The ‘3Ps’ of a successful international search.
By Sonia Pechner, Executive Director, Academic Search International
Conducting a successful international search is a combination of ‘process, people and presence,’ says Academic Search International Executive Director, Sonia Pechner.
With 20 years leading ASI, Sonia knows what it takes to source and secure some of the world’s most exceptional talent.
She explains that the first part of the mix is process. “One of the important things for us as a search firm is a thorough understanding of the environment. In the case of academic searches, the recruitment process needs to be geared around international people who may not know a particular university or country.
Some clients try to superimpose a local process, which can often hinder the search. At ASI, we have a very well-honed process that’s been developed over many years of successful international searches,” says Sonia. “It’s thorough and it works – to the point where we have a consistent offer rate of at least 93%.”
Secondly, identifying the best people for a role from around the globe takes the best people in the business says Sonia. The team at ASI uses their own networks, combined with proactive research. “The in-depth experience of our people means we can engage with candidates in a meaningful way and we understand the best way to present the opportunity to them. It also means we can work very closely with our clients in terms of selecting candidates and moving them forward,” she explains.
From experience, the team at ASI have found that ‘equivalence’ can be an issue for many international candidates - that is, being able to recognise how their experience translates into a local context. Sonia points out that ASI can help both the candidate and the client through this process - in particular, advising candidates on aspects like qualifications, academic status, teaching evaluations and the funding environment that they’ll be operating under – as well as the impact their work is likely to have.
“That’s why it’s really important to have a search firm who actually understands the different academic environments and who can talk to candidates with professional competence when they’re considering a role in another country.”
The third ‘P’ in the mix is ‘presence’ and with connections around the globe, ASI certainly has global presence. “Local insights can’t be gleaned by simply having offices of a search firm in different countries – they’re gleaned from experience in the different countries and regularly working with clients in those countries.
We’ve worked with clients in eleven different countries now and have a solid understanding of each market. I’ve personally worked directly with most of these universities, which means I can advise clients effectively,” says Sonia.
The 3Ps are even more crucial when you think about how specialised the academic recruitment market is – it’s what makes ASI stand out and helps us secure some of the world’s most exceptional talent.”