Executive recruitment is a tough environment – the best battling the best for the very top positions. It is usually a very different process to the job-searching one you might have encountered earlier on in your career: now it’s the most prestigious and senior of roles you’re suited for. That means, inevitably, you’ll be courted by recruitment agencies and contacted via networking circles and the competition will be fierce: Executive jobs are in high demand.
However, there are still a lot of myths surrounding the recruitment process. While many of the usual principals stand when it comes to looking for a job, here are some executive recruitment myths you shouldn’t fall for.
The recruiters are working for you
Wrong. A recruiter’s job isn’t to find you a job, it’s to find the right candidate for one of their clients. Recruiters work for the business rather than the candidate – it’s their mission to scour the UK (or the globe) for the best possible fit for the vacant position, and they can afford to be selective. This doesn’t mean you should stop using agencies but be aware that they’re not trying to find you your perfect job. You’re not doing anyone a favour: you have to put maximum effort in.
An interviewer is looking for every chance to eliminate you
If you get to the interview stage for a top-class executive role, don’t feel like the interviewer is taking every chance to catch you out. This isn’t the case. They want you to ace the interview as much as you do; after all, this is a position they want filled. Answer questions openly and honestly and don’t forget to do your research on the company before you attend the interview.
Difficult questions are only there to judge your suitability for the job. Don’t forget to refer back to your achievements in the past and make sure to mention why you think you’re a good fit. At executive level you have to sell yourself and your abilities.
The person with the best qualifications gets the job
Not strictly true. While qualifications are important, it’s not the most qualified person who will get the job per se – experience counts for a lot at the very top and being able to demonstrate an ability to manage people is always going to win over someone with no experience who happens to have a management qualification. For a CEO position, for example, it’s doubtful a company will choose someone who might be able to do the job. They want someone who is already doing the job.
Registering with an agency will get you a job
No: signing up with an agency doesn’t mean your work is done. While agencies are a great way to get your name out there and put forward for jobs you might not otherwise find, don’t let it be your only method of attack. You should also search job sites, speak to friends in high up positions, and look on the careers page of companies you’d like to work for. Networking is key. Do it properly and thoroughly and you’ll know about roles before they’re even promoted.
Your skills in one industry are not transferable
This isn’t true. Your skills can be transferred from industry to industry, especially if you’re going for an executive role. Managing people rarely changes from sector-to-sector so even if you start off in a travel role and want to move to media, you’ll still have the skills necessary to take on the new challenge.