BlueSteps Career Management and Executive Search Blog
The BlueSteps Career Management Blog is written with a C-level audience in mind on career management topics ranging from executive compensation, executive resumes, and interview tips to networking, executive job search, and gaining visibility as a professional in one’s industry.
The BlueSteps Executive Search Blog links senior executive candidates to actual retained search recruitment insights from AESC member executive recruiters, BlueSteps career advisors and other guest writers.
BlueSteps is an exclusive service of the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants, the voice of excellence for executive search and leadership consultants worldwide. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of AESC's mission, and only AESC member firms and consultants have access to BlueSteps members resume info. Click here to learn more about the additional benefits of becoming a BlueSteps member.
How has technology changed the assessment of candidates and what opportunities do these innovations create?
The dramatic rise of technology over the last decade has equipped executive search and leadership consulting firms to serve their clients in new and increasingly transformative ways – fusing new tools and techniques with the traditional foundations of the profession. It’s not too long ago that an executive search consultant’s little black book was their biggest asset. But the technological developments of the last decade have codified what executive search consultants have always known about leadership into useful identification and assessment tools.
An evergreen topic of interest to professionals in the corporate world and students of business schools alike, the mere thought of leadership conjures up several images. At the same time, how many times have we heard from folks that Mr. X is a great leader but a really bad human being? Based on several years of experience and intense conversations from teams on the values that would help them rank a corporate leader highly based on his or her personal traits, here’s my take:
Simplicity – The best leaders I have worked with have always kept things simple. For example, in one of my first jobs, the CEO said something simple that set me off on the right path from day one of my career: “Will you let your job drive you or will you drive your job?”
The level of responsibility that goes hand in hand with an executive role can leave little time to think about personal career management. And when your greatest career advances have been thanks to your ability to improve performance, drive change, and develop your organization, it may feel like focusing on business results is managing your career. Besides, your current role may be such a great opportunity and challenge that the thought of “what’s next” may not even come to mind yet.
You’ve recently lost your job and like any executive, you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile to connect with potential employers, executive search firms, colleagues, and other contacts who can help you in your job search. You may be wondering how to address your recent unemployment to your advantage on your LinkedIn profile. The strategy you use will make a big impact on your job search.
The first thing you should do is put an end date on your current position. Some unemployed executives believe the best strategy is to leave their current position end date as “present”. However, this is not accurate, and it will require you to immediately explain your current status when contacted for a potential job lead.
No one will pat you on the back tomorrow and say, “Good job all these years as our Technology Manager—we’re rewarding you with a promotion to chief executive officer (CEO) of the company!” Most likely, they wouldn’t even offer you the role of chief technology officer.
Why is that?
For at least one, very important reason: You haven’t proven you’re capable of—and ready for—that level of responsibility.
This is not to say that you haven’t put in a lot of time and effort to make your technology-focused function perform effectively and efficiently or that you haven’t paid attention to its importance in supporting corporate objectives.
The exponential growth of technology is changing the way we live and work. How will automation change the executive roles of the future and what impact will that have on senior talent acquisition?
Ray Kurzweil, Google’s chief futurist, believes that we will have computers with the processing power of the human brain by 2025 and the processing power of the entire human race by 2050. Having predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, the astronomical rise of the internet and the day when a computer could beat a chess champion (as happened in 1997 when IBM’s Deep Blue computer triumphed over Gary Kasparaov), Dr. Kurzweil is not to be ignored.
Networking is about pursuing opportunities to meet and build new relationships. With the advent of social media we have all become “armchair networkers.” There is less motivation to meet in person with anybody. That is unfortunate, as in-person networking is the best dress rehearsal for interviewing. Further, people you meet in-person are easier to cultivate afterwards into a substantial business relationship.
Given that career success is based on not just on who you know, but who you get to know, building a network is a lifelong endeavor. To facilitate your efforts, here are some in-person networking tips formatted for attending a talk, but they can easily be modified to accommodate a sit down dinner or a trade show.
When it comes to managing your executive career, leaving things to the last minute doesn’t often lead to success. The same can be said for your executive job search. Before starting your search, it’s essential to do adequate preparation. This preparation time will allow you to decide exactly what you’re looking for in your next role and get the resources and materials ready to communicate this effectively to an executive search consultant or hiring manager.
BlueSteps recently hosted an #ExecCareer Chat on the topic of executive executive job search strategy, featuring Lindsay Bray Landsberg, Boyden Global Executive Search, Rainer Morita, BlueSteps Executive Career Services, and Kimberly Sernel, BlueSteps Executive Career Services.