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Smart Executives Lead The Way


By Mary Elizabeth Kalmer

Studies show that C-level executives across Europe, US & Asia are re-entering the job market, whilst 47% of current employees are searching for new jobs or planning to within the next year. With an ever growing hidden job market and an increasing number of executives planning to change career or switch industries, competing executives are engaging in more exploratory job seeking strategies to land their next big move.

The hidden or unadvertised job market represents the largest source of new opportunities for senior executives and according to David Pierce Hallahan of executive representation firm Team Capital, this is compatible with executives who may not be a perfect match with standard job openings but who do have the track record, skills, talent & desire to succeed.

“To achieve on-going career growth and success, it is imperative that executives who are re-entering the market focus on connecting with senior-level decision makers & hiring managers at relevant, well qualified, ambitious target organizations”, comments Hallahan.

“Think about focusing your energies on networking with carefully selected leading industry figures that are recognized as reliable referral sources. In today’s economic setting, you need that extra push to grab the attention of potential employer companies” Hallahan adds.

“Don’t wait for the race to begin before you act” he warns. “Concentrate rather on getting your executive brand into the mind of hiring decision makers who are well positioned not only to hire, but to introduce you to and expand your network with other hiring managers”.

Hallahan interestingly further states: “By getting involved earlier on in the recruitment process or before the process even begins, today’s job seeking executive will not only be the first port of call when an employer has an open position to fill, but this could also lead to the creation of a role directly around the executive”.

Leading players within the internet recruitment space are continuously striving to improve their technology and matching systems. Nonetheless, automated candidate screening and selection processes, which are used to manage large volumes of CVs generated on-line, do not cater and cannot appreciate the exceptions. For many high performing executives, this signifies not being included on a short-list of candidates matching the employer’s requirements.

“If you can’t tick all their boxes but represent a strong proposition for the employer firm, learn to think out of the box yourself and adapt your job search strategy accordingly. This does not mean that you should allow technology to exclude you from what may represent a relevant target firm but that your routes to market need to be reassessed”, Hallahan comments.

On securing your initial meeting with a hiring decision maker at a target firm, Hallahan recommends that the job seeking executive highlight in quantifiable terms, how he/she can add value to the business, whether it be through revenue generation, cost reduction or significantly adding to the bottom line.

He adds: “If your audience at the employer firm can be comfortable with your capabilities and ability to develop a track record of results within their business, you will strengthen your case and this could lead to either a match with a current opening or role creation around your skills and capabilities. It is not unusual for a hiring decision maker to adapt and align the requirements in view of a serious candidate profile and ultimately go to what ever lengths are required to make the right executive an offer and get them on board.”

At the other end of the spectrum, if an immediate job offer does not follow, Hallahan suggests that simply by effectively networking with individuals with hiring authority or who are linked with your target companies, you will be putting your profile into the mind of the hiring decision maker and that by positioning yourself on the decision maker’s radar screen you are maximizing your potential to land your next move in a shorter timeframe.

As senior executives seek to make that next big move, it is those who are smart and act to effectively manage their career and access the hidden job market that will hold the key to success over competing executives who may be a match on paper but who risk getting left behind.

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