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Work with an Executive Search Firm: Lay the foundations for your next move, now or later - Career Strategies Series #3

Build a long-term relationship with your executive search firm. It will boost your prospects for an upward career move soon or in your future.

A Bureau of Labor Statistics survey found that in the US, people tend to change job an average of every 4.3 years. In the UK, it’s roughly every 5 years according to life insurance firm LV. Even if you’re not planning a move right now, it’s likely you’ll be interested in looking around in the foreseeable future. Don’t wait until you’re ready to get prepared. You can lay the foundations for your next move now by building a mutually beneficial relationship with an executive search team.

Don’t wait for your future to happen. Design it.

If your path is to move outside your current organization to progress your C-suite career, now or over the next few years, taking time out to plan the right move is critical. The practical and logistical challenges of searching for a new role when you’re busy can lead to limited opportunities and reactive choices. Rushed decisions are stressful. A considered, carefully planned approach gives you the time and insight to direct yourself towards the most suitable opportunities.

That’s where working with a top executive search firm pays dividends. As with other areas of business, effective use of appropriate resources gives you an eagle’s broad, but targeted, perspective.

Stay top of mind for opportunities you don’t want to miss

Leading firms like Odgers Berndtson are an invaluable resource. Though many executives see our role as specific to an upcoming change, as our business is client led, not candidate-led, we will seldom conjure up an immediate move when contacted by candidates.

Instead, turn to us as you would to a coach or mentor, on an ongoing basis. Invest in nurturing a relationship with our team as your career develops, so we know your potential, your ambitions and your dreams. It puts you in the arena where market knowledge runs in real-time and you’re top of mind when opportunities drop in.

Share in our market intelligence

Executive search firms differ from recruitment firms or contingent firms. As you advance your career, it pays to know the difference. Executive Search firms operate primarily at senior management, C-Suite and Board level and are retained exclusively by their clients to work on specific mandates. Recruitment firms operate across all levels of an organization and can be commission-led.

As an Executive Search firm, Odgers Berndtson are client-led; we proactively engage with relevant candidates only when we are retained to fulfil specific mandates.

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

That said, gathering market intelligence is at the heart of our business. We form invaluable views on current talent trends by engaging with candidates who contact us, interested in a move.

We offer those looking for a move an objective insight into the market for talent in which they are competing.

Though we do not offer broad-spectrum career advice, we can help you clarify your thoughts and manage your expectations in the market. To get the most out of your relationship with us, take time to think about how you would like to benefit from our conversations. Prepare questions.

A strong CV is essential

At the heart of our success is our ability to identify high caliber talent at the most senior levels in a variety of sectors. In addition to formally assessing candidates as part of each search, we carefully evaluate your CV.

The more clearly you set out your skills and experience, the better we can assess them.

Take the time to sharpen your CV. Write a short statement summarising your areas of interest—this is hugely helpful. Offer an overview of the scale and complexity of the organizations in which you have worked. Give an indication of your remuneration/salary expectations. Addressing these points ensures we won’t waste your
time contacting you about roles that are completely out of sync with your interests or expectations. To help, we have some good CV advice.

We assure you of absolute confidence in everything you share with us. Stay in touch

We work in partnership with our clients as trusted advisors, often on complex, high-profile or politically sensitive appointments. 

Discretion is absolutely vital and we apply to this to every interaction with everyone. You can be assured of our strict confidentiality when we engage with you.

We will always acknowledge safe receipt of your CV. From that point on, if we do not contact you, it’s because we are not working on anything that is relevant to either your interests or skillset.

Keep in touch as things change

As your interests and experience change, proactively keep in touch and let us know. 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 senior, highly experienced Researchers. The primary role of the research team is to identify and track high-caliber talent across all industry sectors and functions. As with Partners, Researchers have key areas of sector 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.

The keys points of contact in our Research Team are:

Ondria Hart, Research Consultant
Helen Thomas, Principal and Head of Candidate Care
Siobhan Walsh, Research Partner

Is international relocation an option?

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

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

Taking the steps outlined above will heighten your chances of securing the leadership role you seek. Building a relationship with an expert in executive search puts you in the driving seat. You design your future rather than react to what it brings.

In the next article in this series, we’ll be helping you with advice on how to best negotiate your remuneration package. How do you create what you have in mind?

Check out the other insightful articles in our Career Strategies series

To shorten the odds of landing the executive position you want, start your search now and check out our advertised opportunities here.

Strategies for an Intentional and Successful Career Move Booklet 2022

In this Career Strategies Series, we take you through all the essential elements you need in planning your next move.

Download now


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