We’ve all received those phone calls: a young, hopeful-sounding voice identifies herself and says she’s aware that you currently hold position X at company Y. You begin to wonder how she knows this, but your musings are interrupted by her curt interjection: “Would you be interested in applying for another role?” The person on the other side of the phone is an executive recruiter, and unfortunately for her, you’re probably going to assume that she’s a hired gun who is more interested in earning commission than she is about placing a person in a job they will find well-suited and fulfilling.
The truth, however, is that if the executive recruiter performed a job that was value-less, she would no longer be employed. Indeed, when they’re truly fulfilling their mandates, executive recruiters play a highly skilled role that literally helps to create happy working lives and the backbone of a successful business. But these executives are dotted amongst the less skilled, tactless varieties of their profession, and they are the ones earning the industry a bad name. So how does one separate the wheat from the chaff? If your company is going to employ an executive recruiter, how can you ensure that he brings skills and value to the role?
A perusal of the literature available on the subject reveals a few common traits that successful executive recruiters share:
- A genuine interest in people. A really good executive recruiter is a great networker, not because it’s strategic to their job, but because they actually like people. They understand that a solid foundation for a relationship is based on trust, and they earn it. They have people’s best interests at heart when they look for a job match. They cultivate extensive networks. They know people, and the people they know trust and like them.
- Know their product. In the life of the executive recruiter, the product is the job that they’re looking to fill. They seek to truly understand the technicalities of the role, and appreciate the skills needed to make it work. One recruiter says this means understanding how the job that you’re looking to fill affects the bottom line of the company.
And then, they know how to read people – the other aspect of their ‘product’. They can interpret body language and look beyond the resume for personality traits and bugbears that either point toward a happy marriage or a frustrated union.
- They master technology. They’ve tapped into the uses of technology to achieve their aims. They’re masters of LinkedIn and other relevant networking sites. They attend tweetups and webinars, and are extending their circles on Google +. Kevin Wheeler makes the further point on recruiting website net: “They make sure both candidates and hiring managers also understand and are willing to use the tools.” But, Wheeler notes, while a great executive recruiter uses technology, he is not consumed by it. “They use what works for them and whatever they can understand,” he says.
- They’re hustlers. A great executive recruiter is driven, ambitious, goal oriented, energetic and passionate. They have a vision of the “happily ever after” and make things happen to achieve it.
- They’re motivated by finding the perfect fit. A great executive recruiter is not chasing a placement fee, or pushing for the candidate to be placed in a permanent role because it means they’ll get more commission. They’re driven by the satisfaction that comes from contacting a manager a year down the line and hearing them say “that was the best hire I ever made”; or hearing an employee say: “Thank you. I really love my job.”
Whilst your company is searching for that perfect financial executive, there is a high probability that a gap exists in your organization on a temporary basis. If you are looking to fill this gap, The Finance Team is your answer. Our aim is to place the right candidate in the right job for the right amount of time, and we have an impressive network of top tier executives to draw from.
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