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New phase in `search industry'

K. T. Jagannathan

A search firm offers a total recruitment solution to its clients


  • Demand for executives with global experience will increase
  • Companies see advantages in turning flexible
  • Big scope for search firms in India and China

    CHENNAI: As companies go global and look for executives with international experience, the nascent `search industry' is also undergoing a major metamorphosis.

    A `search firm' is often identified as a mere recruiter by a layperson. In the fast-evolving global scene, however, its profile is changing. A successful search firm today is one that offers a total recruitment solution to its clients, says Mr. Mark Geary, Joint President, International Executive Search Federation (IESF).

    The IESF chief pointed out that search/recruitment firms were also increasingly looked upon by clients to provide a host of solutions to their businesses.

    It could range from giving an advice on location of a facility to briefing the client on the rules and regulations of the country where it wished to establish a presence and educating it on local socio-cultural compulsions.

    Mr. Geary felt that the demand for executives with global experience would increase in the coming days.

    He attributed this to two factors. Globalisation had seen quality standards bench-marked across boundaries. With even domestic companies going global, they required executives with international experience. Further, companies that had grown big were seeing the advantages in turning flexible by breaking down their businesses and moving some of them to cost advantageous locations across the globe. As a result, companies such as General Motors had become assembler of cars, he said.

    With studies pointing to both China and India emerging as global economic powerhouses by 2025, he saw big scope for search/recruitment firms in this region.

    From less than ten in 2001, the number of Indian firms in China had gone up to 90 now. Further, the number of direct flights between the two nations had gone up to five from none in 2001. "The China's strategy towards India has also changed since the former joined the WTO (World Trade Organization)," he said. IESF was founded in 2001 by Mr. Geary and Andrew Walker with the objective of facilitating collaboration among member-companies on cross border executive search assignments.

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