Working with Executive Recruiters

As individuals rise through the ranks of corporate America, their value to executive recruiters increases too.  Whenever someone with valuable skills is looking to find a new job, it's important they understand how to work with a recruiter.

In this article, we're going to discuss how to work effectively with an executive recruiter.  That discussion will briefly touch upon the fundamental relationship between recruiter and client or job seeker.  More importantly, we're going to discuss how to optimize that relationship so the odds of finding a more rewarding or a higher paying job increases.

Recruiters / Client Relationship

Working with a recruiter is a satisfying experience because, by its very nature, the goal is to create win-win situations:

  • Executive Recruiter:   when able to successfully place a candidate in a position, recruiters are paid a commission by the hiring company and / or the client.
  • Candidate / Client:  the job seeker is able to find a more rewarding and / or higher paying position at a new company.
  • Corporation / Hiring Manager:  the company looking to fill a critical position has secured a successful candidate.

Because all of the participants end up in a winning situation, there's a lot of incentive to cooperate and freely share information.

Working Effectively with a Recruiter

Everyone interested in climbing through the executive ranks needs to know how to work effectively with a recruiter.  This is especially important if someone is contacted by the recruiter first.  By understanding some of the simple rules of thumb that follow, it's possible to increase the odds of quickly finding a job.

Recruiter:  Roles and Responsibilities

When working with a recruiter, it's important to build a feeling of trust since they will have access to some very private information.  The client is also assuming a small risk they will taint the relationship they have with an existing employer; especially when seeking employment elsewhere.

A recruiter that is acting responsibly and professionally will always follow these guidelines:

  • Safeguarding of Information:  client approvals should be gained prior to submitting a resume to a prospective employer.
  • Effective Communication:  finding a good match between the client and company means the recruiter must be both a good listener as well as providing timely status reports.
  • Operate Efficiently:  executives are generally busy individuals with little free time; the process should be run as efficiently as possible.
  • Seek Permission First:  once again, a client's permission should be gain prior to contacting any job references or reaching out to a company on their behalf.
  • Disclosure of Information:  prior to accepting an offer, the successful candidate should understand the entire compensation package, relocation requirements, as well as the job responsibilities.
  • Two-Way Trust:  above all, there needs to be a trusting relationship between client and recruiter.  Withholding critical information, such as the client's current salary, leaves the recruiter with too much guesswork to perform effectively.

Client:  Roles and Responsibilities

In the same way the client should expect an executive recruiter to act professionally, it's only reasonable to expect clients to act professionally too.  The following guidelines will help to ensure an effective working relationship between client and recruiter:

  • Be Committed:   be serious about finding a job.  If a recruiter provides an opportunity for an interview and it's not accepted; it's very likely they will not call again.
  • Understand Requirements:  if there is a certain geography or industry in mind, then share that information with the recruiter.  When unwilling to work under certain conditions, make sure that's communicated too.
  • Provide Job References:  be prepared to provide at least three solid job references, complete with contact information.
  • Be Prepared for the Interview:  effectively interviewing for a job requires a little bit of homework prior to the meeting.  Obtain a copy of the job requirements, and ask the recruiter to provide some insights into the company's culture.
  • Stay Engaged:  if the executive recruiter isn't calling, make sure to check in once a week.

Locating a Good Recruiter

The more restrictions a client has, the longer it's likely to take to find a job that abides by those restrictions.  That being said, it's important to work with someone that's going to work hard for their client.  If there hasn't been a lead on a significant opportunity in a three-month timeframe, then it's probably time to move on.

Before switching recruiters, it may be beneficial to appeal to their competitive spirit.  A simple way to try to motivate them is politely suggest the services of someone that has more connections in a specific job niche may be in order.  Individuals working in this field are quite competitive with one another, and this approach will often result in the redoubling of their efforts.

About the Author - Working with Executive Recruiters - (Last Reviewed on March 16, 2016)