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2002 / ISSUE 13

The International Executive Search Magazine

The European Executive

Paul C. Reilly

Search in France

Exclusive Interview with the CEO of Korn/Ferry International

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Executive Search Associations

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The Global Search Firms 2002

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Technology in Search


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search-consult is published by Dillistone Systems Ltd, Calvert House, 5 Calvert Avenue, London, E2 7JP, United Kingdom and printed by Printhouse Corporation, London NW10 6ST, www.printhouse.co.uk. All statements, opinions, and expressions are the sole responsibility of the authors and the Publishers reserve the right to amend / alter articles as necessary. The Publishers cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage, however caused, of any materials supplied. Any materials supplied may not always be returned. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without prior written consent of the Publishers.

Front Cover: Paul C. Reilly, CEO, Korn/Ferry International. Photography courtesy of Korn/Ferry International.

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TMP Worldwide Revenues Drop 61% in Second Quarter www.search-consult.com

NEWS

TMP Worldwide reported a 61% drop in the firm's second quarter earning ending June 30, 2002. . The New York City-based firm recorded adjusted earnings of $15.7 million, compared to earnings of $40.9 million one year earlier. On an unadjusted basis, TMP reported a net loss of $504.1 million compared with net income of $19.8 million a year earlier. Total revenue for the quarter was $291 million, a decrease of 24% from total revenue of $383.6 million a year ago. Quarterly revenues for

Executive Search fell 45% to $18 million. Jim Treacy, President and COO of TMP Worldwide, added, "During this difficult time, our focus has squarely been on further reducing costs and inefficiencies throughout our global operations." Within this context, the company said it is cutting another 250 jobs worldwide and closing 40 more offices. These figures will increase the total number of layoffs for this year to 1,000 and the closure of 102 offices.

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ISSUE 13 2002 search-consult

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Heidrick & Struggles Revenues Continue to slide in Second Quarter www.search-consult.com

NEWS

HEIDRICK & STRUGGLES REPORTED revenues of $93.5 million for the second quarter that ended on June 30, 2002. These figures depicted a decrease of 24% from last year's revenues. The number of executive searches as well as the fees per search remained essentially flat. The firm has reduced the number of headhunters it employs by 22% to 383. On a sequential basis, comparing 2002 second quarter performance to the this year's first quarter, net revenues increased by 2% The firm reported a quarterly net loss of $3.4 million, compared to a net loss of $4.0 million a year earlier. Revenues allocated by region depict that North America made $52.2 million, a decline of 28% from last year. In Latin America, the firm reported revenues of $2.6 million, a decrease of 27% from revenues the prior year. Revenues in Europe dropped 17% from $39.5 million in 2001 to $32.9 million in the second quarter 2002. In Asia Pacific, the company reported revenues of $5.8 million, a decrease of 22% from revenues of $7.4 million for the same period a year ago.

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Foster Partners Revenues Drop 20% For First Half Of 2002 www.search-consult.com

NEWS

D.E. FOSTER PARTNERS INC, THE New York City-headquartered executive search firm and alliance firm of KMPG, reports that revenues for the first half of 2002 were down about 20%. "The first and second quarters have been very challenging," stated Dwight Foster, Chairman of D.E. Foster Partners. Mr. Foster noted that the retailing and financial services sectors have been particularly slow. Within the financial services industry, investment banking has struggled while the demand for risk management executives and chief financial officers has been much stronger. He also expects the need for senior credit officers to increase within the next few months. In an effort to reach profitability by year's end, Foster Partners has cut costs through layoffs. For the year, Mr. Foster anticipates search activity and revenues to increase in the third quarter and to hopefully get back to normal by the fourth quarter. To receive search-consult on a regular basis subscribe at www.search-consult.com

Executive Demand Down 19% In Second Quarter www.search-consult.com

NEWS

THE RESULTS OF A SURVEY conducted by ExecNet,com, a career management firm, reveal that demand for senior-level talent has decreased 19%, when compared to last year's figures for the second quarter. Results of the Executive Talent Demand Index (ETDI) survey depicted demand in the pharmaceutical/healthcare/biotech industry increased 21% while no other industry sectors recorded positive growth. The high technology and media/creative/publishing industries suffered the worst decline, as each sector decreased 36 % in the second quarter. Executive demand in the natural resources/base materials and business services sectors also experienced declines, showing 24% and 23% respectively. "The executive employment market appears to have bottomed in the fourth quarter of 2001, but the road to recovery has been filled with speed bumps," said Dave Opton, CEO and founder of ExecuNet.com. "Until Corporate America is absolutely convinced that the recession is over, few companies will be in a hurry to hire."

Business Cards: Executive Research Firms

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search-consult ISSUE 13 2002

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Steven Ast Forms Boutique Search Firm Focused on Non-Profit Sector www.search-consult.com

NEWS

STEVEN AST HAS FORMED Ast Partners Ltd, a boutique search firm focused on the non-profit sector. Mr. Ast, who has worked in executive search for more than 20 years, is the former Chairman

and co-founder of Ast/Bryant. His new firm is headquartered in Connecticut and contains a staff of recruiters trained in nonprofit management, fundraising and executive search. Mr. Ast, Chairman and CEO of this new firm, declares, "Philanthropy is now a $212 billion

industry, fueled by the extraordinary income and wealth of generous Americans. The institutions and organizations supported by philanthropy all need 'starquality' fundraisers to lead their philanthropic efforts. Ast Partners' expertise is in recruiting those quality fundraisers."

Savoy Partners Revenues for First Half Cornerstone opens a New Office in of 2002 Surpass 2001 Total Billings Brudno states, "We're far beyond the will to Washington www.search-consult.com

NEWS

SAVOY PARTNERS, A WASHINGTON, D.C.based boutique generalist search firm, reports retainer fees for the first half of 2002 have already surpassed revenues for the entire year of 2001. Robert J. Brudno, Founder and Managing Director, is confident his annual revenues in 2002 will end up 50% higher than the firm's 2001 calendar year. In fact, Mr.

survive stage." Contributing to the firm's success has been business from clients in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, auto parts distribution, strategic security/homeland defense and aerospace. Mr. Brudno remarks there has been a "return to quality, not quantity, in executive search" as "recruiters have no choice but to offer quality and really earn our fees."

Slayton International On Target for 50% Revenue Increase www.search-consult.com

NEWS

SLAYTON INTERNATIONAL, AMONG the leading Chicago-based search firms, reports retainer fees of around $2 million for the first half of 2002. Based on the current trend, chairman Richard Slayton anticipates his firm's revenues will end up at $3.8 million for the year, depicting a 50% increase over 2001. Newly

launched practice groups in financial services, consumer products and retail have bolstered Slayton's revenue turnaround as the heads of these new sectors are generating lots of business. In fact, while many search firms are laying consultants off, Slayton International is still hiring top recruiters and is very optimistic about the second half of the year.

www.search-consult.com

NEWS

CORNERSTONE INTERNATIONAL announces a new member firm, Harvey A. Meier Company, based in Spokane, Washington. This firm will provide general management consulting services as well as specialized human resources consulting. Dr. Harvey Meier is Managing Director and founded this firm over 30 years ago. The firm's success has been based on helping client firms avoid business and financial surprises by improving their strategic planning, hiring, and cash flow management processes. Cornerstone Chairman and Founder, William Guy, reports "the addition of Harvey Meier personally underscores our commitment to the very highest standards of professionalism and ethics, so needed in the consulting services offered in the 21st Century, especially in light of Enron and other scandals so prevalent in recent news coverage."

ISSUE 13 2002 search-consult

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Key moves in Executive Search this month Simon

Stephenson

of

Research

for corporations and law firms. Mr. Williams previously

and be based in Hong Kong. Mr. Goldstone previous

Associates has recently been appointed Chairman of

served as an equity Partner with the international law

experience includes running his own search firm,

the Executive Research Association (ERA). Mr.

firm of Sidney Austin Brown & Wood.

Stephenson

Goldstone & Company and serving as Managing

Stephensen takes over from Gerda Smith of GSA

Partner for Heidrick & Struggles.

Associates following her two years in tenure. Mrs.

Russell Reynolds Associates welcomes the following

Smith will still serve on the committee.

Consultants to its firm. Richard C. Perkey joins as

Sheffield Haworth, the London-based financial

Managing Director of the New York office and Area

services headhunter, has opened a legal search

Korn/Ferry International announces the following

Manager in the Atlantic office where he will focus on

practice and hired Siobhan Lewington to be its head.

appointments. Steve Strain joins as Global Managing

searches for the consumer financial industry. Mr.

Ms. Lewington joins from TMP Worldwide, where she

Director of the technology market in the firm's Silicon

Perkey previously worked for Spencer Stuart, where

was head of the legal team for banking and finance

Valley office. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Strain

he directed the consumer financial services practice

appointments. It has also announced the appointment

worked for TMP Worldwide's executive search

and e-financial services practice. Charlotte Rush has

of Toby Crosthwaite as Managing Director to the

division as President of European operations. Mr.

been named as Director of Global Marketing and

newly opened Hong Kong office to drive the firm's

Strain had previously been Senior Director at Spencer

Communications and will be based at the New York

expansion in Asia. Previously, Mr. Crosthwaite worked

Stuart. John A. Griffin is welcomed to the Houston

office. Ms. Rush previously served as strategic

at Whitehead Mann.

office as a Senior Client Partner on the firm's Energy

relations Director for Softbank International Ventures.

team. Mr. Griffin formerly served as a Managing

Lisa Dun Coleman joins as Managing Director in the

Richmond & Co, the London-based financial services

Partner for TMP Worldwide's executive search

Houston office and will concentrate on executive

search firm, announces the appointment of John

division, where he ran the Houston office and focused

search assignments in the retail and consumer sectors.

Denny as a Senior Consultant to help develop the

primarily on growing and overseeing the company's

She comes from a venture capital firm, Mayeron L.L.C.

firm's fund management capabilities. Previously, Mr. Denny had been Managing Partner of his own firm,

energy practice. Until recently, Mr. Griffin had been a Partner with Heidrick & Struggles. Lee Artimovich is

Heidrick & Struggles hire Pascal Smith and Harold

renamed Managing Director of the firm's Minneapolis

"Hal" Johnson. Pascal Smith joins as a Principal in charge of equities in the financial services search

Kapient, a leading South Asia search business formed

office, replacing Jeremy C. Hanson, who left to join

practice in London. Mr. Smith previously worked at

by a joint venture between KPMG Consulting

TMP Worldwide's executive search division in

Armstrong International. Harold 'Hal' Johnson, based

Singapore and DP Search, welcomes Ibrahim Boztepe

February. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Artimovich

in the firm's Denver office, is named as Managing

and Robin Tan. Mr. Boztepe joins as Manager of the

headed his own firm Artimovich & Associates.

Partner of its human resources practice. He recently

Executive Contracting Practice. Mr. Boztepe recently

A.T. Kearney Executive Search welcomes Jonathan

worked for TMP Worldwide's executive search

worked at TMP Worldwide in interim executive

Darcy and Scott D. Williams to its team. Jonathan

division.

contracting. Robin Tan joins as Commercial Practice

Beetle Paris.

Manager. Mr Tan most recently served as Senior

Dancy joins as Managing Director in the firm's London office and head of the firm's european financial

Ray & Berndston announces that Sandy Iwata, after

Staffing Manager with Dell Computer Asia and has

services business. Mr Darcy comes from BNB

15 years of service to this firm, has been promoted to

also had extensive senior level search experience with

Resources PLC, where he was a member of the

Vice President of human resources.

Korn/Ferry International's Advanced Technology

Operating Board and CEO of Norman Broadbent International. Scott D. Williams joins as Vice President in the firm's Texas office. Mr. Williams most recently served as a Partner and practice head of the IT and professional services practices for TMP Worldwide's executive search division. Prior to TMP, Mr. Williams spent seven years with Heidrick & Struggles. TMP Worldwide names Kristin Herbert and Latham Williams as co-leaders of the legal practice group. Ms. Hebert, based in the firm's San Francisco office, will focus on executive search assignments for senior-level attorneys and executives for clients throughout California and the West Coast. Ms. Herbert most recently owned Kristin Hebert Associates, a San Francisco-based legal search consulting firm. Mr. Williams, based in the firm's Chicago office, becomes a member of the legal search practice group, global healthcare sector and the global insurance practice group that concentrates on placing senior executives

Practice. The Directorship Search Group, the Connecticut based search firm, announces that Carter L. Burgess,

Chicago-based executive search firm Martin Partners

Jr., has joined the firm's New York office as a Vice

adds Paul W. Schmidt as a Partner. Mr. Schmidt will

President in its financial services practice. Previous to

focus on recruiting C-level executives for industrial

this appointment, Mr. Burgess had been a Principal in

and consumer product manufacturing companies,

the global financial services practice of Egon

with a specialized emphasis on private equity funded

Zehnder.

buyouts, and closely held businesses. Mr. Schmidt previous experience includes Vice President at A.T.

Whitehead Mann Group, U.K.-based executive search

Kearney Executive Search and a Partner with

and leadership consulting firm, welcomes Dona

Korn/Ferry International.

Roche-Tarry, Michel Coucke and Mike Goldstone to its team. Michael Coucke joins as Co-Manager of the

New York City-based executive search firm Hunt

global TMT practice in London, with Dona Roche-

Howe Partners LLC names Elizabeth McCabe as a

Tarry in an equivalent position in New York. Coucke

Senior Consultant in its global healthcare practice. Ms.

was Managing Partner of Heidrick & Struggles

McCabe previously served as a Consultant at Heidrick

European communications practice at its Belgian

& Struggles.

operation, while Roche-Tarry was Managing Partner American

HR Quest S.A., the Athens based executive search

communications practice in its Greenwich office. Mr.

firm, names Athanase Psychas, one of the firm's

Goldstone joins as Chairman of technology and media

Founding Partners, as Head of Board Services.

of

Heidrick

&

Struggles

North

Keep us up to date with any corporate announcements! Email editorial@search-consult.com

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Korn/Ferry International:

Yearof change

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On May 24, 2001, Korn/Ferry International named Paul C. Reilly as the firm's new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Reilly left the position of CEO at KPMG to join a business, which he described as having "the brand, client base, global reach and professional expertise to continue leading this growth industry going forward". Unfortunately, the product was not as it had been described on the box; Reilly joined the firm as the Search industry fell of a precipice. Instead of building a rapidly growing business, Reilly was to spend the year cutting back, fending of bankers and dealing with an ever more challenging world economic recession. Today, however, the worse seems to be over. Reilly and his executive team have been talking up the future, and, earlier this summer, as a group the management team invested heavily in company stocks. In an exclusive interview with searchconsult, Paul C. Reilly talks about his first year in the search industry, his new strategy and his plans for the future.

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aul Reilly's conversations with Korn/Ferry began early in 2001 and, initially, revolved around a CEO position at a Florida-based technology company. Reilly declined the position, explaining that he would only leave KPMG for a "global firm in a service industry which was going through change". The Korn/Ferry consultant to whom Reilly was speaking was Craig Dunlevie, head of Korn/Ferry's Professional Services Market sector and a member of the CEO search committee. He paused before saying "That's funny…. I'm also looking for my boss!". The Korn/Ferry role intrigued Reilly. He was to come on board "as a strategic person who would put in place plans to grow a $650 million business to well past a billion". However, as he signed up for the post, the industry collapsed and "by the second day, I realized my job was very different." The job was indeed different. Over the next few months, the business closed its "Job Direct division", reduced marketing expenditure (ending a relationship with the Wall St Journal which was costing $1 million a quarter), cut the work force by 30% and renegotiated its bank facility with the Bank of

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By Jason Starr America. On an annualized basis, $100m in operating costs were cut. Meanwhile, the rumor mill talked of an approach from TMP Worldwide who - it was alleged - were considering a reverse takeover of Korn/Ferry. Other rumors suggested that the firms' cash situation was critical. Reilly refuses to comment on these - or any other rumors, but does state, "Prior to the AESC Conference this year, I had never met anyone in senior management from TMP Worldwide or any other search firm." The cut backs made by Korn/Ferry grabbed the headlines but, in truth, were no more severe than those taken by many of the firms in the industry. Meanwhile, while working to ensure the short-term survival of the business, Reilly was putting in place a new management team and a new strategy. The Strategy was announced on December 6th, 2001. In a videoconference feed from London, Reilly spoke live to more than 100 Korn/Ferry offices and outlined his vision for expanding the business from "a traditional management search firm to a relationship driven provider of executive human capital services." "Our clients around the globe have told us

unequivocally that they want and need a strategic partner to help them contend with the dramatic technological and demographic forces that are reshaping the demand for talent. We will meet that demand by evolving our business model in a three stage process that starts with traditional search services, evolves to larger client relationships and ultimately emerges as a true solutions provider." The announcement was a huge departure for Korn/Ferry. Reilly's predecessor, Windle Priem, had told search-consult in June 2001 that "...Our strategy then evolved to generate multiple revenue streams from the graduate level right up to CEO…. Korn/Ferry could be a business that manages careers. We will begin working with you in your university and continue throughout your career." Under the new strategy, Korn/Ferry was to refocus on the boardroom. They would look to cement relationships with key clients and with the aim of taking on more of their search work - and introducing services like management assessment and coaching. Reilly likens his Key Account Management plan to a project that he undertook at KPMG. "When I introduced a similar program at KPMG we began from a situation where we had 36 key accounts. Each account had multiple managers each of whom was focused primarily on protecting his or her own territory. The value of each account was unknown. After some research, we discovered that the clients were doing between $3 million and $50 million with us. After 3 years, we had 107 key accounts. The values ranged from $10 million -$100 million and client satisfaction had gone through the roof. That is what I would like to achieve here." In practical terms, this is achieved by taking on more of a clients work. "We have clients with whom we have great relationships. In practice, however, we may be doing only 20% of their work - 20 other firms are doing the other 80%. The question is: how do you raise your share to 40% or 50%? Well, it's partly about superb execution, but it's also about relationships. I believe that you can have a better relationship with a client if you provide a broader range of services. Let's take a

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theoretical example; say your client isn't hiring; under a transactional model, your relationship will get stale. However, if you are providing services such as coaching, assessment and so on, your client relationship is maintained and the client is more likely to use you for the next search." To make this type of CRM model work, it became vital that the top performing consultants were retained within the business. From the end of 2000 into the first three months of 2001, a number of top performers left the business. To fight this, Reilly introduced a bonus system designed to retain the leading producers; under this scheme, the top 100 performers earned a higher percentage payout than the lower performers-in effect protecting them from the

Paul C. Reilly downturn in the market. Less well performing consultants were not entitled to this protection. That said, all the consultants were guaranteed a minimum 50% payout of what they would have earned during a robust year. "With all the strategic change that we are going through, it is imperative for our shareholders that our top people are focused on the market. Let us worry about the operations. In the longer term, we are working with Towers Perrin on the development of a model for compensation in the future." Another part of the business which Reilly believes is important for the future is

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Technology (it should be pointed out at this stage that search-consult is published by Dillistone Systems, who provide IT solutions to executive search firms including Korn/Ferry). "I honestly think that one of the things that attracted me to Korn/Ferry was internal technology. It's absolutely incredible. I am excited about the opportunity to use technology to interact with the outside world. For example, we did some work with the Department of Transportation looking for Federal Security Directors. We put up a website which handled more than 38,000 registrations and got us to a shortlist in four weeks. We use technology to track everything we do to build customer intimacy…. Imagine a scenario where a client is looking for a CFO… they enter the system and can immediately understand the type of deals being done in that sector, for the type of position. Through knowledge, you are getting people to come to you automatically - and helping them do a lot of the specification work in advance….. During the process, our people can click on and say - here's the process, here's the shortlist, and this is where we are. If you can get your customer tied to you through information, they do not leave." Reilly has been at the helm of Korn/Ferry now for little over a year. Times are still hard, and the business recently announced a loss of $0.12 per share for the fourth quarter of its 2002 financial year. However, the business appears healthier - operating expenses are down and cash is on the up. Reilly and a number of his management team recently decided to invest in the business through the purchase of stock in the open market. At the time, Reilly commented, "We believe the current valuation of the stock does not reflect the full value of our business. We have great confidence in our brand, our world class consultants, the services we provide to clients and our long-term growth prospects." It will be interesting to see if the next year is more predictable than the last.

www.search-consult.com

For more information, contact: Web: www.kornferry.com

ISSUE 13 2002 search-consult

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The

European

Executive

recent survey by European Search Firm H. Neumann International and UK Associate Howgate Sable investigated differences between European Executives. Here, search-consult summarises the key points.

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I. FACTORS LIKELY TO ATTRACT TOP EXECUTIVES. I.A. Top executives still favor contacts via a professional or a direct approach. Among the various executive recruitment options available, the population interviewed is mostly in favor of head hunting consultancies: 96% of them would turn to such a firm to find a top executive. Direct contact with people is also extremely appreciated: 72% of the executives interviewed would use that approach. Job ads (23%), alumni associations and professional networks (13%), the Internet (10%), and dedicated databanks

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(7%) come far behind. Head hunting consultancies are used in a slightly less systematic fashion for Dutch and Belgian (90%), and for Central European (88%) executives. A great number of Dutch and Belgian (84%), Austrian (83%), and British (83%) executives mentioned that they would resort to contact with individuals. However, this approach is adopted by only 60% of Central European top executives, and by 52% of Italian executives . Lastly, job ads are very frequently mentioned by British executives (57%), and far less by French executives (14%). I.B. A clear hierarchy of the various lines of business in terms of attractiveness, with a clear preference for services. The line of business judged most attractive by top executives is that of new technologies / the Internet / Telecom: 78% find it attractive, versus

only 20% who consider the contrary. It is followed by the banking / insurance / finance line of business (76% find it attractive, versus 22% who find it unattractive), and the health / pharmaceutical products sector (75% find it attractive, versus 23% who find it unattractive). The latter is the one preferred by top executives (37%). On the contrary, three sectors are judged negatively by the majority: hotel / tourism (it is deemed attractive by 45% of the sample, versus 52% who think the contrary), building construction (29% find it attractive, versus 69% who find it non attractive), and, above all, the public sector (11% versus 87%). The Netherlands and Belgium are the countries in which top executives make the biggest distinction in the evaluation of different sectors: far more executives in these countries are attracted to health / pharmaceutical products (82% versus 75%), consumer goods and retail (74% versus 68%), engineering / materials

processing and assembly (71% versus 57% on average), transportation / logistics (61% versus 52% on average), and building construction (51% versus 29%). On the other hand, Belgian and Dutch top executives are, far less than their European peers, attracted to new technologies / the Internet / telecom (49% versus 78%), banking / insurance / finance (60% versus 76% on average), media / communication (63% versus 72% on average), and aerospace (57% versus 70% on average). I.C. Attractiveness within the industrial sector is also veering towards services. Regarding the attractiveness of the industrial sector, one can observe very different results depending on the lines of business involved: the most appreciated industrial activities actually are those most downstream of the raw materials transformation process, such as the assembly or manufacturing of finished products (85% find this activity attractive, including 34% who find it very attractive) and industrial services (80% find this activity attractive, including 31% who find it very attractive). These are followed by the utility goods and energy sectors (65% find it attractive, including 23% who find it very attractive). Lastly, the only line of business which is judged negatively by the majority - the actual transformation of raw materials- seems more controversial (only 47% of top executives find this activity attractive, versus 52%). If we expand on this, the top executives most attracted by finished goods assembly or manufacturing are the Austrians (93% are attracted to this activity, versus 85% on average), who have less income than the other executives interviewed (89% of the executives whose income is less than 100,000 euros per annum). Regarding industrial services, there are proportionally more Italian executives (94% are attracted to this activity, versus 80% on average) and women

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(92% versus 79% of the men), and less British executives (60%) and executives who have had a long career (only 74% of the executives with more than 15 years seniority feel attracted to this sector). Lastly, in the utility goods and energy sectors, as well as the transformation of raw materials on the other hand, opposed trends are observed depending upon the countries: British and French executives are under-represented among the executives attracted to utility goods and energy (47% and 55% of them, respectively, are attracted to these sectors, versus 65% on average), and to the transformation of raw materials (37% and 41%, respectively, versus 47% on average). On the contrary, German executives are slightly over-represented among the individuals interviewed attracted to these two sectors: 68% of them are attracted to utility goods and energy (i.e. 3 points more than the average), and 50% to the transformation of raw materials (3 points more than the average, once again). These preferences are in part due to the "industrial fabric" of these countries and the position of these industries in their national economies. I.D. A gap between the preferred factors to attract top executives and those pinpointed for oneself. I.D.1. The importance attached to the company's economic and financial situation to attract top executives. According to the top executives, the external factors most likely to attract their peers to a company, break down into four categories, based on the importance attached to each one: - factors deemed important by 90% or more agents: the financial weight of the company (95% view it as important), the image, position, and stability of the company in its market (94% view it as important), the quality of management for the top executives (94% view it as important), and the company's global presence (90% judge

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it to be important). One should note that 62% of the executives judge the quality of the management to be "very important", versus only 54% who consider the company's financial weight, along with its image, position, and stability in its market, to be very important, and 52% who consider global presence to be very important. The company's economic assets are thus clearly deemed most important. - factors deemed important by 80% to 90% of the executives interviewed: the line of business (88% judge it to be important), the company's ethics and values (87%), and its corporate culture (86%). - more secondary factors, deemed important by 60% to 80% of the population interviewed: the size of the company (73% of the individuals interviewed judge this factor to be important), its geographic location (71%) and its ownership - public, private, subsidiary. - a factor deemed important by less than half of the individuals interviewed: the company's sustainability and history (41% consider this factor to be important, versus 58% who think otherwise). Upon closer observation, we observe that Austrian and German executives are those who differentiate themselves most in their appreciation of the external factors likely to attract European top executives: German executives generally attach less importance to the company's image characteristics than the overall executive population. In particular, a lesser number of them insist on the company's ethics and values (72% versus 87% on average), its corporate culture (78% versus 86%), or its sustainability and history (37% versus 41%). The company's size is the only factor on which German executives tend to insist more than the overall population of executives interviewed: 83% consider it to be an important factor to attract a top executive to a company, versus only 73% of the overall population of top executives interviewed.

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As for Austrian executives, they present a profile which is nearly the opposite: all in all, they attach more importance to the external perception of the company than top executives from other European countries. In particular, a greater proportion of them, as compared to the overall population interviewed, attach importance to such factors as image, position, and stability (97% versus 94% on average), global presence (98% versus 90% on average), line of business (98% versus 88% on average), ethics and values (93% versus 87%), or corporate culture (95% versus 86% on average). I.D.2. The company's image remains a key factor when one is about to make a personal choice. When top executives are asked about the external characteristics likely to attract them personally to a company, the results achieved are markedly different from those achieved when they are being asked more abstract questions about the external characteristics of a company likely to attract a top executive. For themselves, they give less priority to financial criteria, than to image or reputation. The most important factor in their eyes is the line of business, mentioned first by 22% of the executives interviewed. Next comes the image, position, and stability of the company in its market (19%), along with the quality of the management of top executives (16%). Far behind is the company's financial weight (7%): this factor comes only fourth here, while it ranked first when the executives were being asked about the external characteristics most likely to attract top executives in general to a company. On the contrary, the line of business, which is the most mentioned here, only ranked fifth when the population interviewed was to appraise the more general factors of attractiveness for top executives. If we go further in detail, Austrian, German, Belgian, Dutch, and British executives are those who mention the

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line of business first. The greater number of Italian and Central European executives mention image, position, and stability first. As far as French executives are concerned, they alone mention the quality of the management of top executives first: 29% of them mention that item as the factor most likely to attract them to a company. This answer probably reflects their dissatisfaction regarding the current top management of companies. I.E. The job content remains a key factor. Top executives appear to be very concerned about their companies' future prospects. I.E.1 The content of the jobs and the level of compensation are key factors when recruiting. Among the internal characteristics of a company, two are almost unanimously considered by the population interviewed as important in terms of attracting top executives: 99% for the responsibilities involved in a position including 78% who consider this to be a key factor that can convince a top executive to join a company - and 98% for compensation. Two other internal characteristics of a company are viewed important by over 90% of the top executives interviewed: the company's strategy and development projects (95%), and the autonomy of the position (95%). On the contrary, two items are only perceived by less than two thirds of the interviewed population as important to persuade a top executive to join a company: financial and legal coverage (61%), and international mobility prospects (59%). More specifically, British executives differ from other top executives in the importance they attach to these internal characteristics of a company to attract executives: more of them consider that the company's strategy and development projects (98% versus 95% on average), the autonomy of the position (98% versus 95% on average), the opportunities for personal and

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professional development (95% versus 88%), the management mode (93% versus 85%), the balance between personal and professional life (88% versus 80% on average), the relationship with management (91% versus 78%), stock-options and other long-term incentives (93% versus 76%) are important. I.E.2. Special attention granted to the company's prospects for oneself. Like external characteristics, when the top executives are asked about the internal characteristics likely to attract them personally to a company, the results achieved are relatively different from those achieved when they are interviewed more abstractly about the internal characteristics of a company likely to attract a top executive. The four items most mentioned are, indeed, the same, but in a different order. Here, the company's strategy and its development projects are mentioned first, rather than the responsibilities involved in the position: 23% of the executives interviewed mention this factor as the most important to attract them to a company. Then come the responsibilities involved in a position (19%), the compensation level (13%), and the autonomy of the position (7%). On the contrary, no top executive mentions the legal and financial coverage, or the various benefits granted, as the most important factors to attract them to a company. This hierarchy probably reflects the current perception of the economic and labor context, including the gap between extremely attractive offers and the uncertain future of the companies involved. II. FACTORS LIKELY TO RETAIN TOP EXECUTIVES DIFFER FROM FACTORS LIKELY TO ATTRACT THEM. II.A. The relevance of past experience accounts for part of these differences. In the mind of some of the top executives interviewed, retention

pertains to a different logic. They take their experience into account to consider the quality of the top management as their first factor (93%), as they probably believe that it is accountable for a number of top executive resignations. At the same time, they also consider the future prospects of a company to be essential: 92% for the financial weight of the company, 91% for its position and stability in its market. However, the same items have the lowest priority levels as for recruitment: attractiveness, the company's type of ownership (40% consider this to be an important factor), its sustainability and history (26% view it as an important factor), don't seem to be deemed decisive by the population interviewed in terms of factors likely to retain top executives. The main difference observed, regarding the external characteristics of a company, between the factors likely to attract and the factors likely to retain executives, lies in the appraisal of the company ethics and values factor: while it only ranked sixth as an attractiveness factor, it now ranks fourth as a retention factor. Furthermore, this factor is the only one the executives interviewed considered to be as just as important for retention and attractiveness: 87%. All other factors seem less important to retain executives than to attract them. This paticularly applies to the global presence (90% consider it to be important for attracting an executive, versus only 75% to retain him), the line of business (88% versus 64%), the size (73% versus 47%), or the type of ownership - private, public, subsidiary - of the company (61% versus 40%). Upon further study, we can observe that Belgian, Dutch and, once again, British executives, differ by a large number of factors they view as more important than the average. The case of the United Kingdom is the most striking: the executives interviewed from that country attach more

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importance to the following factors than the average in terms of their ability to retain top executives: the quality of the management (100% versus 93% on average), the financial weight of the company (98% versus 92%), the image, position, and stability of the company in its market (95% versus 91%), the company's ethics and values (93% versus 87%), its corporate culture (95% versus 84%), and its size (55% versus 47%). The only exception, which once again demonstrates the unique nature of British executives relatively to those from the continent: they are less sensitive (67%) than the overall population of top executives (75% on

“Austrian, German, Belgian, Dutch, and British executives are those who mention the line of business

The greater number of Italian and Central European executives mention image, position, and stability first.�

first.

average) to the company's global presence as a factor likely to incite them to stay within a company. When top executives are asked about the factors likely to retain, them personally-instead of top executives in general-the results achieved are once again quite different. Indeed, in both cases, the quality of the management of top executives ranks first (21% of the top executives consider this to be the most important factor that would retain them), ahead of the image, position, and stability of the company in its

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market (18% consider this to be the most important factor). However, the individuals interviewed consider certain factors to be less important to retain them personally than to retain top executives at large. This is the case, in particular, for the company's financial weight (only 9% of the population interviewed consider this to be the most important factor). On the contrary, the executives interviewed consider the line of business criterion to be the most important for themselves (12% consider this to be the most important factor to retain them, third rank) than for the overall population interviewed (seventh rank only). If we go further in detail, the French (31%), British (24%), Central European (18%), Belgian, and Dutch (14% ) executives rank the quality of the management of top executives first among the factors likely to retain them. Italian (51%) and Spanish (19%) executives, on the other hand, rank the image, position, and stability of a company as the first factor. Lastly, German (24%) and Austrian (22%) executives, tend to attach more importance to the line of business factor. II.B. On the other hand, the internal factors likely to retain top executives are only slightly different from those that attract them in the first place. The internal characteristics of a company likely to retain top executives are, according to the interviewees, roughly the same as those likely to attract them: the level of responsibility is the most important issue: 97% of the population interviewed consider that, to retain a top executive, the company ought to involve him more in the strategic challenges for its future, and 95% consider that he ought to have higher responsibilities. Next comes a higher level of compensation (93%), and greater autonomy (93%). Likewise, the factors judged unimportant to attract a top executive

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are not instrumental when it comes to retaining him: this is, in particular, the case of the various benefits offered (71% consider that it would be important to have more, but only 18% consider it to be very important), international mobility opportunities (61% consider that it would be important to have more, but only 14% consider it to be very important), and more comprehensive legal and financial coverage (53% consider that it would be important to have more, but only 12% consider it to be very important). Here, Eastern European executives are most specific: compared to the overall executive population, a greater proportion of them consider that the following factors are important when it comes to retaining top executives: an improved management mode (91% consider this factor to be important, versus 86% on average), quicker career development (100% versus 84%), a better balance between work and quality of life (84% versus 81% on average), a constructive and positive

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relationship with their management (95% versus 80% on average), international mobility opportunities (70% versus 61% on average), and, lastly, more comprehensive financial and legal coverage (63% versus 53% on average, and 24% for British executives). On the other hand, a relatively lesser proportion of Central European executives consider that more involvement in the strategic challenges for the company's future is important (93% versus 97% on average). Lastly, top executives mention the same factors - and in the same order likely to retain them personally in a company: the company's strategy and its development projects (24% view this as the most important factor), the responsibilities involved in the position (18%), the compensation level (10%), the autonomy of the position (8%), the relationship with the management (7%), the balance between work and quality of life (7%), and personal and professional development (6%). On the other hand, none of the executives interviewed mentions international

mobility opportunities as the most important factor to retain them in a company. More specifically, in three out of four countries where executives were interviewed, strategy and development projects constitute the main factor likely to retain them in their company: this is the case in Central Europe, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Only German (30% think that the responsibilities involved in the position represent the most important factor, versus only 9% for the company's strategy and development projects) and Austrian executives (24% think that the responsibilities involved in a position represent the most important factor, versus 22% for the company's strategy and development projects) are an exception to the rule.

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search-talent For careers in Executive Search visit www.search-consult.com/talent Our unique access to search leaders in 26 countries ensures that we are uniquely placed to help you manage your career. We have clients who are recruiting now. In the first instance, contact :

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Reference Checking

By R Suresh lobally, the leadership of corporate organizations faced with toughening markets, are per force having to immerse deeper in the unglamorous part of strategic management, which is, implementation. This calls for guts, personal involvement & teamwork on the part of CEO, the board and top management to pursue activities in a pre-set strategic direction. They are soiling hands in the process to achieve the desired outcomes. The 'hiring mantra' doing rounds is tough times will not last for long, tough CEOs will. How does one know if the candidates being interviewed for leadership assignments have toughness and other implementability ingredients? In the past, the sleeker versions often get through any form of valuation processes

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and after induction they managed to stay on top of the heap due to superior communication and maneuvering skills. Of course, in few cases they were successful in achievement of corporate goals. The corporate hiring of today demands that the prospective incumbent passes the 'test of implementability' as much as 'strategic thinking' tests. This translates to gaining deeper insights into how the person in question has reacted to 'critical situations' in the past employments. Such an assessment, when structured and deployed is termed as 'background referencing' or ' reference checking'. This serves answers to more queries on implementability and the softer traits, than an interview based valuation. We surveyed a sample of 100 top

management appointments accomplished by Stanton Chase offices during the last 3 years globally. Barring 15% of the appointments, extensive background referencing was carried out for the rest. In those cases where the reference exercise was not carried out, the reasons were one of the following; as many as 5% instances were not amenable to comprehensive referencing as the incumbents were "Uni-careerists". (A term increasingly used for CEO candidates who have grown through the management ranks into leadership roles in one organization). Uni-careerists cannot be referenced within the only one organization they are part of due to confidentiality issues. The balance 10% of the instances where referencing was not carried out the candidates had made

it a pre-condition barring 'reference checks' until appointment, which had the approval of the hiring organization. Of the 85% of appointments where extensive probing was carried out, the survey highlighted that a sizeable 15% of the appointments were yet cleared by clients despite a clear 'no-go' flag from us indicating that clients were prepared to risk. In almost all these risk prone cases, we were advised by our client to share our findings with the candidates so that they are aware of their perceived shortcomings, which they may attempt to overcome. However the glaring observation is that a hi-percentage (as much as 75% of appointments reference checked) of the cases, our confidential reference report had been vindicated by the incumbent's post-hire behavior, emphasizing the importance of background referencing as a potent tool for right hiring. SURVEY RESULTS : EFFECTIVENESS OF BACKGROUND REFERENCING A Uni-careerists & hence no refchecking B Candidate's pre-condition barring reference-check C Search firm advices no-go, but client risks hiring D Candidate post hire behavior is in line with referencing. E Referencing failures Our study leads to the mute questions of background checking which are: (1) Who do you check with? (2) Who checks? (3) What do you check? (4) Will you base your entire decision on referencing? 1.

WHO DO YOU CHECK WITH ? The fundamental criterion for 'selection of refree' is that he/she should have a total understanding of the candidate's competencies, working style and results achieved, gained either through working in the same organization as the candidates past or current employment or having dealt with the person in a business context. Further

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more, the refree should independently be chosen and not from the list, the candidate has presented. And most importantly the refree should be a reliable professional, which is why we often resort to those refrees who are well-known, who would easily be regarded as someone who would not bias their remarks due to any personal relationships with candidates and at the same would hold the information to themselves, thereby ensuing the confidentiality of the candidature. As a result, the refrees are invariably seniorexecutives from the organizations where the candidates were employed in the past or former executives of the

R Suresh organization currently employing the candidate or 'independent referees who have had continued years of business interface with the candidate. 2. WHO SHOULD CHECK ? A senior consultant of a search firm who has the skill and diplomacy will check and probably leave room in the conversation for one more dialogue directly from the employing company themselves. The consultant should clearly articulate the job in question and trigger the conversation and not lead-out the words from the mouth of the refree. Hence conversational effectiveness is of paramount importance. Finally the search firm should verbatim convey the reference outcomes to their clientorganization in a confidential manner.

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3. WHAT DO YOU CHECK ? There are two broad parameters, one the profile-reconfirmation, second insights into character and competencies (C&C). The profilereconfirmation involves cross-verifying the academic and working career details articulated in a CV and during interviews. This would involve religious calling and checking or eliciting the requisite documents from the candidate. Though this exercise sounds simple and procedural, its worth noting that more often than not this is not considered to be crucial. The C & C checks are made through a direct conversation or through a questionnaire with pre-selected refrees. Technical competencies, working style, behavioral characteristics, actual results achieved on the ground attitude towards results, processes and ethics are checked through carefully crafted questions. 4. WILL YOU BASE YOUR ENTIRE DECISION ON THE REFERENCE? If the profile relevance & interview outcomes are positive and reference outcomes are moderately positive, there is a tendency in the minds of the hiring organization to take a favorable view. On the contrary, if the impressions after the evaluation is itself not too encouraging and reference checks confirms the same, invariably corporates drop the hiring intention. However independent of results of interview if the referencing throws up extreme negative outcomes, such as does not walk the talk, personal behavioral deficiencies, health issues, integrity and ethics, there is immediate tendency no to go ahead. Even as the background checking exercises are getting widespread acceptance, what it has achieved is certainly more truthful representation from candidates during interviews leading to Right Hiring.

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For more information, contact: Web: www.stantonchase.com

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James Norton Partners, Inc

from Behemoth to Boutique! ne of the impacts of the slowdown on the search business has been the significant increase in start up search businesses. Search has always been a business with low barriers to entry and, in a time when the more established firms have found it difficult to fully reward rainmakers or carry loss making junior consultants, there has been a significant trend towards "going it alone." One well-known search practitioner who chose to take this step was Jim Norton, formerly a Managing Director at Korn/Ferry International and Director of the Americas Financial Services Practice. Jim established James Norton Partners in 2001 and had achieved his twelve-month revenue targets within his first three months of operation. Molly Epstein asked Jim and his team to provide an insight into the difference between working for an established corporation and founding a boutique firm.

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CREATING A CORPORATE CULTURE While large, established firms have a fully developed corporate culture, boutique firms must develop their own. The more well-defined a firm's culture and objectives, the more effectively the firm can carve out a market for itself. But how does a fledgling boutique firm create and implement a corporate culture? The principals of Norton Partners came from a variety of the top-four firms, so they had

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a breadth of experience - and corporate cultures - upon which to draw. Although he enjoyed the leadership opportunities at Korn/Ferry, Norton missed working closely with clients. "Partnering with the client and becoming part of their team is what excites me most about executive search," he said. So far, clients are responding well to the opportunity to work directly with the owner of the firm. Dowd Ritter, Chairman, President & CEO of AmSouth Bancorporation values the interaction he gets from the firm. "When we do a search, we work directly with Jim Norton," Ritter says. "He takes the time to understand our strategic goals, so Jim identifies candidates that are most qualified to help us move toward those goals" Ritter credits Norton's listening skills with the firm's ability to identify qualified candidates. In Norton Partners' case, the corporate culture and values became a recruiting tool. Managing Director Todd Stratton believed that a small firm would offer more rewarding opportunities for both his clients and himself. "Seeing the impact that the right candidate can have on an organization is the most exciting part of the search process," admits Stratton. "In a small firm we have the freedom to focus on the client organization - and that focus enables us to make an even greater impact on our clients' success." Similarly, Managing Director Dottie

By Molly Epstein

Deviney sought an opportunity to work as part of a focused, client-centered team. "The synergy that results from a close client-partner relationship makes everyone's job easier and more productive," Deviney adds. WINNING AND RETAINING CLIENTS Large firms have the luxury of winning clients through full-page advertisements, high-gloss quarterly publications, and expensive road shows. Small firms rarely have those resources, and Norton Partners is no exception. Rather, the team must rely upon their contacts and expertise to sell each potential client. Fortunately, each member of the Norton Partners team has been building strong contacts throughout their careers in the diversified financial services industry. Elaine Jordan, Execution Manager, credits the consultants' strong relationships with their growing client base. "Our clients give us repeat business because of the relationship our consultants have developed over the years - not because of the company affiliation," Jordan says. "People make the company successful not the other way around. Clients want to work with Jim no matter what his business card says. They know that they are dealing with a responsive partner an actively involved professional who helps determine the success of the job." Instead of trying to create the image of a big firm, Norton Partners sells its small

size as an advantage to clients. David Kundert, Chairman and CEO of Banc One Investment Advisors, acknowledges that large firms may cover a broad range of sectors, but he confirms the boutique firm's benefits. "Because Norton Partners is a small firm, we deal only with the principals, and the principals conduct the search. It increases our credibility with candidates because we have high-level people working on our search." Kundert also thinks that smaller firms can be more adaptable and responsive. Deviney agrees: "When clients speak to someone at Norton Partners, that person has the ability, the credibility, and the knowledge to perform whatever needs to be done. We don't sell a search and then pass it off to junior staff members - we work closely with the client for the entire search." CREATING THE SYNERGY OF THE TEAM No matter how talented the members of a team are, they must work well together in order to be productive and efficient. This is especially important at a boutique firm where only a handful of principals are responsible for the entire organization. How do you create synergy that enables the team to contribute to their maximum potential? Norton Partners has done so by making each step of the search process a team endeavor. Todd Stratton explains, "We are involved in every aspect of the search from the initial research to the final negotiations." Instead of making the consultants' roles more complex, Norton Partners finds that their small size simplifies the search. For example, they do not have to overcome politics, argue over revenue split issues, and become distracted by bureaucracy. Instead, the entire team participates in the initial client meeting, candidate identification, and ongoing conference calls, until the conclusion of the search. The small size also eliminates the need for excessive corporate overhead and infrastructure, enabling Norton Partners to focus completely on search. "We want our execution excellence to drive deep relationships," Norton says. "We are not

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looking for 'the next deal' in order to achieve an artificial business development target. We will grow alongside the companies that we serve." ESTABLISHING NAME RECOGNITION One of the perceived challenges of working for a small firm is that the lack of name recognition may act as a barrier. For example, telephone messages from a consultant at a top-four firm usually get an immediate return phone call from prospective candidates. This may not always be the case with upstart firms. Despite Norton Partners' upstart status and limited name recognition, Stratton is pleased to note that candidates return calls rather quickly. "The only difference is that I spend a minute more on the front end explaining that we are a retained firm and that we have been in this industry a long time," Stratton admits. "But we gain credibility almost immediately." Deviney agrees: "Our philosophy of putting the client first creates interest with appropriate candidates." RESEARCHING CANDIDATES Today's competitive search industry and nomadic executive population makes research even more essential to both large and small firms. Some large firms use the research area as a training ground, putting their most junior staff members in research positions. Hilary Hansen, formerly with Spenser Stuart, is now Execution Manager at Norton Partners. Hansen argues that while many of these researchers are quite competent researching on the Internet and in directories, they lack the experience and expertise to delve deeper into an organization. This inexperience with research and lack of specialization within a sector may create a churned database. Elaine Jordan, Execution Manager at Norton Partners, has over a dozen years of executive search experience, specializing in the financial services sector. As Execution Manager, she works with the research team throughout the entire search and participates in all client

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meetings. The researchers at Norton Partners have specialized in financial services search for many years. "We bring the professionalism, knowledge, and expertise of a big firm in a small firm wrapper," Stratton observes. "Because Norton Partners is small, we are both more focused and more engaged in the entire search process." "We believe in fresh research for each search project," reports Jordan. In addition to providing the most accurate and updated information on candidates, Jordan relies upon the strong relationships that the partners have established over the years. This process ensures that no one's time is wasted, lending greater productivity and overall success. Norton Partners believes that research is the foundation of any search, so they invest the time, energy, and human capital in generating the best possible information. GROWING THE FIRM By the start of 2003, Norton Partners plans to open another office, either in Boston, Chicago, or New York. They may expand their focus to include another sector, as well. They will, however, remain small enough to maintain their client focus in order to form close partnerships with clients and colleagues. "We're not trying to be all things to all people," Norton states. "We just want to partner with our clients to provide them with the best search services possible." Small firms face challenges that are different from those of the large firms. However, small firms have an agility, flexibility, and freedom to respond to challenges in original ways. Their clients agree that the Norton Partners approach to working with clients and candidates reflects their unique culture of teamwork and client focus. By doing what they do best, Norton Partners has found a formula for success at a small firm.

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The Demographic

Timebomb By Barbara Kwateng 'Ambitious, mobile, a team player with a capacity for learning new skills'. Is this the image you have of an over 50? here's no question about it. Demographics are changing. According to OECD figures, in 9 years 40% of the working population will be over 45. By 2021, those aged 60 and over will outnumber those in their 20's and 30's for the first time. These figures will be even more significant in view of a declining birth rate. Add to that European Commission directives on age discrimination to be introduced in most countries of the European Union over the next 4 years and you have a labour market anticipating seismic shifts. But are search firms and their clients prepared to change their outlook on the over 50's? Changing age demographics will also mean a different make- up of candidates. Search-consult spoke to German search firm, Dr. Heimeier & Partner who recently

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conducted a survey on the career situation for managers over 50. The firm, founded in 1989 with its head office in Stuttgart, Southern Germany, discussed the current perceptions towards and of the over 50's. The survey was conducted in the summer of 2001. This acted as a follow up to one completed in May to August 1998 when thousands of entrepreneurs, Managing Directors, board members, Human Resource Executives and Senior Managers representing 11 European countries were surveyed. When questioned about which qualities the over 50's were held in high esteem for, respondents stated that they appreciated them for their experience. This may be an obvious characteristic of older workers. There may be certain careers and industries where this is seen as an advantage, especially among higher ranks of a firm. Dr. Heimeier & Partner's figures found that respondents labelled

the public sector, energy supply firms and banking / insurance as 'attractive' industries for the over 50's. When the survey was completed 3 years ago, over 70% of German, Swiss and Italian participants felt that that there are certain positions which are more suitable for older rather than younger managers. A whopping 77% of those surveyed in England believe that human resources is a suitable position for the over 50's whilst only 33% of Poles feel this is the case. Dutch and Danish respondents were not convinced that the over 50's belonged in the legal department; less than 26% suggesting it as a 'suitable position'. The more recent results showed that 81% felt that general management was especially 'good' for older managers. 57% of respondents believed that human resources was the right direction for the over 50's whereas 55% thought that the legal department of the firm was suitable for the older manager.

Interestingly enough, this does not mirror what is done in practice. When questioned about the positions in which they placed managers over 50, Dr. Heimeier & Partner found that 39% were destined for general management. However, only 3% landed in the legal department. Of course, there could be several reasons for this, not least the supply of jobs in legal departments. Yet the statistics become more interesting when looking at the positions participants felt should not be filled by over 50's. A decisive 54% believed that operations and IT were unsuitable roles for the over 50's. Therefore, there could be a shortfall between perception and reality. However some clients may be unwilling to recruit an over 50-year-old manager. This particular age group may not always make it to the interview stage. "The experience of the search consultant is that the majority of clients are not usually prepared to accept candidates above 50 years. Despite their experience, they are often eliminated from the first rounds of the selection process," tells Claudia Wacker, consultant at Dr. Heimeier & Partner. The statistics show that the over 50's are favoured for their experience, routine (88%), diplomacy (69%) and consistency (68%). At the other end of the scale, few respondents felt that over 50's held characteristics such as capacity to learn (4%), dynamism (5%), mobility (5%) and innovation (10%). All required ingredients for competition in the New Economy. Yet the irony is that this is not how the over 50's perceive themselves. Founder of Dr. Heimeier & Partner, Dr. Heimeier explains. "The startling thing is that the over 50's are prepared to make certain sacrifices which would surprise clients. 83% are prepared to move to another town for an interesting job". Therefore the 95% of respondents who would not describe over 50's as 'mobile' could be missing an opportunity through holding certain stereotypes. "Equally 8 out of 10 over 50 year olds would be prepared to learn a foreign language and work

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noticeably longer hours for the right position", continues Dr. Heimeier. Perhaps one of the biggest sacrifices is financial. One third of managers over 50 would be prepared to take a lower salary. Questionably even more surprising is that two thirds would only see their partner at the weekend in the pursuit of a more interesting career! Dr. Heimeier describes one reason why clients may prefer younger managers. "Those with experience are influenced and formed by their environment. Imagine a manager with several years at Proctor & Gamble going to a mid- sized company. Tensions would arise. Older managers are no different. They may be more likely to have longer periods of employment at say one or two different

“Therefore the 95% of respondents who would not describe over 50's as

could be missing an opportunity through holding certain stereotypes� 'mobile'

firms during their career. They may prefer to do things in the way they are used to which creates perceptions of inflexibility". He continues by saying "yet firms should be weary of relying on their younger managers and 'young potentials'. They may bring innovation and flexibility when times are good but when the economy goes through a bad patch, the older workers may be just what's needed. These are managers who been there before and helped navigate companies out of previous problems and recessions". However, Dr. Heimeier believes the environment is equally important. "When a younger manager with little senior management experience is made a board member where the other 3 directors are

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older and more experienced, then the danger of things going wrong is reduced. There may be a 'coaching effect'. Yet when 3 inexperienced managers man the board and a fourth comes along who may be a perfect cultural fit yet equally new to the game, serious mistakes can happen. The classic example of this was the Internet start-up company. Quickly moulded together, bursting with innovation, the fact was that when they hit turbulence, the lack of experience really showed." So this could be a case for placing over 50's alongside younger managers. Yet another reason making the over 50 year old a less attractive candidate is their remaining 'shelf life'. That is to say, how much longer they will remain working. The majority of over 50's planned to retire between the ages of 61 and 65. Only 13% of the participants had plans to keep on working after the age of 65. 20% were still not sure how much longer they would have until retirement. However this could open up another door benefiting candidates and clients alike. "70% of the over 50's could well imagine doing interim management or consultancy" tells Dr. Heimeier. The advantages could be that the client retains flexibility to adapt to changing markets and benefits from the candidate's know how and vast experience. The candidate enjoys the opportunity to manage their work-life balance yet still participates in the labor market. More than half of the over 50's surveyed would like to change their position but their opportunities may be limited. However things may be changing. "We've noticed some distinct differences since we last conducted this survey in 1998. Whereas back then, our 41% of our respondents claimed to have generally laid off over 50's over the last twelve months, today we see that this figure has dropped to 32%. Furthermore, in 1998, one in 10 of newly placed managers were over 50, the figure has now risen to 1 in 5", says Dr. Heimeier. The future may yet be bright for the older manager.

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in France he Executive Search trade is today a profession which has received total recognition in France, and even if the economic depression of these last twelve to fifteen months is still on everyone's mind, the fantastic, soaring Internet-boosted year 2000 had made us somewhat forget that we depend on the economic situation and that we live thanks to our clients. And when they are having difficulties and decide to limit their recruitments, we are directly affected. Firms call upon an increasing number of means and now use all the technologies at their disposal. Over the last few years, new expectations and greater demands have been expressed by clients, concentration strategies are continuing - admittedly at a slower pace than two years ago, but there is a decided determination to control the field - diversification operations are still being implemented, particularly in the field of human resource strategies in companies, in the more systematic and professional assessment of management team members, of recruiting activities, of executing and management coaching, as well as of lessfavored populations who nevertheless represent a vital human and economic

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By Patrick James Bruneteau

potential for our society. It is certain that not only do we need to follow through with and accompany our clients in their development, but we must also anticipate what they will one day require. To do so, we need to prepare ourselves for change, upgrade our working methods and our attitudes in our trades, where, in any event, the consulting services that we provide and will keep on providing our clients with, will have to adapt all at once to the activity's context, to the company's culture, and to the mutual expectations of all parties. In France in 2002, the head hunting trade has become an organized, structured profession the existence of which is recognized by all, even its fiercest opponents. The market is now recovering, but there is no doubt that this allows for a healthy levelling out after the 2000 highs. Executive search is an economic activity the pulse of which beats in rhythm with cycles, like any other industry, with occasional growth crises, or which is prey to the randomness of financial markets, particularly in delicate sectors such as Telecoms, the Internet and Banking. Head hunting in France is a promising activity. The fact that only 35% of

companies rely on executive search firms makes one appreciate how much margin is left in terms of potential business. As far as the 35-hour week is concerned, we do not think it has had much impact on Executive Management recruitment, but it has slightly reduced the use of recruitment firms for Middle Management and sometimes even Middle Top positions. The concept of the 35-hour week is a typically French illusion, worthy of the best comedies, regrettably remembered in history, which will have enabled hundreds and even thousands of individuals to rack their brains to find a way to apply the same mold to society's different working classes in the uncertain hope of possibly creating jobs. As the French executive search market is far from being saturated, which is not necessarily the case for some AngloSaxon countries, it draws in foreign companies seeking to exploit the available opportunities. If these companies display good marketing sense, abundant creativity, immediate reactivity and bewildering adaptability, then they have a good chance of succeeding and opening the way for new services and joining the family of success stories. The arrival of British, German, Swedish and American firms with structured,

organized and professional teams on French soil is a precursor of future fratricidal wars in the Paris microcosm (95% of the head hunting activity is concentrated in the French capital), but also of radical changes in the typology of executive search structures. It must be observed that French firms are growing old and will perhaps find it difficult to keep their pool of customers in the future, as their Managers are going to leave in the coming 3 to 5 years. Having failed to organize their succession by recruiting younger Consultants, having failed to open their capital to steadfast associates worthy of the calling, they will one day face a structure that has been drained of its substance, and the firm will disappear along with them when they retire. By our count, there is a score of hunting firms in France which will have to find a successor or be taken over by another company within the next 4 or 5 years. It is a difficult thing to leave a profession that one has learned to like, to love or that one has simply got used to. Among the major present trends of search in France, there is this segmentation and specialization in functions and in sectors. The complexity of some professions and sectors forces companies to limit the risks they take and naturally leads them to look for the best Consultants, in other words the most competent and those who are most capable of finding the right candidates for them for the required positions. Firms specialized in banking, stock-exchange, finance, legal as well as human resource sectors should have a promising future. Firms specialized in Healthcare and Biotechnology sectors are increasingly sought after by clients who are very demanding when it comes to the Consultants' real skills and to the type of successful experience. Some have grown wary after hearing the speech of Consultants or/Partners in large prestigious firms, part of impressive international networks, that have nevertheless had a hard time finding the Research & Development Manager they needed and for which they were ready to

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consider a European, Anglo-Saxon or Asian application with a geographical location adapted to the candidate's expectations, topped off by a highly motivating compensation package. It seems to us that firms on a human scale (from 4 to 12 Consultants) are preferred by French Groups. "Boutiques" with 4 to 8 Consultants are appreciated by medium-sized companies and by large international French groups. Firms like Eric Salmon & Partners, Groupe Mercator, Jouve & Associés, Maesina International Search, Rossignol Tod & Associés, Vendôme Associés or Whitehead Mann are perfect examples of small or mediumsized boutiques with or without international networks. We notice that some firms work just as well on an international basis without any structures

Patrick James Bruneteau abroad, as is the case for firms like Cyrias, Floriane de St Pierre SA, Jouve & Associés or Lang, Boyer & Associés. What changes can we expect in France during the next five years? A return of Middle Top and Top Management recruitments is to be expected and the "Grandpa Boom" effect will not be a stranger to that. Ten to twelve glorious years before us to face budding but growing needs that most of the time have been purely and simply ignored by most companies until now. The retiring of thousands of 50-and-60-year-olds in the coming years should open the way for the

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rising generations of 30-to-45-year-old managers, eager to be given new responsibilities. In the forthcoming years, late as usual compared to our Anglo-Saxon neighbours, we will probably witness the development of communication tools in exchange, contact and follow-up procedures. Soon, we might even be able to pre-interview a candidate on line on the Internet, backed up by an audiovideo recording, which would save a good deal of time and expand our knowledge of potential candidates, undeniably contributing to the quality and number of our services for our clients. French/English bilingualism is becoming absolutely essential for all European or International positions. The mastery of a third language (German, Arab, Russian, Japanese, Chinese or Spanish) is also increasingly desired. In conclusion, it is not unthinkable that our current job may be hundreds of leagues away from the one that the next generation will have, different in its environment, in its presentation, in its practices, including its codes of good practice, and therefore its ethics. It is not impossible that 3 to 8 years from now, 85% of our Executives and Managers will be recruited via the Internet, through a connection during which Consultant and Candidate will interact via Internet video, with face-to-face meetings being reserved for the 3 or 4 short-listed candidates when they meet the client after his having first viewed part of the recording of the interview between the candidate and the consultant. These modern means of communication, exchange and discovery must not let anyone forget the very important work of the Consultant which is to contribute consulting, this added value that makes all the difference between two recruitment professionals.

www.search-consult.com

For more information, contact: Web: www.b-associes.com

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Research

Approaching the Candidate By Simon Stephenson

he approach to the target candidate is probably the most challenging and interesting phase of the research process. This is when desktop research at last brings you into contact with someone whose career indeed whole life style you may be about to effect. You must remember three important points. First, you are an ambassador for your client. So the way that you deal with the candidate will be seen as a direct reflection of that client. Do remember also that initial impressions count and the candidate will remember your personal method of approach for some time to come. A professional approach will always secure more information. Second, you must remember that your call to a candidate will have a considerable impact on them. They are after all likely to be doing very well in their current role, which is why you are contacting them. But, your call is uninvited and will almost certainly be putting them under a degree of pressure by asking them to consider a possible life changing situation, albeit for the better. Your call will be disruptive and unsettling; however even seasoned candidates will be hard pushed not to drive home imagining themselves throwing away the BMW Series 3 car keys and picking up the Series 5 keys and adding another 10% to their salaries. The researcher must therefore handle every call with discretion, not raising false hopes and always being honest. Third and finally, remember that the intention of every call is to have a mutually

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positive outcome. Your target may be an interested and relevant candidate, but equally they may be neither ready for a move nor correctly qualified, in which case the minimum achievement should be finding out about them for the future. In all incidences everyone should be viewed as an opportunity to secure a useful source of information for your assignment. There should be very few occasions when you come away from a call completely emptyhanded. THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT When making the call you need to establish the right atmosphere for both yourself and the candidate. Place yourself somewhere that you can listen intently to what is said and, equally important what is not said. Do bear in mind that you are fully prepared and have your game plan to hand, whilst your target will be less well prepared. Being asked to go from thinking about next year's budget or how to deal with sacking someone to discussing your own career issues is a jump in thought that takes most people a moment to handle. Listening to the tone of voice will reveal how old the candidate may be, their level of seniority and their degree of initial enthusiasm or otherwise, for the proposal that you are putting to them. As always use silence effectively in your questioning. Make the candidate feel important. They should not consider that they are one of 20 calls that you are making that day. They should feel that they are one of very few candidates being approached for that

particular role and that they have been specially selected and highly recommended. Flattery at this stage goes a long way to getting people to talk. The real inquisition comes later. GETTING THROUGH Always remember that you should not be placing the candidate in a difficult position, especially if this could be in front of their work colleagues. They are most unlikely to want others to even think that they are considering another appointment. They may be in an open plan office, they may have their calls recorded on tape, you will not know at this point. It can help to visualise their situation as much as you can. Are you using the main switchboard phone number? Is a PA filtering you? Are you calling to a mobile? Are you using a direct line number? Are they senior enough or working for a company who will have open plan or personal offices? Just spend a moment thinking what you are heading into. Avoid leaving indiscreet messages and use instead such phrases as "personal call" or "returning their call". If you leave a message on the ansafone or on e-mail, be aware that their secretary or someone else might pick it up. You will always come up against the fearsome gatekeeper of a secretary at some stage; remember that they are probably acting in this manner because their boss trusts them to filter calls. Honesty is the only policy with this sort of situation and taking the secretary into your confidence, more often than not,

ensures that the barrier comes crashing down. THE FIRST 30 SECONDS Once you have established the candidate's ability to talk privately, you only have a short period to capture their interest about the proposition. These first 30 seconds are vital and a carefully crafted sound-bite is required to set the scene as to what you are looking for or seeking to discuss. Never read out verbatim your pitch as it sounds much too contrived. (Remember those double-glazing sales calls you get at home!) From this initial period you will get one of four principle reactions. From the 'search virgin' you will get enthusiasm and excitement. From the old hat, the claim may be that this is the third call they have had this week. They will need to be quickly persuaded that yours is either not the same or is at least the more exciting opportunity. Some seasoned players will play the 'hard to get line' they want you to feel that they do not want the whole process to be too easy. It is a subtle play that even at this stage is setting down the rules of the impending deal making process. The next type is the one whose immediate reaction is "Not interested in even considering a move", resist the temptation to quickly put down the telephone but persist and turn them into a source. There are few people who can resist the challenge of at least thinking for a moment of whom they know who might be interested. It is often all about networks; 'I'll pass on my approaches if you do the same', especially if the approach has been well done in the first place. Finally you will get the researchers favourite candidate, the supreme professional who will listen carefully, give a considered opinion and offer advice if they can. With interest captured, but before you progress any further, continue to confirm that they are really in a position to listen carefully and speak privately. If you are in any doubt offer immediately to call at another time. Coded conversations in an open plan office are not conducive to getting the right message across and the candidate must be able to concentrate, just as much as you, in order to make a considered decision.

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THE BODY OF THE CONVERSATION When presenting you main pitch you must be a complete master of your brief and fully up to speed on the facts. You must avoid having to resort to reading the basics, although some hard statistics do sometimes sound better when read from your notes. If you do not know the answers do not guess or waffle, say you will check and find out. Keep on checking on their level of interest and whether what you are saying is relevant to their experience. Keep on listening to the candidates' reactions and maintained enthusiasm. Look out for any signs of boredom it should be easily detectable in the tone of voice. The secret then is to time the point when the sales pitch becomes a more inquisitorial conversation and to a situation where the candidates start to sell themselves. Do not feel frightened to push for information, after all the candidate will want to feel that you are not going to be wasting their time by ensuring that they have all the right skills for them to be realistic candidates. Always be prepared to cut things short if the candidate is not right or not interested. CONFIRMING SUITABILITY Prior to making your call you must have identified 3 or 4 key points that a candidate should possess if they are to be relevant to your research. Whilst you will always find candidates from left field, i.e. those who have an unusual skills set which make them potentially relevant to the appointment, your check list of key points will ensure that your discussion will be structured and relevant. You must ask for evidence of certain events, i.e. "when have you led a change management project and what were the results" rather than "have you ever dealt with change management". The fault that many novice researchers make is to feel that any willing candidate is a good one, conveniently forgetting the need to ensure that they are properly qualified. Whilst there will always be the odd individual who will have to be referred to the consultant for final selection, it is far better not to raise expectations unrealistically that a person is suitable for a particular appointment when they fail to

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meet critical criteria. BRIEFING THE CLIENT Throughout the entire process it is vital to keep track of your activity and the detailed and exact results of the various conversations. It goes without saying that you will have obtained details of relevant and interested candidates and be able to make comment as to their suitability for the position. Your aim is to be able to prepare the client for the first conversation that they will have with these individuals. You will have noted any questions that they will have about the role, issues as to location, salary etc. This sort of critical information will maximise impact of the clients meeting with the candidate. Alongside this information should be a report as to why others on the long list are not interested in a particular position, Does the company have a poor reputation in the market, is the salary too low, are there rumours of a possible take over? All of this is invaluable market information. Good search consultants will want as much feedback as possible and will be impressed by the extent to which you have been able to read the situation. CONCLUSION All researchers will enjoy different phases of their work, but without doubt approaching the candidate brings together the requirement to use a number of different skills. The ability to put together a coherent and convincing brief, the requirement to listen carefully and to interpret what is being said are part of your stock in trade. You must be in control of the conversation and turn it from a situation in which you are initially selling something, to one where you become an inquisitor thus ensuring that you have sufficient information to make a fully reasoned decision. It is time to stop being a researcher when you fail to get a buzz as to you put down the phone having identified another suitable candidate.

www.search-consult.com

For more information, contact: Email: simon@exec-research.co.uk

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No Membership type members

Benefits

AESC Association of Executive Search Consultants, Inc.

www.aesc.org

+1.212.398.9556

Shannon Kelley Director of Marketing skelley@aesc.org

Over 101

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Lars-Ove Akesson Chairman akesson@horton-intl.com

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Retained Search Firms

Region: USA Worldwide

ESK Swedish Association Of Executive Search Consultants

www.esk.se

+46.8.412.66.45

Retained Search Individuals

Regular Meetings Newsletters/Magazines Discounts on products/services Training Legal representation / Political lobbying Exclusive and free access to global database of executives - Free client referral service - Free inclusion in online directory of search firms, with consultants bios and photos

- Regular Meetings - Newsletters - Training seminars

Region: Sweden

ASSORES Associazione Italiana fra Società e Studi di Consulenza per la Ricerca e Selezione del Personale

www.assores.it

+39.02.8915.0302 Vittorio Anfossi Chairman anfossi@anfossi.it

Over 101

+61.3.9663.0555

584

Retained Search Firms

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Regular Meetings Newsletters / Magazines Discounts on products/services Training Legal representation / Political lobbying

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Regular Meetings Newsletters / Magazines Discounts on products/services Training Legal representation / Political lobbying Occupational Health and Safety

Region: Italy

RCSA Recruitment & Consulting Services Association Ltd.

www.rcsa.com.au

Julie Mills CEO jmills@rcsa.com.au

Region: Australia New Zealand

Retained Search, Contingency Search, Other Recruitment, Other Management Consultancy, Onhired service providers, Contract service providers Firms/Individuals

ESCA Executive Selection Consultancies Association

www.esca-ireland.com

+353.1.605.1500

Brian Ward Chairman bward@merc.ie

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Retained Search, Retained Management Selection

- Regular Meetings - Promotion of Code of Practice - Website Links

Subscriptions and back issues! Recent and upcoming interviews include: • Paul Reilly, Chairman and CEO, Korn/Ferry International • Ulrich Dade, Chairman, Amrop Hever Group • James Norton - From Korn/Ferry International to James Norton Associates

Enjoying this issue? Want to make sure you receive the next one? The ONLY way to receive the next copy is to subscribe!

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Back Issues Copies of back issues of searchconsult are available for £15 per issue. E-mail enquiries@searchconsult.com for further information

“Our readers include

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ISSUE 1 ● Dr Jürgen Mülder Heidrick & Struggles ● Executive Search and Management Appraisal

ISSUE 2 ● Steve Potter TMP Executive Search ● Executive Research The Outsource Option

ISSUE 3 ● Jeff Christian Christian and Timbers ● Focus on the Whitehead Mann Group

ISSUE 4 ● Windle Priem Korn/Ferry International ● Chris Clarke Boyden Global Executive Search

ISSUE 5 ● Paul Ray Jr Ray & Berndtson ● Search in Germany The Law

ISSUE 6 ● Pat Pittard Heidrick & Struggles ● Germany's top 25 Search Firms

ISSUE 7 ● Russell S Reynolds Jr. Directorship Search Group ● Search in South Africa ● Corporate Governance

ISSUE 8 ● Hob Brown Jr. Russell Reynolds Associates ● Global Leaders ● Maintaining Quality in Search

ISSUE 9 ● Gene Shen - A.T. Kearney Executive Search ● Competition from within in house executive search

ISSUE 10 ● Dr Jürgen Mülder Heidrick & Struggles ● Executive Search and Management Appraisal

ISSUE 11 ● Alain Tanugi TRANSEARCH International ● Interim Management ● Search in China, Hong Kong and Singapore ● The Future of Search

ISSUE 12 ● Ulrich Dade, Amrop/Hever Group - exclusive interview ● The War for Talent 2: Update from McKinsey ● Search in Switzerland: Market Review

Firms Region: Ireland, Europe

NPA National Personnel Associates

executive search www.npainc.com

+1.616.455.6555

Richard Shaw Director dick@richardshaw.com

Over 101

Retained Search, Contingency Search Firms

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Regular Meetings Newsletters / Magazines Training Database software

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Regular meetings Newsletters Discounts on products/services Training Legal representation / Political Lobbying Active PR promoting the profession

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Regular Meetings Newsletters / Magazines Discounts on products/services Training Legal representation / Political lobbying Website

Region: Canada, USA Australia Asia Pacific UK

APSC Association of Personnel Search Consultants of Russia

www.apsc.ru

+7.95.930.1432 +7.95.787.8561

Michael Bogdanov President bogdanov@consort.ru

51-100

Region: Russia Belarus Ukraine Kazakhstan

FWS – FRS Federatie van Wervingsen selectiebureaus

Retained Search, Contingency Search, Other Recruitment, Other Management Consultancy Firms

www.fws.be

+32 9 241 5717

Anne Soenen Director General fws-frs@skynet.be

51-100

Retained Search, Other Recruitment Firms

Region: Belgium

BEXSA Belgian Executive Search Association

www.feb.be

+32.2.374.9672

Robert Brodsky Director – Secretary General efe@euronet.be

Below 25

Kang-Shik Koh President kangshik@headhunter.co.kr

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Retained Search Firms

professionals from firms in 60 countries.” £150 / $240 / €240 is the cost for 10 issues, delivered anywhere in the World. Subscribe online at: www.search-consult.com or e-mail: enquiries@search-consult.com to find out about discounts for multiple copies.

- Regular Meetings - Newsletters / Magazines - Lobbying

Region: Belgium Luxembourg

KESCA Korea Executive Search Consultants Association

www.kesca.org

+82.2.551.0367

Retained Search, Contingency Search, Other Recruitment Firms

Region: South Korea

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Regular Meetings Training Legal representation / Political lobbying Regular invitation to the professional executive search related seminar - Effective mass media PR activity and/or workshop


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search-consult Issue 13  

The International Executive Search Magazine

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