Hiring the iPhone generation

Spotlight Is On Me!

“Hello! you are talking to Ravi (currently heading a multi million dollar business) . How can I help you?” To this my fellow consultant replied, “I am calling from an executive search firm and there is a very interesting opportunity that I would like to discuss with you”. In the next ten minutes he had a detailed summary of the candidate’s background clearly noted down in the company master database( and his Rolodex ofcourse). And before the call could end, the potential candidate for a Business Head role for a billion dollar healthcare company had a very interesting question to ask,”Could you please share a ball figure your client is looking at in terms of the compensation, and their car policy too! And for your information I do not drive any car, I drive an Audi”.( yes! I’m sighing with exasperation but even smart guys ask dumb questions sometimes!) A very interesting remark to break the ice on the very first call which soon emerged as a hot topic of discussion on the lunch table in the search firm.

“I would request you to get back to me asap on the client’s decision as I already have two offers in hand and will have to take a decision soon”! And my day’s only started, when I get a call for a candidate presented for a Sales Head role for a large API company

By the afternoon another call comes in,” I am sorry my company is retaining me! After I put in my papers, they made me fly to Hong Kong over the weekend to meet the APAC Business Director. They have chalked out an excellent career path for me, it’s is better I stay back, I will have to withdraw….I am not accepting the offer”

How often do we, in the business of Search, come across situations like these and how often do we question our interviewing abilities!!!!! How many times do we have last minute fallouts, come across candidates who have multiple offers or who are retained by their current employers by showing an “exemplary career path”! This is the bane of the business today. The current recruitment environment is very different compared to what we have seen and experienced in the past. With unemployment being at an all time low (for the highly skilled, managerial pool today) conditions have changed and we now have a “buyers market”, or for those seeking their next opportunity, a “candidates market”! Employers and Hiring Partners, now have to spend considerable time ‘selling’ their opportunity as the employer brand alone is not enough anymore.

Candidates are savvier now and work with multiple offers in hand. In many instances the process also moves extremely quickly. In this candidate driven market, the good candidates are in the driving seat. Another interesting point to note is that companies today do not want to let go of their high potentials. They do everything possible to retain their best talent and rightly so.

So what’s the solution to this problem?

Partner with the client and advise them to expedite internal processes. Engagement with the iphone generations’ fickle attention span is fleeting, the moment must be captured – Strike while the iron is hot or as the old adage goes, the early bird gets the worm. Act fast, act decisively. According to a survey conducted last year, 60 percent of accepted offers were made less than four weeks after the first interview, and 47 percent were made after two interviews or less, a 10 and 19 point increase from a year earlier. Yet, that is an urgency many employers still don’t recognize. Very recently, while executing a top level search for a leading pharmaceutical company, we had to let go a very strong candidate as the client took far too long to move to the shortlist phase (yes the permanent dent on my forehead is a result of that)

A recent survey conducted by a very credible and reliable agency, who work primarily with the professional and managerial segment of the workforce, stated that 67 percent of respondents said they would characterize today’s talent market as candidate-driven, an increase of 13 points from a year ago. The tides have already turned and what used to be a seller’s market has become a buyer’s market. As the pool of quality candidates dwindles, more and more organizations will pursue the same candidate.

Is it time to pollinate our talent pool with cross border talent? Turn to the west and reverse the brain drain (we are so doing that at Stellar!!) or just change our hiring processes.

A thought worth pondering!


By Waiser Doma Wangdi, Consultant- Stellar