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Interview with Gerhard Schickel

Mr. Schickel, how you were originally recruited by fecher?

Through my personal network. I met the founder Eberhard Fecher through acquaintances and we exchanged phone numbers, quite traditional actually.

Then in the late 1980s, when fecher was working on one of its first big projects, he contacted me as he was looking for a software developer with specialized database know how. I stayed with fecher and in 2000, I took over responsibility for the Recruitment Solutions business area, which at that time consisted of "Hunter NT", a small application. 

How has personnel search changed over the years?

It is still important to have good contacts; this holds true for both sides. Compared to the past, we can now map and manage these relationships much better using modern technologies. 

Gerhard Schickel, Head of Recruitment Solutions at fecher

There have however been significant changes over the past several years with regard to the challenges presented in recruiting: Economic fluctuations in industries, globalization and demographic changes are now leading to much more movement in the job market than in the past. Even though many companies are literally overwhelmed with applications the minute they place a job ad, in some industries there is a shortage of skilled professionals. 

Add in the professional networks we have nowadays - that not only make the candidate market more transparent for recruiters - and the opportunities opened up by the Internet, for job ads, job applications and overall, which have made many things much easier, although they have also created difficulties.

What are these difficulties? How can software help?

With today's electronic media, the barrier to submitting job applications has fallen considerably. Many candidates email a whole slew of standard applications to hiring companies or register with recruitment platforms; often enough this is only to test their market value. Unfortunately, mastering the resulting flood of data costs companies a lot of time and money, that is, unless they are using software that lets them control the mass of data.

The internet actually does offer an immense quantity of information and opportunities, where one can look for and find candidates. It is possible to find most anything, you just have to know how and you need to manage the wealth of information well: Once it has been found, information should be documented centrally and be easy to find again. The right software must also be able to help in this regard.

And finally, the influence of the world wide web in breaking up old working world structures should not be underestimated. Corporate recruiting specialists are spread out over multiple locations, working from home or from the road. The software that is needed then must support cross-site teamwork, so all employees can access a central system from anyplace. 

How does hunter differ from other solutions?

hunter has been around almost 20 years and undergoes constant improvements so that it can continue to meet the challenges presented by constant change in the recruiting field. This is not a trivial argument. Over the years, we've seen a number of software solutions come and go.

Another of hunter's special attributes is it enables a fully integrated search and communications process: Every participant in the application process can view the information that is important to him as hunter takes into account the various perspectives in the search and selection process. Using hunter®CLIENTCENTER, for example, personnel consultants can give their clients information concerning a project's current status or provide profiles of interesting applicants. Using hunter®JOBCENTER and the highly-automated communications management, candidates are also kept informed of the application procedure's current status.

Moreover, hunter is very flexible. Thanks to the wide variety of available optional modules, a recruiter can easily order new functions he needs at any time. The deployment options are just as flexible: run hunter on your own server, access hunter as an online solution on a hosting-partner server or access hunter via Microsoft Cloud.

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