Cornerstone International Group, Kansas City’s Retained Executive Search Recruiting firm provides informative information for Job Seekers and Candidates. From how executive search works to contrary to belief and contingency firms, executive search firms do not represent candidates in the market, this article breaks it all down. I had the opportunity recently to present to a group of displaced senior executives. The experience served as a GREAT reminder of the mystification that revolves around what we do as recruiters and, more importantly, who we serve. In her last post, my colleague Lisa Bruemmer referenced an article in the Kansas City Star (written by Diane Stafford) that addressed this very issue.
Consider this part two of our blog series titled “Sorry, We Don’t Work For You.” Stafford says in her article “…individuals can send their resumes to headhunters…ideally though, headhunters already have found individuals through professional and industry contacts; individuals they would like to present to employers.”
My advice to companies with executive hiring needs and to individuals looking for meaningful executive employment is this:
Know your resources and understand the difference between HR Recruiters (internal), Contingency Headhunters (database recruiters) and professional, third-party Executive Search consulting.
Sorry, but we don’t work for you – the job seeker. Let me explain. As third-party executive search consultants, we work for the companies who pay the fee. Period. We take the time to meet with our clients, understand their cultures, the candidate profiles they seek, the compensation range, etc. Then we go and find the specific talent they’re seeking in the market.
That’s why it’s important for you, the job seeker, to be well networked in your functional area of expertise, make sure your LinkedIn profile is well written, and have your resume professionally written and ‘to the point’. If those pieces aren’t in place, recruiters may never find you.
Do active job seekers who come directly to us help our business?
The simple answer is no. We literally get dozens of resumes every day from job seekers from all over the world. After 10 years of doing this, it’s very rare that we’re working on a recruiting assignment for a client and an active job seeker surfaces that fit the exact profile we’re seeking at that specific moment in time.
It probably sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s absolutely true of the industry. Sure, we keep some resumes and meet with certain people who are looking, but if we kept every resume and met with every job seeker who contacts us and wants to “meet for coffee”, we would have a real caffeine problem and not enough time to do the work we’re being paid to do for our clients.
Let’s do a little math.
We get thousands of resumes every year, but we only do around 20 searches per year. It doesn’t take a math genius to see that the numbers aren’t in the job seekers favor. We have an internal research team that searches the industry for names of potential candidates who are doing the same or similar job in another company.
Then we call them and work to get them interested. If they aren’t interested, we ask for referrals. We do that, on average, 125 times over the life of every search until we find the right executive, at the right time, for the right opportunity.
Further, the statistics vary but, in general, your personal/professional network is THE best source (~80%) for finding your next job. Working directly with recruiters, statistically speaking, has less than a 10% chance of paying off.
I hope this helps demystify how best to work with recruiters like us. If not, maybe the old 1975 Sugarloaf song will sum it up… “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”