Best Practices For Needs Assessment In Executive Search

Needs Assessment is one of the basic starting points in the executive search process. The process of Needs Assessment not only confirms that the hire for a particular executive job is needed but it also determines how this hire would be beneficial for the organization in the long run. Needs Assessment is very important as it prevents unnecessary hiring. Once your hiring is justified, it also helps in defining the type of candidate that is needed.

Being the Top Executive Search Agency in Germany, or at least one of them, the one thing we always stress before carrying out an executive search for any company is their Needs Assessment for the particular search. It not only helps us in understanding their requirement but it also helps in laying out a better recruitment plan before the executive search.

Best Practices For Needs Assessment In Executive Search

Basic Parts of a Needs Assessment for Executive Search

In order to lay down a needs assessment plan for your executive search, the first thing you need to do is list down the current skills of your organization and try to look for the performance gaps that might require an executive position. Doing this would help you determine whether you need an executive or not. This can be done for any position be it a brand new one or the existing one. You can also use this analysis to identify new opportunities and the same can be addressed as well during the ongoing hiring process.

Once you have sufficient reason for the job, lay out a job description based on the needs you listed down. At this stage, you may be tempted to copy from the past executive job description but as we discussed earlier, with time, the requirements from even an existing post may change and hence writing down a fresh job description might be a good idea. As all the top headhunting companies in Germany make use of this job description in their executive search, making sure that it lays down your requirements clearly can ensure an effective and speedy recruitment process.

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Executive hiring is very important so spend some time determining exactly what experience and skills you are looking for. Also rewriting the job description gives leaders an opportunity to run a SWOT analysis on their previous job descriptions as well as the candidates that were hired on the basis of that description.

Once you have the job description, it is imperative to determine the urgency of filling the position as it will have an impact on the manner in which the hiring process would be carried out. Here, the recruitment agency comes into play and is especially helpful when it is a high-urgency hiring situation.

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Benefits of a Needs Assessment

Working on Needs Assessment might take a little bit of time, but in the long run, it will result in a more focused, less time consuming executive search. It could save you thousands as the more time it takes to find the perfect match, the more expensive your executive search will be. Also hiring the right person in less time would mean more productivity as well as more achievements in terms of organization’s goals.

Needs Assessment leads to a faster hiring process, as finding the right person takes less time when the needs are properly identified. Also, once the needs are clear in advance, the screening of candidates becomes faster and the shortlisting of candidates happens faster.

Lastly, needs assessment not only helps in the hiring process, but the ongoing analysis helps in identifying potential gaps which can be worked upon in order to ensure better productivity in the organization.

Best Practices For Needs Assessment In Executive Search

Importance Of EQ Over IQ In Your Executive Search In Germany

“Hiring People is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” – Howard Schultz

Irving Berlin once said, “Talent is the starting point.” In today’s age of internet, this quote still holds true and hence become even more effective because talent in reality is just a beginning. With an infinite pool of knowledge educational tools on the internet, anyone can learn various skills be it sales tactics, coding languages, Digital Marketing, Leadership skills and many more anytime. It is thus becoming difficult for companies to judge which candidate has come out to be the most promising candidate in their executive search in germany.

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With increase in skill set, what is that one thing which companies should look for before they hire any candidate? How to make sure they are hiring the right person? The answer to these questions is “Emotional Intelligence.” As one of the best executive search agency in germany, we have seen that candidates hired on the basis of their EQ are likely to be more successful in their job than the ones hired only on the basis of their IQ.

EI or Emotional intelligence, is the person’s ability to perceive, assess and navigate the emotions of oneself as well as others. The EQ of a person EQ is the measure of their motivation, empathy, self-regulation, self-awareness, and social skills. Such qualities are necessary especially when you are looking for an executive role.

Many a tims, our emotions create a hindrance in our path as we work towards important business ventures. Such emotions can also keep us from forming important social relationships. Understanding the EQ of a candidate is one of the most critical tool at your disposal in the hiring process. Creating an elaborate process to evaluate emotional intelligence, helps you uncover candidate’s true self and would reveal all the potential red flags which would prevent you from making a grave hiring mistake.

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Step 1 – Motivation

The first step in your hiring process is to judge the candidate’s motivation that is their ‘Why’. There are two types of motivators that prompt a person to seek a particular job – Intrinsic and Extrinsic. The extrinsic motivators are the external factors such as moving up the career ladder, learn new things, earn more money, having power and a bigger title etc. These are valid reasons as most want to grow in their professional life but should not be the sole and primary reason.

And there comes the second type of motivator, the Intrinsic Motivator or in simpler words, “What story in their life has motivated them to this role?” The answer to this question would give you a fair idea that how motivated a candidate would be once hired for this particular role.

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Step 2 – Empathy

Empathy means a willingness to understand the position of people and a desire to connect with them and help them grow. Some of the most important work of an executive is to make people feel connected to the company and keep them motivated to work towards their personal as well as company goals. Failing this test would mean that the person might fail in his role to collaborate with his team and effectively communicate with them or the clients. Hiring such candidates solely on the basis of what an intelligent coder he is would be a big mistake.

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Step 3 – Behavioral Questions

Judging the EQ of a person is very difficult. No matter how many interview rounds he goes through, there is still a chance of a mistake. Many companies are thus including behavioral questions in their hiring process such as, “What was the most difficult situation you faced in your previous job and how did you handle it?” or “Were you ever criticized for your work and how did you respond?” Behavioral questions need to be formulated in a way that they reveal the inner truth of the candidate. How humble or self-aware are they?

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Step 4 – Observe Every Move

This step needs to be kept in mind throughout the hiring process. Observing the body language helps recognize the truth about whatever they say. Try to create a comfortable environment before you come up with difficult questions. Studies have shown, that a face to face interview conducted in a relaxed environment reveals almost 55% more about a particular candidate than the ones taken over the phone or video conferencing.

Importance Of EQ Over IQ In Your Executive Search In Germany

5 Things Recruiters Should Not Say To The Candidates


A guide by one of the best Headhunters in Germany

Of all the recruitment articles, one sees, there is a great deal of discussion around do’s and don’ts for the candidate. But there is another important dimension that should not be neglected. As one of the top Headhunters in Germany, we have learnt a great deal regarding what a recruiter should avoid saying to the candidate in an interview.

As someone who has worked in German Recruiting agencies for a long time, we know that  we are all human and are hence as likely to utter something silly as the candidate. So, here are the top 5 things which any recruiter should absolutely avoid saying in an interview:

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  1. “Which Celebrity Would Be Best Suited To Play You In A Movie?”

There could other questions like “In a fight, who do you think would win, a bear or a shark?” It is a humble request to all the recruiters, please do not ask such questions of the candidate. We 100 percent support all the fun and originality you want to bring in the interview, but such obscure questions are nothing short of toe-curling.

Such questions do not help in ascertaining anything valid about the candidate’s ability to think and react in a particular business situation. It does not reveal anything worth knowing about their personality. There are a lot of other means to help youfind out whether a candidate is a cultural fit or not.

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  1. “We’re Looking For A Ninja.”

You might as well be looking for a rockstar as well. Let’s be honest. You are recruiting for an entry level retail job but use this phrase only if you are planning to embarrass your candidate.  Try to step into his shoes and imagine what you would reply to such phrase, “Oh yes sir, I sure am a ninja and would not only do my job but also entertain your clients with some A class ninja stunts.” Injecting a certain level of personality into the interview is fine but not to an extent that it gets ridiculous.

  1. “I Wanted To Reach Out To You.”

This in particular has fast become the recruitment phrase de jour. This in short is a synonym for ‘contact’. But the problem with this phrase is that, it makes the candidate feel that he is in some destitute position from where he needs to be rescued. A word of advice here, ‘Abandon this phrase.’ I am sure, you can come up with something better than this.
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  1. “My Client Implies Business So There Is No Time To Waste.”

This phrase is as pushy as it is harsh. It is someone’s career we are talking about. Being in a hurry may help you save a bit time in your recruitment process but if you really want the market’s best talent, you need to be patient. Treat your candidates like stars. Do not urge them to take any decision in haste.

  1. “Do You Have Experience With ASP.NET?”

It is more or less like asking someone, do you know C hashtag. Always gain enough knowledge around the skill set of the candidate and also the skills you are recruiting for. For this you do not need to be an expert in the field but you should know enough to have an intelligent and healthy discussion with the candidate. This would not only help you understand candidate’s strength in the skill you are looking for but will also make him excited to work with you in future.

5 Things Recruiters Should Not Say To The Candidates

Headhunting In Germany Discussion Some Legal Frontier And Perils

The German labour market has had a shortage of skilled workers in recent years and this has led to a lot of employers to utilize professional  ‘headhunters’ that appoint or recruit future top executives. Let us understand the headhunting of Germany in this article and analyze some legal boundaries and risks for recruiting or headhunting professionals in the German workplace.

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German Employment Law Overview

As a general guideline, according to German law, headhunters and in-house recruiters can poach employees. This is considered a very crucial part of free competition. It is generally not accepted for headhunters to make personal visits to the existing employer’s business place or premises.

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Detailed View Of The Law

With respect to telephone calls at the workplace, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has actually established and also confirmed the below guidelines in the recent few years:

A headhunter or recruiter from any small or big Top Executive Search Agency Germany is allowed under German law to make initial contact through telephone if he or she:

  • Concisely introduces herself or himself at the start of the call
  • Elaborates on the purpose of the call
  • Cross checks with the employee if he or she is in fact interested in the contact
  • If the above needs are fulfilled, the headhunter might continue with the call and also describe the details of the position briefly
  • Any further contact needs to be outside of the workplace

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What Is Considered Illegal In Headhunting In Germany?

Any recruitment call which goes beyond the above is illegal per German law. This means it would be illegal to ask about details of the CV during this initial call or other information regarding the candidate’s potential career ambitions. Moreover, it should also be noted that any particular call that is made either to the employee’s landline at work or to the employee’s mobile phone that exceeds a ‘few minutes’ will bear evidence that the call is effectively illegal.

Apart from all these elaborate details, calls that are made by the headhunter to the employee’s personal mobile phone (even if during working hours) are far less critical because they do not use the facilities that the employer has put in place. On the other hand, the legality of recruiting or headhunting in Germany through business e-mail has not actually been considered by the German courts. Also, legal assumptions or individual perceptions regarding this area are practically non-existent.

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Important Points For Headhunters

The headhunter should refrain from sending an email along with a link to the detailed information regarding the relevant position to the business email of a candidate. Though it is a common perception that an email is far less intrusive than a telephone call, it has not been clarified by German courts whether this is acceptable or not. Besides, it is simply not good form to do this since it is unknown to the headhunter in Germany whether the email account of the candidate is perhaps being read by someone else within the organization or not.

Personal Email or messages through social media will not give rise to any legal risks for recruiting or headhunting. This is because it will not have any effect on the employer’s IT system. If you are not using a local German headhunter (who is familiar with these rules of course), it is advisable for employers to educate their headhunters and make sure they abide by the law guidelines if they are recruiting in Germany.

Headhunting In Germany Discussion Some Legal Frontier And Perils

Recruitment Trends In Germany

Entering and forging further into foreign markets is surely a step worth considering especially developing and evolving the business. However, there are massive barriers a business has to overcome to happily enter a brand new niche, domain or market. In order to find highly skilled staff which is one of the biggest challenges let’s understand the top 5 trends that companies must be aware of regarding recruiting or headhunters Germany.

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Recruiting Technologies

It does seem that the trend of digitalisation is unstoppable but there are video-based job interview technologies that are now emerging and becoming far more popular over the past couple of years. Mobile recruitment solutions are also evolving and are very much on the rise since the year 2014.

There are also many Challenges that recruiters face nowadays. Every second recruiter is concerned with finding suitable candidates and placing candidates in a timely manner. About every third recruiter complains about their extreme pressure and workload along with the struggle to find an apt balance between operational recruitment tasks and project management.

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Active Sourcing & Social Media Recruiting


Post a dip in the year 2015, active sourcing has now turned out to be a commonly utilized recruitment strategy that people use.

When it comes to the digital concept of social media recruitment platforms there are no surprises in the recruitment market trends. Platforms like Instagram, SnapChat, Pinterest and Whatsapp are live in the shadow of the huge players in the market.

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There are now various channels that communicate about vacancies. The corporate career and job websites have come at the top of these channels and are being used to post communicate vacancies that are followed by social media business platforms. These also include recruitment events like the federal employment agency and various job fairs. On the other hand, print media, HR consultancies and various other external manpower sourcing providers have become important in communicating with clients and posting job vacancies on varied portals

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Future Investments

In which domains do German recruiters plan to invest more money? Almost every second company is planning to invest further in social media business platforms to attract candidates and hire new employees. The companies also emphasized investment into employee referral programmes, job fairs and social media platforms.

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Recruiting Tools in Executive Search Germany

Candidates actually consider employee referral programmes as crucial and a very efficient tool in the entire end to end recruitment process. This very much aligns with the new trend of companies who are ardently willing to invest into such innovative new age programmes. Video recruitment tools are found to be the least helpful by many job candidates. This fact is also indicated by various findings from recruitment trend studies in Germany. Lastly, it is crucial to have a culture test right in place because it is the second highest ranking recruiting tool which candidates will find extremely useful.

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What We Learn


  1. Candidate Experience and Active Sourcing has developed to be a very relevant topic in the entire recruiting business in Germany.

  1. Employer Brand has obtained significance in the most recent years and also imposes tons of challenge or restrictions to the recruiters in Germany as compared to hiring professionally experienced workforces.

  1. Social Media Recruiting trend has seen to be dipping low in the year 2015. However, through the entire year of 2017it has regained the traction and strives hard to make a comeback.

  1. Since 2013, the existence of applicant management systems is being steadily growing and the employee referral programmes will continue to obtain importance since the year 2014 as well.
Recruitment Trends In Germany

Tips For Negotiating Your Executive Compensation

A guide for your Executive Search in Germany

Executive Compensation is one of a necessary evil in your process of Executive Search in Germany. With such high stakes and so many pitfalls with lasting repercussions involved, it can be overwhelming for any candidate.

As a Top 10 Headhunting Company in Germany, we have come up with certain tips that would help you prepare better and alleviate some of the stress.

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Tip 1 – Do your Research

This is extremely important as overpricing yourself can make you lose the job and underpricing yourself would reduce your worth. It is important to understand the value of what you are planning to negotiate. Your compensation negotiation helps you to establish your worth. You can do this by researching what similar companies are willing to pay for someone with the same skillset and experience as yourself. You can do this online. There are many online websites that provide salary structure for many global companies such as Payscale and Glassdoor.

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Tip 2 – Your Value is Not Tied to Your Current Compensation Level

You need to understand this very clearly. While your most recent compensation level supplies the key indicators of your experience level and skillset to the potential employers and search consultants, it should not be the sole focus of your compensation negotiations.

Whenever you are asked for your current salary level, you need to also highlight what your peers with similar experience are receiving by way of compensation. You can also mention any additional fiscal benefits that might be included in your current role. This will help draw a better picture of your goals, expectations and your worth, thereby providing a fair idea to the recruiter or potential employer.

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Tip 3 – Executive Compensation Is Not Only About Salary

Remember, we just talked about perks or fiscal benefit in the above tip? So this would apply to your future company also. There are many items which are outside of the general annual salary structure that should not be neglected during the negotiation process. Be cautious to keep other factors in mind such as other perks, your title, working hours, flexi-time, remote working, further education, vacation days, bonuses and relocation compensation.

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Tip 4 – Don’t Be the First one to start the Negotiation

This is the most common mistake and the one you would regret doing the most. Very often in negotiations the first person to initiate is the one who loses and salary negotiation is no different. If possible, do not throw a number out when asked. If you do so, there is a good chance that you end up selling yourself short or pricing yourself out of the competition.

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To avoid such situation, you could either provide a very general range for yourself based on your research or ask them what the salary range for the role is. This also constructs a positive base showing that you can be flexible and are open to negotiation.

Tip 5 – Be Prepared for a Counter Offer

If you are not satisfied with your initial offer, you always provide a counteroffer supported by proper reasoning and come up with a more appropriate figure. In case it gets turned down, you could at least make a decision based on the fact that both the parties were well informed.


Tips For Negotiating Your Executive Compensation

How A Recruitment Company In Germany Finds You

The recruitment companies in Germany are looking for you as desperately as you want to be found. Whenever an executive search is carried on, there are many platforms/channels, a Recruitment Company in Germany uses in order to find the best fit possible for the role in hand.

In order to be found, there are a lot of things you can do. Being active on social media is one such thing you can do. Here is a list of things that every search agency uses while finding a suitable candidate for their executive search:

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Personal Network and Knowledge – Being one of the Top Recruitment Companies in Germany, we know that this is the first step any agency will take when they start their search for suitable candidates. Built over decades of industry and executive-level experience, an executive search professional’s personal network is their biggest asset which they leverage to find the right candidate in less time.

In order to come up as an option here you have to do what you do in your regular job: Make your brand. Attend Executive Leadership events and voice your opinion and values so as to establish yourself as a thought leader. Remember this is nothing but word of mouth marketing and for that you need to convince the people in your network that you are worth referring to.

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Social Media – This is the second most important platform that is being leveraged in executive search. And I am not talking about only LinkedIn over here. The requirement of the job would decide which platform the agency would be looking for. For example, if they are looking for a head of marketing, they might check your followers on channels like Facebook and Twitter. If they are looking for an Operations head, they would be more interested in looking at your achievements showcased on LinkedIn.

Nonetheless, platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing (for Germany) remain the foremost sources. Ensure that your profile reflects your skills.

Voice your opinion in the most relevant form possible. You can add comments on various discussion groups on social media. This would help you establish yourself as a thought leader with a belief system.

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Attendance Lists of Executive Events – Attending such events is something of a must. Executive search professionals can look at the attendance lists and then look into the background of the candidates who attended these events. Establishing yourself as someone who is proactive in such events can help you get the attention of Executive search agencies.

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Proprietary Databases – Most Executive Search firms maintain a database in which they store candidate and client information. This is a valuable source of information for any firm while carrying out the search for appropriate candidates.

For this, all we suggest is keep giving interviews. This could give you an entry in this valuable database source. Even if you did not get a job for the role you applied for, you are now in the system and may be contacted for future roles.

How A Recruitment Company In Germany Finds You