Korn/Ferry, the world’s largest executive recruitment company, has teamed up
with Israeli executive search company Emda, adding Israeli talent to its
1.2-million-strong worldwide database.
“Despite the size of Israel, we
see great potential in the local workforce,” said Bernard Zen-Ruffinen,
president of Korn/Ferry International’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region,
pointing specifically to hi-tech and technology.
Korn/Ferry is following
the lead of companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Nestle,
which chose to open local offices in Israel, he said.
understands that the Israeli market is an incubator for both technology and for
companies who are growing substantially,” Emda chairwoman Nurit Berman told The
Jerusalem Post on Thursday. “We felt that Israel is ready to upgrade the
methodology of how to bring executives on board.”
Whereas the Israeli
business culture once relied on homegrown executives and managers, globalization
has changed the face of the market, she said, adding: “The culture is different
today. For the last 20 to 25 years we’ve experienced a reorganization process in
which companies need to bring executives in from the outside when there’s a need
for new leadership or new knowledge that has not been homegrown.”
Israel becoming a technological hub for global organizations, the need to find
appropriate talent to bridge the cultural divide in business is crucial. When an
American company, for example, decides to begin operations in Israel, instead of
exporting one of their executives, they may seek to hire a local talent who
knows the local business culture and community.
“We have to find the
person who is Israeli enough to flourish in this market and American enough to
work with the headquarters, so that’s where our added value comes in,” Berman
said. “It’s an interesting process of learning who is who in which
In order to assess candidates for its database, Emda does hefty
due-diligence research on managers’ career histories, skill sets, knowledge and
personality. Finding the right fit is important because missteps can be costly
to both their reputation and their clients’ companies.
“Making a mistake
by recruiting the wrong executive can cost the client company – are you sitting
down? – 10 times the executive’s yearly income,” Berman said. “So we can’t take
The estimate includes both costs of damages done and
opportunity cost for business not created, she said, adding: “The damage is not
just the salary; it’s the people who left, the business they didn’t create, the
The partnership with Korn/Ferry, which earned $790
million of revenues in 2012 and has placed more than 100,000 senior executives
in its history, is not just a one-way street for the Israeli market. It provides
Emda a view of what skills are necessary to stay competitive in an international
market, which it uses to provide career consulting for Israeli
In addition, with access to Korn/Ferry’s global database, Emda
also helps Israeli companies that are growing internationally find the local
talent they need.
“Can you imagine that you need to find a CEO for a
subsidiary in Japan?” Berman asked. “How do you identify the specific Japanese
person who will be able to work in that environment?” The partnership is just
the latest step in Israel’s development into a global player in the world of
business, she said.