FIRST CLASS COACH

FIRST CLASS COACH - I've heard a lot recently about the so-called war for talent and, as an interviewer in a traditional old-economy company, I've found that interviewees are better briefed and more confident than ever before, and often have one or more j

by MARGARET EXLEY, who leads Towers Perrin's European practice onchange and communication. A founder of Kinsley Lord, she is anon-executive director of the Treasury's management board

I've heard a lot recently about the so-called war for talent and, as an interviewer in a traditional old-economy company, I've found that interviewees are better briefed and more confident than ever before, and often have one or more job offers on the table. I've always thought I had a good interview style, but I'm concerned that my skills may need updating or that I should adopt a different approach to suit the current climate.

The recruitment market is transforming itself in the new economy. In the US, monster.com - a web-based recruitment company - advertises 140,000 jobs at a time. For those with the right skills, power is moving to employees in a market for IT staff where 1.7 million jobs in IT remain unfilled in Europe.

You are also likely to be doing more recruiting as people move between companies more frequently. This is partly a product of restructuring, but mainly a result of the increasing speed of the business cycle. The development and speed to market of new products and services have become critical to companies' success. In turn, this is leading to a higher level of churn in businesses and a greater demand for talent. In the US, the average 32-year-old has worked for nine companies.

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