How can an executive search firm help you find the best job?
Connecting with an executive staffing firm is a great career strategy, regardless of where you are in your career. A respected executive recruiter can:
- Introduce you to opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Some of the best positions are filled by recruiters, never appearing on any job site.
- Provide invaluable resume advice and job search tips. A top-notch recruiter can help you create an outstanding resume, and if you show interest, they’ll give you helpful tips before presenting you to their client.
- Help you negotiate a better compensation package. An executive recruiter who specializes in your industry or profession knows both your market value and the hiring company’s pay packages in depth, so she can knowledgeably advocate for fair pay and for perks you might not have even considered.
How to build a relationship with a search professional
As in any good partnership, communication and expectations are key. To make your alliance flourish, you should:
- Clearly understand your own goals and expectations. This includes the entirety of your life. Where would you like to work? What are your professional goals? What are your lifestyle or family goals? Communicating this clearly and specifically can save both you and the recruiter from unnecessary work. If you’re not sure what your goals are, either clarify them to yourself (and then to your recruiter) or let them know that you’re unsure. Hiding your deepest expectations won’t help you get the perfect job. Employers are often looking for that “purple squirrel” – a unique individual with specific skills and passions. If your executive staffing firm can’t see your purple, they won’t know that you might be the perfect fit.
- If you’re not interested in a suggested position, be prepared to say why. Is it the location? The company’s size? The industry? Whatever your reason, the recruiter will understand you better if you can specify what doesn’t appeal to you. And if your recruiter understands you better, she might remember you when a more fitting opportunity appears.
- Enumerate your skills and experience clearly to your recruiting partner. Don’t dress them up, inflate them, or downplay yourself. Honesty, is this case, is both brutal and beautiful, and you won’t find your ideal situation if you’re not honest.
- Don’t circumvent the recruiter by going directly to her client, the potential employer. It shows that you don’t respect business processes, it will rarely work, and it could prevent future, profitable interactions with the executive staffing firm or the employer. And while we’re at it, let your recruiter drive the process. No matter how badly you want to show that you are a leader, it’s not your turn.
- Be your best professional self. Recruiters have long memories (and even better databases). Be the person who remains in her mind – positively! — even if you aren’t hired in the current search.
- Keep your eyes on the goal – a long-term, healthy career with appropriate advancement. If this search doesn’t work out, remember that your executive recruiter sees dozens, if not hundreds, of similar positions over a short span of time. Stay in touch. Be helpful. If you know someone who is looking to find a key leader, volunteer to connect them with your recruiter. If you know a colleague who should be considered for a specific job, introduce him to your executive staffing firm.
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