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​Get Noticed: Executive Search Experts Tell Us How

​Get Noticed: Executive Search Experts Tell Us How

By Christine Condon

Conducting a job search? Executive search professionals Janice ElligDeepali Vyas and Alan Guarino recently sat down with Ellevate Network to tell it like it is when it comes to what companies are searching for in a candidate.

On what companies are seeking:

First, before you make a career move, really look at your life and think about what you want to do next. Don't jump into the wrong thing. What have you been good at? This is essential because companies are looking for great talent.

They're also looking for someone with a high EQ or “emotional intelligence.” They want someone who is collaborative--someone who says why we CAN do it, not why we can't. "Culture fit" is the new buzz word.

Alan Guarino, who is the Vice Chairman of Korn/Ferry International, says it boils down to impact--the impact you made in whatever role you were in. How did you move the needle? Show measurable, quantifiable results. Your reputation follows you.

On political intelligence:

Political intelligence is a very important attribute. You must have a few champions within your organization who will advocate for you. Look upwards, downwards, sideways for your champions. Go to companies that will celebrate you. Janice Ellig--who is co-CEO of Chadick Ellig, an executive search firm--states, “Your DNA has to fit with the organization’s DNA.”

On working with a recruiter:

Use LinkedIn to get an introduction to a recruiter. Do your homework and target contract search consultants in your industry.

Know that search professionals are looking for talent on behalf of companies, their clients. Guarino states, “It’s a misconception to work with them to find you a job.”

On transitioning to a different type of role or industry:

Vyas, Head of Global Markets Practice at Heidrick & Struggles, states, “Many skill sets are transferable.” A common shift is to go from big financial companies to big tech companies.

However, be aware that recruiters can't help you transition into a very different role. “They have been retained by their clients to find the best, most impactful fit at the lowest risk. They are looking for the high-level probability solution,” states Guarino.

Ellig offered up the best way to make a big shift in roles. She stated, “Your own firm is more likely to take a chance on you to transition to a different area.”

On how to market your brand:

Market your brand “from Day One in the position you're in,” says Vyas. “Building your brand is knowing your stuff ice cold. Don't fake it till you make it. You'll be perceived as not having the credentials. Always have integrity and be the subject matter expert.”

Be aware of who you are and what you're doing. Show that “you're doing the right thing at the right time. You’re working collaboratively--and you've empowered others all the way,” Ellig states.

On women and the search:

Ellig made the observation that men call her back faster than women. They want to know what they're worth. Women are keeping their head down, doing the work in front of them. Her advice is: "You need to listen to what's out there. Call us back!"

Guarino chimed in on this too: You don't know what you're saying no to until you have a conversation with the recruiter who is trying to reach you. It's ok if you're not ready to move on but at least have the conversation.

Another vital piece of advice he gave was, “Be discerning. Always be looking, but be adverse to moving.” Because changing jobs is a risk in and of itself, “only move on when it’s a no brainer.”

Final takeaways:

Alan Guarino states, “Self awareness is critical. The people that have the bigger impact and get results have an air of confidence. They can look in the mirror and say, ‘How could I have done that better?’”

Deepali Vyas is on the mark: “Constantly network. Make your meetings memorable.”

Janice Ellig ended the night with this advice: “You'll probably get your next position from your network. You're all unique. You have to have confidence. And you can go for it.”