His vision of recruitment in 2023
How to qualify the year 2022 for the firm?
Stefan Peters: 2022 was a good year with the arrival of new clients who did not resort to headhunting until then. These are companies in IT, industry or construction, faced with a high turnover of their teams. And/or a higher rate of candidate withdrawals than before.
And 2023? What developments do you expect?
SP: Despite the announced recession, the beginning of the year has been relatively dynamic for the moment. And when we know that we, recruitment intermediaries, are often at the forefront of perceiving the decline in business activity, it is rather encouraging.
Future activities: IT, consulting, construction, industry
Which sectors inspire you with confidence for recruitment in 2023?
SP: bed of course, but also strategy, organization and financial consulting. As well as construction, in view of the proliferation of very important programs in the next 2-3 years. And finally, industry. We work for subcontractors in the armaments sector, a very dynamic sector given the context. The finishing industry, therefore the material manufacturers, is also looking to recruit.
The era of the consumer candidate
How will candidate and company expectations evolve in 2023?
SP: We are witnessing new types of relationships in recruitment. People are increasingly behaving more like consumers than candidates for employment opportunities. Throughout the first part of the recruitment process, candidates are very distant. If we do not accompany them on a daily basis, they do not go further. We manage to captivate them when we really talk to them about the professional project and their conditions of recruitment and collaboration. They want to know from the outset what they are going to do, the development prospects, their responsibilities, the type of management, the salary, teleworking, the structure of the team, etc.
Shorter and smoother processes
What notable changes in recruitment processes in 2023?
SP: Recruitment time is shorter than before – 1 month on average compared to 2 previously – because competition between companies is fierce. We no longer see a process with 8 interviews, it’s too long. Candidates would have too much time to accept another proposal. To go quickly, we no longer offer a short-list but we present the candidates over the water. Our customers are often ready to receive them within 72 hours. We are now less in interviews where we chain questions aimed at ruling out certain candidates in favor of in-depth discussions on the content of the position and the prospects for development.
More agile seniors, more open companies
Do you see more openness to senior candidates? Or is this still a sweet dream? Why is it still stuck between seniors and employers?
SP: We cannot make generalizations on this subject of the employment of seniors. I meet companies that really give themselves the means to recruit seniors because they bring connection, stability, support… for example to younger teams. I have almost no client who refuses to meet senior candidates. What matters is not age but the match between job expectations and experience. And then of course the salary. We have clients who do not recruit seniors for fear of not keeping their payroll budgets. However, if we add up the costs related to the high turnover of young newcomers (recruitment, training, replacement) and compare it to the real cost of a senior, the difference is ultimately less. Remember that one in two young people do not think they will stay in their company for more than two years, which is not the case for seniors. The establishment of the future senior index is likely to change mentalities because there is a real awareness of the French backwardness on the subject.
I also observe that seniors approach professional opportunities with more agility than before. If they don’t land a permanent contract, they think of a mission as a consultant. If it’s not full-time, it doesn’t matter, they see it as an opportunity to get a foothold in the company and develop their professional network.
Limited sectoral mobility
More openings for executives who want to change sectors?
SP: we do not note not really bridges between business sectors. Headhunting firms are mandated for very specific positions, requiring specialized skills and the ability to assume certain responsibilities. It is therefore complicated to propose a candidate from another sector of activity. Unless he meets the other criteria perfectly and there is a real shortage of talent on the job.
Beware of excessive telework
And for executives who want to move to the region and telecommute?
The frenzy of executives wishing to settle in the provinces while continuing to work in Paris is now less important. They must understand that to progress, it is better to stay close to the seat. Too much teleworking prevents you from being perceived, followed up and supported properly. A rhythm of at least 3 days on site seems appropriate to me.
Do you have a favorite question for candidates that you haven’t asked before?
SP: “You insist a lot on the importance of teleworking, but how are you going to do concretely to get to know your colleagues, your collaborators better or even to consider a career progression if everything happens remotely? “.
Candidates more attentive to the workload
What questions are candidates asking that they weren’t asking before?
SP: before joining a team, candidates want to make sure that there will be no imbalance imposing a huge work overload. So they ask us straight away about the number of people in the team, their seniority, turnover, their way of working together, the possibility of recruiting or not in the event of under-staffing. Will it be job creations? In short, they are ready to assume their position but not to replace 3-4 people from the outset.
To earn more, bet on training
What better strategy to achieve a salary gap in 2023? To stay ? Leave ? To come back ? Form ?
SP: We often forget how much companies can finance in terms of continuing education. In a world where statuses are changing rapidly – for example a transition from permanent to independent – it can be interesting to train. It’s not salary, but it may help a future wage gap.
Young candidates less aware of the advantages of cabinets
New times, new candidate attitudes… What does this change for your job as a recruitment intermediary?
SP: In headhunting firms, we support candidates in the recruitment process but also throughout their career. In particular, profiles with potential. We talk to them every 9 to 12 months to find out about their developments, their expectations, to discuss the market, the customers… Over the years, these are people we become very close to. The youngest candidates are not aware of this. They behave too much like consumers, and are less in the exchange. It’s a shame for their career.
Peters Consultant in a few figures
- 50 recruitments in 2022
- 3 consultants in 2022
- 2022 turnover: 600,000 euros