Here Are Some Things Executive Recruiters Look For

If you are trying to “move up” in your career — (and who isn’t?) – you might benefit from the following advice from the executive staffing experts at Robert Half Management Resources.

According to the company, the strategies you used to get to the middle of the career ladder can be somewhat different from the ones you need to employ to get to the top.

This is because companies are putting more at stake when they make executive-level hires, and there are fewer positions available. Competition is fierce, and top companies get really picky about the people they pick to fill top jobs.

In a statement, Robert Half Management Resources suggests you ask yourself the following five questions as you contemplate your next move, since companies will want them addressed during an executive search process:

1. How visible are you? Establish yourself as an expert. Write articles for trade publications and blogs, take a leadership post with a professional association or nonprofit, and participate in online discussions, webinars and podcasts in your field. All of these options will get you noticed by people who can influence your career success.

2. How solid is your network? The strength of your network could make or break your search, since most leadership hires result from referrals and connections, not postings or applications. Make sure you build your circle to include people at all levels across many fields — not just your industry peers. Add recruiters if they are not already part of your network.

3. What are your geographical boundaries? You’ll have more options if you are open to relocation. Before you begin your search, determine how willing you are to move and for what type of opportunity.

4. What’s your leadership and communication style? Firms expect accounting and finance leaders, for example, to be more involved with other functions, like operations and human resources. Firms also rely on executives to be visible with internal and external audiences, making the need for exceptional communication skills paramount. Be prepared to discuss your track record in collaborating with other teams, and show your ability to write, speak and present to various audiences.

5. What’s your timeline? Leadership roles take longer to fill, so prepare for a longer process. While you may be the right technical fit for many positions, know that organizations place a premium on cultural fit. If you have recently left a full-time role, consider consulting work to maintain your network, skills and income.

In addition, the company suggests that you find the right mentors to support you during the search. These would include people who have been where you are, can help you avoid the mistakes they made, and can advise you on the best way to meet the challenges ahead.


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