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The 5 Commandments of Interacting with Executive Recruiters

As you work to achieve your career management goals this year, it may also be an excellent time to brush up on the things you must do to get the most out of your interactions with executive recruiters. The following commandments should be strictly followed lest you be struck down by the evil job search demons.

1. Thou shalt keep career profiles up-to-date.
This is one of the major mistakes several executives make when joining sites like BlueSteps. Forgetting to update your profile could cause executive recruiters to decide not to contact you due to missing qualifications or they could miss your profile completely.
executive_search_consultant_networkingBlueSteps members should update their profiles once a year or anytime their job changes (whichever comes first). Also, don’t forget to update your executive resume, since that information is also included in search results.

2. Thou shalt always be prepared.
Are you prepared for initial contact from an executive recruiter? You should always have the following prepared in case you receive the call:

  • Updated executive resume information
  • A brief summary of your current role and selling points based on current responsibilities
  • Readiness and willingness for full disclosure and a mindset of trust as it is all strictly confidential—the recruiter needs to know accurate information about you in order to best make a decision on whether or not you are a fit.
  • Accurate compensation details (knowledge of full package)
  • Openness to networking:  The recruiter might be calling you as a source, to see who you know and not work with you directly.  It is important to disclose contacts as it will help them and they will be open to helping you in the future.

3. Thou shalt ensure the executive recruiter is from a legitimate firm.
Here are a few ways to check out an executive search firm and make sure they are legitimate:

  • Ask if they are a contingency or retained search firm - Click here to read about the differences between the two.
  • Recruiting firms should not ask for payment. If they do, they are not a legit firm.
  • Research the firm on Google and Linkedin to see what others have to say about them.

4. Thou shalt remember the main goal of executive search consultants.
Remember, retained executive search consultants are looking to help their client (the hiring organization) find the best fit, not someone looking to help you find a job. If you’re not the right candidate for the position he or she called about, the consultant will let you know and continue searching for the right candidate. Don’t forget to refer back to commandment #2 and stay open to networking even if you’re not the right candidate for this specific opportunity.
5. Thou shalt be completely honest.
Many executives ask us if they should be honest about what their seeking, especially when it comes to compensation requirements and work history. If you are not honest, the executive recruiter will find out further down the process and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. It will also help maintain your credibility with them and their colleagues/connections.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, register for our complimentary BlueSteps webinar, How to Network with Executive Search Consultants.

The Ultimate Executive Career Guide: Connecting with Executive Search

As a senior-level executive, you can use this guide to:
- Learn about executive search and how it differs from other forms of recruiting
- Discover the best ways to connect with executive search professionals
- Understand how the search process works
- Implement strategies that will help you become visible to the search community
- And more!

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About the author

Julia Salem's picture

This article was written by Julia Salem, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing at the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

About BlueSteps

BlueSteps optimizes your visibility to top executive search firms and positions you for the best executive jobs.

As a member of BlueSteps, your career details will be confidentially provided to hundreds of the world’s leading retained executive search firms, all vetted members of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants in over 75 countries.  Benefits include:

  • Confidential, lifetime career profile searchable by over 8,000 executive recruiters
  • Access to hundreds of executive jobs for which search firms are actively recruiting
  • Exclusive International directory that allows you to network with a targeted list of recruiters
  • Complimentary career review with expert advisors
  • Helpful podcasts and exclusive articles on a wide range of executive career-level topics

Click here to become a member today >>

About the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants

Since 1959, the AESC has set the standard for quality and ethics in executive search and leadership consulting worldwide. Because AESC members must commit and adhere to the AESC's industry and government recognized Code of Ethics and Professional Practice Guidelines, clients can be assured that AESC members are able to serve as trusted advisors for their most important engagements. As the voice for executive search and leadership consulting worldwide, today the AESC is comprised of more than 350 member firms, representing 8,000 executive search professionals in 75 countries. To learn more about the AESC and its membership, visit www.aesc.org.


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