Last Thursday, April 18, Ms. Maricar Testa, a former Associate Partner of Andersen Consulting, now Accenture, and presently an Adjunct Professor at the Asian Institute of Management, gave a training workshop on the topic of “Management Consulting as a Profession”. Ms. Testa. a seasoned business consultant herself, counts among her clients many of the large multinationals and Philippine conglomerates. The overriding objective for the workshop was to align as much as possible the client-centric and value-added service orientation of the KSearch consultants to those practiced by topnotch management consulting firms.
Here below are the feedbacks from the participants to the workshop:
The seminar was very informative and interactive. There was never a dull moment. It also gave us the opportunity to relate executive search with management consulting and I learned that they have a lot of similarities. Moreover, I became aware of the fact that we, as consultants, must always provide value-added services to the clients by giving them quality candidates in a short span of time, be proactive, research about the client’s business, and aim to be their ‘most wanted’ vendor. Truly, it is such a pride to be a part of KSearch because the company applies the best practices of other top firms, i.e., providing continuing education and training, a pervasive coaching and mentoring culture, among others.
- Patricia Anne S. Cruz, Search Associate
In my stint with KSearch, this is the longest in-house training/lecture that I have attended. I looked forward to it as I knew this was something that would give value to my career. The speaker quickly captured my undivided attention. She knew her subject well and made a good effort to bridge the gap between Management Consulting and Executive Search Consulting, its similarities and differences.
I learned that Management Consulting is an end-to-end process aimed addressing business problems, issues or changes. In Executive Search, we also follow an end-to-end process and our function is as equally important to the client. We identify executives that will make our clients successful. How will they be able to run their businesses if they don’t have those executives to strategize and implement improvements? One obvious difference probably is that our search clients already have their own qualification standards which we don’t necessarily get involved in setting up.
- Mary Joyce Encarnacion, Consultant
It was nice to have a speaker talk about management consulting. Before the seminar started, I had a difficult time explaining to myself what “management consulting” is. The speaker did a very good job explaining each detail perfectly for us to have a general understanding on what management consulting is. The only suggestion that I have is for more such seminars to be more focused on specific areas such as the service mindset, professionalism and the like. The speaker had a general approach since we only had limited time. It would be good to have additional talks with one topic per day to have a more in-depth discussion.
- Erwyn Lejano, Consultant
The Management Consulting Seminar was very useful especially that I am a fresh graduate and KSearch is my first job. My key take-away from the session may not be as deep as what others gained but this is the thing that really caught me from the start. I really thought that executive search and consultancy are the same. But if you look at them closely, there is a fine line between the two. During the brain writing activity, I really had a hard time differentiating executive search from consultancy that sometimes, I write the same phrase or sentence in every sheet that was passed to me because I can’t differentiate the two. Towards the end of the seminar, I appreciated everything that was discussed. It helped me to differentiate consultancy from search, and at the same time it taught me a lot of techniques on how to handle the clients and the candidates. gained. After graduation, approximately six months ago, this is the only time that I had a classroom and learning environment setting again, and I hope this won’t be the last.
- Ma. Felise S. Eleazar, Search Associate
I find the training program highly informative and interactive. I was able to understand the true significance of management consulting. The trainer expounded the definition, components, and process very well that made me appreciate more my profession as a consultant. Furthermore, the speaker stressed the vital role of a consultant in serving clients by always being on their toes to provide superb customer service that would make them exceptional.
- Joan Krissel Arranzamendez, Associate Consultant
The session conducted by Ms. Maricar Testa was an eye opener on various levels. It helped us see the bigger picture of consultancy and how it relates to executive search. It also laid down the significance of effective management consulting and how it assures client satisfaction. One thing I really liked about the session was the point where the lecturer expounded the idea of consultant-client relationship. It made the whole concept easier to understand and gave us strategies on how to maintain good and professional relationship with our client. Also, she shared a whole lot of examples and real-life scenarios on the creation of consulting mindset for us to have an edge over other competitors from the same industry. I say that these kinds of sessions are beneficial and timely, given that it provides us with up-to-date strategies on how to become better consultants and it makes our perspective wider in terms of exposing ourselves to other aspects related to our expertise.
-Ma. Lourraine Alerta, Search Associate
The training in Management Consulting has helped me realize how similar executive search consulting is to business consulting in terms of providing our clients a good quality output all the time. This training is a big boost to my professional development, knowing that I have to keep on building my skills and competencies to be competitive and to be able to add value to my search and recruitment clients.
-Ruby Anne Rebucas, Search Associate
My key “take-away” from the training: First, there are more similarities than differences between Management Consulting and Executive Search. For one, both provide information, support and assistance to the clients such as salary market, available talents and where talents could be sourced. Second, we both want our clients to succeed, so we tailor our assistance and support accordingly. Third, our clients want the same thing, i.e., a healthy return on their investments (including a return on the fact that they invested on the consultants’ fees). And, fourth, the two functions serve to create a working partnership with the client.
- Clyde Ayura, Consultant
Learning something new about what you love is far more than fulfilling. The training program for Management Consulting by Ms. Testa made me appreciate my profession more as a Consultant. The topic was appropriate, the exercises were fun and I definitely enjoyed the company of my “session-mates”. It’s delightful to know that there are more similarities between a headhunter and a Management Consultant, the confidence that it gives you when you try to explain to other people what your line of work is and it doesn’t just stop by saying “I am a Recruiter”. With what I have gained from Ms. Car’s knowledge-sharing, I am proud to say that I am a certified Executive Search Consultant of KSearch Asia Consulting, Inc.
- Caryn Ingco, Associate Consultant
Last Friday, we had a very enlightening training session with Ms. Car Testa, an expert in the field of Management Consulting. At first glance, the topic seemed boring. We were wrong. Ms. Car was able to maintain our interest throughout the whole session. Some were even surprised that when we ended, it’s already 6pm.
On the session, I learned that the nature of our work, Executive Search, has lots of similarities with Management Consulting such as diagnosing, providing action plans and implementations, among others. Both provide advisory services to clients. The difference is that we provide advices in terms of the availability of talents in the markets, salary ranges; while Management Consultants dwell more on complex management and business processes.
In general, the training was interesting and enlightening.
- Cathie Quimson, Associate Consultant
Prof. Testa gave a very insightful introduction to Business Consulting -- from the definition to its evolution and its linkage with our field. Among other things, the talk magnified the value of what we do, and how we should always aim to do more for our clients as part of the Consulting mindset. It underscored the demands of flexibility, selflessness, analytical skills and out-of-the-box thinking. Additionally it’s great that she was able to capture the attendees’ interest and lifted audience participation through her own unique ways. I am grateful to the Management for this opportunity and I am fervently hoping we could listen to more of these to further strengthen our Consulting core-- relevant to improving our brand and our capabilities to give more meaningful contributions to the society.
-Ross Suarez, Senior Consultant
Our session with Ms Maricar Testa enlightened me on management consulting and on being part of an executive search firm. I am happy to know that we, executive search recruiters, can also be considered as a specialized breed of consultants, knowing the prestige of the title. Being privileged to be a consultant though also entails responsibilities unique to such people. My key take away in this training is living by the hallmarks of management consulting: technical competence, a can-do attitude and collaborative relationship with clients.
-David Bien Paje, Search Associate
There are a number of similarities between management consulting and executive search. The act of us assisting and helping our clients is actually management consulting in itself. The session is especially good to those newbies in KSearch because they get to realize that they are Consultants and Trusted Advisers of the clients and not mere Recruiters. It is also good to know the differences between the two so everyone knows the extent and the purpose of each one.
The learning session has affirmed that the 5 Phases of Consulting Process is already embedded in KSearch’s methodology.
Our value added service must be greater than cost. Everyone should have a mindset like this. I would also want to give emphasis on how the speaker described the pacing of a Consultant’s capability development - - it is like “changing the wheel of a car while it is moving”.
-Ruby Anne Benitez, Consulting Director
The session that we had with Ms. Car last Thursday was a very fruitful session which led me to have a better understanding of management consulting or consulting itself. It is not only to relate it with what we are doing here in KSearch but more of understanding the positions that I am working on. Ms. Car explained in a clear manner the definition of consulting, the attitude that a Consultant should have and mind setting. She also gave emphasis on how we should build relationship with our clients, how to build credibility to gain more business or to have repeat business with them.
To sum it up, Ms. Car’s session enlightened me as a Consultant and it also challenged me to be a better Consultant.
-Mia Limbo, Senior Consultant
“Last Friday’s session about Management Consulting is really informative. Through this talk, the group was able to define the difference between Executive Search and Management Consulting, as well as their significance for every business in re-aligning, improving not only the process and structure but as well as the present situation of an organization. Personally, I was able to assess deeper on how does consulting really add value to the clients. By contributing our best practices and expertise with our unbiased assessment of any situation, it could probably give our clients a better understanding on how they will position themselves to achieve the organizational purposes and objectives.
At the end of the day, it is really important that while we are on the verge of meeting our client’s expectations and demands, we should always try to keep our balance in maintaining our integrity and credibility without compromising our company’s values and ethical norm.
-Charmina Oania, Manager/Practice Head