The world of recruitment is so vast and has so many different recruitment companies offering a broad portfolio of services. It can be difficult to understand what each consultancy does especially when they all use the same terminology!
So here are the 3 things you should find out to ensure you are working with an executive recruitment consultancy.
1. Recruiters are not all the same
There are so many different types of executive recruiters. I frequently hear my candidates and clients talking about the "search" partner they are working with but this phrase could mean so many different things. What it should mean, if you are working with an executive recruitment or executive search partner, is that they have been retained exclusively by a company to appoint a specific role.
Be careful that you are not talking to a contingency recruiter who wants to "throw" your CV into the mix without any desire or request from a company. It could be that they want to use you as a sales tool, therefore assess the recruiter to ensure that your personal information is being used ethically and only for a role that you are interested in, have gained in-depth information about and ideally have met the consultant to discuss face to face.
2. They work for their clients (the hiring organisations)
Your conversation with the recruiter should be just like talking to a company directly. They should know all about the company, its culture, its strategy and details of the role. Executive recruiters should really act as management consultants and not be focused on a transaction to get you an interview as quickly as possible. They should take care to represent their client well, provide you with a high level of service and take great care to see if you actually align with what their client is looking for. They are being paid to minimise the involvement needed by the client and so should invest significant time to tell you everything they know about the company and the role and gain all the information they need from you to assess whether you are right for their client.
3. Building relationships with executive recruiters is a two-way street
Don't just wait for an executive recruiter to engage with you. Manage your career proactively by identifying recruiters who specialise in your space/industry and make yourself as visible as possible via conferences, LinkedIn, article writing etc... Most of the roles that executive recruiters handle rarely appear on job boards, so don't wait to read about an opportunity as it probably won't happen.
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1. They’re not all the same. Executive search, contingency or in-house recruiters? Before connecting or continuing a conversation with a recruiter, you should ask if they’re working for the particular company with the specific opening (in-house recruitment) or if they're from an outside firm (executive search or contingency firm). If they’re from an outside firm, it’s important to find out if they’re from a retained executive search firm or a contingent recruiting firm. Executive search consulting firms are typically used for senior-level executive positions and board directors. Assignments are generally for positions where the best candidate is harder to find and harder to persuade to make a move, and where the potential impact of success or failure is greatest. Contingent recruiters are most often used for mid-level positions or positions where there are a large number of qualified candidates.