A message pops in my Inbox. It’s my Managing Director congratulating me for a job well done on a Country Head search for a client. Almost instantaneously, a barrage of emails fill up my Inbox - from our Chairman, our Executives, our Managers, our Recruitment Consultants, our Research Associates, yes, practically everyone - congratulating me on the big win.
This is not an unusual occurrence in KSearch. In fact, this happens quite often in a week. One day it’s a Research Associate clinching a search, another day it’s a team concluding a tough volume recruitment project, and another day it’s the collaboration between two Consultants working in tandem for a successful Philippine’ placement. It never gets routine-like, to be sure -- this sense of thrill-filled congratulatory emails, the instantaneous clamour for pizza, burger, or Magnum when such announcements are made, which highlights the “victory” of every Consultant involved in each successful search.
The terrific teamwork and strong, ingrained, mutual reinforcement for each other that we are immersed with in performing a search engagement – from start to finish – are just a few of the many traits that define the KSearch culture.
KSearch – the Quintessential Learning Organization
If we find “excuses” to get together and celebrate every victory, big or small, we find just enough reasons to get together for learning. To say KSearch is a learning organization is an understatement.
The pressure is quite high for Consultants to be knowledgeable in many areas. We are confronted on a regular basis with very esoteric, exotic, or complex search mandates and requests for market intelligence on particular functions or industries that we have no choice but to keep up. I am quite grateful that Management has always been up to the challenge to equip the people in this regard. We never lack of occasions to learn about technical concepts and updates regarding the practice areas that we cover: finance, banking, IT, human resources, marketing and sales, and BPO.
Over and above the learning activities that directly affect our practice areas, we also spend a lot of time learning about anything and everything under the sun. An outsider may not immediately find the relevance of some topics covered, such as wine tasting, visual poise, history, subprime, or the hottest book in the NY Times Bestsellers List. But these sessions have become so ingrained in our culture that Consultants develop a curiosity about different things, gain confidence in social and formal settings, and increase their discipline to study and understand new concepts.
I have not even started to touch on our foreign travels and the much-awaited epic KSearch Christmas parties that even The Tower Club staff has come to look forward to each year. But I will leave it at that lest you start thinking of switching careers our way. Believe me - I’ve met people who’ve openly declared that they are in the wrong profession and should be in our business instead! Although, that said, I really don’t know if the others in our business have nearly as many or as much such broad activities as we do.
It’s All About Our Clients, After All
But for all the fun that the above “life in KSearch” may project, it does not take anything away about how serious our organization is; in fact, so dead serious that, in a manner of speaking, we “fall over our seats” to do the right things for our clients. Our client-centric nature is core to who we are as an organization.
This is the very same core value that compels us to eagerly work double time during the peak of the Christmas season just to make sure that our start-up client hires its pioneer management team and staff within a month’s time. It is this same value that pushes us to understand stochastic modelling so we can discuss the complex subject with a very brilliant client. It is this same value that drives us to scour the globe to find that one pharmaceutical R&D scientist who was willing to come back to the Philippines and help grow a local company.
That is pretty serious stuff for a group that jumps at every opportunity to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, successful hires, and with wildly imaginative production numbers and costumes at that!
As I write this, another email pops in my Inbox. Our Research Associate just clinched a Management Consultant search for a very prestigious firm. My inbox starts filling up again.
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About the author: Ms. Karmeli Love U. Kintanar, or Bobbie to her intimate colleagues and friends, is the Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of KSearch Asia Consulting, Inc., one the country’s leading executive search firms. KSearch, widely known for its corporate integrity, supports the senior executive and managerial requirements of mostly multinational companies and large Philippine conglomerates.
Karmeli heads the firm’s dominant practice group – comprising the BPO, Finance and Banking practice areas. A pioneer with KSearch, having been with the firm since its startup in 1999, Karmeli rose rapidly in record time in rank and scope of responsibility. She has been greatly responsible through the years for generating and sustaining the firm’s major accounts, while providing leadership to her highly enthusiastic and self-driven team members. Hailed as the veritable role model for everyone in KSearch, the firm’s clients are quick to resort to her for their immediate hiring requirements or their planned ramp-ups.
Karmeli is a true champion for taking initiatives – the most favoured leadership trait of KSearch’s Managing Director, Manny Guillermo. One such initiative is her successfully unravelling her latent talent in fashion design to a point that she now carries a fashion line that is commercially offered at a high-end department store. As KSearch’s activities and interests are diverse, so are hers.