From the industry: experts on demand shake up executive recruitment

Restructures, retrenchments and a growing desire for flexibility among white-collar workers in the 40-plus age bracket is driving the success of recruitment start-up Expert360.

The brainchild of former Bain & Company associate-turned-entrepreneur Bridget Loudon, Expert360 is like an online matchmaking service for executive job-seekers.

Ms Loudon is as surprised as anyone that Expert360 is starting to cut in on the wobbly middle tier of the executive recruiting industry.

“People have just gone nuts for it,” she says. Such is the enthusiasm of candidates that Expert360 is starting an “expert blog” as well as social events.

“These networking opportunities are the most attractive part of the service,” says Lance Peters, a former bulky goods chief executive. Networking is the lifeblood of independent consultants who have chosen to forego the safety of salaries. Expert360 offers him “another arrow in the quiver”.

Peter Wilson, the chairman of the Australian Human Resources Institute, says technology-driven solutions such as LinkedIn and Expert360 are “dramatically shaking up the market”. This is particularly true for those that focus on the “executive interim managers”, who are growing in popularity. That’s not only because of the rising desire for more flexible working conditions, but also because many firms see temporary consultants as a way to retain existing staff by offering the latter more flexible hours and longer periods off work.

At Bain, Ms Loudon and her colleague Emily Yue saw clients who wanted high-level consultants as flexible as they were qualified. They also wanted to harness the skills of c-suite executives – chief executives, chief technology officers, finance directors, heads of marketing and human resources – turned loose in the market as corporations responded to tough economic conditions with a series of restructures.

The duo founded Expert360 as an accelerated matchmaking service, using algorithms and staff input to produce a shortlist for time-poor businesses seeking experts.

Independent consultants are happy to share huge amounts of detail to be competitive.

There’s also plenty to appeal to those on the demand side. Expert360’s commission is far lower than the consulting fees charged by the likes of traditional headhunters. It is also lower than what executive recruiters charge for finding full-time employees, which Moss Capital’s Blake McNaughton was quick to realise, along with the opportunity to “try before you buy”.

Excerpt from Experts-on-demand shake up executive recruitment by Ky Chow in the Australian Financial Review. Read full article here.