Best Practices for Working with Executive Recruiters

April 5, 2021 – Recruiting is a nebulous industry with a lot of common misconceptions, according to report by Derek Gracey and Jacob Watkins of search firm  Charles Aris. The recruiters provide a review of best practices they’ve found to be helpful when working with recruiters. Among them: be open, talk early and often, and be familiar with smart phone technology.

Be open, honest, and candid. “When we tell you about an opportunity, we want your genuine thoughts in response,” said Mr. Gracey. “If it’s a slam dunk, great! If it’s a huge miss, no problem. If a specific opportunity does not align with your career goals, simply tell us. The more open you are about your interests and objectives, the better aligned we can be in future outreach.”

Talk early and often. “It’s never too early to start talking with a recruiter, even if you’re not actively seeking new opportunities,” said Mr. Watkins. “We all know networking is key. Building a relationship with a search firm can help you drive your career forward by having significant opportunities brought to your attention which you otherwise would not be aware of. We certainly recognize that the timing isn’t always perfect, but you can’t predict when your dream job will come a-knockin.”

A short phone call goes a long way. “It can be hard to carve out time to talk with a recruiter, especially if you’re not actively looking for another job,” said Mr. Gracey. “As recruiters, we often get questions from candidates asking for specific details: What organization? Where’s the role? What’s the compensation? Can you just send me the job description? We’re usually not able to share those details until we speak about the opportunity, so it’s mutually beneficial to connect live for a few minutes.”

The recruiters note that’s important for a few reasons:

  • Confidentiality: Sometimes there’s an incumbent in the role, or perhaps it’s a net new position that’s not yet public information. In those situations, our client organizations don’t want their information broadcast in writing to a high volume of people for all the obvious reasons.
  • Premature dismissal: A job description often only scratches the surface of the role and expectations for the leader in it, so having a real-time discussion enables you to hear the full story – including the identity of the client and what its hiring team aims to accomplish through this new hire.
  • Career conversation: If you recall bullet No. 2, it’s helpful for us to get to know you and what you’re interested in so we can keep you on our radar for the right opportunities moving forward.

We’re here to help. “We’re in the marketplace every single day, working hand in hand with hiring authorities in major organizations on mission-critical roles,” Mr. Watkins said. “So, we understand the professional lay of the land and know how the recruiting process works – and varies – across an array of industries and functions. We truly want to be a search partner with you, not just in the early phases of a recruiting effort but throughout the entire interview process.”

Related: Why Selecting a Search Firm is ‘Mission Critical’ During Challenging Times

Feel free to ask us anything. “Whether it’s a difficult question you may not feel comfortable asking a hiring authority during an interview or a general question about the market and what we’re seeing, we are a resource for you,” said Mr. Gracey. “We’ve really only begun to scratch the surface of what a successful search partnership looks like in this blog post, but these best practices are a great place to start. We look forward to helping you realize your career goals.”

Veteran Search Consultants

Established nearly 50 years ago, Charles Aris is a search industry pioneer focused on senior-level assignments within the strategy and business development, private equity, consumer/ retail, finance and accounting, sales and marketing, education, executive leadership, engineering and operations, chemicals, and agribusiness sectors.

Mr. Gracey is a senior associate practice leader with a functional focus on human capital. He specializes in placing A-level human resources and talent leaders with organizations throughout corporate America and private equity. “Derek has been tenacious about finding great talent for our clients since day one at Charles Aris,” said senior associate practice leader Ashlee Wagner. “On top of the work he does for his clients, Derek is also a cultural beacon here, spearheading changes to our associate recruiting program, taking part in our training committee, and being a formal and informal mentor to new associates.”

Mr. Watkins is an associate practice leader who recruits across multiple practices at Charles Aris. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Guilford College and an associate degree in business administration from Patrick Henry Community College.

Related: 10 Tips for Networking with Executive Recruiters During COVID-19

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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