Work with a partner to discuss the following questions:
1. What is a 'head-hunter'?
2. How do you understand the term 'executive search consultant'?
3. What other recruitment methods can you think of?
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each one?
5. Do you think that top managers should be paid more than other employees?
6. Does the problem of the brain-drain common for Russia?
I. Read the text and find the answers to the following questions:
1. Why did the office workers put head-hunters calls over the office loudhailer?
2. How to attract the phone call from the head-hunter?
3. What advantages can you get if you start with a large international company?
4. Can your image in the press help you? How?
5. What do you think is meant by to cast your net widely?
Text 1. Head-hunters.
Bait for the Head-hunters
1. That unexpected phone call offering a plum job with another firm isn't always just a matter of chance. Given a little planning, the talent scouts can be directed to your door. Stephanie Jones explains how.
2. "Naturally, I was headhunted into my present job," a typical City whiz-kid boasts. "Head-hunters ring all the time. During Big Bang they phoned us so often that we put their calls over the office loudhailer. Then we'd have a laugh when the head-hunter said: "Confidentially, I have a uniquely exciting opportunity that might just interest you..."
3. Being headhunted is not only for young bloods and famous chief executives. Almost 90 per cent of the top 1,000 companies use executives search consultants to find senior people. In the last few years they have been joined by smaller companies, accounting and law firms, charted surveyors, architects, private hospitals, the media, and even local authorities and Government departments.
4. So how do you attract those ego-trip phone calls which spell a new career opportunity? John Harper, 33, has been headhunted three times. His first job was as a graduate trainee with Procter & Gamble where, after five years, he was a brand manager on Pampers, which he had launched in the UK market.
5. He was invited to Kenner Parker (the American toy and games manufacturer responsible for Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and Care Bears) where in five more years he rose to be European marketing and operations director.
6. Then he was lured away into Avis, the car-hire giant, and two years later headhunted again into the job he started last week as international marketing director for Reebok, the sportswear company. He won't quote figures, but each time he moved his salary and benefits showed substantial improvement.
7. Not one of these positions was advertised. Indeed, before his latest move he was not considering a career change at all. So his advice to those hoping to hit the headhunt trail is born of experience:
- First, start out with a large international company. Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Shell, IBM and Mars, for example, offer not only excellent training but a ready-made network of contacts around the world, arguably more helpful to a career than being a Harvard alumnus.
- Secondly, ensure you are noticed by superiors. Head-hunters frequently find people through referrals from a source, usually a more senior person who suggests suitable names. Successful and highly-respected mentors should be cultivated, so that they will think of you when approached.
- Thirdly, make an impression outside your company. The research departments of search firms take note of executives mentioned in the press and trade journals.
8. You can't be sure exactly which particular self-publicising effort lead to an approach (head-hunters rarely reveal how they found you, and it is naive to ask) but developing a profile stands you in good stead.
9. Whenever Kenner Parker was launching another toy or game, John Harper's name repeatedly cropping up in Marketing, Marketing Week and the Financial Times played a useful part in his progress.
- Fourthly, when you want to move and don't stay in the same job, with the same company, for more than five to seven years make it known. According to Harper it's rare, and only when you're hitting the big time, that a head-hunter will call out of the blue.
10. Most head-hunters have put out the word that they are looking, and have taken the initiative by sending their CV to selected research consultants. When moving from Kenner Parker to Avis, Harper passed his CV to fifty searchers, identified through friends, contacts and other head-hunters.
11. The likelihood that one of the search firms will be looking for someone just like you is remote, so it's wise to cast your net widely. Harper was headhunted into Avis by Bruce Rowe of Rowe International in Paris not only one of his targeted search consultants, but a fellow ex-Procter & Gamble man, which underlines the value of his first piece of advice.
12. Finally, keep in with head-hunters. This includes a willingness to act as a source. Harper admits he would not recommend anyone he was currently working with it would conflict with his allegiance to his employer. But he will mention outstanding people he has worked with in the past.
II. Read paragraphs 3 - 7 from text 1 and complete the following record card.
1. What do the underlined words in the following sentences from Text 1 mean? Choose appropriate substitutes from the list.
let it be known
1. '... how do you attract those ego trip phone calls which spell a new career opportunity?'
2. '... the American toy and games manufacturer responsible for Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and Care Bears...
3. 'Then he was lured away into Avis...
4. '... each time he moved his salary and benefits showed substantial improvement.
5. '... developing a profile stands you in good stead.
6. 'John Harper's name repeatedly cropping up in Marketing, Marketing Week and the Financial Times...
7. '... [it's] only when you're hitting the big time, that a head-hunter will call out of the blue.
8. 'Most head-hunters have put out the word that they are looking...
9. '... which underlines the value of his first piece of advice.
10. '... he will mention outstanding people he has worked with in the past.
2. Read the rest of the text, and summarise John Harper's advice to would-be head-hunters in the following chart. You will need to infer the reason for his fifth piece of advice. The first one has been summarised for you.
start with a large international company
Excellent training and an immediate circle of contacts
V. Read the text and find three examples of problems that may have a negative impact on your career.
Text II. Looks: Appearance Counts With Many Managers
London. There is something downright undemocratic about judging managers' abilities on the colour of their eyes, the size of their lips, the shape of their noses or the amount of their body fat. Yet looks matter a lot more in hiring and promotions than employers will admit to others, or even to themselves.
Airlines and police forces have long had height and/or weight requirements for their staff, arguing that being physically fit and strong not too far or too small is in the interest of the public's safety. In some cases, unhappy employees are challenging the arbitrary rules, which have been used by the airlines to recruit only good-looking women; in other cases, employers are trying to be fairer to avoid lawsuits.
Scotland Yard requires its male employees to be at least 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 meters) tall and female employees to be at least 5 feet 4 inches. The Yard decided to accept shorter women a few years ago to conform with Britain's equal-opportunity rules.
Air France still requires its female cabin crew to be between 1.58 meters and 1.78 meters, and men to be between 1.70 meters and 1.92 meters. They must also have a "harmonious silhouette." And British airways grounds any member of its cabin crew pilots excluded if they are 20 percent over the average weight for their height.
Being short or overweight may affect people's careers in other industries in more subtle ways. I used to do all my business on the phone when I was a manager in my twenties, because there I could command great authority," said Ilona Morgan of the Equal Opportunities Commission in Manchester, who is 5 feet tall.
Being too small and/or overweight is only one way that looks can have an impact on someone's career. Academic research at Edinburgh University, New York University and Utah State University shows that the better-looking a person is, the more positive qualities they are thought to have and the more position impact that has in a career.
There is some evidence, however, that women who are too attractive unless they are television commentators or have other high-visibility jobs do not rank well as managers.
"There is enough research now to conclude that attractive women who aspire to managerial positions do not fare as well as women who may be less attractive," said Gerald Adams, a professor at Utah State University and an authority on the subject.
Some French employers and recruiters decide whether a manager is right for the job based upon looks. In some cases, morphopsychologists a term coined by a French neuropsychiatrist in 1935 attempt to determine personality traits according to a job applicant's face, eyes, mouth, nose, ears and hands.
"Unfortunately, morphopsychology has become a criterion for recruitment in France," said Bruno Vincenti with the Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants in Paris, the French employers' organization. "When it is used as the sole criterion, it is a catastrophe."
"Some people hire you because of the colour of your tie; why not the shape of your ears?" said Frederique Rollet, a psychotherapist in Paris who is the author of several books on morphopsychology.
VI. According to the text, are the following statements true or false?
1. Some companies hire people because of their attractive appearance and fashioned clothing.
2. Heads of Air lines and police do not pay any attention to your appearance
3. Men in Air France shouldn't be taller than 1.70 m.
4. Good-looking people are often more successful than others.
5. British airways does not allow its pilots to work if they are 20 per cent overweight.
6. Attractive women have problems reaching managerial positions.
7. According to some psychological research people's abilities are closely connected with their appearance.
8. Employers' attitudes to 'unfair' recruitment practices have not changed.
VII. Match the words from the text with their definitions.
1) to matter
a) a person that you work for
2) to hire
b) to need
d) the long-term plan for your professional life
5) to require
e) to put in order of importance
f) to be important
g) to give employment to someone
h) a person who applies for a job
9) to rank
i) the power to give orders
j) a movement to a more important job, with more responsibility and money.
VIII. Complete the following passage about the role of head-hunters in business, using words from the previous exercise. Change the form of the words where necessary.
Head-hunters, or executives search firms, specialise in finding the right person for the right job. When a company wishes to .......................... a person for an important position, it may use the services of such a firm, specifying the skills and ........................ which it ................... of the future employee.
The head-hunter contacts executives with the right .................. profile, and provides the company with a shortlist of suitable candidates. In the way, the ................ does not have to go through the preliminary stages of interviewing and selecting ...................... itself.
I. In this interview, you will hear Francis Wilkin, an Executive Search Consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates, talking about his job. Listen and take notes under the following headings:
1) the role and status of the head-hunter;
2) areas of corporate and personal specialisation;
3) the distinction between executive search companies and recruitment agencies;
4) the type of people head-hunters target;
5) methods used to identify candidates;
6) the 'craft' and 'art' of headhunting.
II. Listen again and answer the following questions. Francis Wilkin mentions the following figures. What do they relate to?
a) Discuss the following points with your partners and then speak out individually on each.
1. Do you think appearance should dominate over mental abilities?
2. In your opinion, is morphopsychology a useful recruitment technique?
3. How would it feel to be 'headhunted'?
4. Is the poaching of senior personnel from a company simply part of executive life, or is it an unethical activity?
5. Do you think that appearance of the staff is a part of a brand image?
6. Do you think that many people are able to change their appearance to get a highly paid job?
b) Make a 2-4 minute report on one of the following topics:
1. Mental abilities are more vital than someones appearance.
2. Morphopsychology is not a very useful recruitment technique.
3. Few people are able to change their appearance to get a highly paid job.
1. Prepare your Curriculum Vitae and the letter of application which you would send to a company you would like to work for.
2. Try to explain in 150 250 words which system is better for the employer and which for the employee: Western where executives switch jobs several times in their careers or Japanese where there is a policy of lifetime employment.