Perhaps you’ve decided to reach out to executive recruiters as a means of accessing potential opportunities at your desired career level.
If so, how do you find the best recruiters for your situation?
Many recruiters work nationally and globally – opening up more possibilities for your job search, but also making it harder to find the right connections.
You can ask colleagues for their referrals to experienced recruiters, as referenced by The New York Times in Recruiting a Recruiter for Your Next Job, which also outlines steps to take once you’ve found a good contact name. (Expect these recruiters to vet YOU as well – their reputation depends on it!)
With a little resourcefulness, you can also perform simple online searches to find and build relationships with executive recruiters who are familiar with your field (and perhaps your target employers):
1 – Find Recruiters on LinkedIn.
Executive recruiters are easily findable on LinkedIn with a few simple search techniques. First of all, get familiar with the Advanced People Search function (which will make your life easier throughout your job search).
From any page in LinkedIn, you will see a use the drop-down menu at the top right, which typically defaults to ”People.” Next to it, you’ll see Advanced – click on this word to access Advanced People Search.
You’ll see many fields to use in searching for recruiters. Often, you’ll get the best results by using the Keywords field (which searches an entire user’s Profile on LinkedIn, rather than just specific fields).
Here, you can specify terms related to your industry or career level (COO, sales executive, manufacturing, IT, etc.), plus the word recruiter.
When you receive a list of results, sort it in Keyword order. This helps find recruiters new to you, instead of the ones already linked to your Profile.
Since LinkedIn will typically turn up a massive list of executive recruiters, you’ll want to continually refine your search parameters – until the best contacts start to pop up in your results.
2 – Find Recruiters Using Google.
Nothing’s simpler than just hitting Google to find anything, including an executive recruiter. However, you’ll want to ensure that you’re selectively locating the right type of firm or recruiting agency for your career level and industry.
A simple search using IT Director recruiting company turned up more than 1 million results, some of which were not desirable (recruiting jobs or articles), plus actual recruiters.
To avoid sifting through this volume of results, you’ll need to be selective in specifying parameters, adding filters to help remove specific websites.
For example, you can eliminate recruiter job listings by including -monster.com as a search parameter, which will take all recruiting job listings from Monster out of your results.
As an example, COO recruiter (manufacturing OR production) -simplyhired.com -indeed.com will show recruiters who source COO jobs and candidates in manufacturing and production settings, while removing job postings for recruiters found on simplyhired.com and indeed.com.
3 – Find Recruiters in Online Directories.
In your Google search, you’ll discover executive recruiter listings or groups on various websites. These directories, which are often arranged by industry and geographic region, offer a wealth of recruiter information.
You’ll need to invest considerable time to vet these companies against your criteria, with a close review of the candidates and career levels sought by each agency.
Suggested recruiter directory websites include I-recruit, Recruiter Resources, and Headhunters Directory. Your Google results may turn up additional recruiter company listings as well.
In short, you may find working with an executive recruiter to be a valuable component of your job search – and you’ll need to take stock of whether your career trajectory fits a recruiter’s requirements.
However, your first step will be spending time in locating expert, knowledgeable recruiting companies and agents who specialize at your executive level.