There have been many advances in professional services over the last decade in Serbia and throughout the region – not least of which has been the pronounced milestone of N2Growth finding a home in Belgrade for its Southeast European hub. This firm is recognised as representing the elite of executive search boutiques that’s consistently ranked among Forbes’ Top 15 executive search firms globally.
Headhunters, or executive search consultants, are powerful change agents in the workforce. Their work has long surpassed the simple search and selection mission, as they have increasingly become crucial players in the organisational (re)shaping of advisory boards on key placements, and sometimes even ahead of schedule, bringing high-level prospects to clients. Executive search is a proxy for business success.
While strong business acumen, networking capacity and confidentiality are mandatory focal points for all operators in this space, one name has stood out from the crowd in the oversaturated executive recruiting market. Teodora Ćosić was named Partner Southeast Europe at N2Growth exactly a year ago, bringing the innovative next practices of this highly competitive industry to the Balkans. Having run a successful regional boutique executive search firm prior to making this switch, she was no stranger to the industry. Last year she took on a role that links executive search with leadership advisory services and developing candidates for C-level and board succession.
Being a charismatic person and a natural networker, this career calling perfectly fits Teodora’s personality. As she herself points out:
“Today, anyone working in the recruiting business can have a database of candidates and call it a network, but that’s not what it is. The ability to truly connect with professionals and nurture these connections is what separates successful headhunters from the rest.”
This also reflects on her work style: “In executive search, as a special niche area of recruiting, connecting ability is additionally prominent, because there are both potential candidates and clients among the same target group. I’ve picked up many failed searches and successfully serviced clients that dropped my competitors due to negligence.” N2Growth’s industry-leading intellectual property portfolio gives it a technological edge. Still, it’s the firm’s commitment to thought leadership and a complete innovation of traditional search practices that make it a favourite among clients.
Nowadays, ambiguity and disruption put corporate leaders in every industry to the test on a daily basis. All face the pressures of digitalisation, followed by other business transformations. Teodora focuses on those who understand how technology and other disruptors impact the business, develop a strategy and adapt it to take the organisation further. And how does she know when someone is the right fit?
Today, anyone working in the recruiting business can have a database of candidates and call it a network, but that’s not what it is. The ability to truly connect with professionals and nurture these connections is what separates successful headhunters from the rest
“Apart from a proven track record and professional background, I try to find out what truly motivates the candidate, their values and the environments they enjoy working in. I invest the time to assess their personality and how well they’ll align with the client’s culture. Apart from the interviewing process, I use state-of-the-art assessment tools to determine candidates’ competencies, personality and drives.”
In addition to the culture fit focus, N2Growth is also a devoted believer that diversity equals strength. Diversity, across areas such as gender and race, only helps produce greater diversity of thought and perspective in an organisation, impacting business outcomes positively. She concludes: “The human aspect of my work is extremely important. It’s impossible to create added value without it.”
Photo: Nebojša Babić