As an executive
recruiter I receive dozens of calls each week — executives who have lost their
job are scouting for a new opportunity. They want help.
My practice model is
client retained. This means that I work for clients, not candidates. To put it bluntly, candidates are, in essence, the inventory in a profoundly unfriendly process where most
executive recruiters serve as the client's advisor/broker. The way
traditional search is practiced, it is more like a real estate transaction than
anything else is.
I try to find the time
to talk with these callers. Frequently,
it is late in the day, often on Friday afternoons when my work/telephone call volume
is lower, and occasionally at night or weekends. Over the years, I have
noticed that their reactions fall into predictable patterns of conversation:
Some are angry.
Others are scared.
The vast majority are
confused by the "new normal" in the recruitment/employment process.
While I generally cannot
help them with a specific search, I do try to provide some moral support,
advice on resume development, interviewing hints and direction for career/brand
management. Yes, this takes time away
from my business development and search practice activities, but one of the
reasons I entered this business was to help people. Therefore, this
commitment is not immediately financially based. Besides, I find that I get an enormous amount
of emotional good out of these telephone conversations..
When you think about an
executive's fear, it is typically grounded on two compelling issues: anxiety
on how they will continue to meet their monthly financial obligations, and, the
fact that there are literally dozens, sometimes hundreds, of job applicants for each job.
Executives are overwhelmed by these seemingly
insurmountable odds. They are
fighting against a sense of hopelessness.
This is where I have to
take control and tell them to stop. They cannot look at each job
opportunity from the macro level. That
will be self-defeating. There are just too many candidates for too few jobs. Instead, I argue, they must focus on
telling their story as effectively as possible. They must be compelling
in outlining their strengths and their successes. They must be clear how those will generate
value for their new employer.
executives must become exceptionally perceptive career brand managers. Being a good executive is simply not enough.
Onboarding expert George
Bradt provides some excellent advice. Read this blog, and review others
he has written. They will provide a measure of insight and comfort that
will create a foundation for future success.
Reboarding with Confidence
Mr. Self is the President and
Founder of JohnGSelf Associates, Inc., a healthcare executive search and human capital advisory
services firm in Dallas. He has represented clients recruiting from Asia,
Africa, Australia, the Middle East and North America
rated speaker, Mr. Self has more than 30 years of healthcare experience, 16
years in executive search, and his record of talent selection is one of the
best in the industry.
He is the
2010 Regent Award winner as the senior healthcare leader of the year in North
Texas, an honor bestowed by the American College of Healthcare Executives.
© John G. Self, 2010