Customisation or standardisation? Mass-market or exclusive?
Well, this has been a matter of perennial deliberation for corporates while defining the proposition of their products/ services, and it’s even more so in the space of executive hiring.
The age-old large/ global executive search firms have, over the years, perfected standardised methods for performing talent search & sourcing activity globally. And that’s certainly for reasons that might feel right in their own context. The meticulous standardisation of the servicing model helps them in tightly managing the method of service delivery over an expanded global market and further ensuring uniform customer experience, by limiting the scope for flexibility and customisation. The undesired fallout of this is that every search activity for every client gets shoved into the same standardised method of delivery. And that has its own pitfalls when it comes to offbeat or new-age client requirements.
Executive hiring is a serious business. There is a lot that goes on stake every time that an organisation reaches out to an executive search firm for hiring a senior leader. Each position has its own peculiar nuances and certain ineluctable criterion to be met, while bearing a unique combination of the domain, operational expertise, life & leadership skills, past track record, cultural compatibility etc.
Fortunately, the industry has over the recent past seen the advent of new-age boutique headhunting firms that have demonstrated immense gumption in having broken away from the age-old conventional model for executive hiring. Thankfully, these firms have modelled themselves around an altogether fresh perspective towards executive hiring. Their mojo lies in building a connect with their clients at the subtler level rather than the gross. Their foremost target with any new client is to tune themselves in with the frequency at which the organisation operates. And that requires gaining a deep understanding of the core elements of the organisation like, its key success drivers, the future growth strategy, the primary challenges of the business, the core value system and its vision & mission etc.
Getting into these subtleties provides a deep understanding of the company’s DNA. With this understanding, these new-age headhunting firms find themselves fairly well-positioned to recommend only those candidates which bear genuine potential for melding themselves effortlessly into the organisation’s DNA, in addition to the required operational capability. As much as these head-hunters feel concerned about proposing to their clients the most promising leaders, they feel equally concerned for the careers of the candidates and eschew ill-advising them at every cost, a core principle that unfortunately seems to have been compromised upon by some head-hunters for the sake of a few extra or rather easy bucks from the client. This diligence early-on in their relationship with a new client helps them later in getting things right the first time itself in most cases.
The most striking feature of these new-age firms is that they care to formulate a unique approach for every position based upon its oddities, instead of relying upon standard models that so typically act as the saviour for the larger firms. They realise that every position is different and hence deserves a unique strategy of its own.