Are you an active candidate between roles?

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We recently posted an Insight into active candidates that are in post. I wanted to expand on the same theme but look at it from the viewpoint of an active candidate between roles.

If you do find yourself in that position, then of course you don’t need to worry about upsetting a current employer, all bets are off.

You’ve talked to the people you know and trust professionally. You’ve setup alerts in places most likely to advertise the right opportunities. You’ve spoken to the recruiters and head hunters most likely to have the relevant assignments.

Reality check time

An organisation such as ours can help with advice and guidance. We can make recommendation with regard to your CV or LinkedIn profile. Even share best practice and ideas from those who’ve gone before you. 

But, we can’t just produce the role you want when you want it. Unless we’re both incredibly lucky simultaneously, a strategy that I’m afraid the Barron Williams team and I are yet to master.

Less is often more for an active candidate between roles

Be targeted, and formulate a pragmatic strategy. 

Don’t waste your time and energy registering with any and every recruitment agency, or responding to ads for roles where you can’t reasonably match yourself at least an 8 out of 10 to the requirements of the brief.

Instead, use a light touch in maintaining your recruitment relationships, and get out there into your network. 

Build and grow

Reconnect with good people from your professional past. How are you? What are you up to? How are things in your/our sector? What challenges do you face? Where are the growth areas? 

Have an interesting conversation, find out what’s going on in their world?

With each call always make sure you get at least two or three names of good people who they think it might be worth you knowing. Then reach out to them. 

Rinse. Repeat. 

In a few months, with a systematic approach, you’ll have talked to friends, old and new. Expanded your network, and, hopefully generated the right sort of referrals that lead to opportunity. 

That call out of the blue… 

The people who get those have always created them directly or indirectly. 

If it takes 6 months to create sufficient contacts aware of your availability to generate that call, you’d better get started now.

Ultimately, career success lies in forging long-term relationships. Building our networks. Doing everything in your power to ensure when those opportunities arise, you’re aware of them, and the right people are aware of you. 

So whether you’re and active candidate in post or between roles, you must take control of creating that next career opportunity. 

It will probably take time, and of course discretion if you’re in post, however, it is much better to be proactive. Treat it as a marketing plan with you as the product.

Don’t wait for the head hunter to call or that ideal role to be advertised. Create those opportunities.

So, what can we do?

For our candidates we would please just ask you to keep an open mind when you receive a speculative approach. 

It may not be the right role at the right time but find out enough to know. Plus, that organisation may be of interest to you in the future.

For Barron Williams, searching for and reaching out to people is what we do. 

The majority of potential candidates aren’t always active in the market, and it is our job to go into and develop our networks to ensure we engage with as many of the right people as possible.

One of the biggest mistakes a candidate can make is believing that working with executive recruiters is purely transactional, and doesn’t require development. 

Potential candidates who don’t respond when we call or email because they “don’t need us at that moment in time” is a red flag if I’m being honest. 

The same principle applies to those in our networks, take the time to foster a mutually supportive relationship. 

You can’t just rely on the likes of LinkedIn or Google to find the right senior level opportunities. 

Start your search with a back to basics approach.

What companies or sectors are you targeting, what’s your unique positioning, and what’s your strategy for contacting those who can get you nearer to your targets?

Networking is key

At the senior level it is critical we all cultivate our network relationships for the long term. 

Pick up the phone, respond to emails. Help those in your network by advising them, and most importantly make the effort to stay in touch as your career progresses.

That way if you are actively searching, and you do happen to find yourself between roles, that network will be more than willing to provide help, guidance and maybe opportunity.

If you’re looking for your next role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or Call Us for an exploratory conversation. If you’re looking for a senior executive for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

Barron Williams

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