A specialized recruiter can make all the difference if you consider on average each corporate leadership or upper management opportunity can attract 250 resumes. And of those, just four to six candidates will be called for an interview with, of course, only one receiving an offer.
Despite the competitive applicant environment for senior-level positions, a recent executive recruiter survey revealed that 69 percent of corporations in the United States are struggling to find top talent, an increase from 14 percent in 2010.
Clearly there is a bridge that needs to be crossed. Whether you’re in C-suite territory or in the project management space, here’s how an industry-specific recruiter, with intimate inside knowledge and experience, can give you the inside track on your next career move.
Knowing the Lingo
Every industry has a culture and language all its own, so enlisting the assistance of a recruiter who lives and breathes the field in which you’re seeking employment is key, explains Brent Orsunga, founder of Pinnacle Growth Advisors, a recruiting firm specializing in supply chain and logistics.
“This is what I do. I study this as if it’s my sport,” says Orsunga, who has 21 years experience in recruiting with 14 of those strictly in supply chain and logistics. “The verbiage and lingo I completely understand. But put me in accounting or healthcare, I’m not going to understand the nuances that I do being focused on supply chain.”
There’s also a network that comes with this experience.
“When you’re in an industry for a decade plus, you have a very large network. It’s not always about what I know, it’s about who I know,” Orsunga says.
Access to a large network of companies and personnel comes with its perks that can be passed on to candidates. Sure, you can do a lot of online job searching but results are unpredictable in a process that lacks a personal touch.
“Maybe you luck out and an AI tool scanned something that let your resume get through the screening process,” says Jessica Corral, the co-founder of Headfarmer, a boutique firm specializing in recruitment and consulting of human resources, accounting, finance and technology.
Sometimes the perfect position never makes it into the virtual space and is kept on the down-low with only recruiting firms being privy.
“Some are not advertised and maybe not planned upon. For example, if a company is thinking about implementing a new software and I know someone who has experience with that software, they may not have been thinking about hiring someone but because I knew that talent was there, they may,” Corral says. “We can help the candidate and client cherry pick the best of the best.”
Painting a Picture
A quality recruiter knows the companies in their field and the ones worth their salt have been in their literal spaces, so they can give a pretty good idea of what you would be walking into.
“I know these companies inside and out and can not only speak to their leadership but I can describe the office and the individuals there. I’ve sat in the chair where the candidate will sit. I can almost paint a picture,” Orsunga says.
Finding a Fit
What companies yearn for are candidates that will be a great cultural fit. And that’s an intangible detail that cannot be outlined on paper, no matter how professional and thorough your resume is.
A recruiter will take the time to interview you about more than your education and qualifications. Often, companies are quick to hire to fill a void, but there’s no discussion about what it’s like to work with someone to determine if they are best suited for the environment, even if the experience part is there, Corral says.
“It’s helpful to talk it through with an expert,” Corral says. “We bridge that gap.”
Georgann Yara is a former newspaper reporter and full-time freelance journalist based in Phoenix. Find her on Twitter @georgannyara. Photo by Sora Shimazaki/Pexels