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  • Expert Interview Series: Michael Sarsteiner of Talentor International

Expert Interview Series: Michael Sarsteiner of Talentor International

Mar 30 , 2017
Hiring executive positions

Michael Sarsteiner is CEO of Talentor International. He worked for more than 10 years in recruitment and executive search as a consultant and managed Offices in Central and Eastern Europe.

He is also the co-author of the book Strategien internationaler Personalbeschaffung (Strategies for international recruitment).

We recently talked to Michael about Talentor International and the challenges facing companies today of hiring executive positions. Here's what he had to say:

Can you tell us the story behind Talentor International?

Talentor is an executive search and recruitment company for middle and upper management positions. Our search focus is within the following industry sectors: information technology, finance, energy, industry, health care and medical. The company was founded in 2003 in Finland. Currently, Talentor's main markets are Scandinavia, the Baltics, Central and Southeastern Europe.

Since January 2016 we have a strong partner in Asia/China.

Our company's success is based on profound knowledge of the (local) recruitment market, a customer-oriented approach and a strong technological platform and candidate management software. We focus on reliable, fast and professional customer service. Our fuss-free attitude and pragmatic approach brings the results our customers expect.

How has recruiting evolved since you started your career?

Processes speed up (Internet and new Media) and job profiles change. In order to remain ahead of the curve in the changing market requirements, we constantly observe international trends and continuously renew our processes. The most important tool in this is the eRecruiter, our purpose-built in-house software.

What are the biggest challenges companies face when hiring executive positions today?

1. To attract the top talent it is important to have an excellent employer brand. Some still think that money is the only motivation, which is not the case anymore nowadays.

2. Companies need to speed up their recruiting process - otherwise they will restrict their results.

3. Big Data in recruiting - many companies are not prepared for intense recruiting competition and in addition their recruiting strategy may be years out of date.

4. Company´s current recruiting processes may not have the capability of recruiting innovators. Recruiting is more and more a Marketing and Sales Job - this needs different skills and processes in the HR departments.

Why is it so critical that companies make smart choices for hiring these positions?

One of the things that managers have learned from the success of innovative companies like Apple is the value of having innovative people in critical (management) positiones. Without a strong employer brand and a process designed specifically for recruiting innovators, the chance of recruiting a top industry innovator to your company may approach zero. And that can be decisive for the success of a company.

Why should companies consider recruiting overseas? What are the benefits?

In more and more markets in Europe you simply can't find people with the needed qualifications anymore. So you need to go overseas, which makes things more complicated. A second point is that most (all) industries become more and more global and it makes sense to mix teams from a cultural point of view. The benefits are diverse - depending on industry sector, country and company. But the main benefit is the different views of different cultural and educational backgrounds.

What are the potential risks or drawbacks of recruiting in other countries?

First, you need to know the employment market and define which recruiting strategy will be successful in this country. If you are not local this can be very risky or an expensive experience.

Even in times of internet it is important (especially for executive positions) to meet candidates face to face.

Especially when there are cultural differences you need a recruiting partner to understand how to hire and attract the right top talent and support you in decision making. It is very old but still relevant: Think global, act local. Local market know-how is the key to be successful in recruitment.

What considerations should companies be making when looking to hire international talent?

To have a reliable and competent partner who does international search for you!

What trends or headlines are you following in the world of international recruiting today?

Recruiting 4.0. Means: Recruiting is right now in the biggest technological transformation this industry has ever seen.

Make sure your recruiting process is keeping up with digital transformations. Find out why your IT recruiting needs to be mobile accessible.