News & Latest Blogpost

October 2020

The only constant is change

 

Heraklit already knew that our daily life by no means is static but is changing constantly. The economy in general and recruiting in particular are no exception to this rule. In an article of 2003, Hans-Rudolf Zellweger, our in-house coach and expert for the life science industry, has dealt with the topic of the executive search industry. Seventeen years later, we look back and want to see, what has changed and what has not.

Hans-Rudolf Zellweger

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In his article of 2002 our «Hansruedi» separated his thoughts and views into the individual steps of our recruiting process. Let’s follow this procedure and look at every step individually.

Preparation
A good and reliable preparation for any cooperation with our clients still is one of the most essential parts of our work. We understand ourselves as entrepreneurs working for and with other entrepreneurs: We do not want to offer a mere service, but together with our clients we want to understand why, how and how fast the demands and requirements in the market are changing and how solutions are being created. And afterwards to actively and truly create them. For this, it goes without saying that we are cooperating in an honest, open and direct mode with our clients – and with those who may want to become one. We want to shape our future in a joint venture with other entrepreneurs; and we prefer to do this personally, individually, and sustainably.

Mandate
‘When a cooperation materializes it is most important to dutifully create the requirement profile together with the line manager’, says our article of 2003. This still is very true. The personal and individual exchange with the decision makers is especially important to us. As a sparring partner we want to thoroughly understand what needs to be changed. And how these changes can be made. And because none of our clients are exactly the same there is not one simple solution for all. Therefore, our process is tailored to each client individually: Together with the respective line manager we analyze where there is a need for action, and with what kind of personalities the company will shape their future. We believe that sustainable solutions in the sector of executive search can only be found when we focus on the individual needs of our clients. Your new employees should stand behind the same entrepreneurial idea as you do!
We appreciate this personal, individual and entrepreneurial exchange during the whole mandate process as highly as our clients. Here, we can’t and won’t conceal anything. As Hansruedi put it some years ago: ‘In this personal exchange the client instantly knows if they stand in front of an expert or not.’

Research
‘Suitable candidates are everywhere’, Hansruedi wrote in 2003. That is why you cannot just rely on your network and wait for a magical solution. Of course, business and personal connections are valuable and our network still is important and can act as a catalyst – but, the so-called active sourcing is more and more a central component of every mandate. And you certainly have to get active: Initial contacts have become a lot more difficult to establish, as too many providers compete for the same clients and candidates. But not only this oversaturation of the market is a challenge, but also the often more than full calenders of busy people. To conquer these challenges, it is even more important to score with a tailormade process.
What definitely is different today is that the internet and social media are indispensible for the recruiting and HR process. For candidates as well as for companies a solid online presence is key to stay attractive to one another. A lot of companies and personnel service providers are looking for talents online – if you want to be found as a candidate you have to digitally present yourself advantageously. The same goes for the other side: If a company wants to succeed in the «war of talents» they need to keep their information handy online at all times and present themselves as an attractive employer.
Our consultants hold the reins at all times in our mandate process. These are often time sensitive. But nevertheless, quality should never be neglected just to be faster. With a solid and broad-based industrial knowledge through years of managerial experience in their respective industry our consultants are more than capable to screen candidate profiles in our research and interview process and to see if their profile matches our client’s requirements.

Interview
‘The personal encounter with candidates is very important.’ This message we agreed to totally today. But nevertheless, a lot has changed in this matter. Initial contacts are more often made online. Special times like a lockdown due to covid-19 but also more trivial reasons like bigger geographical distances or holidays have shown that Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the likes are a convenient and valuable solution. If you prepare yourself right for these virtual encounters they will be as successful as personal ones. Of course, we at DE BORD INTERNATIONAL still welcome clients and candidates personally in our offices. Every encounter becomes even more comfortable and personal with a good cup of coffee in our beautiful office spaces.
From a personality perspective, today even more than before social skills are a key topic in the interview. It goes without saying that it is important to us and our clients that our candidates have the necessary technical skills as well. But a good and sustainable bond between candidate and future employer can only be made when inner values on both side match. Emotional intelligence and empathy therefore function as important decision parameters as well, and gaining fast

Assessment
One aspect that hasn’t changed is that assessments are not mandatory for the recruiting process. However in some cases it might be a valuable addition – but only if it is done by a qualified professional such as a psychologist. An assessment might not only help to make the final decision for a candidate. It might also be a helpful management tool when the candidate has been made an employee. Especially in a leading position, not only specialist knowledge is required, but also solid leadership skills and a healthy self-awareness of one’s own strengths and weaknesses. The assessment examines and observes relevant aspects of the personality in various realistic exercises and situations. Following the assessment, the client will have a detailed report on the findings and potential areasof improvement in the future collaboration with the assessee.

Conclusion
A lot of basic principles in executive search are more or less identical with those seventeen years ago: the exchange between client and consultant needs to take place at eye-level and with respect; an exclusive, individual, and sustainable collaboration is helping to minimize the oversaturation on contact requests from agencies to candidates; our consultant’s expertise and management experience in their respective field are not only key to a time-sensitive mandate process, but also to the competent qualification of candidates.
Essential differences mostly lie in the heavy use of the internet and of digital tools during the whole recruiting process. During research and active sourcing, social media platforms and networks are indispensible. Interviews as well are conducted virtually more often. Artificial intelligence will leave its traces in the search of employees and executives. Self-learning tools will strikingly accelerate and automate the processing of applications and the selection of applicants. As headhunters we have to make sure with these tools to not forget the human factor behind every aspect of automation: personnel recruiting and management presuppose good human understanding and communication. We will have to see how those two aspects can be ideally linked to one another.
And once again: the only constant is change! There is a demand for change management and transformation on all sides. That is why candidates, but also companies themselves, have to be agile and flexible, as they all need to react to market changes with new and adapted strategies on an almost daily basis. We ourselves are not an exception to this. But we perceive this as an opportunity: We want to actively create the future together with our clients! Will you take part?

 

News & Latest Blogpost

January 2020

The team at DE BORD INTERNATIONAL itroduces itself

 

Three, two, one – in the last part of our three-piece story you will get to meet our power-duo for the industry of life sciences. Andrea Nienaber and Hans-Rudolf Zellweger answered our questions and let you peek into their everyday life at DE BORD INTERNATIONAL.

 

Hans-Rudolf Zellweger
Annina Haller

How long have you been working for DE BORD INTERNATIONAL, and how did you get here?
I have been working for DE BORD for more than 4 years now. During my master’s degree, I was employed part-time. For almost 1.5 years now, I have been working full-time and am responsible for the smooth running of our office and for the communication and content activities. I originally became aware of DE BORD through my network – which is indispensable anyway in our business.

What fascinates you about your work at DE BORD INTERNATIONAL?
I work closely with the respective consultant on each project, which gives me a deep insight. No project is like the other; so it remains exciting, I get to know new, interesting people and I can observe how a company and new key employees come together. It’s alsmost a matchmaking on a business level.

In your eyes, what is special about the collaboration with DE BORD?
With us, you benefit from an operational experience which is directly considered in the consulting process. This entrepreneurial insight into the business therefore influences our work just as much as the personal and human cooperation. We design briefings and interviews on a very personal level with our customers and candidates as well. Our communication channels are short. A small team often brings big advantages, that’s for sure one of them.

Was there a moment in your career that you will keep in mind forever?
After completing my bachelor’s degree, I got the opportunity to do an internship in a magazine editorial team. A special moment for me was when I had the first magazine in hand, which I played a major role in creating it. When the week-long work suddenly manifests itself in a finished product, the joy is great. Today, I am no longer working on a physical product, but the feeling has remained: If our honest commitment results in a successful conclusion for all sides, it is a great experience.

Where are you when you are not in your office?
Since a few years now, I am really into the so-called «escape rooms»: within an hour, you have to solve puzzles and find your way out of the room. It’s fun and almost addicting! Apart from that, I like to spend time with my be-loved ones or with a good book.

 

Fabienne Kälin

How long have you been working for DE BORD INTERNATIONAL, and how did you get here?
I am part of the DE BORD INTERNATIONAL team since July 2018. At that time, I was living in Spain and from there I was looking for a new challenge in Switzerland because my semester in Spain was slowly coming to an end. I worked part-time for DE BORD for a year – until I finished my studies. After that, I increased my workload and today I am responsible for the marketing and communication strategy and I have the opportunity to gain my first experience as a junior consultant in the area of ??executive search.

What fascinates you about your work at DE BORD INTERNATIONAL?
The variety in my work, which I can experience every day. I like to bring in my communication and marketing knowledge and to implement it on an operational level. I also like the exchange and interaction with very different and interesting personalities in the area of ??executive search.

In your eyes, what is special about the collaboration with DE BORD?
The high sense of quality in all actions represents an enormous added value for customers and as well candidates.

Was there a moment in your career that you will keep in mind forever?
Absolutely. That was when I worked at De Sede AG as an after-sales manager. At that time, in addition to Switzerland, I was also responsible for the partners of the countries BENELUX and Germany. We were in contact with each other almost every day and yet I had never seen many of the partners face to face. During the IMM (international furniture exhibition) in Cologne, I was able to get to know them personally and to exchange ideas with them. It was definitely an exciting experience for me.

Where are you when you are not in your office?
Dancing, playing tennis or riding are personal energy boosters for me. I also enjoy being outside in nature and spending time with my family. The physical movement gives me the necessary boost for a balanced mind.

 

Previous Posts:

How your next interview is going to be a success
Download PDF

Digital Transformation: supporting structures
Download PDF

Digital transformation in the construction industry:
Download PDF

Interview Andrea Nienaber & Hans-Rudolf Zellweger:
Download PDF

Interview Annina Haller & Fabienne Kälin:
Download PDF

Merry Christmas:
Download PDF

Dangers of a Generation Gap:
Download PDF

Interview Jean-Michel Fürst & Axel Riester:
Download PDF

New look of DB:
Download PDF

Axel Riester joines DB:
Download PDF

Fiducia – new collaboration with Asia:
 Download PDF

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