Executive search solutions are becoming increasingly popular across the world, including African countries such as Kenya and South Africa. The outbreak of COVID-19 negatively affected the operational and strategic activities of many firms globally. Today, many firms are still combatting the effects of the deadly disease.
Firms were forced to look for viable and sustainable solutions in efforts to remain operational during these tough times. One such area that presented a viable solution for firms is the executive search industry.
Executive search is the process of using specialized recruitment and staffing practices to attract highly skilled senior management talent to a given organization. According to many surveys and studies, Africa represents a viable option for many international businesses seeking to expand into emerging markets.
For this reason, many firms prefer working with executive recruitment companies because of their expertise, industry knowledge, and a massive database of executive candidates.
Not only that, but many African states, including Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt, and South Africa, have their own domestic companies that significantly benefit from executive search services. Since the concept is fairly new to most, the following article will shed light on executive search firms and Kenya trends.
Here are details about how executive search firms work and the industry prospects in the Kenyan market.
As mentioned above the executive recruitment firms help companies find and secure top talent for senior managerial roles. Top executive search firms such as Flexi Personnel have connections and networks within many industries and sectors. But some operate within a specific sector
The executive search process is also known as headhunting, with search firms popular called head-hunters. Head-hunters are best known for their proactive approach to staffing, which does not solely rely on traditional hiring methods.
Retained executive search advocates fill more and more senior-level positions in a company, especially when compared to other traditional hiring processes. These recruiters work for client organizations to help them with the hiring process.
Executive candidates are not ones to look out for job listings posted on websites and newspapers, and rightly so. Many decent to excellent executive job opportunities are often not advertised. Such job opportunities for senior executives are exclusively handed to them with a focus on confidentiality.
With the help of the executive search firm, a business can bridge the talent gap. The search organization provides a list of qualified candidates for the business to choose from. The aim is to try and get as many qualified candidates from a massive pool of executive candidates.
As mentioned above C level, managerial positions (C -suite) are rarely advertised even by executive search firms. For this reason, search companies look for senior candidates themselves, hence the name head-hunters.
So, to attract top talent, search companies will start by drawing up a long list of potential candidates. They then spend day and night vetting such candidates to ensure they all meet the necessary qualifications. But this process of research will vary from company to company.
Top companies such as Flexi Personnel, Boyden, Korn Ferry, and Spencer Stuart have a wide network and database of top-level senior candidates. They gather such portfolios from years of experience and are often the best companies to consider when looking for your next executive
There are two types of executive search consultants /companies; retained executive search firms and contingency executive search firms. Client companies contact both to help bridge the gap in senior talent.
Retained executive search firms are headhunters who work on a contract basis with the client company. They thrive on providing executives with a specific position or a specific job description. For their efforts, they are paid a fee called a retainer fee when the client is chosen and hired.
A retained search can last up to 90 days as the lengthy process entails extensive research and consulting. For this reason, the recruiters need payment to facilitate this process.
Such firms have for long been considered expensive or extravagant. This is because many can charge up to 33% of the total executive compensation. So, why would you use a retained executive search firm while there are cheaper options?
Cost isn’t everything. The cost of having a bad hire is almost three times the salary of the individual in question, which is astronomically higher than the retainer fee. So, such headhunters are costly, but they provide value for money. Remember, price is what you pay, and value is what you get.
Also, retainer recruiters will give certain guarantees. For instance, if the candidate is not successful, they will conduct a new search at no extra cost. This also goes for any other placement.
Contingency recruiters are headhunters who fill the talent gaps, especially in entry-level positions. One key difference between retained head-hunters and contingency headhunters is that the latter operates on a no placement no fee basis, while the former is paid regardless of the success of the search process.
Also, retained firms have a broader portfolio of candidates than contingency headhunters. This owes to the fact that the research process is more extensive and lengthier than the model used by contingency headhunters.
Now that you know all about executive search firms, how does the search process work?
Are you looking for your next executive in Kenya? There are certain processes that you should know before commencing the search.
The executive search begins with an in-depth analysis of your business needs in relation to executive positions. The executive search company will help with determining the skills and talent gap that need bridging. One added advantage of using executive search firms is that they bridge the ‘insight gap,’ which is important in the search process.
After assessing your organizational needs with respect to executive recruitment, the net step that executive search firms take is to determine a search strategy. This strategy will help you identify candidates with relevant skills, qualifications, and experiences, among other factors.
Top executive search firms in Kenya such as Flexi Personnel develop a long list of the highly skilled and qualified prospects for the C level managerial position. This list is what is commonly referred to as a candidate talent pool.
There are many ways in which executive search firms arrive here. For starters, top search companies such as Flexi Personnel use their extensive connections, networks, and years of experience in different niches and industries to arrive at the best candidates. Some put up job alerts to websites and newspapers. However, this method is often not effective.
With the help of the executive search firm, your business should be able to attract top talent. The next step would be to approach these individuals and test their interest in the given role. Depending on their interest, the next step would be to evaluate the candidates.
Evaluation, in this case, refers to conducting a rigorous assessment to determine the candidate’s skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities to determine whether they are a perfect fit for the job.
After screening the candidates, the next step that the executive search firm follows is to select a few from the massive list of executive prospects. Interviews and scheduled appointments are soon to follow.
Once screening is complete, the organization can now move forward with the selected candidate. It is worth knowing that the candidate will have checked all the boxes required for competency in the senior role. Negotiations about compensation follow as the executive search comes to an end.
Headhunting is an incredibly effective and convenient service. However, identifying the best search service provider could spell trouble for organizations, especially those new to the industry. However, consider the following guidelines when choosing a search firm in Kenya.
As mentioned earlier, Africa, particularly nations such as Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria, presents international and domestic corporations opportunities to expand in these emerging markets. With access to vast natural resources and an abundant workforce, it’s only a matter of time before Africa catches up to the rest of the world in terms of development.
However, securing an effective workforce, especially at the senior level, has its own challenges. A survey of CEOs from all over the world revealed that the number one business decision plaguing them revolves around recruitment and employee turnover.
In addition, companies need to be wary of the unfortunate costs resulting from ‘bad hires.’ Bad hires simply refer to hiring candidates who are not a fit for the company because of poor hiring practices, qualifications, low skill levels, and poor adaptation to the organizational culture. Bad hires especially at the senior level can be costly.
According to a survey, the cost of a bad hire is approximately 2.5 times the individual’s salary in question. Not only that, but 95% of all hiring managers have admitted to making bad hiring choices.
All these factors have led companies, especially those looking to set up shops in Africa, to seek executive search firms’ help. Besides, they are well equipped to help companies with their managerial problems because of their industry knowledge and experience.
So, should you use an executive search firm in Kenya? Absolutely! Not only will they help you with your executive staffing requirements, but they will play an advisory role on your next project, giving valuable insights as you are headed to the desired strategic direction.
Besides, what better way to ensure against bad hiring practices or lengthy recruitment processes than by using executive search services?
Expanding into emerging markets similar to those in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa can be challenging for any company. This is especially true for companies looking to recruit top talent to help them achieve organizational goals.
However, this process doesn’t have to be challenging. With the help of a top executive search firm such as Flexi Personnel, it is possible to attract highly skilled top talent. The last thing you would want is to end up with a crop of bad executive hires end up mounting losses on your organization’s profitability.
That’s where we come in. Flexi Personnel is one of Kenya’s top providers of human-resources management solutions. We have developed a knack for top talent over the years, and as a result, we have established ourselves as a C-suite and executive search powerhouse.
Having over 12 years of experience, we have learned all the secrets and managerial insights in the African region, establishing our presence in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria, among many other states. Flexi Personnel is committed to providing high calibre services matched with high standards of professionalism.
Our experience has led us to compile a vast network of connections and databases featuring top executive candidates from all different parts of the world. Additionally, we rigorously screen our candidates to ensure that we meet our clients’ leadership needs in line with their strategic direction.
We would like to work with you on your next project. Feel free to contact us today at Flexi Personnel for C-suite, executive search, and other human-resources management solutions.