David Perry, Super Executive Recruiting Sleuth and author of Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters, may be hiding in a café near you … with the opportunity of a lifetime! Wouldn’t it be great to carry a reputation that was distinctive enough to bring top-notch recruiters out of the woodwork in hot pursuit of you with great, new opportunities?

While not every C-level candidate may be able to cause this type of frenetic activity, and yes it’s true not every recruiter would go to the extremes of the Super Recruiting Sleuth; with a visible, branded marketable value proposition you CAN get on the radar screen of those recruiters who need to know about you and who have the opportunities you want.

That means moving beyond the commodity positioning of responsibilities and repackaging and positioning yourself as the most desirable candidate among all of your competition. How have you delivered compelling value over the years that would incite companies to fight for you to join them? Easy? No. Worthwhile? I’m sure many of David's prospective candidates would offer a resounding yes!

I’m still waiting to see the picture of David in a hairnet and apron!

Executive Recruiting for Leaders

David Perry generously offered me the opportunity to read his latest book, “Executive Recruiting for Leaders.” You may recall that he is the much–talked–about and well–known author of “Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters.”

What I love about David’s latest book is that while it provides great strategies for hiring top–talent, and I think most companies could use this information, it is also powerful insight for my executive clients. With David’s permission, here are a few gems from his book, follwed by my commentary.

–– The leaders who have the talent you crave are likely already employed.

If this sounds familiar, then you’re right. I’ve been beating this drum for quite awhile. They are employed because they are top talent and they understand and can clearly articulate a compelling marketable value proposition.

The best time to position yourself for your next opportunity is while you are still gainfully employed. Once you walk out the door on Friday afternoon with a nice big severance package in hand, the fact is that the ugly black mark of unemployment follows you everywhere you go.

–– Is this an individual (candidate) who stands out from the others you have met? What is it about them that makes them stand out?

This is all about your unique promise of value … also called branding. Employers are not hiring commodities that all look, sound, and act like everyone else. They are hiring those executives who are top talent and understand and can clearly articulate their compelling marketable value proposition. Oh wait, did I already say that. Yes. And it bears repeating over and over again. The war for talent is around these individuals.

–– The most important information you need to glean from an initial interview has to do with their character …. Character can be distilled from the patterns that reappear throughout their life. Themes will appear over and over again – how they addressed controversy, took on new challenges, and how their contribution impacted the organization, or not.

Patterns are related to a unique and compelling brand. It is the “how” you do the things in your life and your career that have been successful. Branding also quickly, clearly, and consistently (patterns) conveys how you are a fit with a company’s culture, giving you a big leg up on the competition. While your skills and marketable value proposition generally win the interview, culture fit wins the job.

–– Pretty Boys – the high energy, totally empty-headed people who like to keep discussions at the 60,000 foot level and can rarely if ever provide anything more than the sketchiest of details.

David was discussing five candidate–types not to hire, and his comment relates directly to not understanding your value to a prospective company.

Candidates are not hired because there is a corner office with a nice bronze CFO plaque on the door. They, along with everyone else, are being hired because the company has a pain, problem, challenge, or situation they need solved. In order to position yourself as “the” person who can solve their problems, the documented evidence of your past performance must be at the face–to–face level.

If you want the rest of David’s inside information, I highly recommend you buy and read the book yourself!

The War for Talent

This morning, as I was performing my morning ritual … perusing some of my favorite blogs as I sipped my first cup of coffee of the day, I was reading David Perry’s Guerilla Marketing blog.

David referenced an article by Sarah Needleman at The Wall Street Journal entitled “Tough Times Don’t Mean Tough Luck on Salary.”

Since there has been an ongoing conversation about the “war for talent,” or lack thereof, on My Linked In Power Forum, I found this article very interesting. A few excerpts that support the existence of a “war” include …

“If you have the kind of skills that are in short supply and are critical to a business’s bottom line, employers are often willing to pay ‘above and beyond the market average,’ says Ravin Jesuthasan, global practice leader at Towers Perrin, a Stamford, Conn.-based consulting firm.

Employers are also increasingly sweetening job offers for high-demand candidates, with benefits previously reserved for workers already in the company, such as flexible schedules and work-from-home arrangements, says Kenan Abosch, leader of the compensation consulting practice at Hewitt Associates Inc., a provider of human-resources services based in Lincolnshire, Ill. ‘If a company has someone they’re really hot to get, because it’s a pivotal role, they’ll go the extra mile,’ he explains."

If your skill sets are not extraordinary … meaning every one of your competitors brings the same thing (usually responsibilities) to a prospective company, you have been relegated to commodity status and there definitely is not a big battle for these candidates.

However, with a clear, compelling, and highly–coveted marketable value proposition, you may very well find yourself in the midst of a war with several great offers on the table … even in this tight economy.