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I wanted to expand on some of the points raised in our recent You find out who your friends are… article. Specifically from the perspective an active candidate in post, and to further highlight the importance of networking in career development at the senior exec level.
When looking for that next opportunity, you can contact those consultants you’ve worked with before and trust, however, unless they have a specific role for you, it’s limited what they can do.
Yes, we can help make sure your CV, LinkedIn profile etc are polished, offer advice, but the real ‘search’ comes from you identifying people in your network that can help, or by discretely contacting organisations that you feel could be a good fit.
Get out there and do it yourself
Don’t wait by the phone. Utilise the power of your network to create opportunity.
Reach out to your network
Ex-colleagues, previous suppliers and clients, former competitors and trusted industry contacts are the foundations of a strong network. Now is the time to use some of that goodwill you’ve accumulated throughout your career.
Target companies that you know are a good fit
No one should know better than you the types of company you are best suited to in terms of size, industry sector, nature of role etc.
Take the time to do some research and identify opportunity.
The key to making use of your network
When potential opportunity arrises, you need to know about it, and that comes down to expanding, nurturing and utilising that network.
And yes, that includes search consultants such as us.
But more importantly, it is the good, well connected people in those relevant sectors and organisations where you can do the most good and your best value lies.
How do you set about finding that next role yourself?
Basics first? Organisations still advertise senior level roles, but where?
A Google search for titles and sectors relevant to you would be a logical starting point.
Wherever the right opportunities are advertised, setup an alert.
Quality over quantity. Register with the agencies and search consultants advertising relevant roles.
Setup alerts with the websites of relevant trade bodies and/or industry publications that you know and trust. You may be surprised by the level and quality of the roles advertised there.
But don’t just stop there and sit back hoping that big opportunity will come to you
Talk to a friendly HR Director. Maybe an ex-colleague? Ask them ‘If you were seeking to hire someone like me, how would you go about it?’.
There’s high chance others in your sector are doing the same? As an active candidate in post you need to do more than the competition.
When you alert your preferred recruitment contacts to your current position, ask them for referrals and recommendations.
And when they call you, it’s most likely to be about a material position, so make sure you know what you’re not looking for as well as what you are.
Don’t scare the horses
When you’re an active candidate still in post be careful with signalling.
Be good in your current role. An important component of any active candidate search is continuing to excel in your current organisation.
Nothing says, “I’m in the market” more than a freshly updated LinkedIn profile and new profile photo.
Be a little cautious with your network contacts too, you need their discretion. Always best to avoid open discussion with those you don’t know that well.
And of course, more often than not that next role finds you because of performance in your current role.
Those serendipitous openings often arise because you have a strong network, and your current employer is firmly in your corner.
Talent is recognised by talent so, when the researcher or head hunter next calls, it could be because someone who knows how you perform has suggested you.
Can you to speak to your colleagues first?
It can be difficult but can you have a conversation with the ‘right’ executive colleague in your current organisation?
If you’re frustrated they may suspect the company could lose you and, if they’re an organisation worth staying with, a professionally earnest conversation may allow you to progress in a reasonable timescale without the need to move on.
For them, they won’t have to replace a valuable and trusted exec. And at the very least, if you do subsequently move on, you’ve given them the opportunity to address your needs and retain your talents.
Senior recruitment is changing
A significant proportion of senior executive positions are never advertised, and organisations are utilising the power of their networks to identify talent.
At Barron Williams, we pride ourselves on our ability to assimilate active and passive candidates into our unique network-driven search and selection process.
As a business we are defined by our client and candidate relationships, and our capacity to serve and retain that network is integral to our success.
That means supporting candidates both directly in relation to our own searches, and indirectly when we are part of your search.
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.