Author: Samriti Parashar | Executive Search Manager | Maier+Vidorno
First published in April 2016

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, or the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change” – as Charles Darwin has been famously quoted as saying.

Organizations who understand the need of evolution and expansion in this dynamic world also acknowledge that it is their Human Resources who are their biggest assets in realizing their vision, and this is as true in India as anywhere. Companies know that human capital is the MOST IMPORTANT ASSET of any organization. The quality of their Human Resources actually determines the success or the failure of their organization. Competition for the best people is therefore fierce.

Today in India there maybe thousands of people who could apply for any one job but many will not apply, or won’t fit the profile, or have the right skills. It is especially difficult for foreign companies to navigate the Indian job market and cultural nuances and find the right people. As the World transitions towards specializations and outsourcing through professionals, most international companies find they need Headhunters and the Executive Search Firms to find the best fit talents for their organizations. And they need them most in India.

Finding the Passive Talents (Not on the Radar)

When an Executive Search Firm is engaged to hire the best talent, it is not a matter of just putting an advertisement in the newspaper or job portals and seeing who the best person is that applies. At the senior executive level, it’s very crucial to find the best person you can. The whole purpose of proactive recruitment is to bring into consideration candidates that might not be otherwise identifiable in the market or the talents at the competitor’s side – they may not respond to an advertisement. It opens up a whole range of candidates who might not have been aware of or shown interest in the appointment. These passive candidates (mostly “C” level executives) are approached by the Executive Search Consultants through their networking and referrals and then are convinced (while discussing the Job Description), how it would add value to their Resume – all the time stressing confidentiality. Using an outside Executive Search Services also allows the company the freedom of recruiting from competitors, and the ability to choose among candidates that would not be available through internal or passive sourcing methodologies. In India most of the Top Management candidates in their mid-40s, are very conservative and generally not available on social networks or job portals, the consultant’s networking and references can be a big help.

Comparison the Top talents and finding the Best

Seasoned Executive Search Consultants insist on having a wider landscape to search for the best talent. They select the profiles of the candidates based on their number of years of experience, industry know how, the budget of the client etc. When a Senior Recruitment Consultant accompanies the client for interviews with the shortlisted candidates they add a lot of value to the interview process. They ask role specific questions, generally asking the candidates to take them through his/her present organization structure and the reporting system in their organization. Senior Consultants might stimulate the knowledge of the Candidates to prepare a presentation to show their understanding of the Scope of Work offered. The activity helps in identifying the right candidate.

Salary Benchmarking

Lately, with the fast changing pace of the Business techniques benchmarking services are gaining lot of attention. In India it is crucial to get an up to date snapshot of market expectations as salaries have changed rapidly in the last 10 years. Most often, if there is a newly created job role, clients are confused with the market rates for hiring a suitable candidate. Executive Search Firms support them by compiling a database of competitors, marking the salary benchmarking of the specific role. This helps the client to fine tune and adjust terms for the employee in their organization’s structure.

Reference, Background Checks and Medical Checkups

Recruitment Firms help clients to do reference checks on the selected candidate. In India formal reference checks were not the norm until a few years ago and it is still hard to get accurate information about a candidate’s career history and performance in different settings. The Consultants get in touch with the previous employer of the selected candidate and ask questions related to his social behavior, performance, Code of Conduct, how he handles the pressure etc., and this conversation requires a peer-to-peer relationship to get to the true answers. Background checks of the educational certificates, proof of identity, residential checks, criminal verification, salary slip checks are also done depending on the requirement of the Job Profile. This helps in identifying the right candidate who may be more loyal, perform best and have high integrity value. This process, to a great extent, eliminates the chances of cheating and fraud.

Negotiation of Salary Package

Recruitment Consultants also play a very crucial role in matching the budget of the client and the expectation of the selected candidate. The salary break up is shared and comparison sheets are developed to understand the Last Withdrawn Salary Package (Cost to the Company) and the salary increase offered for the new role. The Seasoned Consultant will always keep two choices for the Final Shortlisted candidates, so that in the event of one candidate not accepting the offer made, they have a second choice to move forward with. For the high profile “C” Level Roles, clients always prefer to have a Third Party involvement (Recruitment Consultant) to take them through the Negotiation phase.

Drafting the Job Description, Offer Letter, Appointment Letter

The Expertise of the recruitment professional can be best utilized by asking them to draft the Job Description and the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to give clarity on the Job Profile of the specific Role. The Consultant will do this after understanding the complete organization and the business scope of the client. Sometimes, especially for middle level management positions, the user is confused with certain expectations from the required Job Profile. Consultants can help them with the important insights by giving comparisons and case studies from the similar business segments. Senior Consultants can help the company with developing the right formats for the Offer / Appointment Letters including the clauses with a close eye on Indian Labor Laws.
Executive Search Firms provide companies with a true competitive advantage: they increase the company’s ability to respond to changes – and so enable them to survive and thrive in India’s complex markets.

Maier+Vidorno helps you find the right solution for your personnel in India and supports you recruiting Indian employees – feel free to contact us!