Putting a Positive Spin on Executive Search

We’ll just come out and say it: Executive Search Recruiters share a reputation as a shifty lot. They can be perceived—by clients and candidates—as overly aggressive, overly persistent, imprecise, inaccurate…and expensive.
Executive Recruiter Wants You
But this mindset is taxing…especially if you have a position to fill now.

Stereotypes like these always contain some truth. After all, up till now, recruiters haven’t been required to earn specialized degrees, or take certification courses. Our skill sets seem vague, and smack of human trafficking—we “sell” jobs to people, and people to jobs. It’s all on the up-and-up, but our inventory is based decidedly on flesh-and-blood.

For this reason, I’m thrilled to announce that the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) is launching a Masters of Executive Search this month (August 2012). The certification trains experienced (min. two years’ active recruiting experience) search consultants, honing their skills and techniques, and giving them a deeper credential into organizational design, onboarding, and compensation and benefits. It gives my profession a more palpable credibility. It offers potential improvement for anyone that gives off the wrong vibe.

For the non-recruiters out there, this is my suggestion. Deal only with recruiters you like. And deal only with recruiters who clearly know their stuff. For me and everyone else at MJS Executive Search, “stuff” includes deep familiarity with frequent verticals (consumer products, technology, media, and the like), and virtuosity with functions (marketing, communications, social media, technology, PR) and complex organizational structures.

Avoid anyone who gives you the heeby jeebies. If you doubt they add value, they probably don’t.

What are your own experiences with executive recruiters? Do you think it would be more beneficial to have more certification and training in the search business?

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