Executive Search Network: We’re all in this together!

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The Barron Williams executive search network is critical to our business model. 

Good people refer good people. 

Good people help good people.

Good people share information with good people.

Do you have an executive search network of your own?

In other words, do you have a network that supports you as an executive, searching for future career moves?

Also, does your organisation have one?

Do you DIY your recruitment because you can?

As the American author and entrepreneur, Keith Ferrazzi so eloquently put it:

“The currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.”

At this level having a good executive search network is not only critical to those doing the hiring but (equally so) to those looking to be hired.

By actively nurturing and expanding your network of contacts, you are increasing the potential for new opportunity.

You might network but does that mean you have an executive search network?

At Barron Williams, we use the power of networking to continually expand and develop our talent pipeline and find the right candidates for our clients – Before they need them where possible.

As candidates, the same approach could be what lands you that next big role.

Can you be found when someone is looking?

Building a good executive search network is always a two-way street though. 

It is about sharing information and providing support.

Help others to help yourself.

And we get it, networking isn’t always high on the to-do list of busy senior execs. 

But it should be… Do it. Develop the mindset to do it if necessary.

Diaries are tight so keep contact short and sweet but remind people you’re there.

We work long hours, factor in our families, and attending that evening do, industry event or taking an hour or so off for a lunch meeting can be tricky.

However, you don’t need to do a lot. Little and often works.

A strong network will always play an integral role in future career (and business) success.

Those people who seem to get approached, headhunted, have great career moves. How do you think they got there? Luck?

As a candidate looking to make the next move, or maybe even take the first step on the NED ladder, it is essential. And apologies if we are boring you but ask those who do it.

The network is where you’ll potentially hear about the latest vacancies, you can discretely let know you’re active, and call upon support. It’s OK, they’ll help!

A good executive search network is complex and multi-faceted, and it included indirect and direct sources of info.

It’ll show you the steps others have taken to get where you want to go, open you up to valuable sector/market info, and help establish what it is like to work for any prospective new organisation.

Sources may include agencies and recommended recruiters as well as industry and sector contacts

Networking itself is much more than just an exchange of info, and whilst it could help you find that next role, it is not a replacement for making sure you’re aware of the active market. Roles are still advertised. Google Careers is still your friend.

Is an executive network complete without an executive search partner?

By adding relevant executive search firms to your network you’re opening up the power of our networks.

We may not secure your next role but we’ll certainly try and help you achieve your goals. Call it an intervention on our part.

You are giving yourself an ‘in’ to the search world. A foot in the door. A way of developing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

A recent example for us was our recently advertised Business Development role. 

Our client is a small tech business, great product, great opportunity for the right BD exec.

This is an industry that the Barron Williams team had developed executive search network contacts. And once established, those relationships are easily re-kindled.

As well as helping our client fill the vacant role, we were also able to introduce them to a number of individuals with who they could connect regarding new business opportunities.

We don’t offer direct BD support to clients as a rule, but where we can add some value, it’s very much appreciated.

Good networking is about going that extra mile if you can. 

Share your contacts, knowledge, experience.

People respond.

Our business is founded on the principle of partnership.

Disagree? Fine, bye. 

Not everyone we help becomes a client. But enough do.

Good people lead to good people. The more of us the better.

How to build your executive search network

FGS, don’t go waving your business cards at all and sundry at every breakfast networking event you can find (although that is fun).

Building a good network takes time, however, invest that time wisely, and it will deliver a significant ROI throughout your career…

A well-constructed network will not only make you more likely to get the call but it will also:

  • Help you develop and improve your business knowledge and skills.
  • Help you keep up with the latest trends in your industry sector and the wider business community.
  • Keep up to date in terms of industry news (and gossip 😀).
  • Keep you informed in terms of the latest roles, who is moving, who is recruiting, restructuring and where.
  • Help you to meet headhunters, search consultants, mentors, partners, clients and potential new employers. The ones others recommend.
  • Give you access to the necessary tools and resources that will help to foster your career.

The importance of networking at the senior exec level

Career progression at the senior executive level is influenced by a number of factors. It’s not just talent, it’s good timing and luck. 

However, a good network makes your own luck.

Get known for being a “good person”!

Referrals from other talented execs will significantly increase your chances of learning about “that opportunity”.

Your executive search network can help you establish industry connections and provide leads for potential roles in the right organisations. It really will.

That metaphorical foot in the door is often half the battle at this level.

Build and foster professional relationships with those procuring talent in your working sphere. And those who know those people. Exec and Non-Exec. 

As we discussed in this month’s other article, we are currently facing a War For Talent. Cliché or not. It’s the game.

The market for talented senior execs is incredibly competitive right now. 

Even though as candidates you have the upper hand, at the top it is ultra-competitive.

Give yourself an edge. Marginal is good.

To remain competitive in the current climate, you must be in a position to tap into a professional search network. 

Finding that next role will require a blend of the traditional and non-traditional to give you the best chance of success.

For organisations, utilise the power of social media to convey your brand message and attract high calibre individuals. 

Well-networked, relevant execs are looking at you – Can you attract the best?

Here’s the pitch…

Be you client, candidate (or both), partner with Barron Williams to help boost your executive search network.

We use the power of our network to keep in contact with a pool of talented senior exec candidates. Those active and (more importantly) currently in post and not looking.

We use our robust comms channels and the power of our brand to attract great talent.

We work on our ‘candidate’ brand.

Build your own brand – Client, candidate or both. 

Make connections. Good ones. Nice people. Relevant people.

Organisations want to hire the best so, be the best. We can help. Both of you. 

Talented individuals are often happy in their current roles. For now. 

Attracting them to join your organisation is a significant challenge. We can help.

By building an executive search network you are building for the long term.

Online vs. Offline

Networking is a continuous process. A state of mind even.

The key is how you develop, grow and tap into those connections.

There’s no avoiding the great big spanner that Covid-19 has thrown into the works here…

The pandemic has seen a significant shift to greater remote working.

How do we continue to network?

Phone, Email, Text, Teams, Zoom or brief notes on LinkedIn?

In such uncertain times, it is even more important that we focus on our networks and keep in touch.

It’s not that difficult!

Either way, when you’re asking for help or giving it.

When others see that you are happy to support others, they will be happy to support you too.

Good networking is centred around building professional relationships.

All it needs is the personal touch.

Be open. Collaborative. It pays dividends!

Face to Face is still important, where possible. Coffee with the great and good, informal, etc. However, don’t forget the bigger events.

At Trade Shows, Business Awards, Chamber, IoD, CBI, etc are where good people meet.

But it’s not all black tie and leather shoes. 

Start at your desk…

Pick up the phone. Log onto Zoom or Teams. Use those LinkedIn connections.

Technology has made networking functionally limitless but it is still nice face to face, Costa, Cafe Nero et al are full of networking execs.

Teams and Zoom, etc are great though. Just ask the Marketing Director in Florida I spoke to this week who’s planning her return to the UK.

Why build your Executive Search Network? 

There are only positives to being in touch with the market. 

Long gone are the days of job security. Tenures shorten. Call it ‘insurance’ if you like.

Search consultants such as Barron Williams are close to that market, but your contacts, suppliers, clients, etc are closer.

Keep in touch!

Unsurprisingly, we have extensive executive search networks in our client’s sectors.

This means that we can quickly find the people we want to talk to.

And of course, we reciprocate, offer to help for the future, etc.

Candidates use search firms to find their next role and sell them to the client. Win-win.

Clients need search firms to find the best talent and sell their organisation (brand and culture to those potential candidates). Win win-win.

But we need you too. Whether you’re in client, candidate or contact mode. Candidates become clients. They become candidates again. They remain contacts. Circle of (recruitment) life?!

But don’t wait until you’re ready to move. The important thing is to develop your Executive Search Network before you need it.

Be proactive, not reactive. 

Adopt the mindset. Take advice if necessary from the expert networkers (you’ll know some).

Pick up the phone or use our Upload CV or Client Upload form.  

Take the initiative and build those relationships so that when you do need them, they know you, and you know them.

The candidates we network with today will be the hiring managers of tomorrow. If we can help them achieve their goals, it will be remembered

So, don’t forget to register with us as part of your career planning.

Target your Executive Search Network

If you’re looking to hire senior exec talent, make sure you partner with the right firm. Declaring an interest of course!

And partner is the key word. 

You need to be selective. 

Who has the right approach for you?

A good Executive Search Network that adds value to your hiring needs?

The litmus test… 

Are they willing to talk in-depth about their approach and ability to deliver?

Based on existing networks or an approach to developing one to meet your specific needs?

Once we’ve established contacts in your sector we are set. And we can revisit whenever you need us to find people for you.

An executive search network is not a one size fits all

There isn’t a “one size fits all” when it comes to networking and, in turn building an executive search network. 

For candidates, you have to find out which tactics work best for you and which fit your needs.

The important thing to consider is you need to meet the right people.

Don’t be afraid to network outside the box too.

You’ll often find opportunities to network in unusual settings. And that’s a good thing.

Seek to meet new people with common professional or personal interests, they’re probably more common than you think.

Make a game plan set achievable goals such as collecting a minimum of X new contacts per month.

Follow up. Keep it personal and open. Then, make keeping in touch a habit. Not too often. Just enough to remind people you’re there.

Pay it forward and identify opportunities such as sharing information of value to those in your network before you ask for their help. Reciprocate. 

The more time and energy you invest in your executive search network today, the better the support you can offer and get back tomorrow! 

Start now, if you haven’t already!

If you’re looking for a senior executive for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

If you’re looking to find or apply for a new role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or Call Us for an exploratory conversation.

Barron Williams

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