Headhunting in Czech Republic: a smart mixture of a former diplomat and a salesman

Igor Svatoš describes himself as a “boomer 2.0”. Not only is he a proud grandfather who likes modern technology and actively uses AI, but Igor is also the managing partner of InterSearch Czech Republic. He worked for InterSearch Czech Republic from 1995 to 1999 and re-joined the company in 2008. The small team of four passionate consultants in Prague mainly focuses on production in the automotive and industrial segment as well as sales and distribution.

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Igor Svatoš, InterSearch Czech Republic

Igor studied Chinese history and political science at a University in the former Soviet Union. That’s why, in addition to his native Czech, Igor is fluent in Chinese (Mandarin), English, and Russian, and has a basic understanding of German. After working in China for six years at the Czech Embassy together with friends, he established a Saab car import company. “In the early 90s after the fall of Communism, everything seemed possible in Eastern Europe,” Igor explains. “Later it happened that I sold a car to a headhunter, which was a business I had never heard of, and that guy hired me.” So, when asked why he’s good in his business, Igor states grinningly: “I think that it is a mixture of being a former diplomat and a salesman.” And a bit more seriously, he adds that having diplomatic experience helps him to be an ambassador of the client. Igor “sells” the client’s company and position to the candidate and supports his clients in all aspects, not only in HR-related matters.

Working for international companies

The Czech consultants mainly work for international companies. “Because local SMEs almost never use external services to recruit people,” Igor says and reports further that surprisingly enough, there are still people in the market who have never heard about “headhunting.” “When we call them, they think we are selling some products or services,” Igor says. But as the parties get to know each other, it turns out that the people Igor and his team call are potentially great candidates, just living in more remote areas. And they are loyal to their employers. That’s why the team more and more often must target large amounts of people, often more than 300 – depending on the position – in order to screen the market.

But because of doing so, the consultants can act very quickly. “One of our recent clients, which was an international company we started to work with via the InterSearch network, was very surprised that we were able to find two senior candidates within two weeks.” On top of recruitment, InterSearch Czech Republic assisted with establishing the company in Czechia and drafting employment contracts.

Candidate driven market

As almost everywhere in Europe, it’s a candidate driven market in Czech Republic. The main challenge InterSearch Czech Republic faces is to find the right candidate who is willing to change jobs in the present economic situation. In Czechia, they have the highest inflation rate and the lowest unemployment rate within the EU (under three percent). Compared to Germany, Igor noticed that even after 30 years of a free economy, the Czech business environment is not mature. Consequently, when setting up a proper package for the candidates, the team only relies on its knowledge and experience more than on official salary surveys.

On the other hand, InterSearch Czechia is one of the biggest operators of cross-border assignments within the InterSearch family. Why is that the case? Igor thinks that the roles of “introducers” and “operators” are very important in each international search. “The client is used to work with the person who introduces the new one and is expecting the same level of services from the operator. I think that this is a big strength of InterSearch in Czechia. We are very successful in international searches, as we try to understand the way how to proceed in each search together with the introducers.”

InterSearch is increasing its cross-border search business around the world from year to year. One significant advantage of InterSearch Worldwide’s approach is, that the “introducing country” is working closely with the “operating country.” Both parties are involved in the search process until the final candidate is hired. “Igor is a very good example of an experienced Senior Partner within the InterSearch family, who has a great network, knows what’s going on in the local market and always delivers high quality candidates,” says Alexander Wilhelm, managing partner InterSearch Germany. “When faced with pressure, he and his team maintain composure and approach situations thoughtfully.”

About InterSearch Executive Consultants

InterSearch Executive Consultants is one of the leading personnel consultancies and specializes in the recruitment of executives (Executive Search) and systematic analyses of executive potential (Management Audit / Executive Diagnostic). Founded in 1985 under the name “MR Personalberatung”, the company is now represented in Germany with three offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Cologne and was a founding partner of InterSearch Worldwide in 1989. Today, InterSearch operates worldwide in the field of executive search with more than 600 consultants in over 50 countries with more than 90 locations.

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