Getting the best from your executive search firm

29 Nov 2018

Getting the best from your executive search firm

Building a long-term relationship with an executive search firm will boost your prospects of the upward career move you’re after.

If you’re looking to move outside your current organisation to progress your C-suite career, taking time out to plan the right move is critical. However, the practical and logistical challenges of searching for a new role during a busy week can lead to limited opportunities and reactive choices.

That’s where working with a top executive search firm comes into its own: as with other areas of business, effective use of appropriate resources is the way forward.

But although leading firms like Odgers Berndtson are a very useful resource, it’s imperative to understand that we are seldom in a position to conjure up an immediate move. To get the best out of an executive search firm, you should be prepared to invest time in nurturing the relationship.

A strong CV is essential

At the heart of our success is our ability to identify high calibre talent at the most senior levels of the industry. In addition to formally assessing candidates as part of each search, we assess CVs when they are sent into the office. 

It stands to reason that we cannot assess the full range of your skills and experience if these are not set out clearly.

Take the time to sharpen up your CV. A short statement summarising your areas of interest is hugely helpful, as is an indication of your remuneration/salary expectations. Addressing this ensures we won’t waste your time contacting you about roles that are completely out of sync with your interests or expectations. By the way, we have some good CV advice.

Stay in touch

We work in partnership with our clients as trusted advisors, often on complex, high-profile or politically-sensitive appointments. You can be assured of our discretion.

Any contact you make with us is held in complete confidence.

If we do not contact you, it’s because we are not working on anything that is relevant to either your interests or skillset. Instead, proactively keep in touch and inform us if your interests or experience change. If you don’t update us, you may be passing up a golden opportunity.

Our Partners and Consultants are supported by a highly-skilled team of Researchers. The primary role of the research team is to identify and track high-calibre talent across all industry sectors and functions. As with Partners, Researchers have key areas of sectors and functional expertise. 

Making direct contact with a Researcher within your core area of interest is as effective as contacting a Partner or Consultant. Researchers know their sectors inside out and provide their Partners with invaluable market insights. They also work with multiple Partners on a range of assignments and share their insights with the rest of the team. Consequently, you might well be kept in mind for a broad range of opportunities.

Share in our market intelligence

Executive search firms are different from recruitment firms. We’re client-led and retained to fulfil specific mandates.

We offer our clients an objective insight into the market for talent from which they are looking to recruit.

Gathering market intelligence is at the heart of our business and we endeavour to talk to as many people as we can who have contacted us looking to make a move. Think about what it is you want to get from our conversation. We can help you clarify your thoughts and manage your expectations in the market, but we do not offer broad-spectrum career advice.

Is international relocation an option?

Our Research team is highly collaborative and, where relevant, works in partnership with our 62 offices across 29 countries to identify potential candidates for senior international roles.

Let us know if you are willing to relocate. If appropriate, we will endeavour to make an introduction to the relevant office, allowing you to pursue the opportunities abroad at your leisure.

Taking the steps outlined above will heighten your chances of securing the leadership role you seek. After all, when seeking something that important, what could be more effective than building a relationship with an expert in executive search?

In the next article in this series, we’ll be helping you with advice on how to best negotiate that all-important remuneration package. How do you get what you want?

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Visit the full Career Strategies page