Kilpatrick Executive


Headhunting: selection of candidates not actively seeking employment

Exclusive insights on Kilpatrick Shared by our International Client Director Stefano Gambardella.


Stefano Gambardella, International Client Director at Kilpatrick shared his career journey in Human Resource, speaking candidly with Lapo Taselli from Jobbando on the “Kilpatrick method” of headhunting, and the tools that consultants at Kilpatrick use to accelerate digital transformation and offer superb services.


About Stefano,

Stefano Gambardella is based in Florence, prior to joining Kilpatrick, Stefano had a prolific career in international trading. An introvert, Stefano has overcome many personal and career challenges to become headhunter today.


About ‘Kilpatrick’

Kilpatrick was founded in the ’90s and Jaap Hoekstra took over the company 20 years ago as Global CEO. The name “Kilpatrick” is taken from a fictional Irish character by Jorge Luis Borges. The name is simple, neutral, and easy to pronounce, which makes it work well for a global company. Today, Kilpatrick has 18 offices and over 80 consultants globally with headquarter in Switzerland.


Hunting applied to executive search

In short, headhunting and hunting share the same principle.  Our clients come to us with challenging executive searches. We start the hunt, except it’s for people. We do not collect curriculums. We do searches, reach out strategically to the right candidates, who might not even be aware of new opportunities, but possess the right skillsets our clients’ desire. We talk to them, provide our clients with a shortlist, then we find the right fit for clients and candidates.


Normally we close a project in 4 weeks. The search is not easy, as a client mostly searches a kind of ‘plug and play’, I like it, I insert it, it works. We, therefore, start with crystalizing the client’s need and present it in a way that would trigger candidates’ interests. The candidate brochure gives a clear overview of the competencies and projects the new person will be working on, and help the candidate to understand clients’ corporate culture, this touch enables an exceptionally low turnover rate after we place candidates.


Digital Mindset

At Kilpatrick, we aim to digitalize the process. For instance, we developed our own digital tools such as One-way Interview. One-way Interview system allows candidates to conduct job interviews remotely. Employers can filter thousands of interviews with our sentiment mining system, which saves time and effort in the hiring process. ONE App integrates all aspects of assignments, and clients have access to ongoing assignments 24/7.


The current market

Stefano Gambardella and all other consultants of Kilpatrick have one great fortune, the working environment is highly digitalized and borderless. At Kilpatrick, it is extremely easy for every team member to stay connected, from small details like adding meeting requests to an email signature, to global online team meetings every other week, “If our German clients need some help in their Chinese branch, we call our colleagues in China, and it will be resolved fast. ”It is a hybrid model and no longer office centric.


With this shift into working remotely, also comes the competence for the future manager to be able to perform leadership at distance. You need to be able to open up to new things and solve problems in the international context. Linguistic knowledge is not an accessory, but an important necessity. That is what companies are looking for right now.


Technology is a vital competence. The digital mindset is not a joke, it is a cultural approach. Not only, what do I need to do technological-wise, but the more important question is, how do I do it? What is my approach? The digital mindset of the manager reflects on the organizational approach and eventually on the business strategy.


Another undervalued competence is emotional intelligence, the ability to interpret, control and recognize, your own emotions and those of others. In this world, where we cannot see each other physically, this is a critical point.


Going green

The interview finished with the question if there is a lot of attention for sustainability in all industries, it is the silver lining of the pandemic, we all have little time to reflect, and thinking about what we can do to make the planet a better place to live. It is something that concerns companies, and companies are open to nurturing green initiatives. In the last 14 months, there has been significant growth in the attention for this theme.


To meet Stefano Gambardella and know more about Kilpatrick, connect with us on Linkedin, and visit our website.