Executive search - searching for candidates on LinkedIn

Executive Search, why use it when we have LinkedIn?

During my many years of working as a researcher in the executive search industry, I have had the pleasure of being invited to train and educate both national and international researchers in how to find the most qualified candidates on the market.

When I began my career, LinkedIn didn’t exist. The way we found the right candidates back then, was significantly different than just screening the web and getting the information served. We used our network, sources and performed in-depth examinations of both the market and the client’s competitors (and we called it “mapping the territory”). We even interacted differently with our candidates. And as a result of that daily dialogue, question marks and requirements (such as salary package, willingness to move, ‘soft values’ and preferred industry) were all clarified and verified in the very beginning. Search consultants and researchers could therefore, in a streamlined process connect the candidates with employers in a smoother and more rapid process than we perhaps can perform today.

It is hard to deny the influence LinkedIn has had on today’s recruitment and executive search. The social network has forever changed the way the enterprise and the candidates connect: it has provided an almost unlimited access for the market to the online pool of talents.

However, when I have trained and educated new researchers I have emphasized that proper research never can be based solely on the screening of a LinkedIn profile. It should be a mix of ‘old school’-methods and the opportunities we are given today, to reach the best result and match between company and candidate.

Because even if we get access to an infinite pool of candidates through social media – what are these hundreds of thousands of potential candidates really worth, if we lose the daily contact, the in-depth analysis and the early answers to different requirements? And, still there exist candidates without Linkedin profiles, who aren’t a part of the social media for different reasons. Great researchers should find them too. Our network is important, someone-who-know-someone is still the best way to navigate through the jungle of potential candidates. And the candidates hiding under job titles they perhaps are over qualified for – we should find them too.

The rapidness of recruitment processes today, are also exhausting for the top candidates. The never-ending flow of enquiries from recruitment firms without any in-depth conversations regarding their wishes for future career advancements makes some of the desired high-profile candidates choose to shut down for their profiles.

The personal interaction is still the key to a successful recruitment process. A short message through cyber space cannot – and should not – replace the personal contact with a candidate, where useful comprehensive information is provided about the job opportunity – giving the candidate the possibility to review and understand both the job, the company and the process. The candidate should always feel comfortable and professionally treated. And the researchers phone, must always be open!

Recruitment is a process that requires resources. Current technology cannot provide or overtake what personal interaction means to successful recruitment. It is necessary, both for the candidate, the company – and for all of us connecting the ties in the very end of the process.

In the research team at Mangaard & Partners, we all adhere to this philosophy. It is our occupation to network in the old ways – and not just to connect online.

Do you want to know more? Can we help you?
You are more than welcome to reach out to me or one of my colleagues.

Heidi Thielsen – Partner & Head of Research

“Mangaard & Partners is not just an Executive Search Company. We are people that care.”

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