Think Like a Recruiter

I had lunch with Doug Franklin, a local recruiter, last week. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love getting into the minds of recruiters … how do they think, what makes them tick, and more importantly, how do the operate. Doug is a class act and was a wealth of information as he generously allowed me to pick his brain. Here’s some of what we discussed.

Since I work with CFOs, many of whom have been reticent to adopt social media … particularly anything outside of Linked In, I asked specifically about his recruiting methods and those of his colleagues.  Doug’s primary direct sourcing strategy is Linked In. His colleagues use Linked In AND other social media websites as their primary strategies to direct source candidates. (Notice the absence of job boards?)

That led to our discussion around passive versus unemployed candidates. Doug has been unemployed in the past and has a compassionate side for those who find themselves in that situation. However, here’s what he said …

Clients don’t pay us to present candidates they themselves can find in job board databases.

WOW! If there was ever a compelling reason for executives to create and execute a career survival plan that includes fully embracing the power of building a visible online presence, that statement is it. Doug went on to say that he will sometimes include unemployed candidates as part of his slate of candidates, but never more than 25% because … that is not who clients are paying him to find.

Candidates have the most power when they are inside looking out. While nothing changes about a candidate’s skill set, experience, or record of contributions once he’s on the outside looking in with a big severance package in his pocket; the reality is, his marketability still takes a huge hit.

With the slow down of hiring, and according to Doug excruciatingly slow hiring decisions  as companies are willing to wait for the “right” candidate not just “a” candidate, executing a career survival plan on an ongoing basis and long before you need it, is critical to securing positioning as that “valuable” passive candidate that companies want and are willing to pay recruiters big bucks to get.

In my next post, I'll be providing my thoughts on why CFOs should embrace a social media strategy beyond Linked In … and including Facebook.

Execunet Market Intelligence Report

Execunet has posted its annual Market Intelligence Report for executive job seekers. It’s always great information and you can download your *free copy at their site.

I found the following information interesting … and validating.  

–Job search stats: 41-50 years of age – 9 months; 51-60 years of age – 11.9 months

The search process is still a long one. Continually positioning yourself as a passive candidate will minimize, and can even eliminate, the “unemployed” stigma that can negatively impact marketability.

–The unpublished job market is not a myth with 86% of corporate recruiters and 61% of third party recruiters saying they do not routinely post $200,000+ positions

The “best-of-the-best” candidates do not spend the majority of their time on job boards and recruiters recognize that fact.

–Networking, including social networking, still accounts for 70% of executive opportunities

If you aren’t on Linked In, Facebook, Zoom Info, Ziggs, and Naymz, for starters, you won’t be found by the people who have the opportunities you want to know about. You can’t play the game if you aren’t in the game!

If your network is dead when you don’t need anything from them, it probably won’t be very productive when you do need their help.

— 86% of executive recruiters routinely scour online sources for candidate information … beyond the resume, with 7 out of 10 recruiters saying candidates’ prospects improve when positive information is found

A positive, visible online presence is a critical piece of proactively managing your career. The more consistent the available information, the more credibility you have and the more desirable you become.