Interaction between recruitment and career development

Interview with Mr. Martin Krill, Member of the Executive Board of Hager Unternehmensberatung GmbH, Partner of Horton International

Martin Krill (PresseBox) ( Frankfurt, )
Successful recruitment and efficient career development offer competitive advantages for companies today – and even more so in future. Therefore, these topics should not be dealt with exclusively internally but also by making good use of external resources.

1. Mr. Krill, which areas represent the key consultancy focuses of Hager/Horton?
Hager Unternehmensberatung advises clients on a broad range of HR issues. With the help of our comprehensive service portfolio, Employment Lifecycle Solutions®, we are able to provide consultancy support for the entire professional life cycle. Employment Lifecycle Solutions ® (ELS) is a holistic consulting portfolio consisting of four different segments:
Placement of suitable candidates, evaluation of employee potential, development of employees’ personal skills and also support for individual change processes. With this focus, we strive to cover all personnel consultancy requirements in a market in which conditions are constantly changing. The idea is to offer a service that fully meets the needs of customers and also represents real added value.

We have also introduced our own unique, modular process flow for recruitment, the 4i process®.

Our experts employ the 4i process® to ensure that our customers’ vacancies are filled with exactly the right candidates. This systematic approach is unique on the market and is the result of 20 years of experience in filling a diverse range of positions. It is based on intensive analyses carried out during our close collaborations with our clients and candidates.

2. How do you differ from your competitors on the market in this respect?
We do not merely identify and suggest potential candidates for our clients, but rather accompany them through a step-by-step process that is unique in the industry. We motivate suitable candidates to take part in the application process. Some of these are also candidates who have not yet given any thought to changing jobs. We screen candidates in a multi-stage interview process, checking their suitability and competence from all relevant sides. We provide guidance for both the candidates and our clients. In this way, we are able to ensure that the candidate and the client have a constant companion at their side who acts as a stakeholder and as a mediator at the same time.
3. How does Hager Unternehmensberatung support its clients and how do they differ from other consultancies with a focus on personnel?

Our extensive expertise enables us, as a single service provider, to cover the entire working life cycle, in all its varied aspects. This means that a customer who approaches us with a personal issue can address the information for both external recruitment as well as for internal staff development directly to us. Therefore, we know, for example, which points are of importance to the company due to orientation, objectives, etc. in the field of executive search as well as internal staff development.
Furthermore, our industry expertise in the specific required fields really sets us apart from most recruiters. Our consultants are professionally deeply rooted in the segments they are responsible for – either they come directly from the respective industry or they have already been active in the industry for many years. Thus we have an extensive understanding of the customer-relevant and industry-specific issues and are able to ensure rapid implementation in accordance with the set requirements. In other words, we treat our customers as equals in all interrelated processes and use our expert viewpoints to help identify which candidates are suitable for the role. When it comes to career development, we have technical experts with decades of experience in all areas.

4. What tools do you use to filter the skills or potential of prospective candidates?
We use various methods, working to a certain extent with tools from the realm of personnel diagnostics. In terms of recruitment, we first create the appropriate candidate profile on the basis of the customer’s specific requirements. To identify potential candidates, we rely on our classic identification measures. During the search process, we combine traditional, classic methods with the use of modern media.

Our personnel evaluation involves the use of tools such as the classic assessment centre, profiling, various interview techniques (biographical, competence-based or suggestive) to create a meaningful skills profile of the candidate. These measures are related to the management audit, which helps us to identify find technical skills in addition to core competences, and can determine suitability for the respective positions.

5. Perfect staffing requires not only the appropriate professional qualifications, but also the appropriate soft skills for the specific field of activity. What skills do you expect from a leader and how do you convince yourself of the relevant qualifications?

Basically, the requested skills depend on the client and the position to be filled. Certainly, in addition to technical expertise, executives should also possess analytical and conceptual competence and have assertiveness and communication skills and also display emotional intelligence (empathy). Using the tools I mentioned previously, we are very good at identifying these skills. For example, during competency-based interviews and skilful, structured questioning, we encourage candidates to reveal their personal strengths. These procedures are similar to those which are also used in the field of human resources development.
Sometimes we rely on references to verify the information.

6. What benefits do you see in an effective combination of recruitment and personnel development?
Through our many years of market experience, we keep coming back to the realization that there are often parallels between the demands placed on personnel by our clients and the determination of the core competences both in personnel consulting and in personnel development.
In recruitment, the customer first searches for a competent partner who understands his needs and company philosophy and delivers high quality in a timely manner. This means that the customer wants to see that his needs are understood quickly and would like an appropriate candidate presented within a short time.
In personnel development, the customer expects analyses and recommendations in line with the company’s objectives and orientation, appropriate to the predetermined means available.

Our experience has shown us that the deep business insights that we have acquired during our recruitment efforts also help us to understand the human resource development needs and problems of many of our customers. The information attrition is very low here and the customer very quickly feels understood and well advised. If a customer for example internally supplies its employees with language courses, as its strategic direction is internationalized, we know that this is also an important technical expertise factor in external recruitment. This can also work the other way around when it comes to interdisciplinary topics.

7. Doesn’t the necessary interplay of various HR topics such as recruitment and staff development mean that the entire personnel consultancy business is better off in one hand?
So far, companies have often relied on various specialized recruiters. But basically, the answer to this question is a clear ‘yes’. However, you need to look even more closely at the landscape of personnel consultancies; i.e. where the links exist and where these consultancy approaches are clearly separated. When the individual fields of expertise are clearly filled with experts, it’s possible to guarantee a transfer of responsibilities without losing important information.

With Employment Lifecycle Solutions®, our holistic working life cycle portfolio, we offer our customers the opportunity to cover their personnel needs by means of recruitment, as well as to strengthen other areas internally through staff development.

8. What future developments do you expect in the management/personnel consultancy market?
In the future, management consultancies with a focus on personnel will have to set themselves apart from the competition in terms of their quality. In addition to the quality focus, the depth of the service portfolio on offer is significantly crucial. External consulting firms will not only have to focus on external recruitment to fill personnel requirements, but also personnel consultancy and staff development to offer the customer synergy effects – such as with our above-mentioned ELS model.

In this way, the company can be more economical in its HR processes and put its trust in an external consulting company.
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