BREADHUNTER’s Q1 news: Learnings from the last 33 month, smart-headhunting and prospects for 2017

Some silent time went by the last weeks without blog posts, because this is now more a creative and busy time for me, but you are right I owe you a short update what’s going on with Mr. BREADHUNTER and his thoughts and ideas at the moment I am working on.

So after leaving Talentor and being back in march from my inspiring New York trip, there is now a time of fine tuning concerning new headhunting products and clients business needs.

I have checked also my facts & figures from the last 33 month at Talentor, where I had ca 1.268 video-calls out of 8.987 screenings with interesting boutique headhunting companies around the globe and I am glad, that I could bring during this time ca. 12 countries(9 partners) to Talentor and fulfill my sales goals extraordinary, but it was also very sad for me to see on the other hand, that 10 countries left the network during this 33 month period I was there.

Maybe you know it, how it feels being in the third line of a hierarchic company with many ideas, but you can’t change and influence the strategy by your market feedback, then it’s mostly time to say good-by, instead of becoming a 9–5 worker without any passion and fire inside. This reason and the changing flags in the map on the website, led me in the end to the decision to leave Talentor in February 2017.

I learned a lot trough out my daily talks to many companies worldwide(which was a real sisyphos work, making 10 video calls per day for 3 years) and could expand my personal network, and this was a great experience. I also enjoyed the tool and innovation sessions I made during the Talentor Partner meetings twice a year, to bring new input and innovation headhunting tools to the international researchers and consultants which are great people! and who adopted my input very fast. (Hello Sweden, Hello Norway, Hello Romania, Hello Czech Republic ! :-) )

My conclusion: It’s good to have partners around the world with the same mindset, quality and business ideas, but I am not sure, if a franchise model is a good business model for this headhunter industry of sharks, especially in times of a sharing culture, disruptive innovation, internet, easy information- and cultural-exchange.

My opinion: Global business networks are getting important, but if you are a business person with good contacts and friends, you can trust around the globe, you don’t need a business network you pay for, because trust and friendship you can’t buy and LOVE either. :-p

So, now back to April 2017.

At the moment I work on my personal headhunting optimization, because I think it’s always good to review your own workflows every 2 years and implement new, more easy ways to your workflows. This will bring benefit to clients, companies and candidates. At the moment we do have the problem, that many people shout loud DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, but work with tools and workflows from the 90ties and have no idea, what smart-working means, instead of marketing.

“As simple as possible” will be more relevant for us in these times of mass-information and social media overload, especially in daily business life. In headhunting it’s more and more important to be efficient, because than you have more time for personnel talks with clients and candidates and therefore I like simplicity and good time saving business tools. A CRM system or ATS, where you have to click 50 times e.g. to bring a contact trough the process, filling in long forms into databases and make many clicks trough a system is not my choice of a software. I am happy to say, that my administration load is maximum 15%, so I do have 85% time for meetings clients, candidates and the sourcing.

I also do time tracking of all 7 relevant to do’s since 5 years, which helps you also to optimize your offers and products for clients and candidates.

The experience from my last 18 years in executive search & headhunting, where I did also a lot of direct search and sourcing, showed me, that you need e.g. for a classical direct search, until you have maybe 5–10 candidates for the shortlist, at minimum 120–200 working hours. (This time is for social media search and classical direct search by cover stories together.) OK, there are lucky punches also in finding candidates via your personal network or project experience, but there are also a lot of hard specialist vacancies and executive search, where you need just this time to work successfully. This is also the reason, why sometimes only the research costs are around 12 k € to ensure a good research quality. So, be alert as a client, if you are looking for a candidate since 6 month and a headhunter promises you, he will find it in 2 weeks for a 4 k € fee.

It’s important, “to screen people, not just applicant letters!” as a headhunter.

The research / sourcing has to be done well and costs a lot of money and working hours(a cake in the oven need also at least 45–60 minutes and is not ready in 10 minutes), but you can save money on doing the interview by yourself, because you have an HR intern, so why to pay double for the interview ?!

Finding the right candidate is the core of headhunting, not making the interview with a fitting candidate the research has found, but this is a sick system, which is tradition in headhunting, that the research did always the main work, but is on the deepest step of the headhunting food chain, another BIG Topic all recruiters have experienced. :-)

Another point is, that my partners and me never do more than 3–4 projects parallel, because the project will not move in a good quality. It’s horrible, if you think about the mass recruiting companies worldwide, where employees work like robots on 25 projects parallel, which means 2 hours for each project per week, 15 minutes per candidate interviews, resume selling and placing humans just by skill and keyword matching, instead of human 2 human qualities and team match. It’s the same difference in recruiting like with fast food and organic food, but from the first one, your company will get sick after a while or has 90% robotic employees, working from 9–5 without brain and passion.

This is also the reason, why I work on international projects with boutique headhunting companies, having 10–20 employees, working smart and fast, with a high quality level and no price dumping. We have to implement more Human 2 Human into recruiting and HR and make a step back to sustainability by hiring new employees, than burning employees by not-smart and inhuman workflows just for the profit.

Ok, a long article again, but a short update. Drop me a line if you have ideas, input or if you need a high quality partner on your side. It’s great to have around 10 k #followers here on #LinkedIn and I really like your interaction, emails and discussions we had.

Greetings from Vienna and more real news in summer…

Mr. Breadhunter, the Headhunter > Thomas Zahlten

www.thomaszahlten.com