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Published on: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don’t Expect a Recruiter to Meet Your Needs


Ever wish you had access to an executive recruiter just to ask that one question? Members routinely email us their questions, and we tap into the minds of executive recruiters in our network to get their unadulterated feedback.

One ExecuNet member wrote: "I haven't used a recruiter ever before and don't know how to connect with one who could meet my needs. I've been in the computer business for over 15 years and am looking for another senior position in a small- to medium- sized business in my area. How can I find the appropriate recruiter to help me?"

Executive recruiter Nick Corcodilos, in his usual straightforward manner, offered his thoughts on the topic. Here's an excerpt of what he had to say:

The bottom line is, no recruiter will "meet your needs." Recruiters work for employers, either as in-house employees who search for job candidates, or as independent "headhunters" who work on very specific assignments for employers. Headhunters and recruiters don't find anyone a job.

The "recruiters" and "headhunters" you see online who claim they're going to find you a job for money or if you'll just send them your résumé, are either frauds or wasting your time. The latter will merely splatter your résumé all over kingdom come (that's easy online), causing you potential embarrassment, and making you appear desperate.

So now that we know recruiters aren't in business to "help you," your challenge is to do it for yourself. It's not rocket science. It starts with picking your target companies carefully. Yup — that means no broadcasting, no applying for jobs that "come along," and no waiting for employers to find you. (Job ads are largely a waste of time.) [Editor's note: ExecuNet research reveals that online job postings are responsible for connecting just 8 percent of recruiters to executive candidates.] You have to carefully select employers and positions, and then pursue them doggedly and intelligently.

The only way to do this is to hang around people connected to each company. They are your best chance at getting "in the door." And that's the point of my reply to you. This is how headhunters operate. Learn to do it yourself. If there's a "secret," this is it: We get close to those who are connected to a company (or to great people in their field), we contribute to that little community, build our credibility and get introduced to decision-makers.

There is nothing easy about this. It takes a lot of work. But you can't pay anyone to do it for you — in spite of what some companies may tell you.

While chasing headhunters is also largely a waste of time, once you develop a presence among people who do the work you want to do, the best headhunters will find you — and you should learn how to get their attention and how to work with them.

Nick Corcodilos is an executive placement expert and the host of the acclaimed and contrarian Ask the Headhunter.

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Robyn Greenspan's avatarRobyn Greenspan
Robyn Greenspan is ExecuNet's Chief Content Officer, where she is responsible for setting and driving the editorial content engagement strategy across the private business network's publications and expert-led programming. She is also a Huffington Post blogger. You can follow her on Twitter @RobynGreenspan

Posted by Mark Waldschmidt
07/07 @ 01:10 PM
Almost every job I have gotten has been via networking.
Posted by George Delany
07/07 @ 01:07 PM
Age discrimination in the work place is illegal. And yet, it is practiced all across this country, every day. The phrase I hear is, "no runway," meaning, "too old to invest in." Why aren't there class action suits-- or individual lawsuits on this topic, every day? I understand official complaints rose by 70K last year, alone. Any light you can shed on this topic?
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