Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Build Relationships With Recruiters Proactively

I read a newsletter today that came from ExecuNet. This newsletter was written to an audience of corporate executives and talks about the relationship ExecuNet CEO and founder Dave Opton suggests that executives should have with executive recruiters.

There are a couple of reasons I’m sharing a piece of ExecuNet’s article with you. First, I agree with the article and second, some of the information provided in the article applies to a two hour conversation I shared on Friday night with a Converged Chief Security Officer candidate who currently works in a Fortune 100 company. I was talking to him initially about a converged executive security job I’m recruiting to fill but then he changed the course of the conversation.

We ended up investing a significant amount of time talking about this Chief Security Officer’s career in general and discussed topics that are similar to topics covered by Dave Opton.  After a couple of hours, we built the foundation to a relationship that will keep this person's credentials clear in my mind and my hope is that my contribution to our discussion will keep my knowledge, skills and abilities fresh in the CSO's mind as well.

Read on to find out what ExecuNet’s CEO had to say about building recruiter relationships.

"Most job seekers wouldn't dare cold call a senior-level executive and ask for a position within their company, yet search firm recruiters often find themselves on the receiving end of requests for jobs. The same networking care and consideration (give before you get) should be given to executive recruiters as to any other contacts, but many only think about them when they are in need of a job.

Whether you're currently in job search or not, there's value in having a few recruiters in your network.

  • It helps to diversify your contact list.
  • You likely have industry information that's helpful to their business.
  • Your company will have recruiting needs.
  • You are considering new opportunities.
ExecuNet CEO and Founder Dave Opton suggests three ways executives can make connections with recruiters and begin building relationships with them – in advance of when they are in job search.

1. If you are a member of a professional association in your industry segment, become more than just a name in the directory. Get involved, on committees, on the panel discussions at their regional and/or national conferences. Become an officer in the local chapter and maybe invite some of the recruiters with whom you would like to build a relationship to be a presenter at one of your meetings.

2. Contribute to publications within your industry. Recruiters read trade magazines in order to maintain their level of knowledge but also to see who is contributing to thought leadership in the segment.

3. Network your way to them. If someone in your network has a relationship with a recruiter, ask for an introduction. Recruiters rely on their networks, so if a recruiter's connection, someone he trusts, tells him to meet you, the recruiter will listen. This is a better avenue than their databases.

"The name of the game when it comes to effective career management is to be remembered and to be referred," says Opton, "and you have to be visible to those you wish to have remember you." "
I followed the ExecuNet newsletter to a YouTube video entitled “What Recruiters Look For In You” from April 6, 2011. Again, I totally agree with Lauryn Franzoni, the person being interviewed in the video and suggest that you watch this 2 minute, 20 second piece yourself.

In January of 2010, I wrote an article for NaSPA entitled “Building Relationships with Highly Specialized Recruiters – Proactively”

I share this information with you today to suggest that the time to build a relationship with a highly specialized security recruiter is when you don’t need the recruiter’s assistance. Don’t wait until your ship is taking on water and is about to sink to build relationships with recruiters who are specialized in security recruiting.

Build relationships with recruiters proactively and periodically nurture them with a friendly call, note or email.
  • Go a step further and share your knowledge with a recruiter.
  • Offer to write a guest blog for a recruiter.
  • Offer to write a guest article for a recruiter's website.
  • Consider sharing a job lead with a recruiter.  You never know what might come back to you.

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