Not Actively Looking Receives Private Funding

February 18, 2016 – Not Actively Looking, a U.K.-based global matchmaking platform for senior executives and executive search firms, has completed a private fund raising of more than £400,000, or the U.S. equivalent of nearly $600,000.

The service allows executives to discreetly manage and update their CV for the benefit of executive search firms they hand pick. For search firms, the service gives access to senior level professionals, whether they are actively engaged in a job search or not. The funding comes primarily from existing investors, including founders and angel investors, and will be used for enhancing the user experience on the firm’s website.

Since launching the platform last April, Not Actively Looking has attracted more than 80 executive search firms and thousands of executives from around the world to sign up as members. The firm was founded by Joseph Blass, who previously founded Toucan Telecom, and Anthony Harling, a search consultant and former senior partner at Heidrick & Struggles.

“Firstly, the additional funding is primarily going to be used to build out our development team. We are focused on doing everything we can in order to improve the user experience for executives,” said Mr. Harling. “We will be adding new features that provide additional career management tools for senior executives. We already have the ‘richest’ profile information on senior executives. What we need to do right now is to continue building on that and making this an essential tool for senior executives.”

Nearly 70 percent of executive registrations are coming from outside the U.K., with the largest concentration of those found in North America. Half of the 82 search firms using Not Actively Looking have offices in the U.S.

“We see the business becoming more global,” said Mr. Harling. “We are in discussion with more U.S. recruiting firms about them joining the platform in the coming months.” Current sign-ups among American recruiters include Calibre One, Polachi, Fairfield Partners, Coleman Lew + Associates, Ridgeway Partners, DHR International, 680 Partners, Lochlin Partners, Greenwich Harbor Partners, Hobbs & Towne, Park Square Executive Search, and Kensington International.

Besides DHR, none of the other top 10 U.S. search providers have come on board. Mr. Harling believes they will soon. “The big firms do need to get on board. They have much the same problems that the other (smaller) firms have,” he said, namely outdated internal candidate databases. “As a result, searches take about twice as long as they should.”

Mr. Harling said that long term his objective is to have his firm become recognized as the go-to career management tool for senior executives. “Today, our platform is already the most effective way for senior executives to share confidential information with their search firms of choice,” he said. In coming months he said his firm will add features and talent management tools that executives can use, even when they are not actively looking to change positions.

“In parallel, we see Not Actively Looking becoming the efficiency tool that finally helps the search industry reduce time to complete assignments,” said Mr. Harling. He said in his 25 years in the recruiting industry, the ‘time-to-complete’ has stayed stubbornly fixed. “Finally, by creating a much more efficient search tool, we aim to help the industry reduce the time-to-complete by 50 percent.”

“We will continue to partner with major executive search firms around the world,” said Mr. Blass, who serves as chief executive officer. “We will support the executive search industry and make the recruiting process more efficient and effective for search firms and executives everywhere.”

Not Actively Looking was founded on the principle that the best career opportunities typically come when one is ‘not actively looking’ for a new position, said Mr. Blass. “Why? Because search firms are driven by client assignments, not by when candidates are looking.”

Search firms currently signed up with Not Actively’s platform, in addition to the U.S. providers, include The Miles Partnership, Norman Broadbent, SIMA International, Warren Partners, Marlin Hawk, Spengler Fox, Osprey Clarke, Barracuda Group, Ward Howell International, Horton International, Signium, Archer Mann, Stanton Chase International, Wilton & Bain, Directorbank, TRANSEARCH, and Renovata Partners.


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To keep up with technology-savvy job seekers, search professionals generally are using recruitment marketing tools to proactively attract and engage passive candidates and build ‘pools’ of talent for future hiring needs.

Ninety-two percent of corporate recruiters in the U.S. are using social media to enhance their candidate identification capabilities, while only 40 percent of U.K. corporate recruiters say they are using social media effectively in candidate sourcing, according to Jobvite’s ‘U.K. Social Recruitment Survey.’

Recruiting via social media continues to be a growing phenomenon with 84 percent of organizations using it currently and nine percent planning to use it, according to a report recently released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In 2011, only 56 percent used social media for recruitment. The study also concluded that finding passive job candidates (82 percent) continues to be the top reason that organizations use social media for recruitment.

Numerous other reports have surfaced showing the increasing role social media is having on recruiting. Another recent SHRM survey, “The Importance of Social Media for Recruiters and Job Seekers,” found that nearly two-thirds of companies (65 percent) found new hires through social media in the past year.

The study revealed that 57 percent of organizations found new employees through LinkedIn, 30 percent through professional or association network sites, and 19 percent through Facebook. Overall, 87 percent of HR professionals said it was either very or somewhat important for job seekers to be on LinkedIn.

“The use of social media has been incorporated into business practice,” said Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s survey programs. “Social media helps recruiters find passive job candidates that might not otherwise apply for traditional job postings. With recruiting difficulty continuing to rise on a month-by-month basis, recruiters are turning to social media to find their ideal candidates.”

Other reports have also found a similar shift underway. According to the 2015 Work Trends report released late last year by Adecco Group, the role of social networks and mobile platforms in the job seeking and recruiting process is becoming more relevant. Among social networks, LinkedIn remains the most popular platform for professional purposes, for both recruiters (61 percent) and job seekers (34 percent), whereas Facebook is the go-to network for all social activities including personal branding says the report.

According to data released by Peoplefluent, 69 percent of recruiting professionals said that social recruiting was one of the top five actions facilitated by technology for successful talent acquisition strategies.

A report jointly produced by The Boston Consulting Group and Recruit Works Institute, titled ‘Job Seeker Trends 2015: Channels, Search Time, and Income Change,’ found that a majority of job seekers (55 percent) now use the Internet to seek employment and 33 percent rate Internet job sites as the most effective channel for finding a job.

Sharing personal information online via social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is now second nature to everyone, particularly job seekers. Within the executive search industry, though, Mr. Harling said things are different.

“That may work for 99 percent or more of the population. But the senior executives that we are focused on (and who probably account for about one percent of the 414 million people on LinkedIn) have a different view,” said Mr. Harling.

“Senior executives do NOT always want to share details of their lives on a public, social media platform,” he said. “Actually, many have come to be quite concerned about confidentiality and control of their data. That is the beauty of Not Actively Looking: The executives who list with us themselves control what data is put out there and they also decide who gets access to it.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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