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Honest relationships are the driving force behind Germany’s booming executive search market

Honest relationships are the driving force behind Germany’s booming executive search market

At a time where organisations are under increased pressure to be fast-moving, agile and strategic in their approach in order to maintain a fighting chance at staying ahead of a progressively disruptive competition, there’s a strong demand for transparency from both an internal and external perspective.

The relationship between employers and employees has evolved. To motivate their workforce and drive results, business leaders need to be open and honest with their teams and unite them around a common sense of purpose.

And this honesty-centric relationship revolution has also transformed how organisations partner with executive search firms, with transparent service offerings, straight-forward solutions and sincere consultative advice and support now a top priority. 

We caught up with Elyas Bozan, the Managing Director for Morgan Philips Group in Germany, to get his thoughts on how Germany’s executive search market is evolving:

Transparency and honesty: the forgotten virtues of the search sector

In this new information-sharing era, organisations looking to find new executive-level talent are more likely to favour search firms that place a strong emphasis on transparency, says Elyas.

“In the long run, organisations prefer partnering with search firms that are open and honest about their capabilities and reach from the very beginning.” 

And in today’s highly volatile and uncertain business landscape, organisations also appreciate being challenged about their approach, he points out. 

“Businesses don’t need a search partner that will say anything to please them. They need a partner that isn’t afraid to suggest new techniques or approaches, and to speak up if they disagree with the current approach. The cultural and environmental fit is key when it comes to matching the right profile.”

Leaders need to earn people’s trust

The demand for greater transparency has also seeped into the desired skillset of an effective leader, Elyas points out, with honest and forthcoming leaders earning extra points in the eyes of their employees.

“To engage and inspire their employees, successful leaders need to possess the ability to form authentic, open relationships with those around them – and to achieve this, they need to be honest,” he says.

“Earn people’s trust by telling them what’s going on inside the organisation, unify them around a shared sense of purpose, and don’t be afraid to communicate the challenges you’re up against. This will allow your employees to understand your point of view, and help them feel more engaged as a result.”

Leadership doesn’t always fall from the top down, says Elyas, pointing out that flatter, more versatile structures allow people to lead at all levels.

“A micro-management style of leadership is not effective. Leaders need to know when to step aside and let other people drive things forward. This not only provides the opportunity for your team to learn and develop their skills, it also gives them the opportunity to harness new ideas and reach all new heights.”

“People want to work for organisations where they can make a real difference, and where they can do something that’s different. They want to work in an environment where positive risk is allowed.”

“That being said, an effective leader also knows when to step in and take the reins. You don’t have to say yes to everything and everyone – it’s okay to challenge people and processes so long as it’s constructive.”

The shifting dynamics of the C-suite

The executive search market in Germany is relatively stable, and has experienced prodigious growth, Elyas highlights. 

“At present, there’s a huge demand for leaders of marketing, human resources, product and manufacturing,” he says. “Leaders in artificial intelligence and data analytics are in high demand, too.” 

“Another trend we are seeing is the changing nature of the Chief Marketing Officer. They are often running the digital strategy of a company now, as well as its marketing strategy. As a result, many future CEOs will probably come from that role.” 

As with many European countries, Germany is also experiencing a shift in the dynamics of its board of directors, with many organisations striving to create a better balance by appointing leaders from younger generations.  

“Many of our clients are looking to appoint tech-savvy talent to their boards, often from younger generations, to create the right balance between old world and new world. This is particularly the case with small- to mid-sized businesses.”

For more information about Germany’s executive search market, please contact Elyas on:

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