Should you hire someone you already know?
The essence of any headhunting project is to take on a challenging assignment and find difficult to locate people. If it was easy the client would be able to source perfect candidates without outside assistance. Often Headhunters are brought in to locate specific individuals to open up new markets or territories abroad. In some cases organisations sell on a small scale to a new International client abroad and they realise that there is huge potential if only they had local presence. Alternatively it may be that you are noticing a spike in demand from a new region or you have adapted a solution that’s perfect for a certain location. Perhaps it’s part of your global sales strategy to broaden your horizons and look outside of your domestic market. Whatever the reason for your international expansion a good International Headhunter will add immeasurable value and guidance to your growth plans.
By retaining an International Headhunter to find a seasoned expert who is a local to your target market you can achieve so much and ensure a positive outcome in quick time. Hiring someone you already know may not always be the best solution because you have no means of comparison and the relationship may come with strings attached. Engaging in a professional search assignment can bring people to the table that you would not normally have access to, especially if they are already working for the competition. International Headhunters can open open up a whole new world in so many ways.
Firstly entering into an executive hiring process gives you a window to the market. You will be interviewing a cross section of the region’s best people who can tell you about their experiences, client relationships and successful projects. As part of the later stages of the interview format you could ask candidates to create a Business Development strategy to enter this new market based on their local knowledge and understanding of the region. They should already be familiar with the right contacts within your client base, have a network or channel in place and also know the language, cultural style and approach necessary to win business. This of course will be evident by the success they have already achieved and the key relationships they can demonstrate.
The best candidates will be local experts who are likely to be nationals of the country and will know how to set up a legal entity and which suppliers and advisors can be trusted. They will have the necessary access to a local infrastructure and inroads to the clients you need. Also they may be aware of funding, grants, trade agreements and with the help of high profile contacts – they can make things happen. Good Headhunters will be able to identify and attract these executives in International markets as long as you can create an interesting enough proposition. Why should a high flier risk their current comfortable position? Well great candidates love a new challenge and many won’t be able to resist the chance to develop a start-up office in their market. They are motivated by the opportunity to bring something new to their network and they will want the prestige of creating a success and having the chance to perhaps hire a team. Your challenge should be selecting one of the fantastic shortlisted experts to help grow your business internationally.
Author: Ed Robertson is a seasoned Marketing Manager writing about a range of topics covering executive search, employment and education. MSC Headhunters is a retained executive search firm serving corporations around the world.