Headhunters in tech from left to right: Jared Furtado and Jana Rich
Towerhill associates/Rich Talent groupHeadhunters help big companies like Dropbox, Uber, and Plaid hire visionaries for top roles and the process is much more involved than simply scanning resumes.
Headhunters have to have multiple conversations with senior people at the company, dissect job descriptions, and more as they try to find the right fit.
Two top tech headhunters share common mistakes they see, like companies that use language that causes them to miss out on up-and-comers with fresh perspectives who can rise to the challenge, or descriptions that are too vague.
Sometimes companies will get bogged down with a long wish list and it's up to the headhunter to cut through the weeds to figure out what's really important.
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Headhunters discreetly keep Silicon Valley companies competitive by finding top talent to fill C-suite positions, taking meetings with high-level movers and shakers in the hopes of placing them in new, lucrative positions.
The process of finding a suitable executive for a hot tech firm is different from how recruiters fill engineering, sales, or product roles: through job sites and scanned resumes, according to cofounder of boutique headhunting firm Towerhill Associates, Jared Furtado.
The most sought-after execs don't upload their resumes to job sites or update their LinkedIns, says Furtado, whose firm has worked with the likes of Uber, Dropbox, and Plaid. That's where headhunters come in.
"You want to keep a search exclusive-feeling: You don't want to just have it blasted out," Furtado said. "That's why job postings, they can be good — because you can certainly get that out there that this company is hiring — but then from a job seeker standpoint, it loses that high-touch feeling. It stops feeling exclusive. And top tier candidates aren't spending their time looking at job postings."
Furtado and cofounder of Rich Talent Group, Jana Rich, laid out the typical process: Client companies will come to a firm to fill a high-level placement — a CTO, or a VP of data science, for instance — and a headhunter will have multiple conversations with members of the executive team to discover the most important attributes a candidate should have. From there, a headhunter will scan through their personal database of potential candidates and ask externally for referrals from colleagues who are in the industry.
Most headhunting firms are paid one of two ways: On contingency or on retainer. Contingency means that firms are paid based on whether or not they find a candidate, whereas firms on retainer are paid a yearly fee.
The real asset of a headhunter is their network: knowing the cream-of-the-crop will help them fill open positions. Towerhill Associates has a database of hundreds of thousands of names it has collected since its inception in 2008 and Furtado himself has placed execs at big-name companies and pre-seed startups alike. Rich Talent Group serves more than 80 high-profile clients like Asana, Airbnb, and Facebook and has placed the CEO of Evite, the president of Uber, and the head of communications at Coinbase, among others.
Furtado and Rich both said there are plenty of bumps along the way when it comes to the hiring process, though, and highlighted three key mistakes that companies tend to make:
Headhunters have to cut through long wish-lists, vague boilerplate language, and unclear or unattainable goals
Companies often come to headhunting firms with a too-long laundry list of must-haves, or use language in their job descriptions that ends up eliminating up-and-coming female or minority candidates right off the bat, says Rich, who has been in the headhunting business since 1996. This can force the company to miss out on diverse voices in their boardrooms or executive suites.
"For example, 'they have to have lead a team of X number of people,' which can really exclude a lot of women, and people of color," Rich said. "So [I'll be] really pushing on them like, 'Okay, this might be the first time this individual has led a 100 person team. But are you open to that?'"
Furtado and Rich both said that companies too-often use boilerplate candidate character descriptions that they haven't quite defined themselves, like "strategic" or "hands-on."
"Even the concept of strategic, what does that mean?" Rich said. "Let's really unpack, what does that even mean? Does that mean they're smart? Does that mean they can think about new business models? And why? When you say strategic, what are examples of projects you have to work on? Because strategic can mean radically different things depending on what it is we're actually talking about."
Vague language makes the process of finding the perfect candidate to lead the company difficult, which is why headhunters often have multiple discussions with current high-level people. Getting a fuller, more concrete understanding of the role helps them pluck the right candidates to interview.
Rich asks questions like: "What are the actual reasons and motivations around why they're seeking to fill this role? And what are the metrics for success going to look like? What are they must-haves versus the nice-to-haves?"
She also often asks client companies why a certain position exists, and what role it plays in the company's overall success: "Our work with them is to try to get the criteria as specific as possible."
Sometimes Rich and Furtado will connect with a company after it has already tried and failed to work with another firm or find someone to fill the role internally. When a firm struggles to fill critical, executive-level positions, headhunters have to help them refine their goals.
"You kind of have to play, detective. What happened?" Furtado said. "If you interviewed 30 candidates for an executive position, that's a lot. Where were the expectations? Maybe the type of skill set you're thinking for, not one person has that. Maybe you have to break this up into two roles."
Rich said the role of a headhunter often requires thinking outside the box and ahead of the client company to find the right fit. Part of the reason companies will use headhunters is to get an outsider's view of what the company can benefit from: Headhunters collect anywhere from 10 to 15 new prospective executives everyday, and are often at the forefront of finding exceptional talent.
"One thing I love," Rich said, "Is that companies will say, 'I wouldn't have found that if it weren't for you and your team.'"
Viad Corp (NYSE: VVI) announced today that President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Moster and Chief Financial Officer Ellen Ingersoll will be available for investor meetings at the following virtual conferences in September 2020:
The 3rd Annual Wells Fargo Consumer Conference on Wednesday, September 16th and Thursday, September 17th.
The Sidoti Fall 2020 Investor Conference on Wednesday, September 23rd and Thursday, September 24th.
An updated investor presentation will be posted on our website at www.viad.com on Wednesday, September 16th by 7 a.m. Eastern Time.
Viad (NYSE: VVI) generates revenue and shareholder value through two businesses: GES and Pursuit. Pursuit is a collection of inspiring and unforgettable travel experiences in Alaska, Montana, the Canadian Rockies, Vancouver and Reykjavik, as well as new experiences in development in Las Vegas and Toronto. Pursuit’s collection includes attractions, lodges and hotels, and sightseeing tours that connect guests with iconic places. GES is a global, full-service live events company offering a comprehensive range of services to the world's leading brands and event organizers. Our business strategy focuses on providing superior experiential services to our customers and sustainable returns on invested capital to our shareholders. Viad is an S&P SmallCap 600 company. For more information, visit www.viad.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200910005974/en/
MOSCOW, Oct. 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PhosAgro (Moscow Exchange, LSE: PHOR), one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, has won the Grand Prix at the Russian Business Leaders: Dynamics and Responsibility 2019 awards held by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE).
The winner of the competition was announced during the RUIE Congress, which is the culmination of the business programme of Russian Business Weeks. The Congress was held via video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As noted by Viktor Cherepov, Executive Vice-President of the RUIE and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, the Russian Business Leaders awards comprise eight categories including Dynamic Business Development, Best Project on Import Substitution, Contribution to Social Development, Environmental Responsibility and Human Resources Development. This year, 152 major companies, representing almost half of Russia's regions, took part in the competition. The Grand Prix, a prize awarded to a company that wins more than half of the nominations, was awarded to PhosAgro. The prize has been awarded only twice in the history of the awards, and both times it has gone to PhosAgro.
"We presented our first Grand Prix in 2017. Since then, the business environment in our country has taken significant steps forward, and during the pandemic it confirmed our maturity and understanding of our responsibilities. PhosAgro received the second Grand Prix at the RUIE's Russian Business Leaders awards, which means that the company has raised the bar even higher, continuing to set the standard for dynamic development and efficiency, social orientation and environmental sustainability of its business practices in our country," said Alexander Shokhin, President of the RUIE.
"I am grateful to the entire Russian business community for their support and to the jury of the competition for their recognition of PhosAgro's achievements. This victory is the merit of each of PhosAgro's many thousands of employees. The RUIE Congress and the Russian Business Leaders awards are held a few days after PhosAgro's anniversary. PhosAgro is 19 years old and we are starting our twentieth year in a difficult time that has taught us to think and work in new ways. Most importantly, thanks to comprehensive preventive measures at all of our facilities, we were able to maintain the health of our employees and the smooth functioning of our operations. In the pandemic conditions, we have not slowed down – the Company continues to increase fertilizer production volumes and set new records. As a key taxpayer, we aid the social and economic development of the Murmansk, Vologda, Saratov and Leningrad regions. We implement many social and charitable programmes, supporting veterans and the development of education and culture. We are building sports facilities, opening museums and developing a tourism destination in the Khibiny which has become one of the best ski resorts in the country. Each year, the Company allocates more than RUB 2.5 billion towards these goals. This year, we have already spent double this figure. I promise that we will continue to make every effort to reaffirm our high rank as one of the leaders of Russian business," said PhosAgro CEO Andrey Guryev.
In its citation for the Grand Prix, the jury noted the stable dynamics of the Company's performance growth, productivity growth, personnel development programmes, the level of funding and the scale of environmental projects, the high level of social protection of employees guaranteed by collective agreements, the Company's active participation in programmes for the socio-economic development of the regions and municipalities where it operates, and the scale of charity programmes implemented in accordance with the social strategy. JSC Apatit (part of PhosAgro Group) was awarded a separate prize for Tax Project of the Year in the Automation of Tax Processes category for its Export Automation project.
The jury evaluated the activities of Russian companies in 2019, which was a record year for PhosAgro in terms of production of fertilizers and feed phosphates at over 9.5 million tonnes (up 6.1% year-on-year over 2018). Production of apatite and nepheline concentrates was 11.7 million tonnes (5.8% growth vs 2018). The Company increased sales to its priority domestic market by 10.5%, supplying Russian farmers with over 3 million tonnes of fertilizers. According to RAFP, 35% of all fertilizers purchased by Russian farmers at the end of 2019 were produced by PhosAgro.
In 2019, PhosAgro was actively involved in the creation of a green standard for Russian agricultural products with improved environmental characteristics. At the initiative of PhosAgro and with the support of all RAFP members, an eco-label was developed confirming the high environmental performance of Russian-made mineral fertilizers.
The Company announced the early achievement of the key targets in its development strategy to 2020 and adopted a development strategy to 2025. PhosAgro is targeting 20% growth in production volumes. Sustainable development is also one of the priorities of the new Strategy. The United Nations has recognised the Company's success in this area by including PhosAgro as a member of the UN Global Compact LEAD platform for socially responsible business.
PhosAgro is a key taxpayer and an active participant in socio-economic development programmes in the regions where it operates. PhosAgro allocates more than RUB 2.5 billion annually to charitable projects. In the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, PhosAgro has strengthened its traditional support for medical and social institutions and has also implemented a comprehensive set of measures to protect employees from the virus. In total, over RUB 2.5 billion were allocated for this purpose between March and October of this year.
PhosAgro (www.phosagro.ru) is one of the world's leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers in terms of production volumes of phosphate-based fertilizers and high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39% and higher. PhosAgro's environmentally friendly fertilizers stand out for their high efficiency, and they do not lead to the contamination of soils with heavy metals.
The Company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe (by total combined capacity for DAP/MAP/NP/NPK/NPS), the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock with a P2O5 content of 39%, a top-three producer of MAP/DAP globally, one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia, and Russia's only producer of nepheline concentrate (according to the RAFP).
PhosAgro's main products include phosphate rock, over 50 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate, which are used by customers in 102 countries spanning all of the world's inhabited continents. The Company's priority markets outside of Russia and the CIS are Latin America, Europe and Asia.
PhosAgro's shares are traded on the Moscow Exchange, and global depositary receipts (GDRs) for shares trade on the London Stock Exchange (under the ticker PHOR). Since 1 June 2016, the Company's GDRs have been included in the MSCI Russia and MSCI Emerging Markets indexes.
More information about PhosAgro can be found on the website: www.phosagro.ru.