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If opportunity knocks in the form of a call from an executive search company, how should you respond? Are you ready? Are you interested? Do you know your current market value?

A search consultant may have been referred to you as a candidate for a specific position. They also may be feeling out a number of potential candidates. They represent firms with staffing needs to fill – and they’ve narrowed their search to a select group of professionals they sense are suited for executive, technical or high-level jobs.

This puts you in the running. So be armed and ready to take the next step.

What to do When the Phone Rings

A call from an executive search company is a positive development. Best case: You get a shot at a better job. And there is no worst case. Even if you’re not interested, you’ve learned of a new development in your field and you can start building a relationship with powerful long-term benefits.

When the phone rings:

  • Answer it. If the time and/or place is not appropriate, make alternate arrangements. This alleviates any awkwardness you may initially feel. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to research both the job on the table and the search firm.
  • Stay real. A call from a search consultant is not a guarantee that you’ll get the job. However, it’s a start. By talking with them, you’re indicating that you agree to be considered for the position, at least at this point.
  • Ask questions. How did the search company find you? How long have they been in the executive recruitment business and what is their track record? Do they have specialized expertise in your field? What stage is the job search in? Is it a replacement hire or a newly created position? How much can be revealed about the job description, title, salary range or corporate culture?

How to Determine Your Market Value

It’s easy to research a salary range. Your goal is to accurately define what you’re currently worth as it relates to a specific job.

Your market value is the sum total of three components:

  • Your researched value: This is the current going rate for a position. Various Internet sources can help you with this. This includes the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which supplies surveys of corporate payroll data and employee questionnaires. Once you establish a range for your pay-level comparison you can calculate your individual value.
  • Your individual value: This encompasses special training, skills or competencies that you offer, which are likely to set you apart from other candidates. You worked hard to achieve these, and as a result, they’ve added value to your employment potential.
  • Your future value: This takes into account long-term rewards such as profit-sharing, performance-based bonuses, raises and stock options included in your final package.

Don’t mistake your current salary for your market value. They’re two very different things. Getting an accurate read on your current market value is critical in taking your career to the next level.

Working with an executive search company can open doors to future opportunities and advancement – and lead to a mutually successful long-term partnership. To learn more, read our related posts or contact the team at BrainWorks today.


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