Executive Search Process from the Candidate’s Point of View

by Uroš Mihajlovic, Executive Placement Consultant at ManpowerGroup


We dare say that ten years ago, when ManpowerGroup entered the Serbian market, neither clients nor candidates were particularly informed about the executive search process, so the main task of all of us who worked within human capital solutions was, in the widest sense, to introduce the industry and its services. The situation has greatly changed since and today we face a plethora of demands to find, evaluate and hire the best candidates in a short amount of time, and to be a firm support and a partner to our clients on the one hand, and to continue a long-lasting professional relationship with the candidates as their career consultants on the other.

The perspectives and points of view on the Executive Search process may differ depending on the stakeholders, however, the real question today is – how do candidates perceive the Executive Search process?

I would like to make the story more interesting by spicing it up with “What our clients think we do/ What our candidates think we do/ What we actually do”, but the market is rather mature. Apart from ads and personal connections and recommendations, Executive Search has become one of the main sources of change of employer and career growth for our candidates. The candidates are educated and, in addition to the process itself and the brand of the company issuing the call, the personal relationship with the consultant is most important. That personal mark and global ManpowerGroup practices is something that connecting us all, making us responsible, I would even say, completely obligated to ensure the maximum degree of confidentiality, professionalism and partnership. For it is our professionalism that dictates how much of candidates’ trust we will earn, and I consider that trust in Executive Search is the crucial aspect. The candidates must trust you, and in order for them to trust you, you have to possess integrity which is hard to build and obtain, and easy to lose. In addition, it is important to note that the process itself is very important to the candidates, and in relation to them, it is linked to several phases rounded by confidentiality: contacting, one on one relationship, presenting an appropriate opportunity, assessing, short list and feedback. Trust in our process is something that empowering us. Often, the process involves testing their competencies and personalities, because ultimately in the final stage of the process nuances will be the weight on the balance that will guide our clients in their decision.

Executive search presents an excellent approach for top managers who have a dilemma how to proceed further in their careers, they are not on the labour market for a long time, executive search is their best and easiest way for them to pursuit new opportunities.

In ManpowerGroup Serbia, we pay special attention to the internal trainings on ethics, as well as confidentiality and relationship with our candidates. Every candidate is a unique case, notwithstanding the usual differences stemming from their different backgrounds (e.g. IT industries vs. the others) or age – there are noticeable differences regarding different generations, from millennials and Z (to a lesser degree since not many of them have reached executive positions) to baby boomers, X and Y. We always take into account all the relevant parameters before we contact the candidate for the ES process. The approach is important, and the stress is on explaining the selection and recruiting process itself, making perfectly clear what is expected and what are the rules of the game! I have to admit that what the candidates appreciate most is the feedback, regardless of the outcome, the bottom line is that every candidate who has participated in the process should be provided with a timely, honest and meaningful feedback.

Uroš Mihajlović, Executive Placement Consultant
Uroš Mihajlovic is an Executive Placement Consultant at ManpowerGroup Serbia since December 2017. He started his career as an intern on a talent management project with an aim to find future professionals for the company while still at universities.  Mr. Mihajlović possesses almost 5 years of experience in Human Capital Solution industry with special focus on Executive Search. His practise is an honest, in-depth and open approach to the C-level and Board Member Executives as a key to long term success.


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