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HUNT SCANLON interviews Raffaele Jacovelli - HTP MD

Question: Why is now more than ever a great time to work with an executive search firm and what value does it add?

In a world dramatically affected by a pandemic that has changed the way we live and work with extended remote work, it becomes even more difficult to attract talents and convince them to change in a context where there is a dominant uncertainty not only about the work but more importantly about their life And especially to join a team that they don’t know and have not or barely met face to face to check if the fit and the confidence to work together is there.

If with the current tools it is much easier to identify candidates, the biggest challenge is to reach out to them, attract their attention, motivate and reassure them without being biased or being perceived as such.

As a firm specializing in digital transformation, how does a boutique specialist benefit its search clients vs. a large generalist firm?

As a boutique specialist firm, we use our size and knowledge as a competitive advantage:

Capture Attention

  • Over the past 35 years we have built our network, database and developed an ecosystem that enables us not only to identify but also reach out and leverage compelling arguments to engage potential candidates, who are not actively looking and will not apply for job posts
  • Because we are industry experts, both clients and candidates trust us for our professional approach and capability of matching the right candidate with the right job or vice versa, the right job with the right candidate
  • We have developed with our colleagues of the Reskilling practice, Assessment Tools that basically enable us to position the candidates with the right level of dept of know-how and seniority required by the role, combined with state of the art psychometric assessment tools to verify professional style and attitudes 
  • We have started our own transformation journey over 10 years ago, developing our private cloud platform that has been designed specifically to manage the recruitment process in our own industry accessible anytime anywhere by our Partners across all the geographies.

Internal vs External Recruiting

Question: How would you describe the value executive search firms provide to a firm leaning towards hiring internally?

Developing internal resources is a must, as it will be impossible to fill externally all the emerging open positions. The role of an executive search and digital talent consultancy firm in such case is articulated:

  • We help clients to define the roles they are seeking to fill, advising them about market trends, thanks to the experience matured in other companies facing the same challenges
  • Benchmarking internal candidates versus the external one is a for us a normal practice to evaluate all the options. We have developed sophisticated combined methods and tools to assess soft and hard skills, identifying the GAPs and more importantly recommend relevant actions and appropriate training/education/coaching plans to fill such gaps
  • Often, we come up with approaches that enable the recruitment of Interim/transition managers – or Fractal Executives – that help companies to kickstart their digital transformation journey, while coaching and training internal resources that then, after a period of three to 18 months, can take over or if the gaps are to big, recruit indeed externally while designing appropriate development plans for the internal candidates in the long term.

UK vs Continental Europe

Question: Would you suggest a firm located in London looks for different things in a search partner than a firm based elsewhere in Europe? Does it differ by location?

The diversity of cultures, languages, maturity among the different countries in Europe is at the same time an asset and a liability. It is an asset because leveraging where possible such diversity enables an acceleration and a faster development and cocreation. It is a liability because inevitably it may represent a barrier with respect to the understanding of local market habits, expectations, boundary conditions hence making it difficult to leverage such resources across countries.

Assuming that “one size fits all” approach could be applied is a major mistake: for this reason we have a multilingual team both among the sourcing staff and the partners level. We share common practices and methodologies while we approach candidates in their own languages in each of the countries in which we operate and knowing the local ecosystems we can cross-check that all the necessary criteria are met.

Finally, the extent of the shortage as well as the compensation levels are different in each of the European countries, hence a UK centered approach to perform searches across the continent, often doesn’t reveal effective. Especially when the credibility to the interlocutor becomes relevant in being able to reach-out to the target candidates. The Brexit has not helped also to this extent.

Our approach that combines a “glocal” well experimented framework, with an advanced use of state-of-the-art tools that minimize – if not eliminate – the frictions, allowing to spend the precious time of the search team and of the Partners on non-clerical task is a weapon to ensure predictability in accomplishing the missions in a wisely and timely manner.

For further information on this and related topics please contact us either via mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us on +32 2 663 1600


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