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Digital Technology has Become a key Platform in Management Staffing

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Digital recruitment channels have profoundly changed the selection process in management staffing, says Jacques de Jager, head of executive search at Trenkwalder Hungary, who gives us a brief insight about the main challenges of the recent developments.

Jaques de Jager, Executive Recruitment Manager at Trenkwalder Hungary

How has managerial and executive level staffing developed over the past few years?

The rapid evolution of digital recruitment channels and tools allowing quicker access to potential candidates has had a major impact on candidate sourcing at all levels. This has also led to an increase in the degree of in-house sourcing activities by corporate HR teams.

Are there any particular issues in the areas of onboarding, retention and attrition?

In the area of onboarding, the candidate experience is playing an increasing role in our ability to retain candidates throughout the sourcing process. In this regard, candidates have become very selective about the companies and leaders they wish to work for, and the first impressions created by corporate HR play a big role in this.

We have also seen a rather dramatic increase in the “time to hire” timeframe, where the selection process often takes months. If a potential employer cannot complete the hiring process within a few weeks at the outset, we have witnessed a high percentage of candidates losing interest and looking elsewhere.

Regarding retention, shadowing (i.e. the chance of moving to another position within six months to one year in a role), employer sponsorship of studies towards professional qualifications and, to an extent, international mobility, are key factors to consider in any retention policy. As for attrition, candidates often cite a lack of promotion, poor leadership and low career growth prospects as key reasons for considering a career change.

Besides a short and focused sourcing process, what are the main preferences of a candidate?

Regarding candidate preferences, working culture, leadership style, continuous professional development opportunities and company growth prospects are key factors that candidates consider when evaluating a prospective employer.

“Millennials” has become is a continuous discussion point. What is the buzz all about?

Many companies have not yet implemented policies to deal with the increasing millennial workforce who demand a shorter selection process, flexible working hours, training opportunities, purpose beyond the bottom line, and a young and vibrant workplace. Generation gaps, as well as slow or limited career growth prospects evidenced in some more traditional companies make it hard to retain talented young professionals.

Seeing the challenges posed by the recent changes in recruitment, what are the new requirements regarding corporate HR teams?

The development of inclusive leaders at all levels, who are capable of engaging with their workforce to drive performance and increase retention, is a key necessity in today’s business world. Talent development and succession should be given priority, as should the need to extend boundaries to create new leadership development opportunities.

As for HR, this is a rapidly changing function in a modern world, where the old model is being replaced by a young, agile and employee-experience driven approach responsible for nurturing tomorrow’s talent.

How do you see management and executive level staffing developing in the near future?

Technology and digitalization are huge disrupters in the field of candidate sourcing. In particular, digital mobile technology will become a key platform in the identification and onboarding of candidates at all levels. As our digital lives become more open for the world to see, the ability to gain instant and deeper insights into candidates will be a major force shaping the screening and selection processes. Those individuals who continue to shun social media will increasingly be left in the dark, as recruiters focus their efforts exclusively on digital recruitment tools.

Additionally, agencies who do not adapt to this new paradigm will find it increasingly difficult to satisfy employer demands for quicker and more cost-effective recruitment solutions. This is why Trenkwalder’s strategy puts a sharp focus on digitalization of the recruitment processes as well.

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