executive selection in Lithuania by Indigroup

Executive selection in Lithuania: small market specifics and rules

Narrowness of requirements leads to a closed circle

Executive selection is a strategically important process for a company, and it is therefore time and resource intensive. Often, companies in Lithuania have very narrow requirements when designing an executive selection project. Yes, this is to ensure that the selected manager will have an excellent knowledge of the specifics of the employer’s business, but this strategy leads to two problems:

  1. Low motivation of candidates. Executive search companies are well aware of situations where an executive is offered to move to another company in a similar position. The motivation to change the situation to an almost identical one does not create any natural motivation for the manager, and if it is only financial, it is a short-term solution.
  2. Narrow pool of candidates. With very specific requirements, the Lithuanian labour market can often offer a sample of only 10 candidates. If an executive search agency can normally achieve 30% interest from passive labour market executives, then we have 3 candidates in total. If we add the fact that out of the 3 executives selected on the basis of technical parameters, one will not be a good match for the personal qualities package, we have only 2 candidates. This is usually already too small a sample of candidates for a quality selection of managers.

Too much reliance on public search channels

The trends in the Lithuanian labour market mean that candidates are more likely to be able to choose the position they want than employers are to have a large number of managers to choose from. The classic public search reflects this well – lots of interest but not from the right candidates. Often employers tend to be disappointed with the labour market and claim that there is a lack of good managers. In fact, the market is fine and not worth thinking about too much, because it is simply the reality of the labour market in Lithuania, which will require a lot of biased long-term labour market policy to change.

The real problem in this case is thinking that offering a job and making it public is the best way forward. Unfortunately, this is only a complementary rather than the main part of the executive selection in Lithuania. It is complementary to the main part – direct search or headhunting. Yes, the complexity of a headhunting project is on a different level to a public search, but once spent, the time spent will pay off with the best manager on the market, not just the one who was able or willing to send in his CV.

The pitfalls of assessing executive competence

Once the shortlist has been finalised, a clear structure of the selection stages should be established to assess the competence of the managers. The most common problem is that there is too little emphasis on the efficiency of the process, or simply on speed. There are situations where managers tend to refuse to take part in the selection process at the very first presentation interview, when they hear how much bureaucracy is involved. At the same time, managers may be involved in several other selection processes at the same time.

If one position takes twice as long to select as another, the manager tends to opt for a guaranteed offer rather than wait for results where they are still unpredictable. A clear, efficient and fast selection process keeps managers motivated and ensures that no candidates are lost in the process, i.e. no candidates are dropped midway through the process.

Insight by

Karolis Blaževičius

Managing Partner of Indigroup

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