If executive recruiters had a rallying cry, it would be the wise words of Jerry Maguire: “Help me, help you!”

You just know the executive search recruiter you connected with is going to help you land your next job! He already has three roles he thought you’d be perfect for! Now, you just need to wait anxiously for the next phone call to get the ball rolling, right?

But, after hours, days, or maybe weeks of radio silence, you’re beginning to feel like:

  1. He forgot all about you.
  2. He hates you.
  3. He’s been abducted by aliens.

Chances are, none of those things are true. (Aliens aren’t real, remember?) However, it is possible you’re not at the top of his list anymore because you made some all-too-common job seeker mistakes. So, before you reach out to the professionals at Area 51, here’s what you need to know about the recruiter-employer relationship…

Understand the role of an exec search recruiter

In general, exec search recruiters & headhunters have one primary function: to fill jobs. That sounds simple, but in reality, an executive recruiter’s responsibilities are extremely complex. Exec Search Recruiters are hired by companies to identify the best candidates for their open positions. The employer pays a fee to the executive recruiter to make a successful match. That means the employer is the client—not you. This doesn’t mean the executive recruiter isn’t vested in your successful job search. As a quality candidate, you play a vital role in the placement process because, without you, exec search recruiters could not successfully fill their client’s job order.

However, that process has a lot of moving parts. First, executive recruiters invest a significant amount of time working with the client to develop an accurate full-picture job posting, ensuring they find the right talent. No one wants to be presented to a client to discuss a role that differs from the one you applied for. Next, executive recruiters spend time connecting with potential candidates—searching their talent pool for both active and passive professionals who possess the right combination of skills, experience, and cultural fit. Once a group of qualified candidates is identified, they spend time collaborating with you and the employer to arrange interviews—managing both sides of the recruitment process to ensure both parties are happy with the final result.

(If it makes you feel better, job seekers aren’t the only ones to unintentionally make an executive recruiter’s job more difficult. Many employers hire an executive search firm for their expertise, only to ignore those experts and micromanage every stage of the search. If you’re a hiring manager that wants to bring in an exec search recruiting expert, make sure it’s a partnership based on trust, so you feel confident letting them do their job!)

Contact us to learn more about how we can partner together to find the best candidates to meet your unique needs.

here are 5 things you can do to Help your recruiter help you

1. Avoid stalking the executive recruiter. Executive recruiters & headhunters know you are eager to land a job and they are just as eager to help you. Despite your enthusiasm, you must respect the process. Once an executive recruiter has ascertained your needs, expectations, and ideal role, they get to work trying to identify an opportunity that fits. If you’re a potential fit, you’ll receive a call—promise. There is no need to email or call to check in multiple times a day or week.

2. Remember patience is a virtue. When a potential opportunity is identified you will work with your executive recruiter to determine if it’s the right fit. It’s important to be patient. Executive recruiters spend a lot of time going back and forth between you and the employer. Remember, they want to fill the job just as much as you want to have it. Throughout the recruitment process, your executive recruiter will keep you abreast of the situation. As soon as they hear word from the employer, so will you.

3. Use the manners your mother taught you. If you have an active and complete LinkedIn profile, you may receive an unsolicited call or email from an executive recruiter. If the potential job isn’t within the compensation range you would entertain, don’t be offended and reply, “I make double that!” or “I have a job, why are you contacting me?” Simply thank the executive recruiter for reaching out and maybe recommend a colleague who might be a better fit. You never know when you may want to work with that executive recruiter in the future, so keeping your interactions respectful and professional is a good idea.

4. Be honest! 62% of job seekers are entertaining multiple offers. If you are participating in interviews with a different company or if you have other offers, be transparent. Don’t bail on interviews or suddenly take yourself out of the game after the process is well underway. It’s disrespectful of the employer’s time and can also have a negative effect on your personal brand.

5. Take action! If you want the job, do the work. Respond to emails and voicemails in a timely and professional manner, research both the company and the position thoroughly, engage during the interview, and send a follow-up letter when it’s over. Be proactive.

Remember, an executive recruiter’s favorite thing to do is call a candidate with an exciting job offer. Ideally, their days could be filled with these types of calls. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, but you can help them help you by following a few simple steps.

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