A year ago, Tomáš Dražný was getting ready for a risky career turn. A partner in a local headhunting boutique, he had spotted a gap on the increasingly hot Czech labor market. Despite being the country with the lowest unemployment in Europe (3.5% unemployment rate at the end of November 2017, a new record for the Central European power horse), the Czech Republic had no online tool that would help headhunters to find suitable candidates for top managerial positions fast. This was a challenge Dražný was ready to address.
Fast forward. At the beginning of December 2017 Dražný’s start-up portal Executivejob.cz featured more than 1000 candidates and more than 70 job advertising companies including names such as Rockway Capital, Komerční banka, Ahold, Hopi, NN, O2, Faurecia or Foxconn. So far it advertised over 200 positions executive positions. “We are quite happy. We planned wisely, that’s why the results are better than expected,” Dražný says. “Our main goal is to save time and to bring relevant results to top managers and advertising agencies, either internal HR or headhunters.”
Executivejob.cz was launched in June 2017. It focuses on people with managerial experience looking for jobs paid 80 000 CZK (3 100 EUR) and more. “Initially we considered this amount as gross salary. Then we went to the Czech regions and discovered that the level was too high, so we adjusted it to include bonuses as well. This might not be a top management salary in Prague, yet we also don’t want to be about major cities only,” Dražný says.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us to keep the ball rolling,” Dražný confesses. Since its launch the portal has been adding new features for candidates and recruiters alike on a demand-driven basis. More than 40% of candidates on the portal choose to be passive, which means that they operate in a fully confidential mode. “The initial idea was to approach active candidates who were publicly looking for a job. However, during the website development process we told ourselves why not adding passive candidates as well. So we added the possibility for candidates to stay invisible. We offer 100% guarantee of confidentiality, which means that no one can find you on the web if you don't want to, yet you can have an overview of the jobs and you can disclose your profile to whomever you choose to reveal yourself to,” he says.
Expats welcome, too
Despite being a Czech start-up Executivejob.cz is open to expat managers as well. The portal features an English version and it includes positions that don’t require Czech language. “We are glad to have expats among our candidates as well, yet they are a minority – about 5% of the total.We are ready for them and we intend to add some specific services that would make their search even easier, for example by marking positions where there is no need of Czech language knowledge. This new functionality should be up and running by early 2018,” says Dražný. Foreign candidate nationalities are as diverse as they come; expat managers applying for jobs in the Czech Republic come from mostly the UK, India, Singapore or the Netherlands.
Think and be bold
Asked what candidates on Executivejob.cz should watch in terms of personal branding, Dražný is quite direct. “Think and be bold in your presentation. Candidates introduce themselves on our website through their CV. The problem with CVs is that 90% of them are fully standard documents. The majority of people consider a CV as an informational tool. Yet, the CV is a marketing document that should be about the manager. We provide a service for the members of the platform where we advise them on how to build a professional CV in order to improve their chances of getting hired. The main purpose of your CV is to sell you. That’s why you need to put in your CV not only the concrete responsibilities of your former positions, because they are more or less the same in any company, but some overview of the actual results that you personally achieved on that position. The most fundamental advise how to present yourself is to build your CV as a marketing material and don’t forget to emphasize the results for each position you held and what you achieved in those positions.”
How about confidential data, I asked Tomáš. Isn’t there a risk that some people might be perceived as disloyal to their former employers by disclosing former company-related achievements? “How you can avoid that is by using percentages. You don’t have to talk about exact numbers, but you can say, for example, that you doubled your business or sales targets. You can also say that you successfully restructured your sales team. As a financial director you might want to say that you saved 20% of the company budget through renegotiation of contracts with suppliers. More than exact numbers work with percentages or ideas that have pushed your former company forward,” he recommends.