Top Secret Search

Headhunting is often confidential, but sometimes it is even strictly confidential. Nobody should know that a new manager is searched, because it could have a disastrous impact on the company, on colleagues, on the market share, the stock market etc. TARGET Executive Search has earned a unique reputation in the CEE markets for carrying out such Top Secret Searches.

Why is this special and different? It does require special know- how, experience and trust to steer such a Top Secret Search successfully. It all starts with closely limiting and watching the information flow between TARGET and the client. It then requires skilled consultants and trust from our candidates to conduct „blind” interviews. Remember that on the one hand a headhunted candidate does not actively seek a job and on the other hand we cannot really market the position, but still need to motivate the best managers for our client. We even have cases where the confidentiality is so high that even the client does not identify him/herself during final interviews. The chosen candidate only finds out the client, when he receives the flight ticket to meet the big boss in the headquarters for the final handshake and job offer.

 

 

Blind date for a CEO

 

"I do not know, where I am flying today. What an unusual trip. Ok, I know I am flying to Frankfurt, but I have no idea, whom I will meet there. Somebody organized this blind date for me." The plane is taking off smoothly from Liszt Ferenc airport. "This whole story started 6 weeks ago, with a phone call. It was a  young lady, who had somehow reached me despite my careful assistant, who is supposed to block all unknown calls. So here she was talking to me about a new General Manager position for me. She was a headhunter from TARGET, that rang a bell. Something was special and intriguing about this conversation, she was extremely secretive. She invited me to an interview with her boss, but she also said that the boss cannot tell me anything about the job. What kind of a job interview is this?, I wondered. I was curious and agreed to meet. A week later I met her with her boss in their downtown Budapest office, a tall Austrian guy, Klemens Wersonig, who said he also speaks Hungarian, but spoke only English and German with me. He apologized that he will not be able to disclose anything about the job, but still wants to know everything about me. Somehow I trusted him that there is a real story behind all this.

2 weeks later he called me back, "Good news! His secret client wants to meet me, but bad news, the client will not disclose his identity, the blind dating continues. So, I met the client, 2 men in the office of TARGET. I could tell by their accent that they were Germans. Once again they apologized for their unusual secrecy and then they interviewed me in the usual manner. Just, when I wanted to ask some questions they said, "Sorry, not possible!" 

Another 2 weeks later my headhunter called me again and said, "Great news, you have been selected to fly to their headquarter!” And here I am. Flying now to Frankfurt and I still do not know what company, not even industry I have been chosen for. The headhunter had arranged the flight and said I will be met by the ultimate big boss directly at the airport for a final interview.

I am excited and wondering, why so much secrecy and how can they really keep it? Yes, at the Frankfurt airport a gentleman is waiting for me with a sign with my name. He introduces himself, finally! And wow, it is the Group CEO himself and now I know which Group also. My mind is working fast. The puzzle falls into place! I know this company! Now I understand, why they had to be so careful.

“This is a true story from our candidate Istvan, whom we selected for a top secret headhunting project recently.”

 

Klemens Wersonig

CEO of TARGET Executive Search

 

Source: Budapest Business Journal - Who's who (2011)