Recruiting is a distinctive career for results-driven professionals. Matching talented candidates with great jobs and companies is rewarding for everyone involved. The world of recruiting is full of endless opportunities, doors flying open and fulfilling success that you could have never imagined.
As anyone who’s been in this business of ours long enough already knows, recruiting success doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, if you’re going for quick wins and instant gratification, amigo, you’ve chosen the wrong line of work entirely.
The fact is that actually making it in recruiting can take years, and while anyone might have some initial success when they enter the industry, staying on top and replicating that success search after search, year after year, is not just because of innate skills, extrinsic factors or even dumb luck. Sure, these factors might work in your favor once in a while, but really successful recruiters established those stellar track records by, put simply, working their asses off.
Enter Staffio HR. We are passionate about helping our Talent Community gear up for their next big assignment. We work real hard to offer candidate delight to every member of our Talent Community.
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In this post, let's talk about Executive Search.
So, who are they & what do they do?
Executive recruiters focus on filling executive, high-level positions at companies. They are often brought in for the toughest candidate searches.
Every day, I receive calls/talk to dozens of individuals who want to know how to become an executive recruiter. After speaking with them, i can honestly tell 90% of them to choose other careers.
This part of the search business is pure sales, and high on the list of required skills is the ability to communicate. No employer wants to pay you a fee to find candidates. They believe they can find a pearl among the many smelly oysters on their own, and often they can.
Executive recruiters or Recruitment Firms like Staffio HR are engaged only after companies have exhausted all other avenues. At that point, you’re expected to present them with only those oysters that contain pearls.
In other words, recruiters are brought in for only the toughest searches. Recruiters are sought only when a company exhausts all their internal resources in finding Top talents and have less time to fill on their plates.
What skills do recruiters/executive recruiters need?
A successful career in executive search is easier if you have certain skills.
Communication: You must super effectively communicate verbally and in writing. You will frequently correspond with clients and candidates. A Flawless communication with take you notch higher
Sales: Recruiters are essentially salespeople. You have to sell your services to clients, and you have to convince candidates to take jobs
A glint in the eye: Recruiters are the ultimate "spin doctors." As such they are always "on" and must exude enthusiasm.Without being abrasive, they must be a cheerful conduit between two parties trying to advance their own, often disparate, agendas. The ranks of successful executive recruiters are filled with those who view the glass as half full.
Patience: Few searches are no-brainers, but most take unimaginable twists and turns.
Negotiation skills: You are the mediator between the client and the candidate. It’s your job to make both sides happy.
Empathy: You need to understand what your client and candidate are going through. You must help both sides feel like they are benefiting from the arrangement.
Creativity: Does the company need a clone of the previous incumbent or an "out-of-the-box" hire? Must candidates come from direct competitors or would executives from a peripheral industry better serve the client? More companies are looking outside of their traditional talent pools, and recruiters must know when to introduce candidates with new perspectives
Observation skills: You must see things as they really are rather than as clients or candidates want you to see them. Companies often don’t know the realities of the marketplace, while candidates who haven’t changed jobs for years may not understand their true worth. Only alert and sensitive executive recruiters can recognize these mis-perceptions and correct them before they derail a likely deal.
Resilience: Successful recruiters juggle eight to 12 assignments at a time. It’s a high-wire act with no net. Deals you worked on for weeks may fall apart, but you can’t stop to mourn the loss because you must keep smiling and dialing for an assignment to replace it.
True grit: A high tolerance for rejection is a must. If you like sparring with corporate gatekeepers and enjoy hearing "no" 95% of the time, you’ll love the recruiting business. Apart from a zillion "NO's" other reasons like - Searching for top talents, scheduling and rescheduling interviews a dozen times, candidates declining offers, no shows, drops, companies rejecting candidates for frivolous reasons so on & so forth...
That’s why the great majority of rookie recruiters never make it past their first year. If you have these attributes and want a crack at the high-stakes executive-recruiting business, where do you begin? You could start your own business, but without prior experience in the field, failure is almost inevitable. You can’t earn a college degree in the discipline. It’s a learned skill and the best place to acquire it is from a mentor at an existing recruiting firm.
Find a mentor. Get coached from an industry professional. Work with a Top Notch Recruitment Firms to gain real life experience. Ask around for references.
There are many top Search/Recruitment Firms like Staffio HR who are always looking for awesome people, and if they sense you have the right attributes, they’ll probably offer you a chance.
If you think you are cut out for this challenging role, Congrats! you just took the first step where most fail