The following is an excerpt from BlueSteps' webinar Navigating the Executive Search Process. If you are a BlueSteps member, access your full recording here. If you are interested in becoming a BlueSteps to access our webinar archive, along with other career management solutions, learn more here.

Kathy Simmons, Executive Director, BlueSteps Career Executive Services:  John, can you talk a little bit about how executive search fits into a candidate's overall executive career strategy?

John Ryan, Vice President, TRANSEARCH: Absolutely. I guess I would start with an analogy, I would say your work strategy overall should be a four-legged stool. One of those legs should be AESC, another one should be your own direct outreach to your professional contacts, another one, frankly, should be following up on job listings, whether they're on LinkedIn or elsewhere on the web. The fourth, and I should have said search first, but the fourth and not the least important is executive search.

Now where does search fit in? I think search is very interesting because we typically represent companies for needs that are off market, more discreetly handled, they may be cross the border in nature, and maybe more startup in nature. Craft will post stuff on their website, If you wanted to join like a startup company making energy bars or something like that, which is more of a hotter sector, in the food space, or fresh foods or home shop, that kind of thing, those mandates are more likely to be handled by search to be honest with you. Again, look to search firms as the folks who might be handling these interesting mandates that are not going to be broadcasted on the website of Coca Cola, but rather, again, handled by a firm that's looking for a very specific person. Again, we're definitely one of the big legs of the stool.

Kathy Simmons, Executive Director, BlueSteps Career Executive Services: All right, thank you. Dennis, what would you add to that?

Dennis Kain, Senior Vice President, Tyler & Company: I think having relationships over the course of time with a certain number of executive search consultants is a good thing. When I was running hospitals, my head was down and I was very busy trying to get things accomplished and I never really looked at the market. Once I got involved with executive search, I found that there were some people that looked at the market every day and raised their hand for just about any job that came up. But then there were others that would periodically just keep in touch with me. If someone had been presented as a candidate that might not have been the selected person for the role, but we stay in touch and over the course of time, periodically, we'll circle back.

Over the course of someone's career, the better ones that I've seen are those that have relationships with perhaps three or four executive search consultants over time. One other thing to mention, when we reach out to candidates or potential candidates about an opportunity, don't ignore it. It's okay to answer the call or return an email. It doesn't mean that you're trying to jump from job to job, but if you're not interested in the opportunity, perhaps you have a referral for someone. That's part of the dialogue and that's part of the relationship over time.



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