Archive: Torsetn Muth Interview, MD of Experteer UK in 2008
 Experteers UK Managing Director -Torsten Muth- Speaks Out
Leading European recruitment website Experteer has launched a UK website, www.experteer.co.uk, to target the increasing number of senior executives looking for new positions at home and abroad. Whilst the economic downturn has hit sectors such as financial services hard it is creating a growing reservoir of senior level talent keen to search for new challenges in other sectors.
Recruitment in the UK is booming. Revenue figures for recruitment agencies for 2006 - 7 were at a record high of over £24billion. It sounds like a lot but how efficient do you see the UK recruitment agencies as being on the whole? Do you feel that many agencies are prospering or are the big boys getting bigger and the wannabes are still struggling and floundering?
The industry as a whole is prospering. However, bigger agencies are naturally stronger in the uptake compared to many of the smaller ones. The only other players in the market that are seen to be prospering are the very niche companies, especially in industries that are demanding new candidates while the market is very small - these companies need to have a very good network in their particular area to be able to succeed. For example, some medical/bio industries.
What do you make of the established, large UK job boards such as Jobserve and Jobsite and Monster UK?
These sites are heavily competing against each other with no clear differentiation. They work well for jobs in the lower bracket of the salary range but do not always reach candidates for more senior level roles (60k +). Due to the sheer vastness of jobs advertised on these sites, it is hard to find the most appropriate job for the individual, and it is even harder to get inspiration for a job that a candidate might not have thought about in the first place. Also, whereas Experteer has a social networking element to the site, enabling people to create their individual profile and contact headhunters directly, most of the established UK sites do not offer any kind of networking feature.
What is the German recruitment market like? The EUs largest economy. Is Germany a cash cow for recruiting?
Germany is still seeing relatively strong economic growth and the job market reflects this with a still booming hiring situation. The unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest since after the fall of the Berlin wall in the early 90s. However, the market for recruitment companies/agencies is far less crowded than in the UK - we estimate that there is approximately only 60 per cent as many recruitment companies in Germany as there are in the UK. Given the larger workforce and its potential, the market in Germany is much easier for Recruiters than in the UK.
Is Germany a candidate or employer market? We have seen from our research and from surveys that the UK and Denmark are candidate led markets. Getting in vacancies isn't the problem. Finding the suitable candidates is.
Yes, this situation is still true. The trend kicked in about 2 years ago and is peaking right now. Depending on the further direction of the overall economy this situation might change again. But for the time being jobseekers have very good chances. We see this also reflected in our own database: the number of senior role jobs with a salary of more than €60k has gone up year on year by 11%.
Experteer caters at the higher end of the job market, for more seasoned professionals who are in a higher wage bracket. What are the challenges to catering to this market?
For the market generally, senior professionals have an advantage in that they have been in job changing situations before. They are basing their career goals and requirements on these experiences and hence know exactly what they want to get out of their next career move. Also they have usually more patience as they know that sometimes it just takes some time until a headhunter will have an assignment that fits to his personal profile or the right next job comes up. They are less willing to make huge compromises.
For us as a new service it is predominantly a question of awareness. But once people are aware of us, it is important that they realise what differentiates Experteer from other executive job sites. For instance, at any one time, we can claim to have the most comprehensive list of open job opportunities in the UK. We do not solely rely on companies or recruiters to post their jobs on our website, but have a team of 12 researchers that are constantly scanning the whole market in the UK for any new roles. Furthermore, we have the most comprehensive list of European job opportunities, which is important as higher-level job seekers become more and more interested in international opportunities.
Finally, our service provides for both the active as well as the passive jobseekers. For the active jobseekers, they get access to a state of the art search engine and can narrow their search options depending on precisely what they are really looking for. On the other hand, passive jobseekers can simply sign up get a well-analysed and personalised overview of suitable opportunities for them every week. Additionally (and perhaps most importantly) they can just sit and wait until one of our more than 1900 headhunters finds their profile.
What online recruitment innovations do Experteer utilise?
Besides the team of researchers scanning and analysing the markets on a regular basis, we have developed a proprietary matching feature that complements our search feature. In addition to the Experteer Search, Experteer Career Matching offers the candidate a sophisticated mechanism that looks beyond the direct conceptions of their next career move and highlights opportunities that might otherwise be missed or remain off the candidate's radar.
Experteer Search produces precise results, whilst Experteer Career Matching amplifies and complements these with the help of a string-matching algorithm that extrapolates into further career possibilities. This service is exclusively available to members of Experteer. The specifications that feed into this mathematical algorithm include the member's personal qualifications and their next career move, with weighting that takes into account the opportunities available in the broader job market according to industry and function.
The matching is carried out 'live' in real time. Each user also receives a weekly email with a personalised list of job opportunities that match their profile, career goal and criteria.
Do you have any provocative views on the Job board sector?
We predict that consolidation will happen over the next 2 years. There are way too many similar job boards out there. This is particularly the case for broader job boards that dont offer any particularly niche services or features. Also, as users get more sophisticated with the way they search online, the features will become more mature as well. Networking sites such as Linkedin will also take a bigger share from the market, meaning that recruiters and jobseekers can actively engage with one another.
Longer term aims for Experteer in the UK and abroad?
In Europe we are planning to open up to 3 more markets in the next six moinths. In the UK we are hoping to go from strength to strength, and improve on our already impressive figures for numbers of jobseekers, recruiters/employers as well as overall turnover results. The better job boards and other recruitment technologies become, how do you see recruitment/employment agencies fitting in an increasingly technological landscape and being of value to employers?
There will always be space for headhunters as long as they can maintain an exclusive database of potential candidates that fit to the specific industries they are working in. Also there is always the question of privacy that headhunters are able to navigate better then outsourcing companies or employers themselves. No job board will allow an employer to search their database if there is a risk that an employee could be detected by their current employer because the employer would have access to the complete database. Headhunters will be the filter for this to happen - at least for the time being.
Experteer, the leading online career service for senior professionals across Europe, features more than 30,000 job opportunities at salaries above £50,000 and a network of 1,800 approved headhunters. This premium service is aimed at experienced executives who are either planning their next career move, or simply wanting to monitor the job market and their own market value. Job opportunities available to subscribed members have been selected by a team of independent analysts, who constantly research the market, then classify each job and apply a salary benchmark. Experteer's proprietary Career Matching System alerts each of the current 200,000 European members to positions that correspond to their qualifications, experience and career goals, including relevant opportunities in new industries, functions, or at new management levels. The online career service also provides free job advertising and valuable networking opportunities for headhunters.
Experteer was founded in July 2005 by Holtzbrinck Ventures GmbH, a subsidiary of the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group, and is headquartered in Munich. The UK office is based in London. Further information can be found at www.experteer.co.uk or at the service's domain name for each country in which it operates: .de/.ch/.fr/.com.
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