn. Such a candidate will overpromise and under deliver, take unnecessary risks and constantly pass the buck to others instead of taking responsibility for their mistakes. Ask questions that will help you determine whether a candidate knows their limitations and is willing to seek help where it is necessary.

Do not hire a candidate who brags about other job offers

If a candidate is bragging about other job offers, then he or she should probably be allowed to pursue other job offers. A candidate who brags about other job offers is manipulative and greedy. He or she is probably trying to arm twist the organization into offering more in terms of monetary benefits by overstating the value that he or she would bring to the organization. Bragging about other job offers is also an indication that the candidate will accept other job offers using your organization’s offer as leverage.

 

Are you looking for talent with the above qualities? Do talk to us.

Crystal Recruitment is a leading Recruitment Firm in Kenya, with presence in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda and a reputation of getting the right people for your open vacancies.