Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 15th 2014 Contents MAY 2014 • WEEK THREE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
After 33 years of living in the
United Kingdom, Ena Vieira
returned to Trinidad to live
and has formed a corporate
recruitment firm, Ingenium
Executive Search Ltd.
"It predominantly covers C---chief---level
positions. I tend to work more for companies
than candidates where they need to identify
key executives for their companies and organ-
isations, whether that be mapping the market
from scratch, identifying the key players in the
market place and then approaching them,
speaking to them and understanding their cir-
cumstances and bringing that client s particular
opportunity to them.
"I ve had situations where clients knew of
a particular person they wanted, and they may
know of someone or some people that are key
in the market and assist their business from a
financial or performance perspective, so they
assign me to target those specific individuals,"
This is work Vieira is familiar with.
In London---where she lived with her Eng-
lishman husband and attorney, Bryan
McCutcheon---she was a partner with the exec-
utive search firm in London, EM Group.
Vieira, the daughter of a Trinidadian father
and a Portuguese mother, calls herself "a mixed
cocktail." She came back to Trinidad last Octo-
ber, creating Ingenium only one month ago.
She spent the preceding months finding out
what recruitment agencies existed, how they
function, what are their rates, etc. She figures
her two closest competitors in the T&T cor-
porate job seeking market are Progressive
Recruitment Specialists and HRC Associates
"There are agencies that exist, but none that
matches what I have been doing in England.
My work in London covered the United States,
Europe and the United Kingdom. The firms in
Trinidad are more general in their recruitment.
I wanted to establish an organisation that purely
and only focuses on headhunting," Vieira said.
This interview was held on May 9 at the
Guardian Media Ltd office, 22-24 St Vincent
Vieira was clear to make a distinction between
a recruitment firm and a headhunter.
A recruitment agency advertises available
Ingenium does not.
"Headhunting has to be a very subtle, con-
fidential approach. It is about mapping the
market. The first stage is to get an indepth
specification of what the client is looking for.
It is more than just what the job description
is. With headhunting, with mapping the market,
you don t advertise. It is about direct approach.
It is about targeting candidates in the market,
not on the market. They are already working
"Headhunting doesn t mean those on the
market aren t suitable. You want to target those
in the entire pool, not just the active job seeker.
Not those who are looking at industry mag-
azines, newspapers or job boards."
Vieira said a client searching for a marketing
director or chief operating officer lists the desired
specifications, including key responsibilities
Part of her job in finding the right person
is to get close to the client and find out what
skills set or personality type missing from the
company s culture.
"Not everybody can do it. My husband says
he couldn t do what I do. You have to be per-
sonable, tactful, incisive," she said.
There are two types of recruitment searches,
The contingency search process involves a
company advertising, searching existing data-
bases to find candidates who match its specs.
She said a recruitment agency will only charge
that client a fee if it has successfully placed a
"From my research, for contingency search,
they charge between one to two months salary,"
The second type of search process is what
Ingenium does: "The client retains my services
to go out, identify, attract and attain the can-
didate for them. It s not easy. I work with an
eight-week turnaround: from taking the brief
to offer and acceptance. Many of these clients
have to give three to six months notice," Vieira
Vieira has communicated companies in ten
sectors in eight months: finance, banking,
manufacturing, production, public sector,
legal, information technology, insurance, con-
sultancy companies and what s known in the
UK as fast moving consumer goods companies
(like food and personal care products).
"I have made contact with about 86 com-
panies on a spreadsheet. I sent the decision-
makers---chairmen and CEOs and managing
directors---an introductory mailer, which drew
them to my Web site and an introductory
video about my company.
"The mailer showed who viewed my e-
mails, did a report based on that, and sent
a further e-mail who had opened and clicked
onto the mailer, requesting a meeting to pres-
ent the meeting to them to present my com-
"I m also a huge LinkedIn user, so I connected
a number of them to my profile there. It is a
subtle way of introducing myself to them,"
She said several employment agencies have
key performance indicators they need to achieve
weekly: how many curricula vitae they had
sent out, how many client visits have they
"A headhunter does not work that way. We
are not here to hound a company into giving
us a job. The type of jobs we work on are few
and far between. The process is longer, far more
detailed, and that s why we ask for a retainer
upfront. It is actually minimal. I questioned a
number of business people to determine my
Vieira, who has applied to become a member
of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Com-
merce, has had three companies, two in man-
ufacturing and a third in the energy sector,
wanting to meet with her.
"I ve also been informed of a conglomerate
that is potentially seeking the services such as
Ingenium s," she said.
Vieira is a bachelor of laws graduate from
the University of Buckingham, completed solic-
itor s finals at the College of Law in York and
is a fellow of the Recruitment and Employment
Confederation in the UK.
Finding the right candidate
Vieira gave an example of how she found the
right person for the job of human resource
director for the Swiss dental implant company,
Straumann Group, in the UK last September.
"They had some interesting personalities on
an all-male board. That was an area we had
to look at. We were looking at recruiting the
best. We looked at their individual personalities.
They needed a little balance, somebody who
won t be a walkover, not as bullish, but a diplo-
mat. I found a female.
"The managing director and the board did
not want the candidate living too far away,
working four days a week, and working at home
one day a week. If they were living north of
England, they might have to be away from
home at least four nights a week. Ideally, the
managing director said the candidate needed
to be from south England.
lot of research on the Internet, looking at HR-
related seminars, looking at their attendees
list, looked at LinkedIn to draw up an initial
search, highlight who s living in the location
targeted with the required experience. That s
"I had a document of 57 names from my
research. That s the long list.
"A short list consists of three to five CVs of
the best. I Iooked at their profiles, their history,
"Straumann was about to acquire an overseas
company, so they needed this HR director to
have been involved in an acquisition to ensure
the right HR process and procedures were in
place for that acquisition, somebody who was
strong in that.
"I always ask clients: what are your must
haves and your nice-to-haves.
"Those 57 names were whittled down to 25
who started to hit the nail on the head. Then
I started calling. I talked to all 25.
"That list of 25 went down to four. That was
my short list.
"My husband says I come home and my wife
is on the phone doing interviews up to 11.30
"I have spoken to people on the phone in
the United States, interviewing candidates via
Skype when it was 2.30 am. I sleep, set my
alarm, do the interview. I ve interrupted family
Sundays to do an interview."
If she s interested in a candidate she doesn t
know, she starts by sending a complimentary
e-mail... "I came across your profile with great
interest. I m working with a client who is cur-
rently looking at making an additional executive
level higher. It may be that you are not currently
looking to move from your current position,
but I d be very keen to speak with you about
this current opportunity..."
Vieira is working in partnership with Thomas
International, a global UK-based company,
which creates profiles of candidates.
"My relationship is with their Latin Amer-
ica/US and Caribbean chief executive officer.
Thomas runs a profiling tool. Say the CEO
says the person has got to be dynamic, ambi-
tious, personable. Using their profiling system,
I can create this perfect, ideal candidate pro-
"People in organisations don t know what
goes on in the background. When you advertise,
have you found the best or have you found
the best that has applied?
"A headhunter is like an ambassador for that
company in the candidate marketplace. They
are the first point of contact for the candidate,
so it has got to be a really positive, impacting
impression that is given.
"You have to make the candidate feel that
even if they are not successful, if they don t
make the shortlist, leave them with a good
impression of the client company you have
been representing," Vieira said.
PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
After living 33 years in the UK...
Ena Vieira launches
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