Entrusting your career to an executive search firm can streamline your search, enable you to interview confidentially, and introduce you to opportunities you might have otherwise been unaware of. The right recruiter can be a true strategic partner in advancing your career, but choosing the wrong partner is worse than having no help at all.

Consider these factors when choosing your career partner.

Are they industry experts?

If you’re interested in an executive position in packaged goods and you align yourself with a recruiter who specializes in IT recruitment, you will be wasting your time and his. He won’t have the connections, understand the unique challenges in the industry, and may waste your time with positions that are not the right fit.

Have they made important placements?

Executive recruiters work behind the scenes, but with a little digging, you can find out who is placing executives in roles similar to the one you want. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to ask an executive whether he worked with a search firm. Most industries operate much like a small town and he will likely be happy to give you a name if he was pleased with his results.

Do they have a solid reputation?

Once you identify a firm you may want to work with, ask for references. Call each of them and ask about their results. Was the recruiter responsive? Did he find suitable opportunities or did he present jobs that were pretty close. Was he responsive? Did he manage the process from the beginning of the search through negotiations and transitions? Look for recruiters who will respect your time, confidentiality and interests.

Focus on the individual executive recruiter, not just the firm. Like any business, the quality of the individuals can vary. Don’t allow yourself to be placed with an underperformer – your career depends on it.

Now that you know what you are looking for, put that information into action. Here are a few resources that can help you locate the best executive search firms:

  • LinkedIn
  • In-person networking
  • Company press releases
  • Referrals

Executives seeking a top search firm need look no further than BrainWorks. With more than two decades of recruitment excellence and individuals dedicated to driving success for professionals and business, BrainWorks can help you advance your executive career. Contact us today for a consultation.

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