There used to be a time when seeking out executive recruiters went against common advice. It was thought that you should sit back and wait for them to contact you or else you might come off too eager. That advice might have held up in a different job market, but these days, following the Great Resignation, job seekers have the majority of the power.
Executive recruiting firms have thousands of open jobs to fill, and they are likely looking harder for you than you are for them. If you’re thinking of reaching out to executive search firms, you shouldn’t hesitate. However, there are some tips to maximize your efforts.
Here are five steps to follow when searching for executive recruiters:
Before You Begin
Before you begin reaching out to executive recruiting firms, there are some tips you’ll want to follow to make the most of your time:
Make sure you photograph on LinkedIn or any other sites is current and professional.
Know Who You’re Contacting
Be sure to do your research on the firms you’re reaching out to. Some firms recruit in professional verticals or niches, and if you don’t work in those fields, it won’t be worth your time to reach out.
Accept Speaking Opportunities
If you’re invited to be a speaker or a panelist at a conference, accept. The more people you can get in front of, the better.
Choose the Best Firm
Through your research, make sure the executive search firms you choose to contact are highly rated and can demonstrate their success.
If a recruiter reaches out to you for a reference or another piece of info, take the opportunity to be helpful and show your knowledge and professionalism.
5 Steps to Searching for Executive Recruiters
Let’s get into the five steps to success when looking for an executive recruiter.
- Target the Right Recruiters
As mentioned above, executive recruiting firms tend to specialize. Some large firms may work with clients in multiple industries, but others will focus on a single industry or a particular job skill. If a firm doesn’t recruit in your field, you may already have more contacts than they would, so reaching out would be a waste of your time.
As you’re looking up executive search firms online, refine the results by including your industry in your search phrase. For instance, looking up “executive recruiters graphic design” will return results for firms that specialize in graphic design jobs. You can further narrow your search by including location and other factors about the job you’re looking for. While the number of results you receive by refining is lower, the quality is much higher, and you’ll only be seeing info on executive recruiting firms that can truly help you.
2. Increase Your Professional Visibility
If you want to grab the attention of executive search firms, you need to increase your professional visibility. Not only will this increase your chances of having a recruiter reach out to you, but it will also make it more likely for a recruiter to recognize your name and return your calls when you reach out to them.
One great way to boost visibility is joining professional associations in your field and try to be as active as you can. Attending conferences, whether in person or virtually, can get you exposure, especially if you can participate as a presenter or panelist. If possible, contribute to professional publications or websites in your field, and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with a current, professional photo.
3. Leverage Your Network
If you’re currently employed, it’s understandable that you might not want to start asking around for recommendations on executive recruiters. However, your network of trusted colleagues and professional acquaintances may have experience working with a great executive recruiting firm. Ask them about their experiences, good and bad.
If you know the contact well enough, you can ask them for a referral or if they feel comfortable with you using their name to introduce yourself to the recruiter. If they’re not comfortable giving you a personal recommendation, at the very least they’ll likely be willing to share the name of any executive search firms they’ve used in the past.
4. Do Your Own Research
It can be helpful to do research into executive recruiters the same way you’d investigate a company with which you are interested in exploring a position. Check out the firm’s website and look up the recruiters’ profiles on LinkedIn. This is also a great way to see if you have any shared connections that can facilitate introductions. You can also check out lists and rankings of the top recruiting firms in the country.
5. Attend Conferences
We mentioned attending conferences before, but there are other reasons why it can be beneficial. Participating in conferences can help increase your visibility and get your name out in front of an industry-specific audience, but recruiters also often attend these conferences to make connections of their own. Don’t be afraid to attend these sessions and do some networking.
Executive Recruiter FAQs
Here are some of the most asked questions about executive recruiting.
Should You Pay an Executive Recruiter?
If you are a candidate seeking a job, you should not have to pay a recruiter, as the hiring company is paying for that service. If you are a company interested in using a recruiting firm to fill vacancies, you should definitely expect to pay a fee, whether it is a percentage of the position’s salary or a flat fee per search.
How Can I Attract Executive Recruiters to My LinkedIn Profile?
You want to optimize your profile so it turns up in search results when recruiters are looking for candidates. Make sure your profile is complete and try to use good SEO practices and keywords. Get endorsements and recommendations on your experience and remain active in posting content on your homepage feed and commenting on the posts of others.
Stop Searching – Choose Talentfoot
Talentfoot is the right executive search firm for you. Our team of professional executive recruiters does all the legwork for you so you can fill roles faster or find the job of your dreams. If you want to work with the best, contact us today.