Questions Over Decision to Headhunt at State Companies   (1)

Search consultant Tõnis Arro. (Postimees/Scanpix)
8/5/2014 11:35 AM
Category: Economy

The state is looking for new executives for three state-owned companies, but a management consultant says it doesn't make sense: the companies are largely happy with the incumbent CEOs' performance and aren't under legal requirement to replace them or hold a hiring round.

The state is looking for new executives for three state-owned companies, but a management consultant says it doesn't make sense: the companies are largely happy with the incumbent CEOs' performance and aren't under legal requirement to replace them or hold a hiring round.

Tõnis Arro, who has been involved in selecting past executive officers of Eesti Energia and the Port of Tallinn - two of the companies now looking - told uudised.err.ee: "I don't see any reasonable justification why anyone should apply if they know [Eesti Energia] is satisfied with Sandor Liive and Sandor himself is running. How could a public hiring round prove that someone is better than Liive? It's incomprehensible."

The hiring procedures for Eesti Energia, the Port of Tallinn and Elering were decided by the previous, Reform-IRL government and set forth in the coalition agreement. Reform Party MP Kristen Michal said the principle was reasonable enough.

"A public hiring communicates that a refresh takes place from time to time and if the management has got on well with its job, the board will continue," Michal said. "The results of the competition will be decided based on the candidates and their vision; nothing is decided ahead of time."

The time frame is short: 14 days for Eesti Energia and 24 and 26 days for the Port of Tallinn and Elering (the transmission system operator). Arro said that time frame indicates satisfaction with the current execs - Liive, Ain Kaljurand and Taavi Veskimägi, respectively.

Arro also said if the companies were publicly listed, they would see their stock prices fall if they acted they way they did.

Another personnel specialist from a human resources company, Sirje Tammiste, countered, however, that a two-week headhunting period was normal and that a public tender was the "only way to go" for finding a new executive.

"It's such an attractive position that the ones who are interested will want to keep an eye on what is going on. Writing a CV and cover letter for a CEO doesn't take more than an hour,” she told ERR.

Eesti Energia's top post, which pays 15,000 euros a month, is open until August 11. The Port of Tallinn's 8,000 euro-a-month job will be shopped until August 22.


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