Companies at the highest levels are increasingly turning to HR executive search firms when they need to make a hire. Both sides stand to benefit from what a talented human resources consultant can bring to the table: here’s how to work effectively with HR executive search firms no matter which side of the search you’re on.
As a Potential Hire
There are few things that can be as advantageous to your career as developing some relationships with the right talent acquisition management, but it’s easy to do this wrong, too. Here’s how to do it right:
- Always tell the truth. There’s an old saw, “everyone lies on their resume.” The old saw’s not always true, and good HR executive search firms will check on your background in detail. When they find out you lied, your chances of going anywhere get a lot slimmer.
- Be clear and sure. Know what you want. If you’re not yet ready to move, don’t contact recruiters. If they help you find something and you turn it down for the wrong reasons, you’ll have trouble getting anyone to help you again. Also be sure to set the boundaries right from the beginning. If there are certain places you simply refuse to live, or certain industries you will not work in, tell them right away.
- Explain rejections and offer help. If a job isn’t a good match, be sure to explain why. Don’t leave it up to the recruiter to try to guess. They might get the wrong impression and start looking in the wrong directions. They might even assume you’re not a serious candidate and just drop you. If you aren’t a good fit for a job but know someone who might be, recommend them. You’ll have done a favor for the recruiter and for the other person, and it never hurts to have people owe you one.
As a Company in Need of a Hire
Good HR executive search firms can make all the difference between getting the right person quickly and spending months of wasted time, money, and effort on frustrating searches and bad hires. With the skills and connections to help you find just the right candidates, HR executive search firms can locate and attract the right people. No matter who you hire to search on your behalf, though, you still need to do your part.
- Get specific about your person. It’s important to have a good description of the job, but equally important is a description of the person you need to fill it. What skills should they have? What character traits? What experience?
- Provide a failure inventory. Have you had some bad hires? What made them bad? A Robert Half survey done recently showed the 36% of surveyed executives believed that a poor skills match was the leading factor in failed hires, followed by unclear objectives for performance. Were there personality types that didn’t work for you? Work styles? Skills that didn’t match up? This will help your recruiter know what you need.
- Pound out the whole compensation package. If you want to get the right person, you have to attract them. You make things hard for your recruiter when compensation is vague or is expressed only in terms of pay or stock. What value does your company provide for people who work there? What about commissions, benefits, flexible work environment, perks, or bonuses? If you found the perfect match in every other respect, would you be willing to hire if they insisted on working from home two days a week?
- Always tell the truth. This isn’t just for potential hires: companies need to be truthful, too. Is the business in a downturn? Let your recruiter known so he or she can find the person who can turn things around. Do you have a second-in-command who is hard to work with? Be upfront about it.
HR executive search firms are well placed to provide value to employers and employees alike. Just be sure you’re working with your recruiter in the most helpful way.