Working with Executive Recruiters

In preparation for the July 28 online career workshop, "The Inside Track on Leveraging Executive Recruiting Relationships," here are a few considerations and insights from Fuqua's Career Management Center to keep in mind as you think further about potential interactions with executive search firms:

  • Start with realistic expectations. In our work with students and alumni, we continue to see a significant gap in understanding about what recruiters can, will and won't do for candidates. While recruiters can be an effective part of a career transition strategy, there are benefits and potential drawbacks. One important recognition is that the primary client for an executive recruiter is the hiring firm. 
  • There are several types of executive search firms, primarily contingency and retained. Understanding the distinction, as well as clarifying which type of search, is critical for determining relevance and benefits or drawbacks for your situation, including when engagement (e.g., having a 'fee' on your candidacy) could be detrimental to your own networking efforts. 
  • In The Art of War, Sun Tzu demonstrated how strategy and scouting for intelligence before a battle is paramount to victory. Similarly, reconnaissance is essential for making an informed decision about working with an executive recruiter. Referral is best, yet check assumptions by preparing questions to clarify their background and industry understanding, typical search activity for them, as well as details for how they maintain and/or share your information so you can evaluate alignment with your goals. 
  • Even if you decide to work with a particular recruiter, know who will have access to your information and how the information will be shared. Be clear about their process for submitting or marketing candidates to ensure comfort with their protocol and your ability to maintain final decision rights about relevance of an opportunity.

Tune in July 28 to hear more about the parameters of search firms, effective strategies for connecting and strengthening relationships through reciprocity. Learn more and register.