CFOs & Recruiters: Respect & Responsiveness

Last week, CFO recruiter Samuel Dergel guest authored a post summarizing the results of a poll which asked “what’s your biggest beef in working with recruiters.” That poll is still open if you would like to provide your feedback.

One very big issue was respect … or more accurately, the lack of respect recruiters showed prospective Chief Financial Officer candidates. The other was responsiveness. I’m not sure these are restricted to recruiters and CFOs. Sadly, I believe there is a lack of courtesy, respect, and professionalism that seems to envelop the world today.

Nonetheless, the lack of respect and responsiveness are real issues that contribute to the strained relationship between finance executives and recruiters, causing recruiters to be viewed skeptically, as a necessary evil, and with little trust in the relationship. That’s unfortunate, because top-notch candidates are what earn a recruiter his commission. You might recall my previous blog post about CFOs having long memories about recruiter treatment.

Let me offer three suggestions that might help create the environment that will build respect and foster responsiveness:

— Create exclusivity

Given a choice, would you rather have the best-of-the-best, even if you have to work harder to get it, or the generic thing everyone else has? If your resume is plastered all over the public job boards, exclusivity is non-existent. In fact, it suggests easy availability and perhaps even desperation.

— Build allure and interest

The visible, compelling value proposition of a passive candidate is intriguing to recruiters. The “hunt” of the hard-to-catch can go a long way towards building respect and even encouraging responsiveness … when you have something they want.

— Cultivate recruiter relationships BEFORE you need recruiters

When you “need” a job, recruiters don’t necessarily need “you.” You bring nothing to the table – unless you happen to be that rare, exact match for an open req. However, when you are happily employed, not looking, very accomplished, and you hold passive candidate desirability, recruiters are more likely to want to know you. Want (as in a recruiter wanting you on his radar screen) is a powerful motivator for generating responsiveness.

Will these three things curb unprofessional or disrespectful behavior? Absolutely not. But, if you have solid relationships with recruiters in place long before you need them and you have something compelling they want, you can more easily determine the respectful, trustworthy, and responsive recruiters … with the luxury of time to weed out everyone else.

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1 thought on “CFOs & Recruiters: Respect & Responsiveness”

  1. Cindy,

    This is a great article. Your advice is right on target. I would add this to your suggestions: “Listen & provide detailed feedback”. A top notch recruiter will ask for detailed feedback after an interview and this feedback will help them with the negotiating the interview process.


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