The human face of executive search

The human face of executive search

The first thing to say is that, although I am not particularly “tech savvy” I am far from being a Luddite. I absolutely understand that technology is changing who we are and how we live our lives – AI, robotics and self-drive cars promise to make our lives easier and more efficient. Also, as Millennial / Generation Y become more prevalent in organisations at a senior level, the use of technology will explode.

What concerns me, as an old school recruiter, is if face to face interviews cease to be considered the most important part of the search process. I have seen how automated technology is making its presence felt:

  • Gamification
  • Real-world scenarios
  • Candidate outcome predictions

And whilst these new tools will, and do, have benefits ….. will the end game be that the face to face interview disappears completely?

I am an advocate for using Skype and appearin where appropriate, but for me, the face to face interview cannot be beaten or replicated anywhere else in terms of seeing a candidate’s enthusiasm, commitment and passion. You also have a first-hand view of body language and how candidate’s respond to challenging, competency based interview questions.

I can cite many occasions where ‘F2F’ has proved invaluable. In a recent assignment, I received a CV which, it is fair to say, was underwhelming. My colleague, who knew the individual, was insistent that I meet the candidate – “his CV does not do him justice” she said, and she was right! A strong candidate with very relevant experience but who just did not know how to put a good CV together (a topic for another blog I’m sure). On the other hand, a few years ago I was recruiting on behalf of a well-known, international company looking for a General Manager for Southern Europe. I received the most amazing CV and couldn’t wait to meet this person. However, the meeting did not go as well as I hoped. The individual’s interpersonal and communication skills were not good and, more importantly, a complete mismatch in terms of culture and values with the client.

As executive search partners, building a relationship and rapport with candidates is hugely important, as is being recognised as a trusted advisor to them throughout the process. Without that, we are not able to do the best job for our candidates and clients and, as such, I for one hope that the face to face interview remains a key part of the recruitment process for a long time to come.

Contact: Mike Penny
Address: 49 Jamaica Street,
Liverpool, L1 OAH, UK
Phone: (0) 845 8055958