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How to get the most out of an executive search and selection firm

by James Callander August 30, 2011

Yesterday evening we spent a very enjoyable time at a top Business School Career Fair. Not only were we the only recruiter invited to attend, but the number of candidates who approached us was  a testimony to the reputation the firm has build over the years in placing exceptional candidates in highly coveted positions across the industry and the consultancy world.

Whilst meeting many fantastic individuals I was prompted to reflect on the different ways in which each of them approached me. Some waited around our stand hoping to catch my gaze and initiate a conversation. Others asked general questions and stated  to have only a very vague idea of what they were looking for. But a few came up to me extending their hand for a sound shake, their eyes focussed on mine, an open smile and a list of pre-planned questions to ask. Needless to say, these are the candidates I remember the best and will be at the forefront of my list when the right opportunity knocks.  As with most situations in life planning and preparation are key to success, therefore if you are a candidate out there planning to meet recruiters either in face to face interviews or career fairs, you may wish to remember a few simple rules:

1. Dress for success – make sure you are comfortable but also look the part
2. Do your research and prepare questions about the jobs; the way in which roles become available; any niche specialism; process. Think about what you are looking for in the sort and medium term.
3. Body language is as important as the content of your conversation. Remember to smile, make eye contact and engage at all levels
4. Have a business card with you or ask for a business card and leave your details if appropriate.
5. Sign up for newsletters. They are a great way to understand more about the jobs that become available so you can decide whether that recruitment agency is right for you.

…And finally follow up and stay in touch. A good recruiter will spot a great candidate and will touch base whilst waiting for the right role to materialise. However, a phone call or email from the job-seeker will  demonstrate that the candidate is interested and serious about his/her career..and that can only be a good thing.

Alessandra Alonso is the Head of Select at FreshMinds Talent

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