Why companies Search for candidates
When a raft of other recruitment options is available, why do many companies decide to search proactively for their candidates? Maybe because of skills shortages in the market? Or maybe when other methods have failed? Instead it is the fit of resulting candidates that is the most important reason today, according to the latest AHEAD survey.

At a time when AHEAD has grown its share in the Belgian market significantly year on year since 2009, a mini survey of CEOs, HRDs and other senior management makes interesting reading. We asked a variety of senior managers across a range of sectors (services, manufacturing, non-profit) and company sizes to share their experience and reasoning with us. Results from the first 50 responses in early October show that 94% of respondents considered the ‘fit’ of resulting candidates - whether professional, cultural or personality fit – an important motivator to search. 65% agreed and 39% agreed strongly with this reason.

‘Companies need new hires to be rigorously selected and both sides need confidence that once in place, the selected individual will assume their role successfully. Using a professional executive search approach puts check and balances into the process and draws on outside professionals to add value at the crucial stage of selection’ commented participant Justin O’Flynn, European MD Eclipse Combustion 2009-11.

That said, based on past experience of respondents the seniority or importance of the role to fill generated the most vehement response with 43% agreeing strongly with the statement and another 40% agreeing. This was also the second strongest motivator to search today.

Other reasons to search included attracting passive candidates not actively looking or reluctant to change jobs, skills shortages in the market, the quality of resulting candidates, confidentiality and the greater likelihood of success.  Additionally, the failure of other recruitment methods, speed, value for money and targeting competitors or gaining market intelligence were cited by some people as influencing the decision to search proactively… but less commonly.

‘Twenty years ago, clients sometimes turned to search for mid management as well as senior appointments only when other recruitment methods were unsuccessful. Now days search is commonly front of mind for several reasons rather than as a back-up when other methods fail – like press or internet advertising‘, adds Guy. ‘We are pleased to report that for many companies it is certainly a first port of call rather than a last resort.’

To see the results in more detail, simply click on this link www.surveymonkey.com

AHEAD is a leading search firm specialising in high achievers. Headquartered in Brussels, we were formerly YESS International Brussels, created in 1990 by Egon Zehnder International.  Today AHEAD forms part of the extensive network covering Europe and beyond.
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