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By Steve Margalit, FPC Recruitment Training Consultant

The recruiting industry has experienced many changes since its creation in the 1940’s.  Advancements in technology have changed the landscape and have forced both companies and Executive Recruiters to often adapt on the fly.  In Part II of our new series entitled “Does Anyone Care What the Recruiter Thinks?” we had the chance to sit down with an industry expert who gave us his perspective on the state of the recruiting industry and some thoughts on how the specialists in his company have been able to thrive and remain relevant.  An Engineer by trade, Ben Gidwani has been the President of FPC of Orlando and formerly of FPC of Naples for over 15 years.  He has leveraged his industry knowledge to become a trusted advisor to both his candidates and clients.

Below are some excerpts from our interview:

What types of clients have you been most successful with?

“Steve, at FPC of Orlando, we work with a variety of companies from VC based startups, to small companies, to large Fortune 500 sized companies.  I think we’ve been most successful when a company places high premium on a candidate’s specialty.  FPC is built on a network of specialists in their respective industries/disciplines.  When a company wants us to find someone special, and most importantly, is willing to communicate with us to define this, is when we are most successful. In other words, it could be that the company wants us to find someone who has a unique combination of technical skills or training, or it could be someone who is unique or different.  It is the strong bi-directional communication with the client to define their special needs is where we’ve had our greatest successes.”

What frustrates you most about working with certain companies?

“So in the search process Steve, we find it really beneficial to work closely with both the hiring managers and HR / talent acquisition. In some instances, when we work just with HR, there can be a lot of valuable information that we miss out on.  Ideally, we like to have access to the hiring manager right from the beginning of the search assignment. This helps ensure that we get all of the intangibles that would make a candidate ideal in addition to the written job spec.  Again, to avoid frustration for all parties involved, the ideal situation is for us to have contact throughout the search process with both the Hiring Manager and HR.”

What attributes do you look for when searching for candidates?

“Steve, as you know, good hiring decisions involve much more than matching skills and experience to the job description. We devote the time and effort to thoroughly understand the culture, personality, and unique needs of the client company in order to present qualified candidates who will fit smoothly and comfortably into the company. It comes down to candidate’s a) Skills b) Value and c) Commitment.”

Ben, so how do you evaluate the candidate’s skills, value’s and commitment?

“Steve, it’s not easy but the process we use a structured process to dialogue with the candidate…. it’s more than a checklist, it’s a process map:

  • Identify the candidate’s strengths and major accomplishments.
  • What distinguishes this candidate from others with similar backgrounds?
  • What types of companies would the candidate like to work for?
  • Is the candidate passive, or actively looking?

Then it becomes our job to deliver to the candidate, a new job which offers:

  • A company with a career growth opportunity.
  • Both a challenge and the opportunity to make a strong contribution.
  • A desirable geographic location.
  • An equitable and rewarding compensation package.”

In your opinion, what is the future of executive recruiting?

“Steve, by 2019, I expect that the labor market will have reached a market rigidity level that we have not seen in decades. The recent rise in the financial markets has allowed baby boomers to resume their plans to retire on an accelerated basis.  Steve, the shortage of technical people and professionals is intensified today by the global economy growing at the fastest pace since the great recession and companies are hiring. Apart from advertising, companies are growing their HR and talent acquisition teams, but these aren’t always able to deliver. What else can companies do? Turn to people like us who are specialists. Good recruiting firms are able to deliver and my opinion of executive recruiting is very bullish.”

Thank you Ben for continuing the discussion in the second part of our four part series on hiring through the eyes of an Executive Recruiter.  Your insights on the industry are appreciated.  Look for the rest of the series throughout 2018.  For more information, or to find out how we can help, feel free to reach out at smargalit@fpcnational.com.

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