Companies want to hire the best executive talent possible and top executives seek career growth, development and recognition for what they bring to the table. The Executive Hiring Process is complicated! Why? Because it revolves entirely around people and everyone is very different and unique. This article explains the key items that are needed for a great hiring process — both from the company that is looking to hire and also the executive talent that is applying for the vacant position.
“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” Steve Jobs
As Headhunters our fundamental mission is incredibly simple — to facilitate the hiring of best-in-class Executive Talent by our client partners. We work relentlessly to find superior professionals for our clients, game-changing people that possess all the magical ingredients that will deliver client success.
A common misconception about “Headhunters” though is that our core focus is only the client… This is in fact untrue. As to achieve success we must satisfy “2 sides of the coin” – our client needs to be happy but equally as important… so does the candidate that is hired.
As Headhunters our success is determined by the quality of the hires that we facilitate.
A great quality hire takes place when the client and candidate are both very happy with the outcome, an excellent working partnership develops between the client organisation and the candidate and the candidate stays with the client business for many years to come.
A weak hire, on the other hand, is where there is a mismatch between the client and the candidate that is hired, the relationship does not develop well and lasts a short period of time.
At ProCapita we commence every Executive Recruitment assignment with a detailed client briefing, this is where we get “into the details” of exactly what is needed by our client partner. In other words, the “magical ingredients” that the client seeks in the person that it wishes to hire. This will cover the key skills needed, career experience required, type of profile and background desired, nature of education needed, type of personality sought and etc etc. The “wish-list” is often long! After all, if it was easy, a client would not need our assistance!
With all this insight and knowledge about exactly what our client seeks, we start our mission to identify all potentially relevant professionals, those people that we think… could have the “wish-list of ingredients” that our client desires. Often, it is only once we start interacting with executive candidates that we will know if a person is indeed “spot-on” based on our briefing or not ideal.
When we initially approach an executive candidate about an opportunity, in the vast vast majority of cases the person is happily employed and not actively seeking or looking for new work opportunities. We come along out of the blue and “knock on the door” introducing the executive vacancy.
At this initial stage, candidates will typically be quite quick to say “yes, lets discuss further” or “no, i am sorry this opportunity is not for me”. Either way is of course perfectly fine and the more honest the communication is from the beginning the better. If a particular role is not of interest, we will of course let a potential candidate know about future roles that maybe more of interest.
Once we have started to communicate about a client opportunity with executive candidates, our aim is simple, to identify from those that are potentially interested in the role, the most suitable people based on our client briefing and to then facilitate every step in the hiring process that is required.
Once we have started introducing candidate profiles / resumes to a client we will then manage the following; candidate-client interview scheduling, once at an advanced stage we shall gather and provide detailed candidate current compensation data, at our clients instructions we shall then handle offer and negotiation and reference checks and once a candidate has signed the offer letter we shall support the candidate through their resignation process at their current employer and keep in regular touch during their notice period and until employment start date at our client partner.
What we can say for sure, is that each and every hiring assignment that we work on is unique and individual, just as each client and candidate are highly unique and individual. Each hiring process poses its own challenges and complexities – our skill as experienced Headhunters is the ability to overcome each difficulty as it comes along, moving ever forward to a successful close – with the outcome being a happy client and executive candidate.
The length of time of an Executive hiring process is very much dependent on the client and its internal processes, alongside the seniority and circumstances of the selected candidate (which can impact greatly upon the candidate’s notice period).
We would say however, that the average executive hiring process, if all elements run smoothly, takes between 3-4 months approximately. So after our initial client briefing, about 3-4 months later, on average, our candidate would start to work for our client. We have worked on hires that took only 1 month to complete and for the candidate to start work immediately, we have worked on hires that took over 1 year to complete and for the candidate to start work some months later due to their notice period.
In essence the timeline for the hiring process is driven greatly by the client and candidate circumstances. As Headhunters we will always work to our clients instructions and we will introduce great talent that is interested and qualified for a role in very short-order, however all other aspects are in general outside of our control.
So what Helps Us to facilitate a smooth Executive Hiring Process?
On the Client side:
- Providing us with a detailed briefing. The more we know about exactly what a client seeks, the better. This will help us to target exactly the right type of people that are needed for the role from the get-go.
- Communicate with us frequently and comprehensively. Once we start talking about a client vacancy with executive candidates, those candidates will often have questions which we may not have answers to. We rely on good communication with our client to help us manage potential candidates as effectively as possible.
- Be open and transparent and let us know if we need to change anything. If based on CV’s submitted we are targeting the wrong types of candidate, the sooner that we know this the better. The more information that we have the better prepared we will be to access exactly the right type of people for a client firm.
- Provide timely Resume / CV feedback. After we start submitting executive candidate CV’s it is very important that we receive client feedback in a reasonable amount of time, ideally within 3 business days. If a candidate is not of interest, a client should let us know, no problem at all. However, if a candidate is of interest but left waiting for a long time for client feedback, chances are high that for senior candidates they will lose interest, believing that there is business inefficiency.
- Also bear in mind that Indonesia is still maturing in regards to depth of talent pool for executive roles and often there is a talent shortage for key positions, with many firms chasing the same types of people. So if a top class professional is open to a new role, the chances are quite high that they are receiving various opportunities at the same time. For a client that is slow to progress a great CV and arrange interviews, excellent candidates will often be lost to other firms who are more proactive and energized in their hiring process.
- Once interviews are confirmed, unless truly urgent, please don’t reschedule. If a executive candidate is invited to interview and at short notice the arrangements are cancelled by the client, this can present a negative image of the client business. After all, we have told the candidate that this is a key role, we have motivated them to explore and attend interview, so they naturally expect interviews to be well managed.
- Treat Executive Candidates as you would wish to be treated yourself if you were applying for a new role. It is important to remember that Senior Candidates are often hiring managers themselves and have certain expectations of a hiring process, in terms of communication, punctuality, feedback and etc. The best advice – always treat candidates as you would wish to be treated yourself during a hiring process. For instance, if you would expect CV feedback, so do they. This helps to maintain a positive image in the candidates eyes.
- Help us, as your Headhunter Partner, to present the best impression possible of your business. Our job is to identify, excite and motivate the best candidates – who are typically currently happily employed – to explore a client vacancy through submitting their CV and participating in the interview process. If clients don’t act in a way that respects the candidates time or interest, the candidate will quickly lose interest.
- Please let us know if there are any firms whose professionals we should not approach. For instance there maybe companies that are deemed “sensitive” as your business works with such companies or maybe your firm and that firm have an agreement not to target each others professionals… Let us know which firms to not approach.
- Take into account all of the elements of the chosen candidates current compensation package when making a compensation offer. In Indonesia candidate compensation can be highly structured and rather complex in nature versus other markets, with many companies providing their top executives with a large variety of cash and non-cash benefits, but all seen as “critical” by the candidate. There are still few “market norms” and pay ranges and compensation structure for similar jobs can vary greatly from one company to another.
- For instance you will often see professionals receiving a fixed basic salary each month plus fixed cash allowances each month, the annual THR Religious Holiday Allowance which is unique to Indonesia (some businesses pay it as 1 X basic salary, some pay far more), annual / quarterly / sometimes monthly incentive / bonus plans, monthly transportation benefits, private medical plans and etc.
- Finding “ideal” talent is by far the biggest challenge facing our clients in Indonesia. So, once that perfect person is located, interested and excited and everything is looking positive, it is essential that clients structure compensation offers that take into account the individuals full overall current compensation package and benefits. Each company has its own policies and re-numeration structures, but the value of the entire current package needs to be considered, both in regards to cash and non-cash benefits, to ensure that an offer generated makes sense to the selected candidate.
- We are committed to helping clients understand fully the current compensation structure of a selected candidate and to guiding clients, wherever needed, on the nuances and uniqueness of Indonesian compensation structures.
On the Candidate side:
- Communicate with us clearly and in a timely manner. Clients expect candidates that are interested in their job opportunity to be excited and move quickly. If you are potentially interested in a role that we present to you, let us know in a reasonable amount of time, a few days, and submit to us your CV.
- Make sure that your Resume is 100% accurate, that all information presented is valid and up to date. Your Resume / CV should present all the key data that a client needs to be able to make an assessment of whether or not you should be invited to interview. To create a strong, professional Resume / CV, please follow the steps discussed by us here.
- Check and reply your email and WhatsApp regularly. This is often how we, or our client, will reach you to schedule interviews, provide feedback, discuss next steps and etc. If you suddenly stop communicating or go off-line for long periods of time, our client will likely lose interest in your profile. It also presents a negative image regarding your professionalism. It is important to remember, if you send an email or message you expect a response in a reasonable amount of time, the same applies to our clients.
- Replying to say you are no longer interested or have changed your mind, is much better than saying nothing, as at least everything is clear to us and we can manage our client effectively.
- Always be honest and transparent, don’t exaggerate. It is essential to always present yourself in the best way possible, to provide a positive strong image, to talk about what you have achieved and your suitability for a role. But certainly don’t go over-board, only say what is honest, genuine and accurate.
- Be on-time and dress appropriately for interviews. Clients want to hire executive candidates that are professional, people that will help lead their business. The image that you present at interview will be critical to any hiring decision. If you are late, or cancel an interview at short-notice or without very good reason, if you are dressed in the wrong way, you will present a negative image and the chance to impress the client will be lost.
- Do your Research. Clients expect candidates that they interview to know about their company, the role and to have thought through the opportunity, to ask smart questions. Being prepared shows that you are genuinely interested. Please see this article for more guidance.
- Be confident and provide clear answers. Executive candidates are being hired to make a difference to a client business, often to lead others. Interviewers will expect candidates to be confident, well seasoned professionals, able to give clear, full answers, to present an aura of leadership.
- When we ask, please provide full and detailed information about your current compensation. Always state the facts and exact details. When at an advanced stage in the hiring process, our clients will expect to fully understand a candidates current compensation package, both cash and non-cash benefits, so as to be able to structure a compensation offer for you that takes into account all elements of your current situation and makes sense. Please take the time to detail all the information, as if you fail to tell us about an element of your current compensation you can not expect a client company to cover this off in their offer to you.
- Very importantly, client companies will typically ask for proof of any compensation data that a candidate says they receive – this is very normal in Indonesia. Seeing a copy of Pay-slips is the most common way for a client company to verify your current compensation data. It is absolutely essential that when asked about your current compensation you state only the truth and facts.
- Be realistic on your compensation expectations. When an executive candidate takes on a new role at a new company, their motivations should be many – career growth, new challenges and new personal development opportunities, long term career planning and etc. Improved financial reward, whilst a motivator for many, should Not be the sole or primary objective for changing jobs.
- Once at offer stage our client company will likely want to understand your compensation expectations – there are 2 choices either i) keep things flexible, allow the client to present its views on fair compensation based on the nature of role and your current circumstances and then discuss if necessary or, ii) if you have set expectations make these clear, make sure they are reasonable and be realistic. Be warned, if you are too “aggressive” regarding your compensation expectations there is a very good chance that the client will simply walk away and the new opportunity will be lost.
- If you do wish to state compensation expectations / or to negotiate once an offer is received, our advice is i) always manage such discussions through us rather than directly with the client, as it is very sensitive and we don’t want the wrong impression to be made and ii) make sure you have excellent logic and reasoning for anything that you request, if requests do not make sense do not expect clients to be understanding.
- We will always provide independent advice to executive candidates, letting them know our thoughts and opinions at this sensitive stage in the process, providing a heads-up if we feel their expectations are not aligned to market or at risk of causing a negative client impression.
- Be clear about when you shall resign, stay strong during the resignation process. Once you have made the decision to join a new company, stick by your decision, fix a date for resigning from your current employer, plan what you want to say when resigning, and stay strong. Resigning can be stressful, can be emotional, you may even receive a counter-offer from your current employer as they do not want to lose you. It is essential that you stay strong and remember all the very good reasons for why you have decided to accept the new opportunity, stand your ground and proceed forward.
- New jobs provide a fantastic environment for personal and career development. Whilst change can be uncomfortable, it is through change that we grow and develop. Once you have made a commitment to join a new company, stick by your words and stay confident that you are doing the right thing. We will be there to help guide and support you throughout the resignation and notice period.
As Executive Headhunters for the Indonesia market, we are well aware that every hiring process is unique. These are just a few ways that a client and candidate can help us to ensure a successful outcome, where a brilliant hire is made and a very strong working relationship established between a client and executive candidate.