Us Executive Recruiters can be a tough bunch to impress. We are fortunate to meet some of the smartest, most talented and highest paid individuals. Yet, I often hear about the struggle in trying to strike up a meaningful relationship with an Executive Recruiter.
Aside from stating the obvious; such as having a good CV to get you through the door, there are some simple things you can do to improve your chances of getting noticed in an abundant candidate market.
1. Convey your worth
Fancy degrees and MBAs are great BUT you need to back it up with being able to succinctly promote yourself and make a notable first impression. I may sound like a broken record, but I am really passionate about personal branding.
I regularly meet with so many executives who are great at promoting the company they represent, its products/ services, but suck at promoting themselves!
A common fear is they will come across as egotistical or arrogant. Many find that once they know the formula to create an authentic pitch that is unique to them, they are able to humbly yet confidently highlight their value-add without sounding salesy.
2. Find your niche
Most executive recruiters specialise in certain fields or industry sectors. Likewise, so should you! Find your niche and highlight it on your Linkedin profile and CV. Ensure the content is relevant to your forte.
3. First impressions
A recent survey showed that 80% of companies are now using Linkedin as a sourcing strategy. Likewise, most recruiters will use Linkedin as their first source of information when reviewing a candidate. Your headline is the first thing people see. It must be professional, relevant and highlight your key skills and expertise.
4. Be a thought leader
Be known as an expert in your field. Building a solid reputation takes work. However, you don’t need to spend countless hours writing long posts.
Keep it simple with a mix of Linkedin status updates, snappy posts and engage in meaningful discussions within specialist groups. Remember, it’s about quality. Do not becoming that annoying person who constantly posts cheesy motivational quotes!
5. Reach Out
The best way to reach executive recruiters is by phone, or ideally face to face. You cannot underestimate the impact of personalised communication. Whilst recruiters can be hard to catch, be persistent and do not leave a voicemail; keep trying until you catch them.
When you are in front of someone, you’re harder to ignore! It will also get their attention, as most others will apply for a job, hit ‘send’ and hope for the best. But again, you must be able to quickly demonstrate the value in them talking to you. Even if there’s no immediate suitable vacancy, you can still make your mark and be remembered.
6. Stay front of mind
Recruiters meet with lots of people everyday. Whilst they may seem really engaged during your meeting, they can quickly forget you due to the sheer volume of people they see. To do this, keep in touch BUT don’t stalk them!
Determine their preferred method of contact – be it phone, text, email, or inmail. This way, you’re conditioning their expectations to stay in touch.
7. Establish exclusivity
Rather than registering with a whole bunch of search firms, do some research and hand pick the ones you think will work best for your niche. Let them know that you are being selective in who you are talking to. This will help their process and save the hassle of having to check that you haven’t already submitted an application for the same position with their competitor.
Gone are the days of the scattergun approach. Being selective and putting your energy into creating meaningful, ongoing relationships with a few key players will elicit a greater likelihood of being placed.
Recruiters are always looking for new clients and they know that candidates of today will become clients of tomorrow. Make this apparent in your meeting; that if they work hard to place you, there’s a probability you’ll return the favour by using their services, as well as recommending them to others. Emphasize that you’re prepared to honour a long- term relationship.
It all starts with a strong presence, strategic approach and good connection base. It’s worth doing the work upfront to get ahead of the competition.