What advantages do you have in being a small company?

BVM: Efficiency, consistency and accountability. Efficiency: We are our own global headquarters, decisions are made locally and action taken immediately. Consistency: When a client retains a BVM consultant, they are talking to the one who is doing the actual work, rather than speaking to an HQ that is subcontracting to a regional office. Accountability: We have to have the personal responsible touch if we want repeat business. Simply put, we haven’t and we won’t disappoint any client.

Another advantage in being a small company is that we do not have near as many “off limits” areas as some of our larger counterparts. The vast majority of companies are not our clients, and so we have broader hunting grounds.

Can you maintain the same level of relationships as your larger competitors?

BVM: Without a doubt. Often global companies will have global relationships from HQ to HQ. The local offices of the firm and client have little or no direct contact. At BVM, even when a global HQ retains us, we must intimately understand the local office and its people, because that’s where the candidate must fit.

Plus, once we’ve placed a member or two of an organisation’s inner circle, we’re dealing with people we already know very well.

Would you reckon that household names offer more guarantees?

BVM: Well, there is a kind of brand name “insurance policy”, that is, if things go wrong people can say “It’s not our fault, they are supposed to be the best”. This is more of a psychological issue than a practical one. The reality is that we can’t hide behind a big name, nor would we want to. So our results are at least on a par, and often superior to those household names.

Decision makers can be apprehensive about trying a new service. There is a risk of potential loss. The thing is, only the name is new. We’ve been doing this a long time, and have an excellent track record to show for it.

 

Databases are the cornerstone of the HR industry, right?

BVM: Databases are great tools, but we can’t just rely on them. They can sometimes be useful, they are a staple of our industry, but the fact of the matter is that as soon as they are compiled they are outdated. The idea of entering criteria into a computer and having it churn out a perfect match is a myth.

Additionally, computer generated mass research does not apply at the level we operate. Specific targeted research must be done, and interviews conducted. A long list gets worked down to a short list, and after extensive evaluation we make our recommendation to the client. It’s a long process, and when it’s done properly, BVM, the client and the candidate are all winners.

How does BVM conduct regional and global searches for clients?

BVM: The work we do is borderless, in fact, 60% of our work is outside Hong Kong. Although we are deeply rooted here, we are not limited to Greater China or even Southeast Asia in our search capabilities. Being multi-lingual and with international backgrounds, we have acquired the skills to think and react globally.

Also, through carefully selected affiliates, BVM has extra reach in the USA, UK, Italy, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Indonesia. For us, a successful affiliation is one that has produced a 2-way flow of business. Even in large companies branches rarely perform real work for one another; so what is perceived as a disadvantage for us is actually a formidable strength.