Knowledge management is crucial: In today's fast-paced, ever-changing, and globalized business environment, attracting and retaining top talent has become more important than ever. Especially in executive search, being able to find and place the best-suited candidates is the key to success.
Our work at Nordic Minds is defined by the constant processing of knowledge and information. We see ourselves as knowledge workers. As such, access to existing knowledge and information is crucial for us – particularly as remote work can make direct contact and exchange with colleagues difficult. Therefore, asynchronous access is elementary.
That's why we've been trying out different ways to better manage information and knowledge over the past few years.
The Role of Knowledge Management in Executive Search
There are different ways in which information and knowledge processing play a significant role in our candidate identification and approach phases.
For example, complex Boolean search operators. With finely tuned keywords for relevant backgrounds, job titles, and industries they can help narrow the scope of the search in a meaningful way. This can also be useful to systematically identify a range of companies and industries that could be potentially relevant to the background of a particular candidate.
The listing of job titles that a searched candidate may currently have or have had in the past is another exemplary use case. This process plays a big role in cross-border searches for us, where understanding and knowing the equivalent job titles in different languages is essential.
When we reach out to potential candidates, having access to tailored templates and adaptable models for candidate outreach can save time and ensure a consistent, yet specific approach across different candidates and searches. Nowadays, quick and relevant communication is expected. And knowledge management ensures that it can be delivered.
And let’s not forget about things such as support in organizing face-to-face meetings or contract preparation – particularly for cross-border employment and complex contracts – through retained knowledge in the recruiting company.
As you can see, strategic information and knowledge management in recruiting top talent not only saves us an enormous amount of time but also ensures quality, reliability, consistency, efficiency – and success.
Common Pain Points and How Knowledge Management Can Help
In the search for top talent, there are several areas in which we experienced that problems could arise.
One common issue is the lack of access. This is the case when relevant knowledge does exist within a company but is not available – because there is no infrastructure to organize it. For instance, information on an earlier project that could be the foundation of a new and similar one.
This also touches on the insufficient understanding among employees and colleagues about adequate access to the knowledge they need. How can I track down information in the company? Which systems do I need to tap into and how? Often, there are too many starting points – email history, cloud storage, CRM systems, etc. A clear and easy-to-use system can help streamline the process of finding the right information at the right time.
Another problem can be incorrect, outdated, or incomplete second-hand information, which is passed on unfiltered because there is no system in the company. Without knowledge management, this danger is especially high when another team member is taking over a project.
Lastly, corporate culture can also play a part – for example, when employees are reluctant to share their knowledge with others.
A well-designed and robustly implemented system of knowledge management can mitigate these problems.
Getting Started with Knowledge Management
If you are interested in implementing a knowledge management system in your organization, here are a few tips and learnings from our experience to get started.
First, foster a culture of knowledge management. This foundational step is to ensure that your organization understands the value of knowledge management and why it's so important. Here at Nordic Minds, that's an elementary part of our philosophy. After all, it’s one of the most essential jobs of a leader to continuously work on their leadership skills – for themselves, their teams, and their company.
As a next step, we believe it’s important to create a clear structure for managing knowledge. This could involve creating a database, or other IT- or cloud-based solutions. Data can improve your executive search.
In any case, there needs to be a well-designed structure clearly outlining which bits of knowledge are actually valuable, how they are held, and by whom. It is also vital to have a good search function within the system so that the knowledge can be retrieved.
What Are Potential Pitfalls and How Do We Avoid Them?
Setting up knowledge management structures we experienced a few pitfalls that you might want to avoid.
Without the willingness of the employees and a corporate culture that propagates openness, knowledge management will be difficult. One solution could be to make the proprietary approach to retaining information not rewarding – and vice versa.
You need to invest time and thought in a structure that works for you. The technical possibilities for recording knowledge are enormous, so a clear roadmap is key. It must be determined where what kind of information or knowledge is kept.
Another potential pitfall when setting up a knowledge management system can be the lack of quality control. This increases the risk of processing and retaining false information. After all, just because it's written down somewhere doesn’t mean it’s correct. The information and knowledge shared through knowledge management should be accurate, relevant, and up-to-date. Thus, it must be clearly delineated who is allowed to create and modify certain contributions. When in doubt, have a fresh pair of eyes and double-check it. This ensures that team members have access to the high-quality information they need.
How Our Talent Search Benefits from Knowledge Management
For Nordic Minds, the ability to access and manage information and knowledge is essential for recruiting top talent efficiently and effectively.
By implementing knowledge management practices, we can overcome common pain points and bottlenecks in the executive search process, minimizing errors and costs while improving productivity.
Through a central repository of knowledge, colleagues can access information more quickly and easily. Knowing that they can rely on the information provided, they can make better-informed decisions faster, increasing their efficiency and quality of work.
And when knowledge is not dependent on individuals and whether they stay with the company, corporate resilience also increases.
Ultimately, knowledge management can help overcome many of the common recruitment challenges. And it helps us to find the ideal candidate with the right skills much, much faster.
If you are interested and want to learn more, you can read about our insights on our blog – or get in touch with Samuel Ekert – don't hesitate to send him an e-mail if you have any questions.