Interview With Newly-Appointed IIC Partners Board Director, Oliver Schmitt
18 December 2023
Oliver Schmitt, Managing Director of Teamconsult Czech Republic & Slovakia, joined the IIC Partners Board of Directors in October 2023 at our Global Conference & AGM in Prague. We recently sat down with Oliver to understand his drive for joining the Board, learn more about Teamconsult, and hear the market outlook for his region.
1. What do you most value about IIC Partners?
- The ability to provide high-quality executive search services for our clients worldwide.
- Exchanging information and best practice with our global colleagues.
- Doing more business with multinational companies as they often prefer to work with international service providers.
2. What motivated you to join the IIC Partners Board and what are your goals?
IIC Partners is a global community of high-level search consultants – and just like any community it requires engagement from all members. When I was asked to join the Board, it was not only an honor but also a chance to contribute my share to the future success of IIC Partners.
Regarding my hopes, I think we can continue to increase our cross-border business development. This is a great value-add for members. And as I am operating from Czech Republic and Slovakia, expanding to more countries in CEE would make me happy.
3. You hosted the 2023 Global Conference in Prague: What were your highlights from this conference?
My personal highlight was the opening reception because we welcomed both our IIC Partners from around the world along with many of our Teamconsult clients. We were celebrating our 30-year anniversary on the same week as the conference and it was the perfect collision of our local and international worlds.
4. More generally, why are the IIC Partners global meetings so important?
Our global meetings enable us to discuss industry trends, share best practices and collaborate on cross-border business development. My colleagues from IIC Partners are leaders in their local markets and the chance to confer face-to-face and solve some of our deepest challenges is invaluable. We always come away with an enhanced understanding of the different cultural and market dynamics across the world, and we grow and develop as one global team.
5. Tell us about cross-border collaboration with IIC Partners members:
Because we are often working for investors coming from German-speaking regions, I cooperate very closely with our IIC Partners from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. We even have an IIC Partners Central Europe regional group which intensifies the cooperation among these countries.
6. Describe IIC Partners in three words
Experts, Global, Friends
7. What makes your firm unique / what are your strengths?
We are leaders in our national markets having been founded 30 years ago. Our stability and longstanding success offer clients a unique confidence in our ability to deliver exceptional results.
We have 12 consultants in Prague and Bratislava and the majority have been with us for more than 10 years, some more than 20 years. This has led to highly developed candidate and client networks and advanced, time-tested analysis techniques that ensure we are able to place the right people in the right roles.
Our reach across Czech Republic and Slovakia (and beyond with IIC Partners) is also a strong value-add for our clients and we provide a range of services from executive search and outplacement to coaching and psychometrical testing.
8. What do your clients most look for in a search firm? What is most important to them?
In the short term, they look for solutions to their current recruitment needs, but in the long term, the relationship often develops into a strategic partnership based on trust and reliability. We have worked with some clients for more than 20 years and each assignment benefits from our long-standing history and knowledge of the company.
9. How do you see your organization evolving in the future?
Today we are considered a market leader in executive search for investors coming from German-speaking regions. We want to further strengthen this role but at the same time provide a bridge for Czech- and Slovak companies to foreign labor markets when they expand their operations abroad.
10. Describe your firm in three words
Experts, Stable, Client-Oriented
11. 2024 outlook: Which industries and functions are most in demand?
Czech Republic and Slovakia are countries with strong manufacturing industries, the near-shoring trend will make these countries even more attractive for foreign investors.
12. 2024 outlook: What is the demand for executive search and leadership services?
We expect stable demand for executive search services. A certain risk comes from the automotive industry due to the transformation to electric mobility and the fact that Czech Republic and Slovakia are some of the biggest car manufacturers in the world. This creates a cluster risk that should not be underestimated.
13. 2024 outlook: What are some other HR and talent management trends you are seeing?
The demand for coaching services continues to grow at a fast pace. Outplacement services and interim management should also grow in the coming year, but this is coming from relatively low levels in our countries.
Another trend is the increased competition for talent. Many companies that started in the 90s after the fall of communism hired relatively young people, even for management roles. Many of these people will leave the labor market for retirement within the next 5 years, shrinking the population of experienced and available executives.
About IIC Partners
IIC Partners Executive Search Worldwide (www.iicpartners.com) is a top ten global executive search organization with 40 offices and 450 consultants. All IIC Partners member firms are independently owned and managed and are clear leaders in local and national markets, allowing solutions for clients’ organizational leadership, assessment and talent management requirements. For more information, please contact Christine Hayward, Executive Director, at [email protected].