Get to know us: Přemysl Gubani, Senior Recruitment Consultant


Today we’re introducing our newest member of the team: Senior Recruitment Consultant, Přemysl Gubani. He is a Czech, living in Prague. Přemysl started working for GRN Czech this fall. After reading his interview you’ll probably realize what a very “serious” person we’re dealing with!

Hi Přemysl! First, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I finished my studies with the department of Educational Science on the Faculty of Arts. So as a young educational scientist who also loves money, I had to think about my future life (science ≠ money; work with children ≠ money; but both make me happy). I made a quick decision to find an amazing job where I could earn enough money and still have free time to work with children and teachers. And so I started with a small personal agency and found a new passion: networking! My passions are focused in: education science, teaching, working with children, networking and money. 🙂

In my free time, I cooperate with the NGO Projekt Odyssea where I work with school classes helping them improve the climate of well-being (based on group dynamics, prevention of bullying programs, etc.).

What brings you to GRN?
Interesting enough, Michael called me and invited me for short chat. Well as it turned out that was good timing, as I had been at a crossroads in deciding what would be my next career step: Stay within agency recruitment or explore a whole new world behind “the mirror” – headhunting. As you can see, I made my choice.

How do you like working with GRN as “Senior Recruitment Consultant”?
I am totally addicted to coffee. Success in headhunting depends on information and active connections in one’s network. So to gain information, you have to have a large network and strong relationships, and this is built by personal interactions. So in conclusion – you have to have a lot of appointments to be successful. And appointments mean? Coffee of course! 🙂 (this is also the reason why I have so many meetings out of the office)

Well that’s quite clever! What is the best part of your job? What’s the most challenging part?
The best part? It’s easy, getting a new project is the best. From there, the next part is when I collect information about the position and meet new people/new connections. Then of course there is the payday. 😉 The most challenging part of this work is simply – persistence. Oh, and never losing my small red notebook! 🙂


Oh yes, THE notebook. One more question: What do you think is the most important quality/characteristic of a candidate?
It depends on the project, but in general, I’d say passion and a deep understanding of the field. But that deep understanding depends on the candidate’s ability to explain that to me.

Last but not least – let’s take a look at Přemysl’s “10 quick choices”:

coffee or tea » COFFEE  (I love meetings and every meeting is connected with cup of coffee)
morning or evening » EVENING (I hate my zombie mode)
sports or art » SPORTS
dog or cat » Both! (I prefer dogs but cats suit my lifestyle better)
rock or jazz » ROCK  (Punk-rock!)
vodka or whiskey » VODKA
steak or soup » STEAK
cake or crisps » CAKE
linkedin or facebook » LINKEDIN
resume or CV » CV

Thank you for the introduction, Přemysl! GRN Czech is happy to have you on the team!

Job Hunting Basics

The internet is full of all kinds of advice regarding job hunting. You can find various tips and advice: cover letter do’s and don’ts, body language tips, CV tailoring advice, lists of the most popular interview questions with clever answers and so much more. Trust us – by taking a little time to plan, study and prepare, you can make all the difference in your job hunt. It will take 5 minutes to finish this article, but we dare say – after internalizing and implementing the following 7 suggestions, you will be one huge step closer to success in moving your career forward!


Have you already tried these tips? Yes or No, it is worth reading further!

Looking for a job can be frustrating. At times you might feel that there’s nothing available. And if there is, you are competing with a big group of other professionals. Landing your dream job can be a winding road. That said, it’s good to remember something: You can’t have an effect on what the other candidates do. Instead, you can make sure that you are not one of those applicants who are eliminating themselves in some very basic ways. The following 7 steps will help you make the most of your job hunting efforts.


1. Do the research and approach your ideal companies. Get to know where you want to work and set out to do some intensive research. Read and learn about the company’s products and services & gain knowledge of the industry. Don’t just wait for a miracle to happen – instead, pull your finger out, contact the companies and start networking!


2. Take care of your social media presence. Be reasonable and stay reachable – optimize your LinkedIn profile and make sure to add your contact information.

3. Be accurate and use metrics on your CV. Don’t just tell what were your tasks in your previous job – let them know how good you were! List your accomplishments. Use numbers to express your success. (Check out the GRN CV sample!)

4. Edit and edit, and then – check, check, check! Make sure you have edited and sorted your CV  to impress the companies you are interested in. Don’t just check your CV and cover letter once or twice,  but multiple times. Misspellings, grammatical errors are not only one of the simplest but most typical blunders that candidates make.
5. Practice and prepare! It’s important to feel confident before stepping into the interview room. Practicing and rehearsing is the best way to get prepared for an interview. Ask a friend to play the role of the interviewer, think how you can present the best of you. Come up with impressive questions to ask from the hiring manager.


6. Be on time and presentable. Find out what’s the company dress code and stick with it — maybe even a notch better. Don’t go overboard, though, finding you’re uncomfortable. However, be careful not to be too casual. Dressing successfully (or unsuccessfully) can make or break an interview.

7. Last, but not least: Follow-Up! Send a thank you email after the interview. Express your fit for the role and your desire to have that job.


Regarding the Job Hunt – or actually anything in life – one thing is always good to remember: Make a big difference by having a “Can-Do” attitude! I would say good luck, but you know – usually it’s not really about being fortunate – we make our own fortune!


Prepared by Sini Suutari, Social Media Coordinator at GRN Czech.

Two sides of “headhunting”: being a hunter and being hunted

Michael Rainey

Michael Rainey, CEO and Managing Partner of GRN Czech

This blog post is the second part of the interview with Michael Rainey, who is the CEO of GRN Czech. In the first part we discussed about the history of the company by reviewing how it all started 20 years ago. 

Today Michael will share more about the exciting field of headhunting. What is “headhunting” and what it means when someone is “headhunted”? Actually, the phrase “headhunting” is also synonymous with “Executive Search”. GRN Czech is described as “a boutique Executive Search and Recruitment firm”. Headhunting is the more demotic word for this field.

HeadhuntLet’s focus on “headhunting” in terms of its professional definition. The more literal meaning of the word “headhunt” (the first description on the picture above) is not exactly included in GRN’s daily activities…  😉 Though there are some who might disagree 🙂

Michael, you have over 20 years experience in executive search. How would you characterize your job as a headhunter?
I think that I can quite simply say that we are indeed “match makers”. We look for the best talent in the market place for our clients, not relying on a chance that someone “reads” an advertisement or posting on a job board. Instead, we network and map out where are the matching talent we need. However, on the other side, we are also there to assist these very same people we are searching for. We take the time to learn about where the candidate is now  in their career as we approach them. We learn what are their ambitions, goals and achievements. Then we make the match that makes sense for both the candidate and our clients. Both our clients and we, would never want someone to leave their present job only to find out that “it doesn’t work” in the new one. So my statement that we are in fact “match makers” is very accurate and to the point.

Let’s then take a look from the candidate’s point of view. Why would it be beneficial for candidates to use the services of headhunters? Why wouldn’t it be better for them to apply directly to the companies which have an open position?
It is always in a candidate’s best interest if they can be represented into any given company by a headhunter. Why is that? Perception. Since a headhunter’s relationship with an company is many times very different than that of a candidate’s, a candidate that is represented into a company is also perceived as being better. Why? In most cases it’s because a company knows that a headhunter presenting a candidate to them is normally already “screened” and thus a more ready fit for their potential needs. Secondly, a major reason the candidate would want to be represented by a Headhunter is because of all the preparation and follow-up that we regularly provide our candidates – something that on their own, they certainly don’t have. Lastly, in many instances we are able, working as an independent “3rd” party, to help correct or clarify things with the company, that on their own, the candidate would not likely be possible.

Why should companies use the services of a headhunter instead of taking care of the complete recruiting process by themselves?
That is a simple answer – in most instances a company does not have the time, people resources, variety & quantity of contacts, nor time to devote to finding just the “right fit” for that position they need to fill. Of course there are also questions of budget when considering the use of a Headhunter, however when all is considered, it is a big cost to the company each day that needed position is left vacant. A company can be sure that using GRN’s services will result in their seeing the best candidates in the market and only those that fit their needs. No wasted time sorting through unqualified applicants nor finding themselves making a decision to hire from the best of the unqualified, unhappy or unemployed.

What kind of candidates do you usually look for? What are the key skills that make them more eye-catching for you, as a headhunter?
Firstly, what we look for in any candidate is their match to the position our client company needs filled.  This “match” is always a combination of Skills, experience, achievements and of course company culture.  We then look and screen for how people have grown and developed in their career so far; what are their career ambitions; what are their expectations; what type of personality do they have  – does it match the client’s company culture.

What kind of candidates do you usually look for? What are the key skills that make them more eye-catching for you, as a headhunter?
What we look for firstly in any candidate is their match to the position needs of our client company. We are then looking and screening for how have people grown and developed in their career so far; what are their career ambitions; what are their expectations; what type of personality do they have  – does it match the client’s company culture.


Many people seem to be curious about this subject:  What should one do, if he/she wants to be “headhunted”?
First of all, it is important to understand that in most cases “headhunters” are working on more senior/management level roles. So if you are not in one of these types of roles, it is not likely you would or even could be “headhunted”, due to visibility by position. However – as headhunters are using a “direct search” method, in order for you to be more likely seen or more visible, it is vital that you take care to make sure your professional profile is out there in the market and how strongly are you presented in this area. Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Is it representing you in the best possible way? What about some of the other Social Media channels – XING, Google+ and so on? Many times these channels are where “research” starts when a headhunter is beginning to map out a market in a certain field/area. So taking care that you are there – visible and with a strong profile – is an important and essential step.

Lastly, being “headhunted” is also about seniority, accomplishments, achievements and being known in your field. Do people talk about you as being someone they admire? Would any of your professional friends/colleagues recommend you for a position that required your skills and background? I ask this because these are the backbone of what is needed if you want to be “headhunted” – this is what I am looking for!

Last, but not least! Everyone wants to be “a successful professional”. In your opinion, what are the most important things to take into consideration in terms to become one?
I think that a successful professional is someone who devotes careful time and attention to their career – assuring that they’re not only doing the best job they can in their current position, but also seeing that they are personally and professionally developing and growing.  It’s important for a successful professional to take care of how they perform overall and how they handle/deal with those around them.

Thank you Michael for sharing all these tips and views with us.  It is very useful and I am sure it gives people something to reflect and think on as they move along in their career.

How it all started?

michael Michael Rainey, 51, is the founder and Managing Partner of GRN Czech. It’s been 10 years since the company was established. Today Michael will tell us a little bit how he ended up in (then) Czechoslovakia from California, USA, and even more challenging, started a business here during those quite difficult times of the early 90s.

Dear Michael – you’re an American, who has been living and working in Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic since 1991. What brought you to Europe just after the end of the communist period?

I came here on a holiday and after being here for 2 weeks, I was so taken by not only the beauty of the city, but the wonderful energy there was all around.  People were so positive, everything was alive & buzzing, and most apparent there was opportunity all around.

What were the main obstacles and the main opportunities in the CEE (Central & Eastern European) region in the 1990s?

The main obstacles that I readily remember were the lack of services and goods, and most important the red tape and bureaucracy to get almost anything done.  Being a foreigner, not speaking Czech – this all added up, made for a tough challenge.  But as to the main opportunities —- where ever you looked there was the opportunity to do “something” that just wasn’t here. Along with a friend, we decided that there was a gap in meeting the HR needs of the many foreign companies then beginning to enter the market. So began the launch of my first recruitment group.

What did you do before GRN Czech was founded in 2003?

As I mentioned before, in 1991 I co-founded the recruitment group Personnel Select.  My partner and I took that from our first office here in Prague, to 11 offices in 8 countries – focused on the CEE region.  We sold this in 1996 to a multi-national recruitment group that was looking for a foothold in the CEE Region, which Personnel Select gave them.  For 3 years I then worked for V.C.C. as the V.P. for European Operations.  Finally in 1999 I came back to the Recruitment business, purchasing a small recruitment group here in Prague that eventually was merged into GRN Czech from 2003.

GRN Czech is “a boutique executive search and recruitment firm specializing in Mid to Executive level searches” as we can read on GRN’s LinkedIn introduction. How has the company developed during its 10-years journey?

When we started GRN Czech, as it is today, our main task and goal was to not be just one of the many tired, run-of-the-mill recruitment agencies, churning out lists from their “databases”.  Instead it was our view that we needed to address the exact needs of the client — to really get the best candidates in the market for any given assignment.  And in order to deliver on that, we knew that running advertisements would not bring those people in — rather we had to go out and directly identify and attract them.  Additionally we also knew that we had to be a partner to anyone of these candidates that we were approaching — whether or not the role we approached them about was a fit for them at that time or not; we knew that we were building a quiet but efficient network.  These candidates know that we are there when they were ready for their next step, knowing that they can also count on us to advise them accurately and fairly regarding their career future.

So for the past 10 years, we have developed down that path, partnering with the professionals we work with on both sides of the ”fence” so to speak.  Our clients and our candidates know that we are only here to make the right fit, never forcing nor wanting either side to be let down. So we are happy being a “boutique” search firm, quietly and efficiently helping our clients; being there when they need the best advice and service.

That’s where GRN Czech is today and it seems to have a bright future ahead of it. In the second part of Michael’s interview we will hear more about the exciting field of headhunting itself.