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Capital business

  1. 1. BUSINESS & FINANCE MAGAZINE I WWW.CAPITALBUSINESS.ME Vol 8 - Issue 9 I Capital B siness F DING HE BEST A D BRIGHTEST STANTON CHASE'S PANOS MANOLOPOULOS DISCUSS THE TRIALS OF EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT IN DUBAI I.D Vi - V> '-J - z ....... ==~ N - ~ - <D N - ' THE SCOPE Of LEADERSHIP ACROSS- . " . ..... - N - 0 l.D~ "".J SOfTWARE BORDERS WITH ~­ AG KELLY WATKINSN=0 ­ "THE GREAT IS DUBAIIN FOR CREW CHANGE" A NEW REAL IN OIL AND GAS ESTATE BUBBLE? o Bahrain 2.00 Dinars - Kuwait 1.800 Dinars - Lebanon 8.000 L.P - Oman 2.00 Riyals - Saudi Arabia 20.00 Riyals - UAE 20.00 Dirhams - Qatar 20.00 Riyals 00= Vl v
  2. 2. STANTON CHASE E RN A T o N A L Executive Search Consultants F I T E 5 AN STANTON CHASE'S PANOS MANOLOPOULOS DISCUSSTHETRIALS OF EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT IN DUBAI G T 5Panos Mallolopoulos, a Global Vice Chairman to one of the leading executive search consultant worldwide , began his career as a bright intem3tional student and a truly global citizen. Following degrees from of Harvard Business School 011 Executive Education . Wharton Business School and CorneH Uni versity on Executive Leadership , as well as his undergraduate program at University of Athens, Panos started his career as a University Lecturer in Wales UK. Soon after, he assumed the role General Manager and later CEO of one of the biggest law firms in Southeast Europe. Manolopoulos Joined Stanton C hase in 2003, serving as Regional and lobal Practice Leader of Consumer Product & Services , Vice President EMEA and G lobal Vice C hairman of Regions before rising to the positions of Global Vice Chailman of Stanton Chase International and Managing Partner for the Middle East. Today, he is one of the main shareholders in Stanton Chase Balkans and a critical player in Stanton Chase's internal ional reach; thu s far, Panos has visited more than 75 countries. In 2006 he moved to Dubai as the Managing Paltner for the Middle East and he was elected as the Vice President for Europe Midd le East and Africa. Since 2009 , he bas been elected as the Vice Cha irman Regions, being thus a member of the Board of Directors overviewing 4 Regional Vice Prc, i de nt~ in Nortll America. Latin America, Europe M iddle East & Africa and lsia Pacinc. He bas written more than 200 articles in most of the major n w, papt:rs, lllagm:ines and journals , he h a ~ been feature as cover page to many financial and bu,incs,; publications and he ilas given over 50 interviews in most of the maior TV and Radio networks ( NN , 'N Bc' CBS ) while he has been invited as a key note speaker in over 100 internalional panels with governments and sci nlists from aII over the world. As a world traveler and l ng-l ime m mber of the international business community, Panos Manolopoulos brings a global insight to the unique l1'ials of executive employment in Dubai. "In Dubai we are Jiving in a very speculative ~ nv ironmen t." M;molopoulos points out. "It's like living in the slock market." Factors such as Expo 202() and ambitious devclopment proJcch- whilc vital to business development- inject instability into the already dislinctly challenging employment market that is Dubai. This exceptional busincss climate, coupled with D ubai's lllll lticultLl ml. internati mal
  3. 3. COVER STORY foundations, all in the end " makes it not a very stable market. 1t's very sensitive to the intern~tional market. Something that happens in the region , or something that happens in the rest of the world , has a positive or negative influence on the city," Manolopoulos explains. "So you can imagine that when you are in a company, and you are the CEO or a board member within this environment, you have also to look at your company in the same way that you are playing your sales in the stock market." So how does Stanton Chase respond to such factors? To Panos Manolopoulos, the singular most distinguishing factor of Stanton Chase's recruitment is it is process, or rather, it's interaction with the searching companies throughout the process. "We are trying to add value [ 0 the organization and so we're focusing on quality," he explains "So when we do recruitment [or a compa ny, we're not looking for the best fit available, but simply the best fit. We' re actually acting as ambassadors for the company. And by acting as ambassadors for the company, organization, or government, it means we are spending a considerable amount of time with the group, understanding its stnlcture, its practices ... and we are able to act as consultants fi.rsl. When we st8.Ji a search, the process for us is very thorough ." Rather than the end point of finding a new employee , Manolopoulos insists on the critical nature of the spaces in between. "We're trying to add value to all the parts of the process, the process for us requires a mapping of the industry, These processes are so important that sometimes we're changing the course of our action during the process. We'll start going ill one direction, and then for instance we'll identify that the market is not what we thought it to be." "The ' best practice' process is very important for executives in these companies. It is what distinguishes us from recruitment agencies 1113t will simply send interesting CVs to a company. To an extreme, we've sometimes concluded a search without find ing someone, yet still received very high assessment marks from our client, because they've appreciated the process ," Manolopoulos said. Ultimately, with Stanton Chase there is a lot of back and forth interaction between recruiter and client as they search for tile peJfect candidate, an important development for the recruitment industry considering the relative ease with which a person can now publicize their own CV through job search engines and online communities. "A lot of recruitment agencies will just go out and find CVs, which at the end of the day are fairly easy to spot," Manolopoulos notes. "1 remember when I. joi ned 15 years ago, the important element of our selling is how global you are , your reach. In the past ten years, the focus has shifted. It's not just how we can get the best , but how we can fit this person into a particular organization. Ultimately, Manolopoulos says, that's why Stanton Chase emphasizes their process so strongly, "We give emphasis to the process and the quality, because right now what we sell to the client is not our ability to spot a talented person, because that's relatively easy, but to spot the best fit for them." THE CHANGING WORLD Of EXECUTIVES As an intemational executive search firm p31iicularly focused on CEO and board member matches, Stanton Chase bas its finger on the pulse of management and employment trends. So when asked w hat has changed for top management in these past few years, Panos Manolopoulos has a fairly good idea of what it takes to run a company these days. At the least, he knows what organizations are looking for. WHAT WE SELL TO THE CLIENT IS NOT OUR ABILITY TO SPOT ATALENTED PERSON, BECAUSE THAT'S RELATIVELY EASY, BUT TO SPOT THE BEST FIT FOR THEM," "We are living in a very rapid, very volatile world . And the challenge for the CEOs and Board of Directors of today is to understand that they have to play different roles, and they have to play very diverse roles, within different environments," Manolopoulos says fi rst and foremost. "The whole notion of a traditional board member that has a particular way of thinking, and is not involved in the development of the company ... that doesn't work anymore," he added. Meanwhile, "CEOs have to adapt themselves to very rapid changes in their environment, and they have to play the best roles; in the past, each CEO was wearing the hat of the salesperson and dipl omat. A good CEO was selling and promoting; he was working at the top-line, without worrying about the bottom line. Now thi ngs have changed," Today, Manolopoulos says , "We are looking at new expectations for CEOs, who need to understand how to keep both the top and bottom line, in order to keep their companies sustainable . They are more financially sensitive in many aspects, And in general, the)' have to be open to constant change ." One part of the constant change has been a reassessment in many global market of the ideas of diversi ty and corporate social responsibility (CSR) While most organizations Champion these buzzwords as part of their company ethos, the execution of both practices in the workplace proves to be a challenge, palticularly in the Middle East. Manolopoulos admits that promoting diversity can be as especially challenging task in the region, "[Diversity and CSR] are very popular nowadays and a number of organizations are using these words just to use them , and say that we 8.J-e practicing the best methods ," he said. "Companies wi ll come to us, talking about diversity, and they're talking more about putting a woman on their board of directors. For Stanton Ci1ase, we're talking about other problems of diversity," he explained, referring also to ethn ic, national, and age diversity within an organization, besides the ever important gender diversity. "But we do experience a lot ofbias," Man%pol/los said bllllltly, "It's time to change the cunent outlook towards talent. For us, we're trying to recruit talents that fit for an organization, but at the same time with diversity, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of gender, and regardless even of age, because right now we have Baby Boomers, Generation Y, Generation X, and each brings something different," he said. "We are trying to encourage organizatiolls to practice diversity, but there is a long way to go to reach a point where we can say that diversity is really something that we practice in this part of the world." 134 i wV",.capttJibl1s.incss,.nH: ("{,18 - i~Sllt Y)
  4. 4. TALENT MANAGEMENT Another very relevant challenge in Dubai and the region is the nature of talent management, an issues thai ties directly into organizations' apprehension about diversity, particularly when it comes to young remllts. From an executive search perspective, many companies seek great talent but resist younger finds, claiming that they do not have the required experience. This, Manolopoulos says, can be a loss for the company itself. "Unfortunately, experience issometimes misinterpreted, and only assessed on paper, including how old you are. Anumber of organizations are excludin" a. b certam percentage of candidates because of age,gender, ethnicity, and it costs them." But these misconceptions lie under the lar"er scope of talent management, an ultimatelyb challenging strategy for many companies in this region to cultivate. "It's not only what you see today but you have to see the potential within these younger talents," Manolopoulos explains. "Good organizations will have ways to attract, retain, and develop talent. But the talent management, in general, in this part of the world is not very well developed. The allrition numbers within companies have been relatively high, even during the period of recession," he pointed out. "At Stanton Chase, we are trying to express to organizations a lot of emphasis on the second and third aspects of talent management; retaining and developing. We are not looking at emphasis on one aspect; when we are searching for a talented person and we're making a successful placement , our input is on which organization can best reach their passion, and not only to keep the talent, but also develop it. Talent management is an art. With the exception of some exceptional multinational corporations or very good family conglomerates that have invested in talent over the past 50 or so years, it is certainly an issue here. It is of high importance for companies to strategize on talent management." At the same time, Manolopoulos views the art of talent management as a learning process for a fast-growing market. "Once this market matures, these notions like talent management wIll really become more and more important, and require more emphasis," he says, pointing out that when Stanton Chase first established in the region , the average stay of an expatriate was brief, typically around a year. But in the past few years alone, the average stay has increased to three years, with an expectation for the number to continue to grow. SO WHEN WE DO RECRUITMENT FOR A COMPANY, WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR THE BEST FIT AVAILABLE, BUT SIMPLY THE BEST FIT. "The vast majority of expats in the region who lose their job or want to move jobs, we're finding are looking for jobs still within the region. So the rates of expats staying in the regIOn has gone up. We call it 'internal mobility.' A few years ago, 90 percent of our candidates were only coming from abroad. Now that has reversed, and 90 percent of expatriate candidates can be found within the region," Manolopoulos explains. With internal mobility and expatriate stay on the fISe, coupled with the looming boom of Expo 2020,. Manolopoulos predicts rapid growth in Dubal to continue, particularly in the IT and finance sectors. But what is the future of executive employment in the region , especially following the economic crisis? Manolopoulos says it's simple. "Ever since the crash, companies have stopped looking for 'primadonnas.' They've stopped lookin" for tllose highly paid stars, especially in fin~ncial services. I think the biggest impact of the economic recession was that companies now understand that not necessarily the highest­ paid individual-or the one with the highest demands, or most successful track record - is necessarily the best fit for their organization." The person that is the best fit, he concludes, "take a process." www.capitalbu, - (vol 8 - issue 9) !35 I