How to Work Effectively with Executive Recruiters and Executive Search Consultants


  1. Talk to Us

Client companies use executive recruiters to gain access to candidates that they would have a hard time reaching on their own.  As a professional, even if you are currently fulfilled in your current position, it can be advantageous to build a relationship with a good executive search consultant in your field or location.  Things can change quickly and already having a good working relationship with a recruiter can pay off when you need or want to change positions.


I’m sometimes asked why all of our ads don’t include salary information or a detailed job description.  Although that might speed up filling any particular opening, doing so actually makes me less effective as an executive recruiter.  My value as an executive search consultant comes from the quality of the relationships, I have with both hiring managers and quality professionals.  More than just filling an immediate opening, I want to know you as a professional so that even if the current position isn’t a fit, I know what kinds of companies and opportunities are of interest to you in the future.  If we don’t speak, I can’t be an effective scout on your behalf.


It’s very common for a 15-minute conversation with a candidate leads to me being able to help them move forward in their career 3, 6 or 12 months later.



  1. Know What You Want

The more you can tell me what you want in terms of title, job duties, culture, organization size, supervisor style, location, or other factors the better I can help you achieve those goals.  Let me know what really matters to you as well as on what points you have flexibility.


Secondly, don’t hesitate to talk openly about compensation expectations with an executive search consultant.  We are typically paid as a percentage of the first-year salary.  Our first goal is always to get a great fit between the company and the candidate.  When we hit a home run on a placement, we get repeat business.  On the candidate side, however, the more we can help you move forward financially the more we earn.  We want you to do well!



  1. Know What You Offer

The job market is very competitive.  The better you can explain to me your strengths and how you have helped your past employers have success, the better I can represent you and increase your chances of landing an interview.  It’s not in your interest to exaggerate your qualifications, but neither should you let humility prevent you from taking credit for the results of your hard work.  If you educate me as to your strengths and success, I can be a much more effective advocate on your behalf.



  1. Explain Rejections

If I present an opportunity to you based on what you’ve told me you want, and it’s not a fit, help me to understand why you aren’t interested.  I don’t want to waste my time or yours, so the better we calibrate on what opportunities are of interest to you the more efficient I will be searching on your behalf.



  1. Help Us

If you aren’t interested in a particular position, suggest other professionals you respect who may be a fit.  People will appreciate and remember that you helped them move forward in their careers.



  1. Keep in Touch

A good executive recruiter talks to a lot of candidates over the course of each day, week, and month.  Keep your relationship fresh with the recruiter by staying in touch on a regular basis.  When a new job comes in, the first candidates I contact are those who are on the top of my mind.



What’s your next step?

Send us your resume today and one of our top recruiters will be in contact to help you find your next role.