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Steps to Search for Executive Recruiters
Years ago, conventional wisdom held that it's best to never seek out executive recruiters, aka headhunters. Instead, it's best to wait for them to contact you. Make the first move and you’d risk coming off as too keen if not totally desperate.
There may need been some logic to that advice within the robust job markets of yesteryear. These days, however, in case you don’t take the initiative, you could wait a very long time on your phone to ring or a text message to ping. Possibly to your complete career.
Still, some ways of connecting with executive recruiters are more efficient than others. The goal is to get on their radar without losing your time or, heaven forbid, theirs. For instance:
1. Be Seen
Not only will greater professional visibility improve the chances of recruiters coming your way, it will additionally make it more likely they’ll acknowledge your name and return your calls or emails once you reach out to them. So, in case you haven’t accomplished so already, be a part of the professional associations in your discipline and try to become active in them. Attend trade conferences and look for ways to participate as a presenter or panelist. Contribute to professional publications and websites. Make positive your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Your photo must be present, too, and portray you as the desirable—and hirable—professional you are. Anything you can do to get your name out there, short of making a fool of your self, can help.
2. Attend Conferences
Yes, we’ve mentioned this already, however here it is once more for a different reason. Recruiters typically attend those conferences, too. It’s a great opportunity to network in what’s often a collegial, low-pressure setting. Carry loads of business cards and, just as important, get theirs.
3. Goal the Proper Recruiters
Executive search firms are likely to specialize. Some large ones may cover multiple industries. Others focus more narrowly, comparable to on a single business or a particular job skill. There’s no level wasting your efforts on a firm that doesn’t recruit in your area and may, actually, have fewer connections there than you do.
4. Ask Around
Should you’re at present employed, you may not wish to broadcast your interest in connecting with an executive recruiter. All the identical, it’s worth checking with trusted colleagues and others in your network to see which recruiters they know and recommend.
Ask about their experiences (some recruiters are incredibly beneficiant and helpful, others far less so). In case your contacts know you well enough and are comfortable recommending you, ask them for a referral or see whether you should use their names in introducing your self to the recruiter.
5. Check Them Out
Just as you’d investigate any firm you had been hoping to interview with, research the recruiters, too. Look up their bios on their firms’ websites and read their profiles on LinkedIn. If any of your LinkedIn connections occur to be connected to them, too, consider asking for an introduction.
6. Play It Cool
Even for those who really want a new job, there’s often no point letting on. At any given time, a recruiter would possibly or may not be working on searches for which you’d be a good candidate. So don’t anticipate outcomes immediately but attempt to build a relationship that will guarantee your name will be on the list— ideally, proper up top—when an excellent opportunity comes along.
7. Be Helpful
For those who're known within the trade, you may also meet recruiters when one in all them checks with you as a reference for someone else they're researching as a candidate for a job. If recruiters come to rely on you as a productive, pleasant and considerate information supply, it's possible you'll ultimately be top of mind once they're searching for a job that fits your credentials. As you talk to them, discover a way to point that you're always open to new opportunities yourself.
The Bottom Line
Getting known by executive recruiters is a goal that must be part of everyone's career planning. Start putting yourself within the way of assembly them—and being useful to them—as early as attainable in your career.
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