Interesting Executive Search Case from Recruit Alliance Practice

Executive Search is the selection of highly specialized specialists and TOP managers by attracting targeted, often already employed, people to a client’s vacancy. Sometimes cases of executive search firms are classified information related to unfair competition. And sometimes – unusual stories that are interesting to share over a cup of tea. We will leave closed information for internal use and talk about finding people of non-trivial professions.

A beloved client, an experienced investor and the owner of a dozen successful companies, turned to our office in Kiev for the executive search service. He says: “I have a dream …” and asks to help find the best rabbit breeder in Ukraine. A person must have rich experience, high KPI and appropriate soft skills. The search gave 3 weeks maximum. Within the agreed period, we the agency announces to the client a list of candidates who are ready to leave their work on the farms and start their project. But in response: “Thank you, for now postpone. Better hire me a nut cultivator. ” I must say that the task has changed more than once, but has always been closed. Because the main rule in executive search services is to fulfill the promise.

Another interesting case is the search for biotechnologists to move to Iceland. It is believed that Ukrainian biotechnology is one of the best in the world in terms of its scientific base. Other wishes: English, at least some experience (ideally 3 years) and readiness for relocate. The pool of candidates was drawn up quickly enough, but – that’s not the problem — on the day the proposal was prepared, each applicant didn’t have something to do: they either approved a graduate school of a dream in the USA, then there were notes in the passport about visiting undesirable countries. As a result, it was possible to collect not the entire list, but those who left still send postcards and thank for the opportunity. Nicely 🙂

It often happens that the executive search process is slowed down due to the personal unwillingness of the client to accept a new person in the team. He cannot trust a hired specialist or simply leave operational matters to a new team member. Therefore, we recommend colleagues not to be afraid to work with the fears of their customers. Do not give them impossible promises, take care of your reputation and then the client will trust, and the vacancy will be successfully closed for each of the parties.

All materials are based on personal experience and published with the consent of the participants.


To be a recruiter is to be a sensitive empathy, a good psychologist and an understanding person. To be honest, a recruiting agency is a kind of filter that saves time and nerves for business owners (or other decision-makers) and applicants.

But sometimes candidates do not understand that being honest in an interview is a way to quickly find a truly “their” place of work. At such moments, the recruitment manager should correctly consider hidden motives, making communication as transparent as possible. Here are some ways to understand what lies at the interview:

  • The candidate changes the rhythm of speech on uncomfortable questions (to be sure, use different formulations for the same topic). When inventing starts on the go, the applicant spends more time preparing the wording, due to which there are pauses, and the general pace slows down.
  • The number of parasitic words is growing (all of these: mmmm, that’s, so to say, uh). Similar to the previous situation, thinking time is replaced by verbal garbage. On the other hand, if a person does not speak very much due to the profession, then this may be a personal quality and have nothing to do with assessing the level of truthfulness.
  • Uses sayings to hide insecurity in his words and a desire to hedge against an “eternal” argument, to make a concession. These words: in principle, in general, in general, quite often, and so on.
  • Nonverbal manifestations. It is difficult for a person to control both speech and the body at the same time, because closed poses, rapid breathing, stiffness, and redness of the skin signal a possible deception. At the same time, this can be a banal excitement, therefore it is better to select personnel in the company of professionals.
  • The job seeker uses “avoiding” the answer or excessive rationalization. Care is an attempt to hide unpleasant information behind common phrases or socially acceptable language. Rationalization is the use of complex designs that, in fact, do not give a direct answer. There is only one way to deal with them: to give unexpected questions that are as different as possible from the template ones.

In fact, each hr-manager has his own proven methods, which can only be supplemented with our examples. There are questions – write us, we will consult.

Which professions are most promising

To be a recruiter means always keeping abreast of global news. Knowing about the main trends in the US labor market, one can gradually describe future requests to a recruitment agency. However, many non-resident employers are already asked to select specialists of rare professions. Which ones you will learn from our translation of the Technology Review of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) each year publishes a list of the most breakthrough technologies in the global economy. This year, MIT Technology Review attracted the cooperation of Bill Gates and the following areas of work, he recommends to pay attention:

  1. Robotics (in particular, work with agility). Today, the robot can easily perform the programmed volume of tasks, but once it is shifted slightly in space, the processes will stop. Learning artificial intelligence is now in first place for requests in the United States and other promising countries. Even in the selection of personnel from Ukraine there are requests for those familiar with AI.
  2. New wave of nuclear power. New nuclear designs promise to make this energy source safer and cheaper. Among them are the decay reactors of the fourth generation, the evolution of traditional structures; small modular reactors; and fusion reactors, a technology that seems forever unattainable. Developers of IV generation collapse projects, such as TerrestPower (which was made by Bill Gates as an investor) and TerraPower from Washington, entered into a research partnership with utilities, aiming for a full power supply in the 2020s. It sounds, perhaps, too optimistically, but still people are attracted to this area all the time.
  3. Prediction of preterm labor. American scientists believe that one of the most difficult problems of medicine is the birth of premature babies (today it is 1 child out of 10). A number of startups are developing safe tests to determine the vibrations in seven genes that are associated with preterm birth. For example, Quake has already learned to fix fluctuations through a blood test for quite reasonable money – $ 10. But this is only the beginning for such a promising and socially important direction in medicine.
  4. Another example from medicine is technology optimization. In particular, the creation of an intestinal probe in the form of a tablet, which can be used to study the gastrointestinal tract without the use of anesthesia in adults and children of all ages. The global goal is to minimize discomfort, but at the same time, get the maximum image, including a three-dimensional image and a small section.
  5. Meat substitutes. In 30 years, the planet’s population will increase to almost 10 billion people. And this people will be much richer, the level of consumption of various goods will grow exponentially, which does not bode well for the environment. For example, meat consumption will increase by 70 percent and the only way to preserve the natural resources necessary for keeping cows and other “meat” animals is to find a laboratory analogue to meat. Already today, companies from the Netherlands are engaged in the cultivation of muscle tissue, but the main focus of the day is the taste of the product. If scientific research is yours, then be sure to explore this promising direction.

If your field of activity was mentioned above and you do not know where to look for specialists, then contact us for an Executive search. For over 15 years we have successfully found representatives of the most unusual and rare professions.


The client asked to find the best specialist in the market. You selected several people, conducted interviews with them. And now, after more than two weeks, the customer company can not make a choice. Another couple of days and you are going to make a new pool of candidates. Why it happens – read on.

Today we are armed with information from social studies, surveys and analytics of our partners – international recruiting agencies. In addition, we will try to shift the emphasis to another team – candidates for the position.

The 3Gem survey, conducted in January 2018, was attended by 9,000 full-time Top-managers from 11 countries. According to their report, 67% of the interviewed employees accepted the second job offer, because waiting for at least some response from the first “dream job” lasted too long. Moreover, 70% of applicants reported that they “switch over” to the next vacancy, if the recruiter does not contact them in the next couple of days. Please note that this is not a notice of acceptance for a job, but a minimum feedback with approximate predictions on the timing of a decision.

Only 12% of respondents found it acceptable to spend a month waiting for feedback about an interview. So the remaining 8 out of 10 candidates will assume that your recruitment agency did not meet their expectations. Because first of all they are speaking with you.

On the other hand, an anonymous survey of Glassdoor, which was attended by about 84,000 people in search of work from 25 countries, showed that the “interview” stage takes more than a month. So, for the lower positions this practice can be general.

How can a recruiting agency make the process as effective as possible for each of the parties?

  1. Determine deadlines with the client to prepare the candidate for the waiting time
  2. Check with the applicant of his temporary possibilities, whether he is considering other proposals. Determine the level of interest in working with the client company
  3. In the event of an exit from the schedule, politely remind about the deadlines. If you realize that the process is delayed for a long time, remind about the risks
  4. Stay in touch with the candidate, regardless of the feedback of the client company

It so happens that the candidate is intelligent, but the head of company-customer is confused by something. Try to talk with the client about 3 main questions (can he do the work? does he make an impression of the interested specialist? how is he better / worse than other candidates?) And then it will be easier to determine the true cause.
Do not fool and do not give false hopes.
And do not forget the main thing: the task of the recruiter is to smooth out difficult moments, to be support and an experienced comrade for each of the parties. Owning the art of recruitment, you can close even the most difficult job.

Especially if you hire to search Recruit Alliance team.


As a rule, high-level professionals do not look for work through Job Search Site. You will most likely find a pair of suitable resumes in the general database, but the likelihood that the first selected specialist will immediately come to your job is minimal. Moreover, almost all of these questionnaires will either be irrelevant or placed for the sake of monitoring the level of wages in the market.

In our experience, half of the potential candidates have never posted their resumes on Job Search Site. And did not explore it for interesting proposals. These people are ” found” through narrow-profile communities, thematic events, with recommendations, or lured away from other companies. Therefore, the search for such specialists takes time and very delicate negotiation tactics. And it is the recruitment agency that knows how to interview several candidates, while maintaining the confidentiality of each parties.

Important conditions for Executive Search:

– Employed candidates may fear your call, suspecting a “test of loyalty” from the current leadership. Here, by the way, is not an easy moment for everyone – sometimes the failure of one specialist can shorten an already short list to 2 people, which will affect the performance indicators of the headhunter. Therefore, a good recruitment agency works on a proven communication algorithm. Inexperienced HR managers can do a lot of harm in this situation.

– Reputational risks escalating in small markets. In areas where is only 10-15 large companies work and all the chief engineers are good know each other, word of mouth works well. Some unsuccessful negotiations with an incompetent hunter, and the reputation of a careless employer will be fixed for a long time. At the same time, positive negotiations, even without a positive result, can bear fruit in a year, two or three.

– Understand the difference between finding an ordinary employee and a unique specialist. A large resume database on job search sites is no guarantee that at least one of them will meet expectations. Unfortunately, many tend to exaggerate their abilities on paper, and in order to understand the real level of competence, you will have to go through more than one stage of interviewing.

– Awareness of the risks, when the deadlines grow. If in Ukraine there are only two necessary specialists, then choosing between them in the period of 6 months means losing both. Without a clear timing and constant contact with the candidate, this nuance can be missed

– Salary is not always the deciding factor. Good specialists can already choose between other types of motivations, since they are provided with high wages in any of the companies. In order to immediately determine the type of future employee and understand whether a 50-year-old design engineer is suitable for a team with an open-mind and an open-space-office, you need to be more than just a hiring manager.

The list is endless, but the main conclusion is: if you want to get a result, trust the professionals. The Recruit Alliance team for almost 20 years successfully closes all possible personnel searches for Ukrainian and foreign companies.

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