Perhaps you’ve decided to reach out to recruiters as a means of accessing potential opportunities at your leadership career level.
If so, how do you find the best executive recruiters for your situation? Many recruiters work nationally and globally – opening up more possibilities for your job search, but making it harder to find the right connections.
You can get in touch with colleagues for a referral to a great recruiter, as suggested by the NY Times in Recruiting a Recruiter for Your Next Job, which also outlines steps to take once you’ve found a good contact name.
(Remember that executive recruiters are tasked with identifying optimum leadership candidates for their client companies, so they’ll vet YOU as well.)
With a little resourcefulness, you can also perform online searches to locate and build relationships with executive recruiters familiar with your field (and perhaps your target employers).
Try these 3 strategies to find the best recruiters or recruiting agencies for your situation:
1 – LinkedIn.
Executive recruiters are easily findable on LinkedIn with a few simple search techniques. First of all, get familiar with the Advanced People Search function (which will make your life easier throughout your job search).
From any page in LinkedIn, you will see a use the drop-down menu at the top right, which typically defaults to ”People.” Next to it, you’ll see Advanced – click on this word to access Advanced People Search.
You’ll see many fields to use in searching for recruiters. Often, you’ll get the best results by using the Keywords field (which searches an entire user’s Profile on LinkedIn, rather than just specific fields).
Here, you can specify terms related to your industry or career level (COO, sales executive, manufacturing, IT, etc.), plus the word recruiter.
When you receive a list of results, sort it in LinkedIn’s Keyword order. This helps find recruiters new to you, instead of the ones already linked to your profile.
Since LinkedIn will typically turn up a massive list of executive recruiters, you’ll want to continually refine your search parameters – until the best contacts start to pop up in your results.
2 – Google.
Nothing’s simpler than just hitting Google to find anything, including an executive recruiter. However, you’ll want to ensure you’re finding the right type of firm or recruiting consultant for your situation.
An IT Director who performs a simple search using IT Director recruiting company will receive more than 1 million results, some of which are not desirable (such as recruiting jobs or articles on the subject), plus actual recruiters.
Of course, you’ll want to avoid sifting through this many results from Google. To do so, you’ll need to be selective in specifying parameters, adding filters to help remove specific websites.
You can eliminate recruiter job listings by including -monster.com as a search parameter, which will take all recruiting job listings from Monster out of your results.
As an example, a COO specializing in land development and construction (similar to this resume example) could use COO recruiter (construction OR development) -simplyhired.com -indeed.com to locate show recruiters who source COO jobs and candidates in construction and development industries, while removing results shown on simplyhired.com and indeed.com.
3 – Executive Recruiter Directories.
In your Google search, you’ll probably discover executive recruiter listings or groups on various websites. These directories, which are often arranged by industry and geographic region, offer a wealth of recruiter information.
You’ll need to invest some time to vet the companies listed against your criteria, with a close review of the candidates and career levels sought by each agency.
Suggested recruiter directory websites include: I-Recruit.com, RecruiterResources.com, and HeadHuntersDirectory.com. Your Google results may turn up additional recruiter company listings as well.
In short, you may find working with an executive recruiter to be a valuable component of your job search – and you’ll need to take stock of whether your career trajectory fits a recruiter’s requirements.
However, your first step should be spending time to find knowledgeable recruiting companies and agents who specialize at your executive level.