c level executives and top talent

Why C-level and Big League Professionals Need Recruiters

Why C-level and Big League Professionals Need Recruiters

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It’s common between the corporate spheres to look at C-level executives and other big-league professionals and assume that they can get any job they want just like that. But, while it’s very clear why companies and organizations would want these professionals to fill their leadership roles, landing those jobs can be as challenging as getting any other position. If not more so.

Even with a high-end profile, a job search is not something people do on a daily basis. Especially when they have been busy building an outstanding background and making a name for themselves. So when deciding to take the next leap in their career, turning to a recruiter can mean the difference between a strenuous search and a smooth landing on the right role.

The right fit for the best match

Now, there are some high-caliber professionals who dismiss recruiters at first glance because of a frequent misconception of what a recruiter is or what they do. And while all recruiters broadly share the same goal of placing candidates, there are different types of recruiters and therefore different approaches to the job search. 

When it comes to third-party recruitment, there are “big volume” recruiters or headhunters that focus more on placing seasonal or temporary jobs. On the other side of the coin, there are the executive search consultants, focused on making sustainable and long-term placements. Those are the ones better equipped to help big league professionals on their search.

How an executive search consultant eases the C-level process

Just like big-league professionals have proven to be the best in their fields, recruiters are experts in streamlining the job search process. If you are a C-level executive or seasoned professional yourself, then you know that your time is precious and a job search takes a lot of it.

“To not use a recruiter is putting yourself at a disadvantage.”

Benita Jackson, Executive Search Consultant at gpac

Recruiters streamline the process by filtering options out and only setting you up with opportunities that truly match what you are looking for in terms of:

  • Culture
  • Career growth
  • New challenges
  • Industry change
  • Relocation
  • And more

These recruiters will set a meeting to truly understand your needs, goals, and expectations so they can take over the hard part of the process and come back with the right match. Just like these top professionals are experts in their fields, recruiters are the masters of theirs. 

“Because we are professionals. You do your job and we do ours. One thing that’s popular in the business world is getting coaches and that’s truly what we are. So, get a coach.”

Benita Jackson is a recruiter at gpac who works placing physicians and other top-level executives in the Healthcare Industry and shares some insights on how recruiters can help land the right C-suite/leadership role:

Get you past gatekeepers

It takes 30 seconds on average for an HR person or AI program to scan a resume. According to Benita, if you get 60 seconds then that means you’ve caught their eye on the first two blocks. However, by simply sending out your resume you run the risk of it being dismissed and you not landing the role. That is because there are things that cannot be shown on your resume, such as your leadership skills.

“All a resume does is tell people what you’ve done. It tells them absolutely nothing about what you are capable of and where you are going.”

This is why introductions can go a long way. Not only do recruiters take on the task of finding the right company and getting all the way to the correct hiring authority, but they also make a proper introduction. Having someone speak on your behalf says a lot about your value as a top-notch professional.

“When you get into the C-level, or even the doctors or higher levels, if you don’t have an advocate to tell [hiring authorities] about that which is not on your resume, you are at the bottom of their list”, Jackson points out.

Jump over hurdles

Now, with well-known professionals, there’s also the possibility for the “starstruck” effect to become a liability. “There’s the stigma that you can’t talk to C-suite. And that, for [C-level executives], is also a hindrance because you have people that you are trying to get a job from and they can get pretty intimidated by the candidate’s background. So, these executives struggle with not getting honest answers. People tell them all the time what they think they want to hear.”

A recruiter, in this scenario, knows how to navigate and mediate these attitudes to make sure they have the full picture as is. For instance, they know how to make your case while keeping your identity confidential at first. 

Keeping confidentiality

The market for top-level positions is not only small but exclusive in almost every industry. So, it is essential for your recruiter to keep your information at bay and only share it when the match is right. There are many reasons why C-level candidates avoid getting the word out that they are looking. However, a less obvious one is to respect and protect the company they are leaving.

“Sometimes, either with big companies or smaller companies, if the word gets out that someone at the C-level is looking, it greatly impacts the financials of that company because even stocks go down”, says Benita. This can also have an impact on succession planning, and the candidate’s legacy at the company. So, confidentiality is highly important when it comes to leaving on good terms.

Plus, flying under the confidentiality radar can also help you avoid misunderstandings with other companies and non-compete clauses.

Network power and insight

To follow up on that last point, it’s not just about the candidate’s confidentiality, but the company’s as well. The truth of the matter is that most of these high-end job positions are not advertised on job boards. Again, the top-level job market is very small and so is the pool of qualified candidates. 

Companies often prefer to perform the search for their next leaders under the radar. Recruiters use their industry insight and network power to get you to those confidential job openings. It’s not just about them getting the word that there’s a top echelon job opening, but they will get in-depth insights to analyze whether or not it is the opportunity you were looking for.

Set you up for success

Like Benita said, in a way your recruiter or executive search consultant, plays the role of your coach through the entire process. The first part of their job is to filter out options until they find a strong potential position for you. But once they find it, they will help you pitch better, prepare you for the interview, and dig into all the information you need to make the right choice.

This includes supporting you through the negotiation process beyond salary. Once big-league professionals have reached a certain stage in their career, it’s likely they are not moving for the money but for other benefits.

“When people at this level make a change, they don’t do it for money. They do it for culture or career growth.”

Even with the perfect role at the tip of your fingers, things can go off course when the negotiation comes along. Some top-level professionals often fear that by moving on to the next job they are leaving behind corporate perks they’ve earned over the years. But also, with higher ranks come more possibilities to negotiate like getting a piece of the company.

“Compensation is more than just salary. It’s about PTO. How many stock options can they get? Can they buy into the company?”

Stepping up

These are only some of the specific ways in which a recruiter can get you to the next level of your well-paved career path. But the most important thing you should keep in mind is the personalization aspect of recruitment. By partnering with an executive search consultant you make sure you are moving forward in the right direction based on your specific scenario. 

“Whatever industry you are in if your goal is to move from that mid-level management to the upper level, get a coach, call a recruiter. Because we can look at your resume and we can tell you what you need to do and [help you] take those steps so you can get there.”

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Contributed by Monica Martín del Campo

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