Which companies are looking for a headhunter

Career & Salary

Need a change of scenery? Quite a few CIOs or IT executives consider changing companies. Occasionally, his position becomes vacant against his will. A new job and a new challenge are needed. It helps to know how companies get hold of IT executives.

Large companies rely on internal junior staff. Countless young talent development programs, further training measures and a high level of employee loyalty are intended to keep the talents in their own company. Ideally, the offspring is already available and the position does not remain vacant for long. However, this does not always work, and so some companies use unusual recruiting methods.

Recruiting with croissants

Even Telekom cannot fill every position internally. Good news for IT executives willing to change: "We also recruit outside the company," says Marc-Stefan Brodbeck, Head of Recruiting at Deutsche Telekom AG. Sometimes he does that with croissants: He stood armed with French baked goods in front of large IT companies in order to poach the talents directly at the door and to inspire them for Telekom. Telekom is also feeling the shortage of skilled workers. In addition to recruiting baked goods, the company uses other forms of recruiting. "In the last two years we have become much more active in recruiting," says Brodbeck. "We approach specialists very strongly and apply to them."

This is done via online portals such as Xing and LinkedIn. Brodbeck advises executives willing to change to keep their profile up to date. The cover letter via these channels has a decisive advantage for the Telekom HR manager: "We come into active contact with people who are not looking for a job," says Brodbeck. Doesn't he have any concerns that he will steal talent from other companies in the process? "Every recruiting is poaching," says Brodbeck. In recruiting for the right skilled workers, you fight hard.

  1. This is how companies look for IT executives
    Companies look for CIOs in a variety of ways. Via headhunters, advertisements, online networks and interim managers. Some top managers have told us how CIOs really get their jobs
  2. Marc-Stefan Brodbeck, Deutsche Telekom AG
    "We use headhunters when we reach our limits in terms of capacity," says Marc-Stefan Brodbeck, Recruiting Manager at Telekom. Otherwise the HR department will be clogged with too many applications. The other variant: the position is too sensitive or even still filled. Then Telekom calls the headhunter. Otherwise, Brodbeck recruits via online portals.
  3. Thomas Hemmerling-Böhmer, IT consultant
    Has a different opinion of headhunters: Thomas Hemmerling-Böhmer, IT consultant and ex-CIO of Karl Storz GMbH & CO. KG. "The placement companies very often only think about their own well-being," he says. Hemmerling-Böhmer has had very different experiences with them: "Often, a telephone call is not followed up with any follow-up action, not even a rejection, despite promises made. Once you get the job, there is usually no follow-up support," criticizes Hemmerling-Böhmer. After a placement, he himself only received a call asking how much the final agreed salary was. The headhunter's premium is then determined. "You are treated like a piece of game that the hunters want to kill and becomes unimportant after the Halali," says Hemmerling-Böhmer. "I've already seen the wildest things with personnel consultants," says Hemmerling-Böhmer. "You can't expect long-term support there."
  4. There aren't that many CIOs
    A good recruiter creates a profile of the company with size, industry, budget responsibility, and so on. Then he looks for a suitable CIO. So many CIOs don't fit into a certain position. The right CIO is the needle in the haystack.
  5. Off to Xing
    Hemmerling-Böhmer has one piece of advice ready: "If you are willing to change, you can get it across on sites like Xing." Maybe Brodbeck will contact you? Making yourself visible online also makes sense for another reason:
  6. Hardly any tenders
    "Only a few CIO positions are advertised openly," says Hemmerling-Böhmer.
  7. Bodo Deutschmann, CIO of Eissmann Auomotives GmbH
    Deutschmann himself is contacted by headhunters on average every two months. You want to poach him or ask him for advice if he doesn't know someone for a certain position. "These high profile positions are not advertised at all," confirms Bodo Deutschmann.
  8. Bernd Hilgenberg, former CIO and now consultant
    "In my experience, CIOs are approached less often than other executives by personnel consultants," reports the ex-CIO of Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH.
  9. More secrecy
    "As a CIO, it is difficult to switch from a bank to a chemical company," says Hilgenberg. The area of ​​responsibility is more diverse than that of other C-level managers due to the horizontal responsibility. This also complicates the search for a suitable CIO. Hilgenberg confirms that the fundamental importance of the position of the CIO has increased by the fact that now more and more confidentiality obligations in the context of search orders mark the start of negotiations.
  10. Matthias Busold, HR consultant at Kienbaum
    Discretion is everything: "If the position is still filled, we are approached very discreetly," says Busold.
  11. Where are all the specialists?
    "Companies often don't turn to us for a few months," says Busold. Personnel consultants cost money that some want to save. But if you simply cannot find an executive, the personnel consultant has to deal with it.
  12. Think about your network!
    The following applies to every CIO willing to change: Activate your network if you want to break new ground. Ultimately, it all falls back on it no matter how you apply.
  13. This is how companies look for IT executives
    Companies look for CIOs in a variety of ways. Via headhunters, advertisements, online networks and interim managers. Some top managers have told us how CIOs really get their jobs
  14. Marc-Stefan Brodbeck, Deutsche Telekom AG
    "We use headhunters when we reach our capacity limits," says Marc-Stefan Brodbeck, Recruiting Manager at Telekom. Otherwise the HR department will be clogged with too many applications. The other variant: the position is too sensitive or even still filled. Then Telekom calls the headhunter. Otherwise, Brodbeck recruits via online portals.
  15. Thomas Hemmerling-Böhmer, IT consultant
    Has a different opinion of headhunters: Thomas Hemmerling-Böhmer, IT consultant and ex-CIO of Karl Storz GMbH & CO. KG. "The placement companies very often only think about their own well-being," he says. Hemmerling-Böhmer has had very different experiences with them: "Often a phone call is not followed up, not even a rejection, despite promises made. Once you get the job, there is usually no follow-up support," criticizes Hemmerling-Böhmer. After a mediation, he himself only received a call asking how much the final agreed salary was. The headhunter's premium is then determined. "You are treated like a piece of game that the hunters want to kill and becomes unimportant after the Halali," says Hemmerling-Böhmer. "I've already experienced the wildest things with personnel consultants," says Hemmerling-Böhmer. "You can't expect long-term support there."
  16. There aren't that many CIOs
    A good recruiter creates a profile of the company with size, industry, budget responsibility, and so on. Then he looks for a suitable CIO. So many CIOs don't fit into a certain position. The right CIO is the needle in the haystack.
  17. Off to Xing
    Hemmerling-Böhmer has one piece of advice ready: "If you are willing to change, you can get it across on sites like Xing." Maybe Brodbeck will contact you? Making yourself visible online also makes sense for another reason:
  18. Hardly any tenders
    "Only a few CIO positions are advertised openly," says Hemmerling-Böhmer.
  19. Bodo Deutschmann, CIO of Eissmann Auomotives GmbH
    Deutschmann himself is contacted by headhunters on average every two months. You want to poach him or ask him for advice if he doesn't know someone for a certain position. "These high profile positions are not advertised at all," confirms Bodo Deutschmann.
  20. Bernd Hilgenberg, former CIO and now consultant
    "In my experience, CIOs are approached less often than other executives by personnel consultants," reports the ex-CIO of Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH.
  21. More secrecy
    "As a CIO, it is difficult to switch from a bank to a chemical company," says Hilgenberg. Due to the horizontal responsibility, the area of ​​responsibility is more diverse than that of other C-level managers. This also complicates the search for a suitable CIO. Hilgenberg confirms that the fundamental importance of the position of the CIO has increased by the fact that now more and more confidentiality obligations in the context of search orders mark the start of negotiations.
  22. Matthias Busold, HR consultant at Kienbaum
    Discretion is everything: "If the position is still filled, we will be approached very discreetly," says Busold.
  23. Where are all the specialists?
    "Companies often don't turn to us for a few months," says Busold. Personnel consultants cost money that some want to save. But if you simply cannot find an executive, the personnel consultant has to deal with it.
  24. Think about your network!
    The following applies to every CIO willing to change: Activate your network if you want to break new ground. Ultimately, it all falls back on it no matter how you apply.

Headhunters only for sensitive positions

For Telekom, this active recruiting goes hand in hand with the fact that it relies less on headhunters: "We use headhunters when we reach our limits in terms of capacity," says Brodbeck. If it is foreseeable that a large number of people will apply for a position, let the experts look for them. Human Resources cannot sift through hundreds of applications. Telekom also relies on personnel consultants when it is specifically looking for someone: "If we don't want to present a new business idea with an advertisement," says Brodbeck. The headhunter is used particularly in sensitive positions.

It goes without saying that a telecommunications company listens to industry whispers. Telekom gives a lot of recommendations when it comes to recommendations. "We get ten to twelve percent recommendations to hire someone inside or outside," says Brodbeck. "It works very well: 20 percent of the settings are based on recommendations."

Only over networks

Bernd Hilgenberg, former CIO and now a consultant, can only agree that settings work via the CIO network. "I am often asked if I don't know someone who is looking for something or who has certain skills," says Hilgenberg. "When a CIO is looking for a new job, it is not uncommon to inquire with his colleagues," he reports. In his experience, searches through headhunters who are not specialized in CIOs are rather rare. "The search often goes through individuals who are very well networked in IT," says the ex-CIO of Fressnapf Tiernahrungs GmbH. However, most headhunters have no or only indirect access to the CIO networks. In his opinion, this is one of the reasons why CIOs are not approached so often by headhunters.

As a matter of principle, he does not give the personnel consultants much chance of success. "This is because today's requirements for a CIO focus not only on technological issues, but also on processes. As a CIO, it is difficult to switch from a bank to a chemical company," says Hilgenberg. Due to the horizontal responsibility, the area of ​​responsibility is more diverse than that of other C-level managers. This also complicates the search for a suitable CIO. He confirms that the fundamental importance of the position of the CIO has increased by the fact that now more and more confidentiality obligations in the context of search orders mark the start of negotiations.