Ask the Headhunter #4

I was in an interview and haven’t heard back from the company for two weeks. Can I call them or what should I do?

Again, this is a very typical question that I hear from candidates I’ve met with that are or have been in process for being considered for a position they have applied to directly themselves or with some “agency” style recruiter. My answer to this is a simple one – absolutely call the person you were last meeting with. When you reach them simply say you are calling to follow-up on your interview (state when that was) and want to find out what are the next steps.  week 42

 However, before you find yourself in this position “wondering what happened two weeks after your last interview” with a particular company, I would suggest that you take a couple steps during that interview that should hopefully give you a better position & standing. At the end of each interview you should always be sure to express your interest in the position, even going so far as to directly say that you believe this is the position for you and you are very interested in the company and being part of their team. Secondly, you should always be clear as to what are the expected next steps. Directly ask the interviewer, after you have expressed your interest in the position, “what are the next steps?” This not only again expresses your interest in this position, but also gives you a clearer idea as to what you can expect to happen and when.

 Of course it can and does happen, that even though you received the information as to what are the next steps, this has somehow been altered or missed in some way. So, the follow-up call with them (if there is some delay in what they said would be happening and the current situation) will be your chance again to let the company know that you are very interested in this position and clarify the situation.

 So the overall point here is “communication:

  • Cover things early (asking what are the next steps during the interview)
  • Don’t be afraid to pick up that phone to follow-up, should there be a need
  • Always be forward and express your interest in the position

 I will wrap this up by saying that this situation is different when you are dealing with a Headhunter. Your Headhunter will always be a great direct line of communication with the company they have presented you to. So if there is ever a “question” as to what is happening, again don’t be afraid to pick up that phone to call the consultant and ask. But if all is working normally, it will likely be the Headhunter calling you first to let you know about the delay before there is one and informing you what has to be done next.

Michael Rainey
Managing partner & CEO
GRN Czech Republic

If you you have anything in mind that you would like to ask from GRN Czech’s professionals or if you would like to give us some feedback regarding our social media pages, don’t hesitate to leave your reply below the article or send it here!


Ask the Headhunter #3

“What are some common mistakes at an interview?”

In today’s world we are so “connected”, “linked” and “friended” that it seems we should or do know so many things. With that said I am confronted regularly with some very common mistakes that happen in or leading up to interviews.

 One of the most common mistakes people make and one that is my pet peeve, is that of not remembering to bring a copy of your CV with you to the interview. Never leave to chance that the person meeting you has received or will remember to bring a copy of your CV with them. As this interview is your chance to sell yourself, to impress the interviewer and land that job, it’s important that you remember to bring your CV with you to make sure they have the tools and info in front of them to make that meeting as positive as possible. Also this is your chance of showing your organizational skills and demonstrating that you are proactive.

 week 38Another common mistake that happens more often that you would think is timing – arriving late to the meeting. You should always plan on arriving 5-10 before your set meeting, always allowing for any possible delays in getting there (traffic, etc.). It is a matter of courtesy and respect that you are there on the time you have the meeting set for. A person arriving late sends a negative message that though not impossible to overcome, does remain with the person who is interviewing you. Funny enough, recently I ran into the opposite of this with a candidate we had set for interview with one of our clients in Madrid. My client informed me that the candidate arrived 1 ½ hours early, just sitting in reception!!! Well needless to say, that not only made the client feel uncomfortable but also had him commenting to me that he felt that a bit too odd as well. You can guess how that influenced the first part of that meeting. So, though you may even arrive earlier than say 10 -15 min before your meeting, sit that extra time before, having a coffee nearby.

Finally, one of the most common and easy to make mistakes is … preparation. Make sure that you are well prepared for that interview — read about the company, their position in the market, maybe even some background on the person you will be meeting with. This allows you to all the better show and demonstrate your interest and connection to the position/company you are interviewing for. Additionally, you should also be personally prepared to properly present yourself & be able to talk fluently and directly about yourself, your work experience and direction for future. You should be able to do this in such a way as to relate all as much as possible to the position you’re interviewing for. By doing this, you again are showing the interviewer your best side and convincing them you are the person they should choose for the role.

Michael Rainey

Managing Partner &CEO

GRN Czech

If you you have anything in mind that you would like to ask from GRN Czech’s professionals or if you would like to give us some feedback regarding our social media pages, don’t hesitate to leave your reply below the article or send it here!

Get to know us: Richard van Horssen, our new Project Coordinator

This time we would like to introduce our new Project Coordinator, Richard van Horssen from The Netherlands. Richard spends 6 months at GRN between September and March. It’s not his first work experience in Prague, and maybe not the last one…

RichardSo, Richard, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I am a 24 year old student from the Netherlands and always interested in traveling and meeting new people. That is why I am studying International Business and Languages at the Rotterdam Business School and part of this study course there is an internship, which has to be done abroad. Beside this, I’m a huge sports lover, especially football (the European way).

What brought you to Prague and how do you like it?

Last year I worked in Prague and my girlfriend lives here, so obviously I was looking for an internship in Prague. And then I ran into this very interesting and exciting opportunity. Prague is by far the most beautiful city I know and there is always something new to discover. So many beautiful places and views and an infinite amount of bars and restaurants!

What are your main job responsibilities at GRN?

I am mainly a researcher, which means I search for candidates and approach them to find out if they are interested in a position we have available for them. Part of the researching job is finding possible candidates, but also to look for companies that are posting interesting vacancies. For a project I will work with a partner firm in Budapest as well, so that makes it even more international.

Do you think working for GRN will help you in your business career?

Definitely, it’s so good to see the process of a recruitment from another perspective. Moreover, I can improve my communication skills here and there are very good networking opportunities. It’s fascinating to learn how GRN always strives for the perfect match between company and candidate, it’s never a routine job. I have also learned how to enhance my online presence, like how to present yourself on social media.

What is your plan after this internship at GRN?

I’ll return to the Netherlands to continue my studies, but only for one semester because then my next semester abroad is coming up; half a year at a partner university, but where is yet to be decided. The big challenge is that I’ll have to do it completely in German or Spanish (it’s part of the International Business AND Languages study course). Considering my current progress, I’ll go to a German speaking country.

Finally, see his “10 choices” to find out more about him:

Coffee or Tea                                     »Coffee

Morning or Evening                            »Evening

Sports or Art                                       »Sports

Dog or Cat                                          »Cat

Rock or Jazz                                        »Jazz (or techno, I’m Dutch after all…)

Vodka or Whiskey                                »Vodka (lemon vodka!)

Steak or Soup                                      »Steak

Cake or Crisps                                    »nah, neither

LinkedIn or Facebook                          »Facebook

Resume or CV                                      »CV

Ask the Headhunter #2

This week Michael Rainey, Managing Partner&CEO of GRN Czech answers a new question in our column. Read and enjoy.

week 34

If you you have anything in mind that you would like to ask from GRN Czech’s professionals or if you would like to give us some feedback regarding our social media pages, don’t hesitate to leave your reply below the article or send it here!



“Dear Michael,

What is a common misconception of a headhunter?”



I am often faced with this dilemma, several times a week at minimum as a matter of fact. When dealing with a new or potential client, it is often the case that they confuse us with “agency” style recruiters they’ve worked with in the past. What is the difference you ask … it’s all in target audience, style, method and approach. This misconception of thinking that all “recruiters” are alike happens quite often. In fact there is a gulf of difference between how we as “headhunters” work and how the “agency” recruiter works.

The first difference is who is approached — we are mainly approaching “passive” candidates, meaning those that are not actively looking for a job. We seek out the best talent in the market for our clients, and as such we cannot rely that these people are spending their time on job boards and other postings/advertisements. We go out to find them.

Next, we are very different in style. The Headhunters “style” is much more consultative, with a longer view, resulting in longer term, repeat relationships with both the candidates & clients we work with. With that said, our methods used in approaching and working any assignment are also quite far apart. A headhunter’s methods are more consultative and precise. We take the time to map out a market, keeping in touch with key figures and always keeping abreast of developments, trends and movements; giving real added value to both our clients and the candidates we work with.

Last is approach; I believe that our firms view, taking a “long term view” sums up how most Headhunters approach the markets they work in. Sure we all make money on placing talent with the client, but in our case, we are much more concerned with the fit, career development and culture than an agency recruiter is. In the end, we only have our name and reputation in the market and in no way would we risk either for the sake of a placement. We value our clients and candidates too much to risk losing their trust and continued business.


Ask The Headhunter #1

From now you can find our well-known Ask The Headhunter column not only on Facebook, but here on our Blog too!



Michael Rainey managing partner, CEO and professional consultant of GRN Czech answers all questions received from the audience.

If you you have anything in mind that you would like to ask from us or if you would like to give us some feedback regarding our social media pages, don’t hesitate to leave a reply below the article or send it here!


What’s a typical day like for a head hunter?



An average day in the office starts around 7:45 – 8:00, settling in, getting coffee/tea and the reviewing the news both here in Czech and around Europe; reading to see about any current developments or events is essential since they affect not only our business but that of our clients. It’s also useful to also have a look at any market trends developing or changing that could or might affect how we work. Next, is having a quick look at new e-mails – but only acting on those things that require immediate attention for the morning, otherwise it is dealt with in the afternoon.

Around 9:00, is a brief team meeting, where we discuss any important issues pending, address any needs someone on the team has, etc. Then it is individually sitting down and reviewing the current search assignments we have open & the list of calls that should be made for the day (to find the candidates needed for the particular search). This “call list” is made using research previously done, direct contacts the recruiter has and possible sources/leads developed.

From 9:30 – 11:30/11:45 is time reserved for make the calls and e-mails needed to reach the potential candidates for the particular open assignment(s); first calling candidates to follow-up with them, and then to those people who we want to approach and speak with further about the particular assignment being worked on. These “calls” are essential to our work as a headhunter, as it is here that we make the difference. Using a direct search method (not advertising), we are approaching people that are for the most part “passive” candidates, meaning they are not actively seeking a job. These are not people positing themselves all over the internet and on the numerous job boards nor ones that are busy answering advertisements. Instead, the typical candidate that we place is most often already working and doing well in their current role and only due to our contact is their interest peaked. After this initial contact/approach with the potential candidate, we then explore where they are in their career, decide if our “opportunity” is a relevant possibility for them to consider — and if so — then arrange meeting with them to further discuss things. We are never “stealing” anyone from their current company (on the contrary, if we see that the opportunity we are speaking to a candidate about is not right for them or their current situation, we would never push that further.) We are partnering with the candidates we work with, showing them that we are not just talking to them now, but that we are also there for them anytime in the future when they are at a career crossroads. We are there for a candidate over their whole career — not just for an immediate role we want to place them into now.

Then usually around 12:00/12:30 is lunch. Then from 13:30 – 16:00 is the time we use to make those follow-up calls from the morning, checking and answering e-mails and of course taking any meetings with candidates or clients that have been previously set.

Finally around 16:00 – 18:00 is the time used to take care of anything that is still needing immediate follow-up, making plans for tomorrow’s work day – which includes research, to-do lists and action plans.

Though we might be leaving the office around 18:00, many times it is then off to a business event, a mixer or even a dinner with a client or candidate that could not meet earlier. Life as a headhunter is networking and meeting with people and so it really doesn’t “turn” off. You really have to love what you do in this business; you need to enjoy being around people, helping people with and in their careers, helping companies attract the best talent in the market, and taking great pride in knowing you are bringing true value to both companies and candidates.

Michael Rainey

Get to know us: Siiri Lietu, Social Media Coordinator

Siiri intro picCan you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a 23-year old student from Finland, currently on my 3rd year of HAMK University of Applied Sciences. A year from now, I’m going to be a Bachelor of Business. Before going to university, I was studying clothing design and attending art school, so I really like handicrafts, design and art. Music has always been a big part of my life, I have played piano and a Finnish traditional instrument kantele for many years. 🙂 Thanks to my time in Prague, I have newly found love for traveling. I enjoy exploring new places and I’m always seeking new adventures to take on.

And what are your professional interests?

My major is in Marketing, but this experience abroad has changed my views about what I’d like to do after I graduate. Maybe I’m a bit brainwashed because of reading all the inspirational quotes about doing what I love (:D), but I would like to do something more related to my somewhat artistic background. The best case scenario would be to combine business with it, and that is exactly what I’ll try to do.

What brought you to Prague and how do you like it?

Because I wanted international experience, I decided to take advantage of the Erasmus Program and came here last year to study for one semester. I had dreamed of studying abroad for many years, but . Eventually turned out that I loved Prague so much that I didn’t even want to leave after the 3-month semester finished. 🙂 I started searching for internships and jobs, and then I met Sini, our former Social Media Coordinator in Budapest by a funny coincidence and she told me about the available position at GRN, so here I am!

Did you have any troubles moving away from home and adapting to a new environment?

Not really, since I lived alone in Finland already for few years and I was used to being independent. Of course the transition from a town of 15 000 people where you know everyone, to Prague, where everyone is a stranger, was a bit overwhelming in the beginning, but I got used to it pretty quickly. I started enjoying the busier lifestyle of a bigger city and meeting people from all over the world has been extremely eye opening! Czech culture is more similar to Finnish culture than I imagined, so adapting here was not hard at all. Only problems were with the language, and how to deal with everything when the people don’t necessarily even speak English.

What are your main job responsibilities at GRN?

I’m taking care of the social media channels of GRN and everything related to that, such as writing blog posts, reading interesting articles to share, searching for pictures and quotes and so on. I updated the social media strategy of GRN and to came up with new ideas for the future. I was also responsible of finding my successor, which included reviewing CVs, organizing interviews with the potential candidates and dealing with the whole recruitment process until the day that she would arrive.

Do you think working for GRN will help you in your business career?

Definitely. International experience is always valuable and it’s something that I believe will differentiate me from other candidates when I’m searching for a job after graduation. Even if I’ll decide to apply for a completely different job, an internship abroad is a clear sign of internationality and advanced level of English to any employer. Both of them are more and more important in the future job market.

coffee or tea » COFFEE (Before coming to Prague, I didn’t drink either one though! Office has taught me 😉 )
morning or evening » EVENING (Oh how I wish I could decide to be a morning person…)
sports or art » BOTH (I can’t choose only one..both of them are a big part of my life)
dog or cat » CAT (I have two hairy friends waiting for me in Finland)
rock or jazz » ROCK
vodka or whiskey » VODKA
steak or soup » SOUP
cake or crisps » CAKE (No explanation needed!)
linkedin or facebook » FACEBOOK
resume or CV » CV

University Times Are Over – Here Comes the Reality!

Entry into the “real world” is a big step-out of the comfort zone for most university graduates. However, embarking on a new adventure that scares you a little, also helps you grow and in the end, makes you happier. Are you finishing your studies and finding you are both excited and scared to start that first job? Wondering how to make the transition from university to corporate survivable? Here are some tricks 🙂

GraduationFirst of all, it’s necessary to mention that it’s not going to be easy. For us young people who live in their own, even a little naive university world, it’s hard to imagine a new life of working 9 to 5 every day, sitting in an office and having lots of responsibility. Compared with the relatively flexible university student’s schedule comprised of lectures, this is a world apart. Be prepared for that.

The journey starts with searching for your first real job. I have many friends my age that have been recently doing so and they expected to receive 5 offers every day just because they graduated from a good university. Well, it doesn’t really work like that. Competition is high so you have to fight for your dream job. However, you can’t expect your first job to be your ideal job, with a high salary and low responsibility. It’s going to be tough, you will have to prove your capabilities and skills many times, and probably you’ll have to wait for that ideal higher salary too.

When you finally succeed in getting that first job, you will be faced with a life change in terms of changing your habits too. No more partying until the sunrise during the week, no flexible working time (if yes, congratulations!), lots of responsibility, new things and new people. One of the things you will find the need to learn getting used to is people from very diverse groups in terms of age, life stage, goals etc. Try to develop relationships and make your connection network wider. It’s an important skill to learn right at the beginning, which you can benefit from throughout your later career.

Although it seems to be common for “Generation Y” to have held 5 jobs in the first three years after graduating (Business Insider, 2014), it’s important to stay at your first job for at least a year. This can be counted as a relevant experience in your CV, which makes it easier when looking for the next job and it also goes a long way in not making you appear as a job hopper to those older hiring managers.

Make a plan to move up that corporate ladder. Along with making a plan to stay, it’s important to make a plan for the coming months/years ahead. Try to think about where you’d like to be (career wise), how do you imagine your career path and what are the milestones you’d like to achieve.

Change is hard. We worry and but we never know whether we’re making the right decision unless we try first.  Remember, that your entry into the ‘real world’ should also be a time of excitement and exploration.

So, are you ready to make that step from the comfort zone you are now in?  Embrace the change and challenge ahead.
Prepared by Julia Svandova, Project Coordinator at GRN Czech