I'd like to put together some pages and/or blog posts to review and list career success resources. I get a lot of questions on career management and career success and while I have some strong opinions and ideas myself I'd be really interested in any readers thoughts on books, blogs, podcasts, speeches, guide books or anything else you've read or seen that you felt made a difference for you in your career. So please leave a comment with the resource, and if possible a couple of reasons why you like it and I'll let you know once I've put together the final list. I think in particular if you have resources that you feel are more relevant to motivated employees in the Asia Pacific I'd really be keen to hear about them.
Interesting article for those in the Executive Search business in Asia available here from Alan Shipman at Finance Week. Alan explains how the top Executive Search firms and have protected themselves by diversifying into outplacement as well as riding the global market for talent. Asia in particular has been a growth area for many executive search firms including market big boy Heidrick and Struggles who Shipman profiles in detail.
There are several really useful points in the article including a mention on H&S's partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit to launch a Global Talent Index. And also H&S's plan to release a book next year on, "The Secret Lives of Chief Executives". I love the idea of a Global Talent Index, I wish it could be combined to show individual companies who leverage that talent best. More often than not those firms transcend country boundaries and they deserve to be recognised for that. It would certainly be a killer recruitment strategy to be included on an index like that.
Also check out the end of the article for a few choice points on how to hold onto talent!
It can't be stressed enough how important strong networks are in building your career. This is essentially the advice given here in Businessweek and something that I agree with. If you're reading this article in hopes of getting calls from the headhunter with the big opportunity you want, I hope you've already been actively working on building your network.
Good advice from this article:
The best way to initiate a relationship with an executive search consultant is to be introduced by a well-connected friend, colleague, industry opinion leader, alumni pal, or fellow association or club member who knows the headhunter personally. For even the most accomplished and widely respected executives, the power of the personal reference simply can't be understated. . .
The quality of your personal and professional networks will preordain the messenger and the caliber of leadership recruiters to whom they might provide you access. This alone should serve as a reminder of why smart executives continually build, expand and, when necessary, leverage their networks. If you don't have one, you better build one.
I'd liked to add that while strong personal references will most undoubtedly lead a headhunter your way, nothing speaks louder than your performance and achievements. If you perform well, achieve high goals for your company, and basically are outstanding at what you do, you should be found.
Having said that, it's just as important that you make yourself easy to be found. Aside from the high-quality networks you've built, you need to work on your presence in your industry. By speaking and presenting at conferences, mentoring others, writing and publishing articles, newsletters or a professional blog, actively participating in or leading forums -- these are all ways to make yourself known and onto a headhunter's radar. If you're any good, and they're good at their research, you'll get that phone call.
For what to do when you do get that call read this.
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We really live in a mobile world nowadays. In particular many people will consider working not only different careers but also in many different countries during their career. There is no doubt that Asia is seen as an excellent area to move to and work for many people, at the same time many people in Asia are very interested in working in other parts of the world. The spirit of adventure drives many but if you are also interested in the power of money you might want to check out the Hay Group's 2007 World Pay Report available here (beware the link goes to a PDF download).
I like this report because it doesn't just show salary levels, it takes into account the cost of living and tax in each country to reveal disposable income levels - the true purchasing power of executive salaries for 46 countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific. The results might really surprise a lot of people. The USA is 24th while countries like Russia, Turkey and Thailand are all in the top 10. From within Asia Hong Kong is 3rd while Thailand is 8th, Singapore 9th and China 14th. If you've been thinking hard about taking your executive skills off the beaten track then this might make you even more interested. While you might take a pay cut to go to many places your purchasing power may make up for that cut.
Experience.com provides information on internships and entry level jobs.
I had an interesting question the other day from a candidate: "Why would anyone give you a referral when you get paid a huge fee and they get nothing?" I thought this was a great question and one I should really address.
Many would be surprised to hear that a lot of people give out referrals. And by far, most referrals I get are from senior candidates. That's right - senior candidates are easily the most open about not only giving referrals of people they know, but also giving what I call "blind referrals". This is when they hand out names of people who they think are reasonably good or worth talking to but aren't necessarily their personal contacts.
For senior candidates I think they see their ability to give referrals as almost an example of their strength and knowledge in their industry. It also shows that in their experience, they realize the importance and value of giving referrals as well as the long-term gains.
But to get down to the reasons why executives should give referrals: It's all about goodwill, reciprocity, and networking.
Goodwill. There's nothing really to explain here. When you help someone, it's a good thing. Becoming a referee for that person, referring that person to a recruiter for an opportunity - in the end, it's all for the benefit of that person - whether or not a new job actually materializes. The fact is, the person you helped is better off by having had at least a chance to consider an opportunity. If you gave a referral to a recruiter, you've no doubt bestowed goodwill to him or her, and as you'll soon see, is a good investment.
Reciprocity. The Law of Reciprocation is powerful. I got this from Dr. Robert Cialdini, a widely recognized expert in negotiation studies, who said the power of reciprocation is extremely strong and should be used when presented with a moment of power; that is, when you have just done or given something beneficial to someone. When they thank you, it's up to you to seize that moment of power and respond:
"I'm sure you would do the same for me if I needed it."
That's the law of reciprocation. As it turns out from Dr. Cialdini's research, people will reciprocate when receiving a gift, advice, or help from someone, no matter how much time has passed from the initial giving. In what ways? Well, if you helped a colleague or former manager by referring them to a recruiter, or offering to be a referee for a potential employer, they may return the favour by looking out for your best interests as well.
Networking. This widens and the ties strengthen from you giving referrals.
The key is to give to them first. And the easiest way is to refer them to a key person, or give them a referral if they need one for a new opportunity.
Hopefully, this answers the question. While it's hard to think past the short-term outcomes, like a referral fee, look to the long-term gains of having a quality relationship with someone in your network who can reciprocate goodwill to you when the time comes. It's an investment that benefits everyone.
Thought I'd introduce this website resource for those interested in Japan: itvjapan.com - Japan's first internet television network for business executives and provides business news, interviews and analysis with Japanese business experts and opinion leaders.
In addition to the HR & Recruiting channel, they have various business programs such as Doing Business in Japan, Sales Force, Tokyo Insiders, and more. It's another interesting way to learn more about human resources, recruiting and business in Japan in addition to blogs and rss feeds to news providers.
The current interview is with Ken Cogger, Global Head of Recruiting at Nikko Asset Management. He talks about "candidate as guest" in which the candidate is the center of focus and treated "as a guest" throughout the whole recruitment process - ranging from the little things of their first reception to the client's office to providing timely and relevant feedback if possible. The point is maintaining momentum of interest throughout the process, selling the candidate on the company so that the candidate has a positive experience with the client. After all, not all candidates will get hired, but when they leave the recruitment process, they come away with a positive impression of the company and recruiter. And in a candidate's market, candidates talk - so as a recruiter, you're really doing sales, marketing and PR for your client. You've got to focus on the positives of the company and help the client continue that "candidate as guest" approach right through employement and employer relations to retain talent.
Btw, I have the say the quality of the streaming media is really good - very clear and sharp.
This Korn/Ferry report was passed on to me which I found quite interesting.
"Overcoming the Challenges of Recruiting and Retaining Talent in China’s Life Sciences Market" provided some interesting insight to the issues and unique features of the MNC environment in China. While it focused on the life sciences sector (medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, etc.), I would think the conditions and skills shortage were similar in other sectors.
Brief description of current environment:
* Severe shortage of PRC nationals in executive roles with sought after skillsets - widening a gap in local talent versus expat talent.
* MNCs look to returnees to fill those roles, however problems in cultural fit lead to just 1 out of 3 returnees succeeding.
* Steep salaries - Whereas globally, compensation increases with cost of living (about 4%), in China the minimum annual increase is 10%.
* High turnover rate - Because of skills shortage, top execs expect 50-100% comp increase when considering new jobs, where realistically it should be 15-30%.
* Relocation within PRC relatively new and very difficult to retain talent
* Organizational development also relatively new
What this paper explores is the need to stabilize the workforce by localizing the workforce with a proactive focus on training and development programs that foster loyalty to the company's culture.
It's clear that while recruiting is intense, HR development will be even more intense.
Lou Adler is one of the leaders in education for Recruiters and Headhunters and I personally really enjoy his work. Lou really believes in active recruiting to find candidates. Lets face it a lot of online tools and a lot of agencies have a vested interest in telling companies that they will be able to fulfill all their hiring needs from advertising and managing the "recruitment process". Unfortunately the reality is that this just isn't true. If you want to approach candidates who aren't necessarily looking then you need to engage a professional to do this. The fact is a lot of recruiters CAN'T do this for various reasons. But Lou is taking the excuses away by giving access to his eBook online. I highly recommend it since Lou has taken the concept up to an art form and any Recruiter or Headhunter is going to get some benefit from it. Even if it's just a refresher on concepts you should be using more regularly.
Are you a great recruiter? Do you want to get even better? If so, this eBook is for you! Get advice from recruiting guru Lou Adler, in an on-demand, online reference guide.
You'll find physician jobs on The Recruiter.com.
I have talked about this before (both here and here). Asia is really seen as a place where expatriate executives can get experience that will fast track them in their careers. Executive Search firm Korn/Ferry have released a survey that shows some pretty interesting points about where expatriates want to work and also the success they can expect to have where they go.
Most popular locations for expats include: China, Western Europe (especially the UK), North America and Southeast Asia (especially Singapore).
Locations that provide the greatest chance of success: Western Europe, North America and Southeast Asia
Locations that provide the most difficult challenge: North Asia (especially China, Japan and South Korea), the non-Gulf Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, and South America.
Korn/Ferry reiterate what seems to be a point that many companies aren't aware of yet. While expatriate assignments can be a great way to develop your executives for when they return to their own office. Ultimately they may not be as effective as hiring and developing local talent for your business. It makes it a very tough decision to hire locally or send an expat. In particular for smaller companies who need local knowledge in order to get up to speed quickly it may really set you back if you decide to use an expat instead of jumping into the market and hiring a bilingual local executive.
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