If you’re a senior or c-level executive, you’ve probably worked with executive recruiters because they reached out and connected with you.
In the past, top executives could expect to be in demand, constantly pursued by numerous recruiters when they weren’t looking for a job.
Unless you’re lucky, executive job search doesn’t work quite so easily these days. You can’t count on recruiters offering you your pick of jobs and seamlessly sliding into a new position whenever you’re ready. You could suddenly find yourself out of a job, with little warning, trying to pick up speed in a job search landscape that doesn’t look or feel familiar.
Recruiters are certainly out there, looking for superior candidates like you, but with so much competition in this job market, you may not stand out as readily. You may not be in demand like you were a few years ago. You’ll need to reach out to them.
How much do you know about the different kinds of recruiters and what they can do for you? Did you know that internal recruiters and external recruiters — either retained or on contingency — help you in different ways?
For help in sorting out all the pros and cons and how-to’s, go to the Work Coach Cafe and 2 posts written by Susan P. Joyce, online job search guru — one on Internal Recruiters, the other on External Recruiters.
Some of Susan’s tidbits on Internal Recruiters:
→ They have an insider’s perspective. They see how the organization works and typically know many of the people inside the organization, particularly the hiring managers.
→ They may be your advocate, if they believe you are the best person for the job.
But . . .
→ Their loyalty is to the organization. No matter how tempting, don’t tell them anything that you don’t want the rest of the organization to know.
→ They can “bar the door,” keeping you from being interviewed or considered, even if (sometimes, especially if) you try to go “around” them directly to the hiring manager.
And a few of her points on working with External Recruiters:
→ Contingency recruiters may be strong advocates of your candidacy – because they, or their employer, will earn a commission if you are hired.
→ They have an outsider’s perspective, so they are not caught up in the politics inside the organization, although – if they have worked with an employer before – they may understand quite a bit about how the organization and the people inside it operate.
But . . .
→ External recruiters are outsiders. They don’t know everything going on inside the organization. They may or may not know the people involved in every hire, so they may not be able to provide you with any meaningful coaching.
→ Your “cost of hire” (what it costs the employer to hire you) is higher than an internal referral or someone who walks in off the street because of the commission paid them if you are hired based on their referral. It can be as much as 20% to 25% of the annual salary.
Each kind of recruiter works differently. Understanding what motivates them can help you avoid making damaging assumptions that can derail your job search. Knowing how they work with candidates can help you to build positive, mutually rewarding relationships with them.
photo by Rosmary