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07.04.2021

Petra Spasojević, Team Lead for Junior Achievements & Executive Placement Consultant, ManpowerGroup

What do we recommend to top managers looking for a new job?

All candidates, especially C-level profiles, should be ready for the situation of looking for a new job, either actively or through the so-called market research. This primarily refers to networking, both with the associated business community, chambers of commerce, professional unions and associations, but also through targeted networking such as connecting with consultants and recruitment agencies.

ManpowerGroup company has been operating on the Serbian market since 2008 and knows market trends within various industries, both in small and medium, and large international, but also domestic and regional companies. ManpowerGroup boasts a large fund of knowledge and experience, and annually interviews about 30,000 candidates. This provides a good basis for understanding market circumstances, and experienced consultants are in a position to provide candidates with additional insight as well as advice and support when considering career change.

Maintaining contact with executive search consultants in the field of recruitment is especially important for candidates in top management positions, which is one of the keyways to stay up to date with market changes.

From our experience, openness to business opportunities is positively correlated with further career development and opportunities that fully fit the qualifications and preferences of the candidate himself. Our team recommends that candidates be responsive and open to interviews, as in direct contact with our consultants they will be able to get information which is not included in job description but which they need to adequately consider a potential new engagement. In the process of recruiting and selecting candidates, we are equally guided by the client's requirements on the one hand, and the expectations of the candidates themselves on the other hand. Adequate fit is a measure of success and satisfaction for both parties.

As changes are much more frequent nowadays compared to some earlier practices, it is important to be aware that we will all be looking for a new job at some point in our careers. An open relationship, as well as a trusting relationship, is something ManpowerGroup nurtures with candidates, as we believe that the partnership we nurture with our candidates and clients is a decisive link when it comes to business success.

After accepting a call for an interview for a certain position, a very important part is the preparation itself. By preparation we mean both the preparation of self-presentation of one's abilities, results and achievements, and the preparation for a specific position and the company. If you have previously networked with the community, you can very easily get information beyond what is publicly available to you, i.e. information from the internet. You can always call a consultant with whom you have previously developed a good professional relationship and ask for additional information if they are available to the consultant. If a long time has passed since you were last on the "other side of the table", that is, a candidate, you can get useful advice from the consultant to present yourself to a potential new employer in the best possible light.

One of the key factors in choosing a team member, even top manager, is precisely their motivation, as well as the general attitude they present at the job interview. Practice has shown that during the selection process the greatest resistance in top managers develops in those cases when testing is one of the mandatory steps in the process itself. Our experience is that checking a reference of a former employer can provide significant additional information about how a candidate functions in an organization, about his leadership skills, key competencies, or room for improvement. On the other hand, it should be taken into account that some companies have practice of testing for all positions in place, and that the ultimate goal is to further determine an individual’s fit in a specific organizational structure and team. Our colleagues from the partner company Assert have many years of experience in psychological assessment within different industries and seniority positions, respecting the uniqueness of each organization and individual.

Career planning and long-term plans for further career development, i.e. personal development in the broadest sense are the basis for success. According to Herminia Ibarra, one of the most renowned lecturers in the field of leadership and career development, in today's world, growth mindset succeeds, as opposed to fixed mindset, which means striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs. Ibarra argues that success, whether personal or business-related, can be achieved when we shift our perspective from being know-it-all to learn-it-all.

In a simple way, each candidate can increase their visibility and multiply their chances for employment. A clearly written resume highlighting key career items, a personalized application for every business opportunity, as well as an updated LinkedIn profile, are ways that do not take much time and greatly contribute to you being chosen for any vacancy.

A very useful piece of advice is openness and flexibility towards new ideas and opportunities, both in terms of agreements in various selection steps, and in terms of market opportunities and industry. It often happens that only in a conversation with an experienced consultant can a person gain insight into which other industries/niches can the developed competencies and general knowledge and experience of the candidate be best used. On the other hand, you can often get advice on the limitations and risks of market/industry change.

For all additional questions, dilemmas and suggestions, executive placement consultants of ManpowerGroup are at your disposal.

We care about people and the role job plays in their lives. We recognize everyone's contribution to our success - our employees, our clients and candidates. We are here to help you not to make a wrong step in your further career and to facilitate the whole process, which is already quite stressful in itself. We share our knowledge, expertise and resources, so that everyone understands what is important now and what the next developments in the labor market will be.