Korn Ferry opens head­hunt­ing arm as Brexit looms

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Gretchen Frie­mann

GLOBAL re­cruit­ment and ad­vi­sory firm, Korn Ferry, has opened an ex­ec­u­tive search divi­sion in Dublin as the listed head­hunter pitches to be­come a key power­bro­ker in the re­cov­er­ing Ir­ish em­ploy­ment mar­ket.

While the US-head­quar­tered group gained a wide pres­ence in Ire­land af­ter the group’s 2015 takeover of the hu­man re­sources con­sul­tancy out­fit Hay Group its ex­ec­u­tive re­cruit­ment ac­tiv­i­ties were con­ducted off­shore.

Korn Ferry’s ex­pan­sion here is likely to shake up the al­ready acutely-com­pet­i­tive re­cruit­ment sec­tor and may her­ald the ar­rival of other in­ter­na­tional heavy­weights, like its listed peer Hei­drick & Strug­gles and the pri­vately-con­trolled head­hunt­ing groups Spencer Stu­art and Egon Zehn­der In­ter­na­tional.

Th­ese names are well-known in global busi­ness cir­cles – be­tween them they have pop­u­lated the C-suites and board­rooms of the multi­na­tion­als for close to five decades. Typ­i­cally they charge one-third of the suc­cess- ful can­di­date’s salary and bonus for a place­ment in the up­per ech­e­lons of an or­gan­i­sa­tion.

But Korn Ferry is the first of th­ese elite brands to open a lo­cal ex­ec­u­tive search op­er­a­tion in Dublin.

The moves comes as un­em­ploy­ment con­tin­ues to fall and the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor looks set to ex­pand on the back of Brexit.

Robert Wilder, Korn Ferry’s man­ag­ing direc­tor in Ire­land, stressed the firm’s de­ci­sion to boost its Ir­ish op­er­a­tions was not spurred by Brexit.

In­stead he at­trib­uted it to the de­sire to “build on our ex­ist­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties” and unite Korn Ferry’s three dis­tinct lines of busi­ness: its ex­ec­u­tive search arm, ad­vi­sory ser­vices and its tal­ent man­age­ment and re­cruit­ment so­lu­tions arm, Fu­turestep.

While Mr Wilder ac­knowl­edged Brexit of­fers op­por­tu­ni­ties he said Korn Ferry is “unique” in its abil­ity to of­fer “the full breadth of peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tional so­lu­tions and prod­ucts”. FACE­BOOK is the most rec­om­mended tech com­pany to work for in Ire­land over the last 12 months, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey from jobs ser­vice Glass­door.

The list is based on the in­put of cur­rent and for­mer em­ploy­ees who re­viewed their em­ploy­ers on Glass­door.com over the past year. In all, 96pc of Face­book re­views on the ser­vice pos­i­tively rec­om­mended the com­pany as some­where to work. A com­pany spokesper­son said that the tech gi­ant has re­cently in­tro­duced an ex­ten­sion to be­reave­ment leave. It also of­fers four months’ pa­ter­nity leave to first-time fa­thers.

Mar­ket­ing firm Hub­spot, which is lo­cated be­side the Na­tional Con­ven­tions Cen­tre on Dublin’s north quays, took sec­ond place with a 94pc rat­ing. Hub­spot was the sub­ject of scru­tiny in Dan Lyons’ book, ‘Dis­rupted’, where the com­pany’s US of­fice was lam­pooned for its over-ex­u­ber­ance in pro­vid­ing “candy walls” and pushup train­ing ses­sions among pro­gram­mers.

Sales­force was the third-most rec­om­mended tech firm to work at in Dublin, while Google, SAP and Linkedin came next. VMWare, Mi­crosoft, Airbnb and In­tel com­pleted the top 10.

“You wouldn’t stay in a ho­tel that didn’t have good cus­tomer en­dorse­ments, so why ap­ply for a job at a com­pany that isn’t strongly rec­om­mended by the peo­ple that al­ready work there?” said Lau­ren Wright, direc­tor of Emea at Glass­door. “The bat­tle for tech tal­ent in Ire­land is fierce. Face­book is the boss in a tough cat­e­gory here.”

The Ir­ish rat­ings were ob­tained from re­views left by em­ploy­ees based in Ire­land from July 2016 to July 2017.

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