Madrid, Spain – Alberto Bocchieri, Partner and Co-head for Spain and Latin America at Pedersen & Partners speaks to „Equipos y Talento.“ Pedersen & Partners is a rapidly-growing global Executive Search firm with a strong presence in emerging markets. The firm was founded by Poul Pedersen 15 years ago, and has subsequently grown very steadily, expanding its presence to 50 countries. In December 2011, Pedersen & Partners opened its first Spanish office in Madrid, and since then has expanded to Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Mexico.
Pedersen & Partners is a search firm that has exploded onto the Spanish and global markets in recent years. In such a highly competitive sector, what is your secret?
The pillars of our success are the quality and professionalism of our consultants and the confidence that we generate in our customers, year after year and search after search, in all markets and countries in which we operate. Pedersen & Partners is an integrated and wholly-owned company, which makes us a very cohesive partnership with a well-defined strategy for seeking the best talent in the 21st century. Today, we need to demonstrate that we can provide rapid, efficient and advanced knowledge across all sectors, markets and functions. Our firm is international and multicultural, both by birth and by vocation. Our consultants are constantly exchanging best practices and market trends from every corner of the planet, and this allows us to meet the talent needs of our customers from a global perspective.
What methodology do you use to find the best executives?
We always use direct search techniques. We work with our clients to define the ideal profile for a specific position, providing ideas and designing the appropriate search strategy for each situation. We take into consideration the company’s type, size and business sector, as well as the level of the position. Finally, we actively engage with the process through to the final stage, covering candidate selection, incorporation and subsequent monitoring. These days, it is more important than ever to receive good references, as no organization wishes to risk its reputation for a potential bad hire.
To what extent has the impact of social networks like LinkedIn affected your profession?
Professional networks like LinkedIn are often very useful for companies. It is great when companies can directly search for middle-management profiles and positions, as these rarely require the advice and assessment of a firm like ours. For professionals, these networks are a great way to stay constantly updated and connected.
Professional social media platforms are a useful tool that can facilitate and speed up the market research work that we do, but it can hardly replace a good consultant. You can look online if you need to appeal a fine, but you need a good lawyer to close a deal – and in the same way, you need the advice of a good “head-hunter” to hire a senior executive. Our clients come to us because they are seeking key people for critical positions, and we offer added value that the professional networks do not provide.
From your perspective, how do you see the talent market in Spain?
Over the past year, we have seen regrowth in the Spanish Executive Search market. Today, the economic recovery is unquestionable, emerging markets are starting to invest, investment funds are playing an important role, corporate operations and IPOs are revitalized, and we are seeing a rejuvenation in domestic demand overall. Within this context, there is a lot of demand for talent, and Spain has plenty of it.
What professional profiles are most in demand right now? Which ones do you work with the most?
Top executive profiles are always highly sought-after – General Management and Business Development of course, but also Country Managers who can open new markets or strengthen a corporation’s presence abroad. We are also seeing a rise in the demand for key staff positions such as CFOs, Legal Advisory and Compliance Directors, Chief Risk Officers, and HR Executives. As these functions have become more closely integrated with a company’s business areas, the profiles for these positions have become more diverse and demanding. In banking, for instance, the ECB Banking Supervision has mandated that financial entities and professional services firms employ highly skilled professionals, which are scarce in the market. We are also concentrating heavily on Technology, motivated by companies that are improving their processes and inventing new businesses based on digital disruptive technologies.
And what is the profile of a good Executive Search professional? What does your company value the most?
First and foremost, a good Executive Search professional is a person with common sense, rigor, ethics and intuition. A deep understanding of the customer's business definitely facilitates the execution of the process. Our consultants all have solid corporate experience; we are familiar with our clients’ sectors and industries. We understand the risks of influencing professional careers, of inducing change, and we are able to accurately predict the potential opportunities and risks of any potential hiring decision. Knowing how to empathize with candidates, understand and manage their expectations is one of the keys to this profession. In short, the ability to generate confidence in all parties involved.
Finally, what are your short-term and long-term objectives?
Growth, growth and growth! We are a leading firm in emerging markets, known for our expertise and professionalism among our loyal and satisfied customers. We are also strong in the major advanced economies, demonstrated by the fact that we continue to grow in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe and South East Asia, and also in countries such as Germany and Spain. Moreover, we want to do the same in the U.S., which is why we have just recently opened our first U.S. office in Houston, Texas.
Alberto Bocchieri is a Partner and the Co-Head of Spain & Latin America at Pedersen & Partners based in Madrid. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Bocchieri has held various senior level positions in large corporations in the chemical industry, banking and communications sectors in Brussels, Rome and Madrid. Mr. Bocchieri brings a wealth of Executive Search experience having previously worked for an international executive search firm. His areas of expertise include Private Equity, Corporate and Investment Banking, Legal and Financial Services, Professional Advisory Services, Energy (Mining, Oil & Gas, large utilities, Renewable and Conventional Power) and Industrials. He focuses on top executive positions and cross-border assignments both in Western and emerging economies.
Pedersen & Partners is a leading international Executive Search firm. We operate 55 wholly owned offices in 51 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia & the Americas. Our values Trust, Relationship and Professionalism apply to our interaction with clients as well as executives. More information about Pedersen & Partners is available at www.pedersenandpartners.com
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