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Ways To Approach Executive Search Firms

Nov 2, 2007
There are many ways to approach executive search firms of all types and sizes. The first step in this is to learn more about how each firm operates and to keep any expectations to a minimum to start with. The key to this is in understanding that search firms are not there to help unemployed individuals find job openings, but to serve employers on a fee basis by searching for the best suited and most qualified candidates for any given position.

Senior management and executives should submit resumes to the top of the line executive firms for inclusion in their search databases. Resumes should be tailored to highlight the most important skills while fitting them into a fine-tuned format that surrounds a specific job role and industry. Before approaching any such firm, it is critical to ensure that the desired positions and industries being targeted are backed up with strong qualifications, experience and skills, along with marked accomplishments.

The second step is to determine which executive recruitment firms specialize in the geographic region, function and field being searched for. These are critical in making a match to the right agency so as to avoid wasted time, effort and money. This can be achieved by using the many online or library reference based business databases or directories for recruitment. A list should be created of both exact fits and related fits, and small and large firms.

It should be noted that the list of these potential firms should not be limited to major names. Focus should be put on retainment firms versus headhunters which do regular corporate work for the same employers and are able to do searches regardless of whether they can match a candidate with an employer or not. Firms that work on contingency tend to be less specific in their searches and may match clients to companies based on limited criteria and may not be able to find the perfect match, wasting time and money. The advantage of retainment over contingency or headhunting firms is that, though headhunting does lead to a lot of job placements, retainment firms are prestigious and have more credibility, and have proven their ability to match candidates and employers on a regular basis.

The third step in approaching these firms is to network with people who already work in the industry and may be familiar with the best executive search firms. They will be very adept at making recommendations and may also have been contacted by some of these firms to make recommendations for potential candidates. Therefore, it is possible to use these contacts to recommend one as a potential candidate, making it more likely that these firms will add one to their searches.

The fourth step is to ensure that one is good at what one is able to do. This can be done not only be excelling in regular work, but by taking on other assignments in order to help benefit the company one is already with. By distinguishing oneself in the market or industry, it makes it easier to approach executive search firms and get included in any current or future searches they are making.

The fifth step is to be as helpful as possible to any search firm by making sure calls are returned promptly, informing them of positions of interest and those that one is avoiding, and to make any referrals of people that one may consider to be better qualified for the positions they are offering. Simply by providing helpful information on the outset when approaching these firms can ensure potential job offerings in the future.

Approaching executive search firms is easily done with industry specific resume and doing background research ahead of time on the potential firms to be used. By offering useful information as well as reliable referrals, one can find the best firms to use in the future.
About the Author
Greg Heslin is a best selling career advice and "street smart" tips author on how to survive in the 21st Century workplace.To learn more about FREE cutting edge career tips and techniques, you can visit his web site at http://www.My-New-Career.com
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