by Gerhard Kenk, Crosswater Job Guide.
When I attended the First Sourcing Summit Europe Conference (#SOSEU) in Amsterdam a short while ago, I had the rare opportunity to talk to Rip van Winkle, Head of Active Sourcing at Bondstad, the leading staffing service company in the Netherlands. Quickly the discussion turned to Active Sourcing methods used today and in the past.
Van Winkle provided some insights into the century old experience his company has gained in this particular recruiting approach. When asked about the differences of the past and today, he quickly pointed out that the methods used in the 17th century and today is not a matter of approach but rather a question of technology used. He sensed my perplexed look and quickly explained to me: „Let me show you an example and a training video we use – this will make my points more convincing“.
Active Sourcing, Executive Search or Headhunting, whatever term you use in describing this recruiting approach, is a matter of team work. Not one person alone has the qualification and the experience to be succesful, it requires a dedicated team approach to deliver results: identify the qualified candidate, approach him, communicate with him and finally make him an offer he can simply not refuse.
Rip van Winkle then went on to explain the cast of characters in a modern headhunting team, just as a line-up in a theater show.
The Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, VOC, „United East India Company“ was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia. It is often considered to have been the first multinational corporation in the world and it was the first company to issue stock. It was also arguably the first megacorporation, possessing quasi-governmental powers, including the ability to wage war, imprison and execute convicts, negotiate treaties, coin money, and establish colonies. Involved in the East India spice trade, they are looking to assemble a team of staff for one of their next expedition to the spice islands and have comissioned Bondstad to fill these openings.
The elusive candidate
Pieter Stuyvesant is an elisive candidate with skills and experiences in high demand. His expert profile is sought by organisations such as the VOC in Amsterdam, as they are in the process to build a team of captains, navigators and seafarer for another discovery voyage which will lead them to the Spice Islands in Indonesia and hopefully return with precious spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stuyvesant has a very analytical mind, is a master of astronomy and possesses skills to navigate ‚cross waters.
Headhunting is a secrecy business. Large libraries with candidate data as well as customer search requests can not be allowed to be open to the public – or the competition. The Firewall Guards duty is the access protection.
Boolean String Operators
Boolean Search String Operators are extremely crucuial to the headhunting team. They posess the ability to overcome vertical limitation and are used to perform deep data base searches to quickly identify the wherabouts and to track the moves of the elusive candidate.
Global Search Expert
Gerardus Mercator is Head of Global Search. Using specially trained biological technology such as eagles or falcons, he can survey a large strip of land and identify the local position of any elusive candidate at the blink of an eye. A patent on his global search technology involving trained eagles (Geagle) is pending.
Chief Candidates Communications
The headhunting team efforts to track down qualified candidates may be all in vain if candidates are not convinced of the great career opportunity offered by a prospective client. The Chief Candidate Communications plays a crucial role in this process as he must impress the candidate with his stylish outfit and outline the candidate an offer he can not refuse. Quite often, the candidate is captured by the firewall guards and brought to a secret offsite location where the job interview is held.
As Rip van Winkle outlined the scope of the dutch experience in Active Sourcing, Executive Search and Headhunting he showed a remarkable memory of the past. It struck me that his ancestors have somehow been active in the recruiting business for many centuries. Finally, he came to the point and suggested to watch a training video demonstrating how traditional dutch headhunting approaches are applied in today’s modern consumer and business environment.
Here we go: Bring back the Recruiting Heroes