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The rapid pace of change in European executive recruitment continues to accelerate. Twenty years ago, there were but a small handful of tried and trusted ways to recruit the right senior manager or executive. Today, the landscape is rather more complex. Our research among over 1,200 senior managers and executive across the UK and Continental Europe explores the methods organisations use to recruit, employee retention, priorities in executive recruitment, experience of job boards and recruitment agencies, social media, and measurement of recruitment.

Transcript of Hire imperative

Layout 1


Executive recruitment tools, practices andviewpoints in the UK and Continental Europe


In just the past three years,LinkedIn has moved from

being used by 33% ofmanagers and executives

to search for a job, and only 10% of hiring

managers to find them, toalmost universal usage

Introduction 1

Survey Methodology 2

Determination of Process for Recruiting Management & Executive Roles 3

Priorities and Issues Driving Recruitment 5

Executive Transitions: Retention and Turnover 8

Employee Retention 10

Recruitment Methods 13

Philosophy of Search: Broad or Narrow? 17

Motivation of New Employees 18

Experience and Viewpoint on Job Boards 19

Viewpoint on and Experience of Executive Recruitment Agencies 21

Selection of Recruitment Service Provider 24

Social Media 25

Measuring Recruitment 28

Outlook on Future Executive / Management Hires 30

Contextual Factors 32

A War for Talent? 33

Conclusion 35



The rapid pace of change in European

executive recruitment continues to accelerate.

Twenty years ago, there were but a small

handful of tried and trusted ways to recruit the

right senior manager or executive: run a print

ad in the most relevant business or trade

journal; run a print ad in the national

newspapers appointments section; or

engage an executive search firm. Job boards

were on the scene, but more actively used on

roles only up to middle management, for

technical positions and in some non-European

parts of the globe.

In just the past three years, LinkedIn has

moved from being used by 33% of managers

and executives to search for a job, and 10% of

hiring managers to find them, to almost

universal usage. Even Facebooks role is on

the rise among executives and the people

who hire them. Other tools and methods,

which a few years ago were in nascent stages,

continue to grow. Large global brands are

taking executive recruitment in-house and

building their own candidate communities;

umbrella preferred supplier relationships

govern all recruitment suppliers in many

organisations; outsourcing and other tactics

are also at work. In addition to the impact that

these new options are having within the

companies that choose them, the changes

have sent shockwaves through various entities

involved in sourcing talent. An example:

Recruitment advertising at one international

newspaper used to be a business worth tens

of millions of pounds annually. Today,

recruitment advertising is largely online and

generates less than 10 million per year.

To inform our understanding of our clients

habits and preferences, in 2012 Executives

Online surveyed our clients, prospects and

registered executive candidates. The online

questionnaire had over 30 questions

and covered:

The methods their company or

organisation uses to recruit managers

and executives

Employee retention methods

Their priorities in executive recruitment

Their experience of job boards and

executive recruitment agencies / suppliers

Use of social media

Measuring recruitment effectiveness / ROI

Their answers are illuminating and in many

cases surprising.

We hope you enjoy reading.

James OBrien

Managing Director


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Our surveys were conducted online in mid 2012,

among more than 1,200 senior executives across

Europe, who are either registered with us as

candidates for interim or permanent roles, or who

have used or enquired about our services. The

survey consisted of over 30 questions in which

respondents were asked their views on the priorities

and issues driving recruitment, executive retention

and turnover, various recruitment methods,

employee motivation, job boards, executive

recruitment service providers, social media,

measurement of recruitment, and their outlook for

the future.

The data were subsequently tabulated and analysed

to uncover insights by industry, role of responder,

country and performance in other metrics and

provide content for this narrative. This finished

report follows the order and structure of the

original survey.


Survey Methodology

Because of their importance to the organisation, executive hires are

often the result of a collaborative process between the hiring

manager (usually the person the role reports to) and the companys

Human Resources function. Control of the process, however, can

vary. To understand where decision-making on the recruitment

process and method resides, we asked our clients, prospects and

registered executive candidates who decides the method and

process for that recruitment, once the company or organisation has

decided to recruit a senior role.

In almost half of all companies, the HR / in-house recruitment

function sets the process, with 47% of respondents answering that

HR decides. In 36% of companies, the line / hiring manager

decides. Reflecting the collaborative process, fully 17% of

respondents said that some other entity chooses how the

recruitment will proceed. The comments given by respondents in

that 17% Other grouping indicate that, most often, the decision is

made jointly by HR and line management, or driven directly from

the top of the company, with the CEO or even the board deciding

how to proceed. In other situations, external service providers, such

as executive search consultants or external HR advisers,

set the tone.

Asked to comment on whether the usual method is chosen via

formal policies or on an ad-hoc basis, respondents answered more

strongly (in a ratio of 2:1) that policies were formal rather than ad

hoc. However, numerous comments also indicated that the process

is flexible, and collaborative: There are formal recruiting processes

but the decision on the method to recruit is on a case by case

basis at senior levels, [There is a] Formal underlying process with

flexibility depending on the role being recruited, Ultimately the

decision lies with HR, but we always consult with the business to

ensure an appropriate solution is reached,We have a formal

group wide policy, driven by group procurement, to ensure most

economic solutions are deployed. Flexibility exists to recognise

specialists and experts, but only to the extent they reduce fees to

the level of the rest following market review. Preferred supplier

panels are in place and strictly adhered to.

There is a strong correlation between company size and the role of

HR in setting the recruitment process. The larger the company, the

more likely it is that HR decides the method and process

for recruitment.


Who decides recruitment process?

HR / In-houseRecruitment


Hiring Manager* 36%


* the person to whom the new employee will report

...executive hires areoften the result of acollaborative processbetween the hiringmanager (usually theperson the role reportsto) and the companysHuman Resourcesfunction.

Determination of Process for Recruiting Management & Executive Roles

That HR involvement increases with company size is not really

surprising, as the existence of a focused HR function (or even

person) within a company requires a certain level of scale to justify

it. Smaller companies are less likely to even have a dedicated HR

department, and therefore HR cant play as much of a role in setting

the process for executive recruitment. However, the movement of

decision-making away from the hiring manager is concerning. Less

than one in four hiring managers in bigger companies have the

primary say in how their people are recruited, which may have an

impact on their satisfaction with the process.

The strength of HR in setting the process also varies by industry,

with respondents in the Healthcare / Medical, Industrial /

Manufacturing, and Media / Marketing / Entertainment / Advertising

industries being more likely to report that HR decides the method

and process for executive recruitment. In the Business Services

sector, which has a higher proportion of smaller companies in our

sample, the hiring manager is more likely to set the process.


Determiner of recruitment process by company size

No. of Employees