Redefining Executive Recruitment: Embracing Relationships and Unseen Potential
Hello to my network! Victoria here, diving into an intriguing facet of my career journey. As I navigate through my own career transition – a unique path for me since I’m usually being directly recruited – I’ve had the eye-opening experience of working closely with many executive recruiters. It’s been enlightening, to say the least!
Here’s the deal: recruiters often have a lopsided view of relationships. Understandably, they’re focused on their bread and butter – the clients handing out hiring mandates. But what about us, the candidates? We’re not just the means to an end; we’re potential future clients, a fact that’s surprisingly overlooked.
Let me paint a picture: I receive several hundreds of emails and social platform or collaboration site pings daily. Yet, I make it a point to respond and engage to a majority of those reach outs, not just to expand my network but to help coach, and mentor others. Why? Because every interaction matters. It’s baffling, then, to see recruiters ignore and in many cases, ghost candidates or treat them as afterthoughts, especially at the executive level where today’s candidate could be tomorrow’s client.
Now, let’s talk about the “square peg, round hole” syndrome. Recruiters often seek candidates with mirror-image titles from direct competitors. Where’s the imagination? In my upcoming leadership book (The Power of Whole Human Leadership), I delve into the world of the “unseen” – those employees and candidates who are overlooked by leaders and recruiters, leading to missed opportunities in diversity, growth, and innovation. And guess what? I’m not alone in this thought. Adam Grant, in his latest book “Hidden Potential,” highlights a similar theme. He shares a compelling story about a NASA engineer who faced many rejections from the agency because of rigid candidate screening processes, only to become a success story for NASA many years later.
So, here’s my plea to executive recruiters: Let’s do better. Adopt a relationship-based approach that values candidates as much as clients. Embrace a diverse recruitment strategy that looks beyond conventional checkboxes. Think broader – different perspectives, varied life and career experiences. There’s a world of talent out there, untapped and brimming with potential.
In conclusion, there’s a better, more balanced way to recruit. One that benefits both sides of the hiring equation, fostering a more diverse, dynamic, and innovative workforce. Let’s make it happen!