How to be seen by recruiters and what to do when they reach out initially 

When economic markets collapsed in 2008, the retained executive-search industry slowed dramatically. According to the New York-based Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) trade group, world-wide industry revenues fell 32% in 2009 and hundreds of consultants left the field.

Today, industry revenues are again approaching their 2007 peak, but executive search itself has undergone changes that are important to both employers and candidates.

“The added value of retained executive search is not just finding candidates; it’s finding the best candidates.” Rachel Roche, President of Smart Search

You have been identified by a headhunter as a potential source or candidate and receive that all important phone call from a search firm. Are you prepared? Have you perfected your elevator pitch? How do you ensure you are not caught off guard, or worse, screened out of an executive search before you've even had a chance to prove yourself?
Make Yourself Available

AESCThe Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is pleased to announce the acceptance of six high-caliber retained executive search firms into membership. Their approval follows extensive reference checks, site visits, and votes by the AESC regional councils.
The AESC welcomes:
  • Genesis Executive, Calgary
  • PwC Executive Search, Dublin  

A colleague recently suggested that we abandon the term “job search” because of the negative connotations it can have—such as desperately searching for something you don’t have and might find hard to get. In its place, he proposed the term “job-acquisition strategy.” Senior managers and executives certainly understand the concept of strategy—it’s practically part of their DNA!—so this makes perfect sense in many ways. Theoretically, anyway. But how does it play out in the real world?

Executive search firms, BlueSteps.com and many other executive recruitment services, use database technology to store candidate information searchable by executive recruiters. To make sure you appear in more searches follow our top tips:

There are over 8,000 executive recruiters (consultants and researchers) who are members of the AESC, with access to the BlueSteps database. Recently we spoke to Sophie Euzen, Senior Research Associate at Neumann International in Paris, France, to gain her insight into the research process.

BlueSteps: How do you begin the research process when working on a new search? Where do you look for candidates?

BlueSteps recently released a guide on retained executive search to all our members, featuring advice on how to best work with search consultants and how to develop your network to include relevant executive recruiters. Read on for our expert advice, and a selection of our top tips:

Retained executive search consulting is a specialized form of management consulting. A hiring organization would retain an executive search firm to help them find a new senior level employee – for example, a CEO, CFO, VP, etc. The typical salary for a position handled by a retained executive search firm is at least $100,000 (or regional equivalent), but more likely $250,000 (or regional equivalent) and above.

Your executive resume or CV is an integral part of your career management and executive job search strategy, and often helps a search consultant, executive recruiter or hiring manager form their first impression of you. We asked researchers at AESC member executive search firms to explain the process they go through when reviewing resumes/CVs, the questions they ask executives after reviewing these documents, and what creates a red flag when sourcing candidates.