If you’ve made the leap to an executive recruiter career, congratulations! I made the leap myself more than a decade ago and have never looked back.
But it’s not enough to just land the job; now you have to succeed in creating stellar placements. Executive recruiter jobs are about so much more than reviewing résumés. Succeed right out of the starting gate with these essential tips:
Trust Above All Else
Successful recruiting is all about being trusted both by companies and by candidates. Be honest with both sides at all times. It doesn’t matter who your client is; the goal is to create a pairing that is in everyone’s best interest. A reputation for being trustworthy will take you far.
The Human Touch
The number one way a recruiter is successful is by genuinely caring about candidates. Great recruiters are conscientious and involved on a far more personal level than in other areas of sales. I want to get to know them and understand their needs, even talking to spouses sometimes- I get emotionally invested in each candidate. You need to love learning about people to excel.
Old School Networking
In this day and age, far too many executive recruiters rely on LinkedIn. But there’s really no replacement for actually talking to people. It’s the only way to build the personal rapport that gets the job done. Get out and about, track down candidates the old-fashioned way, and do your outreach by phone. Then be thorough in pre-interviewing and qualifying the candidates as well as verifying their qualifications before presenting them to the client.
Go Beyond the Professional Qualifications
The best recruiters have low turnover rates. But qualified candidates fail to thrive all the time. That’s because it takes more than professional skills to make for a good fit. Good executive recruiters understand the intangible elements that make a candidate right for the job and seek out those with the goals and traits that fit into the company culture. Placements stick when there is a culture match.
Know the Industry Inside and Out
To place the perfect candidate, you need to be up on everything happening in the industry you are working with and be forward thinking. If the industry is evolving due to anything from new technology to new regulations, you need to place candidates with the skills they need not only today but a year out.
Stay in Touch
Once the hire is made, your job isn’t over. You should be actively involved during the onboarding process, preparing the candidate for the job and making sure everything goes smoothly. Then stay in touch over the long term with the occasional call checking in. This helps you measure your success and actively maintains your network.
I often compare executive recruiting to dating because it’s all about relationships. All of these tips go to building and nurturing ties to companies, candidates and the industry at large.
To learn more about executive recruiting at Lucas Group, click here.
What other tips have helped you thrive as an executive recruiter? We’d love to hear from you.