Back News  /  May 2013

Our international network is our biggest client

54% of German companies with more than 250 employees recruit managers for their German offices abroad. This is a key finding of the study “HR Challenges Facing Medium Sized Companies” commissioned by InterSearch Executive Consultants. As a result, clients increasingly expect their personnel consultants to offer international expertise. However, 28% of companies are dissatisfied with the service that they have received recruiting across national borders. Speaking at a discussion forum at the BDU’s national conference, Michael Gross, Managing Partner of InterSearch Executive Consultants explained how his company masters the challenges of international recruitment to the satisfaction of clients.

“Good practice – the structures and success factors of international consultancy networks” was the title of the forum: alongside Gross, three other representatives of HR consultancies participated in leading the discussion. “Many HR consultancies promise international recruitment but have no established, reliable partner abroad and only limited knowledge of the complexities of executive search in a given target market. At InterSearch, we began to recruit abroad as far back as the late 1980’s at the specific request of our international clients. Since then, we have established reliable partnerships in important markets and together, we are able to carry out international searches successfully” reports Gross. This network has now been extended to 100 offices in over 45 countries.

In order for this cooperation to be truly effective – the partner offices giving priority to search briefings from Germany and carrying them out to a reliably high standard – Michael Gross considers a legal merger between the partners to be indispensable. All partners are shareholders in InterSearch Worldwide which was founded for this specific reason. The fees to be received by each partner are laid out in the contract, ensuring transparency and certainty for all partners about their share of income for generating and carrying out a specific briefing.

From the audience, a visitor to the conferences asks “Do you ever get anything back from your network? In my experience, such partnerships tend to be a one way street.” Michael Gross is able to counter that this has not been his experience: “At InterSearch, the network is one of our best clients – 15% of our turnover is generated by services undertaken for our partners.” Even at InterSearch however, international recruitment has not been without problems. “We did have problems with some of our partners from the earliest days who did not share our high standards” admits the Managing Partner. “We should have chosen more carefully, and although we have since replaced these, our contractual obligations meant that this was not entirely straight forward.” What other factors should be considered in this context? The recruitment expert recommends that the majority of consultancy projects abroad should be supervised personally on the ground, rather than just checking the results afterwards. Beyond this, it is important to ensure regular contact between the international partners. InterSearch organizes a meeting of all network partners at least once a year. This year’s meeting will take place in Berlin from the 23rd - 25th of May. Apart from this, the network partners should stay in close contact from the first client briefing night up to the successful placement. Michael Gross sums up: “We know all of our partners personally and have had committed professional relationships with them for many years. That is the reason why we can recruit from abroad so successfully for our clients.”


Press contact: Thomas Bockholdt   Tel.: +49 40 46 88 42 0