Can You Be Found by Recruiters?

According to Recruiting Thought Leader Kevin Wheeler, the successful recruiter of today will possess four key skills … the ability to

— find rare talent

— build relationships

— understand technology, and

— sell and close candidates

So here are a few of my questions to you, as the high-value Senior Finance Executives and Chief Financial Officers these recruiters are seeking …

— Can you be found? Easily, or, are you so obscure as to be almost non-existent? “Rare” should be about your talent, not your visibility.

— Do you have recruiters, who specialize in your space, in your network? Do you keep in touch with them on a regular basis? An online Rolodex is very different than a vibrant relationship.

— Are you tech-savvy or moving towards extinction? Your Linked In profile may answer that question.

— Is your marketable value proposition (MVP) crystal clear to you and your target audience to make the close easier for you? What do you have that a client will pay to get because they need it to fix their problems, challenges, issues, or situation?

Finding that next “right” opportunity has never been more challenging, even for top talent. A proactive, rather than a reactive, strategy can give you the edge because the plan is being executed long before you need the job.

Four Things Jobseekers Can Learn From Recruiters

Who better for passive and active job search candidates to learn from than one of recruiting’s foremost thought leaders? Kevin Wheeler’s latest article was on the 4 things recruiters should have learned this year and, it’s a wealth of information for prospective candidates (today, next year, or 2 years from now) as well.

Here are the lessons Wheeler lays out, with my job search candidate interpretation and hopefully, grace from the author.

“Lesson #1: Building and maintaining candidate relationships and generating referrals are keys to survival.”

I see two key takeaways for job seekers (particularly passive candidates) in this lesson. First, build recruiter relationships … long before you need them. And then, maintain them. If you don’t stay top of mind then you aren’t anywhere near the top.

Build your network. And then, maintain your network. If recruiters are looking for referrals, they will in all likelihood be talking with people within your cone of influence who can pass those opportunities on to you. 

“Lesson #2: Use targeted, bold marketing and branding to appeal to the types of candidates you want.”

Targeted, bold marketing, and branding to appeal to the types of companies where you want to work. Recruiters are doing it. Job search candidates should definitely be leveraging the power of targeted, branded positioning.

“Lesson #3: Do not just use, but embrace, emerging technology.”

It’s Web 2.0 and it’s not going anywhere. Job boards are out, social media is in. Maybe not all the way yet, but it is trending that way. Despite that trend, almost 75% of CFOs polled by SmartBrief indicated they either had a Linked In profile but were not actively using it or they didn’t have a profile and weren’t interested in having one. Which begs the question, if you aren’t in Google, do you exist?

I’ll be writing more extensively on this in my next post, but a recent article by another recruiter was lamenting the fact that her client (the company) would no longer accept candidates she found in Career Builder or Monster. I’ve mentioned this before, my recruiter contacts have told me they are not getting paid to present candidates that are found in job boards. It’s time for job search candidates (active and passive) to embrace emerging technology.

“Lesson #4: Accept change as a way of life.”

This is the most frustrating thing I hear from my senior executives. Finding a job isn’t the way it used to be. The rules have changed. The playing field isn’t level. Good isn’t always good enough.

The rules HAVE changed, and if you don’t understand today’s game it’s even tougher to compete. Just as Wheeler instructs recruiters that traditional recruiting methods have gone the way of the dinosaur and traditional recruiting skills will become liabilities, so will not proactively managing a career come at a  much high cost to executives, finance and otherwise.

Top Recruiting Tools

Recruiting Guru Kevin Wheeler lists the top four required tools for recruiting in his latest article, and they are …

Facebook and/or My Space
Linked In
Personal Blog

Last year, 44% of unique visitors to Facebook were people over the age of 35 and 48% of the over-35 crowd visited MySpace. Linked In is the #1 business network. Twitter, a microblogging platform, gives recruiters (and others) a 360-snapshot of potential prospects. Because Twitter is relatively new, there are great opportunities for savvy candidates to get on the radar screen of those people who make recruiting (and hiring) decisions. And a personal blog can intentionally build credibility and positioning as a thought leader within your target audience.

At the risk of being redundant, whether you are a current or future candidate, creating a visible online presence is a “must-do” strategy for top-talent executives.

The Lure of Google and Starbucks

I’ve been snooping in the recruiter’s world again. I love understanding their thinking so I can leverage what they’re doing to better position my clients.

A new article by Kevin Wheeler, Why Google or Starbucks, has great insight into the escalating trend of employment branding. Candidates can learn much about branding themselves from reading what companies are doing to attract the “right” candidates.

Wheeler’s five keys for building a powerful corporate brand also apply to building your executive brand:

Gain perspective and know yourself. Brands are not marketing spin. They are authentic … taking what is unique about you and leveraging that uniqueness to illustrate how you have created success.

Define the promise. What will a company get from hiring you?

Develop a strategy. Just because you wake up one day and decide you are a “visionary adept at transforming vision into profits” doesn’t make it true. First you need to understand how others view you, how you do what you do, and then authentically live your brand.  

Create a "buzz" to communicate your brand. Who needs to know about you and how will they find you? This is all about building a visible online presence.

Measure your progress. If I was a betting girl, I would say that a branded visible presence will win over anything else … every time!

Hmmm, I’m wondering if Kevin has been reading my playbook!