Approximately 64% of all executive-level positions are filled through search consultants. That statistic alone illustrates why it’s important for you to have a relationship with a search professional. It’s truly one of the most important and rewarding relationships you can have in your career.
Before we discuss the “how” of getting on a search consultant’s radar, let’s discuss the “why.” I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: the worst time to look for a job is when you find yourself unemployed. The best time to look for an opportunity is when you have a job and you can strategically advance your career. You have more leverage in that situation.
As referenced in the book, Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty by bestselling author Harvey Mackay, if you wait until you’re unemployed to look for a job, you’ll be in a ton of trouble. It takes time to find a good job. It’s not just going to fall into your lap because you’re suddenly unemployed.
Now that we’ve addressed the “why,” let’s tackle the how of getting on a search consultant’s radar. There are three main ways to do so:
#1—Embrace the “Principle of Reciprocity”
Sometimes a recruiter will have a job that you’re not interested in and for which you will not be a fit. If that’s the case, provide them with the names of colleagues or other people you know who are a fit and might be open to a new opportunity. The recruiter will remember that you provided the referral, and they will keep you in mind in the future.
This represents the “Principle of Reciprocity.” When somebody gives us something, we feel compelled to give them something in return. In this case, if you give a referral to a recruiter, that recruiter will feel compelled to give you something in return at a later date. That something could very well take the form of a potential new career opportunity, one that’s a better fit for you.
#2—Be known in your field.
There are a number of things that you can do to get noticed within your industry and be known in your field. They include joining industry associations, writing articles for trade journals, and participating in social networking sites, especially business ones such as LinkedIn.
If you’re not already on LinkedIn, I would definitely recommend that you join. If you’re a well-known entity, search consultants and hiring officials will seek you out. Do your best to position yourself as an expert. After all, everybody wants to hire an expert.
#3—Seek out a search consultant.
While you wait for search consultants to seek you out, you can seek them out, as well. You’ll want to find an experienced search consultant with a proven track record of success in your industry. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to send a resume to a search consultant that places lawyers or accountants if you work as a veterinarian.
You can also ask your colleagues and friends to provide referrals of search firms they have worked with in the past. If you’re serious about your job search, about finding a new job, and about growing your career, a search consultant wants to hear from you!
You never know when you can benefit from the services that a search consultant can offer to you. That’s why it makes sense to develop a relationship with one now, before you need a new job so that you don’t find yourself in an unfortunate situation.
Don’t wait for that to happen. Be proactive and take the steps necessary to find a more satisfying employment situation and grow your career.
We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of organizations. If this is something you would like to explore further, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.