A Candidates Guide to Working with an Executive Recruiter for the First Time
Developing relationships with executive recruiters is a great way to further your career. Generally, most employers hire executive recruiters or headhunters to fill the top, most senior-level positions in their company. Even if you’re not ready to change positions just yet, building relationships with executive recruiters can help you when the time comes. Below are some tips to keep in mind while working with an executive recruiter for the first time.
Start Building Relationships Early
Just because you are comfortable in your current position and not currently looking for a new role, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be connecting and networking with executive recruiters. Typically, executive recruiters look for those that are currently successful in their roles when new opportunities arise. Connect on sites like LinkedIn, attend networking events, and talk to your colleagues to meet new people and find executive recruiters to build relationships with.
Search for Specialized Recruiters
The most beneficial relationships that you can build will be with recruiters that specialize in your field or job function. This will make it clear to the recruiter that you are already qualified for opportunities that arise, and ensure that you are only being approached for positions that you would be interested in.
Be Honest with the Recruiter
Always tell the truth about your qualifications. The relationship will be much more productive if the executive recruiter is well aware of your skills, and can identify you as a top candidate.
Offer Your Help in Their Recruitment Projects
You’re not always going to be interested in the positions that recruiters contact you about. Sometimes you won’t feel like it’s a good fit for your next move, or other times you’re just not ready to make the move yet. Being a part of the industry the recruiter works in, means you have connections to other possible candidates. Offering to help find a qualified candidate will show recruiters that you’re also invested in this relationship, too.
Ask Smart Questions
When a recruiter reaches out to you about a possible opportunity, it is important to ask questions. Ask about the things that are important to you in your next role. What is the size of the company? What are the qualifications for a candidate? What’s the company culture like? This will not only help you know if it’s a good fit, but also indicate to the recruiter what you’re interested in.
Explain Your Rejections
When an opportunity doesn’t seem right for you, explain to the recruiter why. Maybe it’s the size of the company, or maybe it’s the team structure. Sometimes things just aren’t the right fit. Explaining to the recruiter why will help things go smoother the next time an opportunity arises.