Xavier Roux is a Founding Partner of Redseeds Consulting, a retained executive search firm that specializes in the management consulting industry.
1 What do you know about the job search process as a recruiter that you wish more jobseekers knew?
– A recruiter works for a client, not for candidates
– Strong candidates cultivate good relationships with recruiters when they are NOT looking for a job so that they can get help when they are.
2 What is an example of something a strong candidate did very well or that impressed you?
One of my candidates was a bit junior for the Director position I was interviewing for but he was able to express so much passion for the position that I decided to introduce him to my client and he was hired. It was not just that he was expressing himself with passion but he was making a very good case using his previous experiences and choices, demonstrating that he truly wanted to work with my client.
3 What is a pet peeve or dealbreaker that candidates may unwittingly or carelessly do?
Candidates often misunderstand the search process. They put too much emphasis on whether or not they want the job and/or how much they will get paid too early in the process. They forget the essential: they don’t have an offer yet!
Strong candidates take every opportunity to sell themselves and their skills and to learn about the position and the company. In the end they are in a very strong position to negotiate since they have impressed the client. Even if the deal does not go through, they have developed new useful business contacts for the future.
4 Many jobseekers spend a lot of time fretting about the resume. Is this a good idea? What is another area (interviewing, networking, follow-up, online profile, company research, etc) that you recommend jobseekers spend significant time on?
A resume needs to be simple, clear and as short as possible. And most resumes are OK. Online profiles on the other hand are often badly written, filled with typos or sketchy and lacking the most interesting information. Executive recruiters prefer to contact candidates directly so if your online profile is not up to date you will not be selected and you will never know about that perfect opportunity that you are looking for!
5 What is one favorite piece of advice you’d like to share with jobseekers to make them more effective in their searches (and better candidates for yours)?
Do your own search. Many jobseekers place themselves in a difficult position simply by assuming that they have no power in the search process. That is not true.
When a jobseeker apply to a position or respond to an ad he or she enters a very competitive marketplace for a position or company that they are not necessarily 100% attracted to. On the hand when jobseekers have a clear vision of the position they are interested in they can do their own research and networking and identify opportunities that have not yet reach the market.
As professionals most of us have been at some point in the position of hiring someone. We all know how time consuming it can be. When contacted by a qualified candidate with a strong motivation at the right time it is very tempting – and often done – to simply hire that person. Today, with social networks like Linkedin and Facebook it is very easy to locate potential targets, identify sources from your networks and access direct information from professionals inside companies. That approach is always very effective. And it places jobseekers in the driver seat making them realize that they are in charge of their own career.
Next week’s Recruiter Interview features Andrew Hendricksen, Managing Partner & Principal Consultant of the OPHR Group, media and technology recruiting.