Recent history of the internet has seen a plethora of aggregation platforms. Most famous are the price comparison titles with annoying advertisements to MetaPack (where CIO David Jack has recently picked up the technology leadership role) which provides enterprises with aggregate access to logistics suppliers. Now there’s a platform for executives and search firms alike to have a single place to keep trace of information and activity.
“In an executive’s career there should be simplification, especially with the people that might find you the next job,” Joseph Blass, a founder of Not Actively Looking, a platform which describes itself as: “An international platform where senior executives can share confidential personal information and CV data with designated executive search firms.” Blass is an experienced executive himself having been a CTO and CEO when he led an early pioneer in desktop virtualisation WorkPlaceLive.
“Not Actively Looking is a cloud-based service that allows professionals, most of whom earn £100,000 to £500,000, to privately share their latest CV with one or more search firms of their choosing. In their profiles, CIOs can disclose salary requirements and career aspirations,” Blass says.
“It allows executives to discreetly manage and update their CV for the benefit of executive search firms handpicked by themselves, away from the prying eyes of their colleagues, employees or employers. Executives no longer need to chase individual search firms by email with copies of their CV. For search firms, the service means they can access and retrieve relevant and up-to-date information about executives. Search firms will no longer need to enter and store CVs which become outdated very quickly and from which they were never able to easily retrieve information such as aspirations or key achievements,” Blass says.
Within three months of launching Not Actively Looking had secured 55 search firms and Blass was confident of continued growth. At the time of our meeting members included Calibre One, The Miles Partnership, Norman Broadbent, Osprey Clarke and Redgrave Partners.
Not Actively Looking differs from the default “career management” platform LinkedIn in that updates to your personal profile, such as new qualifications or skill sets can be made without alerting your organisation that your feet are beginning to itch and you’d like a new opportunity.
A number of major organisations have become savvy to employees, especially crucial members of the C-level ramping up their LinkedIn activity to in effect, advertise their availability for a new role.
“Many executives have been keeping their up-to-date profile on services like LinkedIn. But because LinkedIn is publicly accessible to anybody, they couldn’t share the information that the search firms are really looking for,” he says.
“CIOs need to be in front of search firms all of the time,” Blass argues. The former CTO told CIO UK that he feels and knows from his own experience that spending time with a search firm when you’ve reached the end of your tether and need a new role is too late. “With our platform zero people see your updates other than those search firms that have joined. Communications between senior executives and search firms is still very 20th century,” Blass says.
The company was founded by Blass and Anthony Harling, a former search consultant and Partner at global executive search firm Heidrick and Struggles. Blass previously founded and led the sale of Toucan Telecom to Pipex. They launched a year ago with private investment capital.
Not Actively Looking has a revenue model of charging the C-level executives that are not looking for a role, while search firms have free access to the information there.