Executive search in 2020: a full employment or a deceptive market?

François Humblot, fondator of our cabinet 30 years ago and Director Associate of Grant Alexander, give us his vision of the market of recruitement of executives over the last few years and his outlook.

 

The executive search market is booming, and has been breaking records every year since 2016.

But it is a cyclical market that can vary greatly from one year to the next, as shown by the figures* for the last forty years.

1993 was the worst year ever for the executive search market, which reached a low of 71,000 new hires.

In 2007, the number of executive hires topped the 200,000 mark for the first time, peaking at 208,000, only to fall back to 143,000 in 2009!

But expansion has continued steadily since 2010, and for the past four years we have been seeing record growth figures: the first at 218,000 hires in 2016, followed by 240,000 in 2017 and 266,400 in 2018.

The latest APEC (executive hire association) study of July 2019 forecast a record 280,000 recruitments in 2019 and still anticipates a slight growth of 3% per year in 2020 and 2021, which would culminate in 300,000 executive recruitments in two years’ time.

 

The executive unemployment rate is currently below 3%, which corresponds to full employment.

 

These excellent figures can be explained by the growth of the service sector and the major transformations facing companies.

Digitisation, energy transition and new forms of organisation mean that ever more managers and experts need to be hired.

 

This situation would be ideal for executives if the labour market were a real market, within the economic meaning of the term, i.e. with total fluidity between job providers and job seekers. But this is far from the case: each executive is in a specific market, and in a position of strength or weakness depending on their skills and current attractiveness to companies.

 

The job market for executives is certainly at full employment, but this truth embraces a wide range of realities.  

As “headhunters”, we are well positioned to see this.

 

There is a complete dearth of applicants for some jobs, as with positions for experts in Digital and IS firms, certain CEO positions, and Studies, R&D and Production posts.

 

On the other hand, for the past few years, professionals in Communication, HR, Administration and Finance have enormous problems in finding new posts: competition between applicants is fierce, and there are far fewer offers than vacant positions.

As many applicants share the same know-how, standing out in these professions most often depends on interpersonal skills: ease in conducting relationships, situational intelligence, open-mindedness, negotiating skills, and so on.

 

Having been at the forefront of the executive search market for 30 years, I have seen how quickly things change. 

It is clear that these situations are not set in stone and can change over time. So what should we do?

 

Here are a few tips I’d like to share…

 

Executives who are in a position of strength today must not take the easy way out by changing jobs too often and systematically going to the highest bidder. This is the surest way to find themselves in difficulty ten years on, with an inconsistent CV that features no valuable experience and no convincing achievements.

 

Executives in difficulty need to develop ways of being different in the long term, to stand out from their colleagues. For example, international experience, crisis management, transformation management and new activity creation are always valued by hirers.

They also need to prepare very carefully for job interviews if they are to have an edge at that particular moment. As hirers, we observe huge differences between applicants interviewed for the same position: when they have equal or virtually equal skills, meticulous preparation always makes that crucial difference. The person finally taken on is nearly always the one who has asked the most pertinent questions, thus demonstrating an ability to respond quickly to the challenges of the job.

 

This year, 2020, Grant Alexander is celebrating its 30th anniversary. This makes me very happy and proud.

 

A big thank you to everyone, applicants and clients alike, who have followed us faithfully since the beginning of Humblot Grant Alexander #Athlete Thinking.

 

* AP statistics

 François Humblot

Director Associate of Grant Alexander

Tuesday7th of January

 

Revenues up 37% in 2018-2019!

IT’S BEEN ANOTHER YEAR OF GREAT GROWTH FOR GRANT ALEXANDER, WITH REVENUES INCREASING BY 37% THAT’S €11.5 M IN THE 2018-2019 FINANCIAL YEAR.

 

GRANT ALEXANDER NOW EMPLOYS 45 PEOPLE.

 

Grant Alexander continues to develop its business as a multi-specialist HR agency, building up its expertise and sector-specific practices with the arrival of new consultants.

Pierre Brigadeau joined the firm in September as Deputy Managing Director, and his extensive insurance industry experience adds invaluable weight to our Insurance Practice.

Leadership Development is now headed up by Anne-Laure Pams, Consultant & Coach.

Jean-Philippe Collin also joins the ranks of Grant Alexander as Senior Advisor, bringing the benefits of over 40 years’ experience in the industrial sector.

 

To support the firm’s growth, we are adding a new Toulouse office to our existing Paris, Lyon, Marseille and Nantes bases.

This move springs from Grant Alexander’s policy of decentralizing operations so we can offer localised services, as closely woven into the regional economic fabric as possible.

Headed up by Grégory Garcia-Bratti, the Toulouse team already boasts the skills of Sourcing Manager Marine Jung and an Executive Search Consultant, Morgane Coenen, who specialises in legal and tax practice.

 

Our Transition Management unit is also thriving.

Grant Alexander Executive Interim has recorded 38% growth and is gradually establishing itself as a key player in the Transition Management market (just three years after inception, it is ranked “Excellent” by Décideurs Magazine).

The team gained two new members this year, with the arrival of Consultant & Associate Director Joelle De Saint-Martin and Talent Assessment Manager Stéphanie Guibot.

 

For more information contact: veronique.mauge@grantalexander.com

New Toulouse facility

 

 

 

GRANT ALEXANDER IS OPENING A NEW OFFICE IN TOULOUSE TO MEET THE NEEDS OF ECONOMIC ACTORS IN THE SOUTH-WEST OF FRANCE

 

 

 

With a presence in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and more recently Nantes, Grant Alexander continues to grow with the establishment of a new firm in Toulouse under the direction of Grégory Garcia-Bratti.

Grégory Garcia-Bratti joins Grant Alexander as Regional Director, to develop the Executive Search activity in the South-West of France and bring his expertise in the industrial sector and Support functions.

With this new expansion of its operations in France, Grant Alexander continues its commitment to providing local and rapid solutions to the growing needs of regional companies.

 

Contact :

Email : gregory.garciabratti@grantalexander.com

Phone. : +33 (0)6 20 80 66 58

360°+ AT, a new tool for evaluating managers

 

GRANT ALEXANDER IS USING A NEW EVALUATION TOOL TO ENRICH ITS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS. DEVELOPED WITH THE VALÉRIE CONSULTING FIRM, 360°+ AT COMBINES THE VIRTUES OF MIRROR ASSESSMENT WITH THE MENTAL DIMENSIONS FAVOURABLE TO THE OPTIMISATION OF THE PERFORMANCE OF OUR ATHLETE THINKING® METHODOLOGY.

 

 

 

360°+ AT was born from the idea that the observation of a manager’s mental attributes enables us, as part of  a global evaluation tool, to achieve a more complete leadership profile and to draw up a more effective managerial development program.

 

360° is a mirror tool that allows managers to assess their managerial practices and leadership and to compare these with the perception of their professional environment : peers, subordinates, line managers, partners, and clients.

It generally results in the establishment of a development plan.

By adding in the appreciation of the 9 mental dimensions that promote performance, we obtain a real 360° picture of the manager’s assets and points for improvement: mental strengths, behaviours and managerial practices.

Athlete Thinking® is interested in the capacities of adaptation, management of emotions and environment, concentration, self-confidence, self-awareness, determination, ability to use resources, teamwork.

All these mental dimensions are the hallmark of top athletes and lead to success when well mobilised. This applies to every area of life, well beyond sport.

 

Observing, becoming aware of and working with these mental components at a moment’s notice is a powerful asset for the development of agile leadership.

The 360°+ AT is an excellent assessment tool because it allows us to compare the results obtained by the manager being evaluated and those achieved by their employees. The observation of the gaps between these evaluations provides a precise insight into the managerial profile under different criteria and leads to clear paths of development.

We then focus on ways to support the manager, to enable them to progress on behavioural and managerial levels but also to develop their mental strengths, thanks to Athlete Thinking®.

The tool can also, beyond the assessment of the person, reveal organisational issues that can then be integrated into a more global diagnosis.

 

– February 2019 –

Sybille Delaporte, Director of Consulting and Leadership Development at Grant Alexander

+53% in turnover: infectious enthusiasm !

A SUCCESSFUL, PROFITABLE, AGILE 2018 FOR GRANT ALEXANDER.

 

With €8.5 million, 2018 showed an impressive 53% increase in turnover, thanks to both organic growth and the fact that new consultants joined Executive Search, Executive Interim and the HR Committee.

 

As of January 2019, the firm has 38 staff divided between its various business lines, including nine people in charge of research focused on direct approaches to Executive applicants.

 

Grant Alexander Executive Search continues to develop as a multispecialist HR firm.

The specialist consultants who swelled our ranks in 2018 now enable us to offer expert solutions in over ten sector-specific and functional practices.

Alongside our longstanding expertise in Industry, the Non-trading sector, Financial Services, Healthcare, Distribution & Media, Property, B to B Services and IT and Finance activities, we have created the Digital Practice with the arrival of Christophe de Bueil, and boosted the HR Practice. We have also strengthened our skills in the Automobile & Transport Practice with Christophe Muyllaert, and in the Healthcare Practice with Marc-Antoine Zagamé.

 

We are also keen to increase Grant Alexander’s regional presence so that we can provide appropriate local solutions.

After Paris, Lyon and Marseille, we opened a branch in Nantes, managed by Godefroy de La Bourdonnaye.

 

Transition Management now has five consultants working for it, and posted growth of over 80% last year.

To assist its rapid development, a new specialist in this field joined us in late 2018: Marie Paillard, who has 18 years’ experience in recruiting executives and managers. 

 

With international business, the firm now has the means to develop its presence through local partnerships, particularly in the North America and Africa zones.  

It is preparing for deployment in French-and English-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa with the arrival of Kadia Moisson, Development Consultant for Africa, who now shores up the international platform led by Christophe Muyllaert.

 

Athlete Thinking, our philosophy, is more relevant than ever.  

In terms of leadership development, overseen by Sybille Delaporte, we have created customized programmes and new tools for optimizing managerial skills and the individual/collective performance of managers and their teams. These work on the mental aspects that improve performance and are based on our Athlete Thinking® methodology, designed with sports coaches and mental preparation counselors: Onboarding AT, to help staff members get settled in a new post; 360° AT, designed to develop personal leadership, and Parcours Premium Leaders AT for the collective development of managers.

 

GUIDED BY COMMITMENT AND ENTHUSIASM, 2019 OPENS NEW HORIZONS FOR HUMAN EXPERIENCE TO BE SHARED WITH OUR CLIENTS AND APPLICANTS.

 

Press contact: veronique.mauge@grantalexander.com

Grant Alexander heads West

 

BASED IN PARIS, LYON, AND MARSEILLE, GRANT ALEXANDER CONTINUES ITS DEVELOPMENT WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A FIRM IN NANTES UNDER THE DIRECTION OF GODEFROY DE LA BOURDONNAYE.

 

Godefroy de La Bourdonnaye joins Grant Alexander as Regional Director, to develop the Executive Search activity in the West of France and contribute his expertise in Assessment and Executive Search.

Godefroy de La Bourdonnaye’s arrival at the Nantes office reflects Grant Alexander’s ambition to provide local and rapid solutions to the growing needs of regional companies.

He also has a broad knowledge of assessment centre/development centre systems, acquired over his career, and offers specific expertise in soft skills assessment through the observation of behaviour in situations. His fluent knowledge of English and extensive experience enables him to be involved in the search and selection of profiles of managers and experts with an international dimension.

g.delabourdonnaye@grantalexander.com    

Grant Alexander takes a new dimension

 

After the arrival of new driving forces, Grant Alexander reorganized itself into four competence centers.
Each one is lead by its own business expert.

 

Executive Search: our historical expertise in direct approach for senior executives and rare profiles.

Executive Interim: to answer the needs of transition and transformation management.

Leadership Development: to support management skills development. 

HR Consulting: to advise and support HR Departments.

 

 

Grant Alexander offers a comprehensive answer to companies’ human resources problems, with a multi-expertise coverage.

New organization means re-engineering of the basics. That’s why Grant Alexander has formalized its business approach into a consistent positioning: 
The Athlete Thinking . Or how to transform an internal state of mind into a weapon to recruit the best leaders… 

 

New dimension means new offices: Grant Alexander is happy to welcome you in his new premises on  47 rue de Monceau – 75008 Paris

 

 

Upturn on the Recruitment Consulting market

Syntec Conseil en Recrutement (French professional association), edits a barometer based on its members turnover every month. It is a leading indicator of manager’s employment in France.

 

A good news: after two difficult years in 2012 and 2013, and a slight improvement in 2014 and 2015, the six first months of 2016 show a nice recovery with +13% compared to the six first months of 2015.

Market evolution for the four last years

  • 2012/2011: – 15%
  • 2013/2012: – 16%
  • 2014/2013: + 0.3%
  • 2015/2014: + 4.4%

 

Recruitment firms’ managers, who are the main partners of senior executives employment in various sectors of the French economy, are very optimistic in front
of the market recovery.

The confidence index for the three coming months has risen to 160, compared with the original index (base 100) set up in April 2011.
This is its highest level since the index was introduced.