I recall just over three years ago having a coffee for the first time with our CEO Trefor Murphy and I made a comment along the lines of “the industry is due for a change, it’s inevitable…”. I wasn’t sure how that comment would be perceived in our first ever face to face meeting. Over the past couple of years, months and recent weeks; this change has been evident as we witness significant increase in activity surrounding acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships being formed between executive search firms, HR service firms, online recruitment and business platforms and assessment centres amongst some of the world’s most recognisable names in the HR and staffing industry.
Cooper Fitch and the HR industry, just like other industries we serve, whether it be in banking and finance or pharmaceutical are not immune to go through periods of change, consolidation or strategic shifts. So what has driven this movement?
Economic slowdown and recruitment cutbacks
Definitely an impact on HR firms globally, but this has also opened up opportunities within organisations to focus on improving the current internal strategies, processes and review benchmarks. This has allowed firms the platform to work closer with their clients.
Innovation and Technology
LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…what’s next? There’s always something new! All the current forms of social media platforms are starting to play a key role at capitalizing their resources in the business world to ensure candidates and clients are connected. Online job boards will evolve and we have already seen one major acquisition in this space.
Leveraging resources, distribution channels and data
Firms have tens and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of clients and candidates’ details. Sponsorship and high salaries of sports stars are driven by 'eye-balls' and the HR world is no different. Firms want to ensure they are using their contacts and relationships to maximise their exposure to added sources of revenue as well as to protect sources of revenue in market downturns and shifts.
Increase success rates of hire and minimising risks of hiring the wrong person
There have been numerous surveys of data released on the cost of hiring the wrong person, particularly at a senior level. If there has ever been more of a reason to get it right, it is now.
Improve onboarding and integration process of new appointments
The process of appointing a senior leader from budget approval to job specification, search, selection, the offer is a timely and costly one and can take three to six months at times and can involve various stakeholders. The stakes are high with time invested, direct profit and loss responsibility, internal employee engagement and external market brand reputation. It is critical that not only have you appointed the right person, but they are integrated into their new role successfully. Search and selection is one piece of the puzzle, but how quickly they can deliver results and gel with the cultural fit of the organisation is ever critical.
Focus on solutions and service-centric
How many times have we heard “we are different, we are trusted advisors”? Let’s be real, a trusted advisor is one who has built a strong enough relationship with their partnered clients that their clients come to them to discuss their business challenges; whether it be a bespoke Compensation & Benefits project, a piece of market data or their professional opinion on an operational matter.
Cooper Fitch with a legacy since 1997 in the Middle East has also seen an increase in transformation in the industry regionally. Demands of clients have increased beyond just search and selection of talent but to increase the success of appointments, developing existing leadership talent, increasing the efficiency of hire and improving the integration of leaders.
My comment over three years ago was well received by our CEO Trefor Murphy back then and still now. I look forward to your comments and please feel free to check out our website to learn more about how we have been partnering with clients in the region.
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