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Interview with a Leader - Candidate experience

For this episode of “Interview with a Leader”, APR talked with a Leader looking for his next opportunity: Serge Canaple.

Serge is now stepping on a 30 years’ successful career in the world of the supply chain to reach his next adventure. He holds a strong and precise knowledge of the industrial value chain and a particular capability to understand cross-functional projects in complex environments. He is the partner of companies willing to create and deploy a strategic vision of Operations and has the tools and personal skills to achieve high-end results.

For the last 6 months, in addition to being a top Operations Leader, Serge has also been a candidate, managing the ups and downs of such an interim but still challenging status…and today he shares his thoughts and tips with you!

Recruitment market have been deeply impacted by recent events; what dynamics did you witnessed as a candidate?

“Beginning of 2021, there was a drop in the number of offers on the market, as there was no visibility on the market, so recruitments were either postponed or sometimes canceled, with recruiters saying that they will launch again the recruitment only when there will be a vision on when the pandemic situation will end. So there was nothing else than keeping contacts during this period contacts with headhunters, to be ready when the market will start again, and use this time to look at new headhunters.

And what a lot of people were expecting, the market started again in March/April, with more opportunities, and this time the contacts were more frequent and also moved faster, as we saw the end of the pandemic situation and the exit from the tunnel!”

How do you manage to identify job opportunities: witch canal did you have to work on? How did you manage to ‘pop out’, to have your profile be more interesting or simply seen than the others?

“The importance of the network is key. Yes, there are some opportunities on the market but most of the jobs are proposed through your personal network, either headhunter you are in relation with, or through your professional relations.

Another thing important is that you need to put your profile on the main job boards to increase your visibility and showing that you are active & looking for a job. It is also really important to regularly update your resume as these job boards are putting forward the most updated profiles. If you do this, it assures you that your profile will appear on the top of the list as recruiters prefer to have the most updated resume.”

Did you see a true change in recruitment methodologies or processes?

“Before the Covid situation recruitment was all in physic, it was easy to show documentation/data to the headhunters, or through a mobile tablet. But of course, there has been a complete change with 99% of interviews with Headhunter or companies done through Visio. We had to adapt to these new recruitment methods, and also use the Visio tools to share documents, instead of sharing them in front of the recruiter. Also, it was more difficult to capture the climate of the recruitment through video, than being in front of them, shaking hands, having a coffee, … But we had to adapt ourselves, and it was certainly difficult for recruiters too.

The Covid situation has increased the length of the recruitment processes, and also, I saw that recruiters/headhunters were taking more time to recruit, and they were also chillier to move ahead and recruit, as Covid has reduced the visibility of their business strategy. It is the same with companies that are recruiting indirectly.

I used this time to better study the market, reading more articles in the area of Operations & Supply Chain Management to keep an eye on the trends & opportunities, and also better adjust in which sectors I wanted to work in, the type of management I was looking, and have done also some additional training that could be beneficial for the future.”

Now that you have been on the other side, what will you change, adapt, modify in your way of recruiting your future collaborators?

“Recruitment processes are too long and are discouraging the candidates, as some have a length of 5 to 6 months... There is a need to anticipate the recruitment process and try to focus on doing the full process in some weeks or few months.

It will be seen as more positive for the candidates. It will show a dynamic process, with a succession of interviews, and demonstrate to the candidate that he is attended to take this job asap.

It is also important to consider the possible overlap period, giving more chances to the candidate to be productive faster, and it will also secure the business of the company that is recruiting. An easy example is when someone is retiring, the good idea is to launch the recruitment in advance in order first to secure the business with a smooth transition and second, have the actual owner of the job spending 2 to 3 months with the recruited candidate. It is a win-win situation.

How would I conduct an interview? I will show the candidate that we are willing to have him on board asap and showing that his contribution is key for us and that he will fit into the company strategy. So, we need to speed this recruitment up and do interviews one after the other! Going directly to the heart of the job and capture as soon as possible his expectations (in terms of company size, of type of business...) would be my main focus.”

Your top 3 tips for leaders looking for a new role?

“* Update regularly your profile and your resume on the main job boards. Linked to this, you need to adjust your keywords, which should be related to the activity sector you are trying to get in.

* Keep good relations with your network as they can be a source of job opportunities (maybe not immediately but could arrive later!) and maintain close relations with key recruiters, the same maybe they have nothing right now, but they can have an opportunity for you in the future, so you need to remind them of your profile.

* Plan your week and follow your progress as you would do it for a project with timescale, to keep your motivation and dynamism, that headhunters/recruiters will see on the Visio!”

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