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Stephan Löw on the challenges of recruiting executives

Mr. Löw, which influencing factors determine your business today?

We are currently dealing with a combination of various factors. One is of course demographic change. There is a lot of talk about this subject within the companies but few have developed clear concepts on handling existing employees and the consequences on recruitment. There is now an increasing awareness that a 50-year-old employee still has at least 15 years of work ahead and, with his expertise and experience, is able to make a valuable contribution to the further development of the company. On the other hand, more and more companies are fortunately ready to allocate responsibilities on the basis of achievement and therefore to provide young professionals with opportunities at an earlier point than before.

...and on the part of the candidates?

Unfortunately, we are witnessing more frequently the consequences of the so-called “employee market”. Candidates try to keep their different options open and are rather non-committal in their communication. This is a fact that not only we observe as personnel consultants, but also that companies often learn during the staffing process. Another aspect is the shift in values in our society. The job is no longer the central issue for everyone; today, the social environment, location, family and self-realization also play a much bigger role in deciding for or against a new professional perspective.

How are you reacting to this?

For us, it means clarifying the basic conditions that are personally important for the candidate from the outset. We communicate openly and transparently and expect the same from the candidate, since it is not our aim to talk somebody into a new position.

Are you always successful with this method?

Generally, yes. Together with our experienced research team and our consultants, we have many experts who with their necessary intuitive skills and professionalism are able to sense even those signals found "between the lines."

Are you pleased with the developments in the applicant market?

That is not the question. It is our task to scrutinize ourselves permanently and to adjust our processes and recruitment methods to the prevailing circumstances. This is the only way we can constantly provide our customers with outstanding service. And this is what makes our work varied and exciting and what challenges us on a daily basis.