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May 2022
Avatars hunt Executives

Grünewald Consulting, our German INAC Global Partner presented on the 49th INAC Global Annual General Assembly, a fundamental innovation in Executive Search.

Rethinking headhunting: Avatars hunt Executives

Whether birthday greetings or company anniversaries, Grünewald Consulting (INAC Global Partner in Germany since 2006) made their most recent wishes more personal than ever. The special thing about it: Managing Director Lothar Grünewald and his designated successor Cedric Schütz do not convey the congratulations by themselves, but their avatars. The virtual doppelgangers in cyberspace are confusingly similar to their role models – and will play a key role in this year’s business development strategy by adding value to existing services of the consulting company.

Digital age: Recommending a new job, introducing a potential employer or candidate, giving insights into work processes related to an advertised position. In the future, avatars will take care of these and other selected tasks alongside the whole customer journey. “They look amazingly real”, says Lothar Grünewald.

Innovation in a conservative industry

However, the “Wow” effect is not the main reason for INAC Germany’s change of course. With the introduction of avatars as a service component, the consultancy is one of the first to deliberately break new ground in its previously rather conservative industry. “There are more and more disruptive factors in headhunting”, says Lothar Grünewald. “Companies are increasingly using internal resources and social media tools to recruit new employees”. There is little space left for external service providers. On the applicant side, candidates continue to determine the market and can choose their jobs almost at will. “Classic mailings with job recommendations are hardly ever answered by candidates anymore because they do not feel they are being addressed individually and specifically enough or because the message simply gets lost in the mass of enquiries”, says Cedric Schütz.

Systematic customer survey as a basis

Against this background, what do customers and candidates want in cooperation with external headhunters? Consultants Tessa Trinh and Ines Wollowski dealt with future requirements for personnel consultants in their final studies, among other specifically asked questions regarding the industry. “We developed a strategy from these results”, says Lothar Grünewald. His company already meets the classic requirements such as speed and high quality. “For us, the question was: “How can we not only satisfy the customers and candidates, but also actually inspire them?”.

Cyberspace doubles: flexible, versatile, scalable

An analysis of the company’s own communication processes showed that increasing digitization is driving more and more generations. The requirements for a successful approach are different; by companies looking for specialists and managers, and by candidates who are open to a job or employer change. A general trend, according to Cedric Schütz: “The younger you are, the more open you are to new technologies and the more affinity you have with moving images”. In order to serve these new needs and to make the approach more individual and innovative, INAC Germany decided to use avatars in their processes: their own doppelganger in cyberspace.The launch at the beginning of the year was already very successful as more resonance was generated again. “Avatars can be used in so many occasions and are also scalable at will”, says Lothar Grünewald. “It is still important that the target group determines whether they become active during the initial contact or not. Through this innovative approach via individually created avatar-videos, however, we massively increase the chance to get into further exchange with suitable candidates”, Cedric Schütz says.

“Nevertheless, we continue to use analogue measure”, Lothar Grünewald adds. The solution lies in the combination of different impressions. However, visual appeal is clearly on the rise. That’s why we’ll be giving priority to our digital counterparts in many places in the future.

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