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Some Things I've Learned from 5 Years in Executive Recruiting - Lars Leafblad

Some Things I've Learned from 5 Years in Executive Recruiting - Lars Leafblad

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Published by: Lars Leafblad on Oct 01, 2012
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Lars LeafbladPrincipal, KeyStone SearchFounder, BePollen.comOctober 2011October 2012 
Insights after FourFiveYears in Retained Executive Search Industry
- Most candidates don’t expect a timely, professional process based on their previousexperience with search firms /recruitersStill holds true. As an employer, if you proactively close the loop with candidates whowere not hired to thank them for their interest and to let them know who was ultimatelyhired, you will positively differentiate yourself from 99.8% of your competitors.- Candidates in career transition you take the time to help rarely remember you whenthey’ve landedThis remains true with the majority of people I network with who are in career transitionor active job search mode. Candidates who send out an “I’ve landed, thanks for yourhelp during my job search” email (or handwritten thank you note) to individuals theyhave networked with during their search are the exception, not the norm.- 99% of unsolicited “networking” requests = “help me or someone I know find a jobplease”Before you network with someone you’ve never met, please invest in buying andreading a wonderful new book by two of my colleagues from KeyStone Search, Dr.Marcia Ballinger and Nathan A. Perez, called “The 20-Minute Networking Meeting”.Learn more at their website ->http://www.20mnm.com - The questions, or lack thereof, posed by candidates are a crucial insight into how theythinkThe strongest candidates in any interview process inevitably ask the best questionsduring their interviews. Learn more about how to conduct interviews that elicit greatquestions via an interview my partner Mike Frommelt conducted with “MinnesotaBusiness” magazine ->http://www.minnesotabusiness.com/article/interviewing-leaders 
- Candidates use of pronouns “I/me versus we” and “they/them versus us” revealsinsights into their potential fit with an organizational culture.Learn more via a December 2011 article in “Harvard Business Review” entitled “YourUse of Pronouns Reveals Your Personality” ->http://hbr.org/2011/12/your-use-of-pronouns-reveals-your-personality - Personal hand-written thank you notes from a candidate or networking contact arememorable, impactful, and rareAbsolutely still holds true. Read “It’s More Important to Be Kind than Clever” via“Harvard Business Review” blog ->http://blogs.hbr.org/taylor/2012/08/its_more_important_to_be_kind.html - Traits that matter in all candidates -> Curiosity. Empathy. Positivity. Honesty. Energy.Listening. Follow-up. Gratitude. Vision. Mental Agility.+ Resiliency. Integrity. Passion.- Think of your resume as a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story – what matters are thechoices you faced, what you chose, why you chose it, what happened as a result of thatchoice, and what you learned from the decision.You can see two visual examples of this thinking via BePollen.com ->http://bepollen.com/pollen/a-new-kind-of-shipbuilder-kate-madonna-hindes.html&http://bepollen.com/pollen/a-legacy-of-doing-whats-right.html - Your reputation matters. Thank those that help you along the way. You never knowwho will ultimately influence a hiring executive(s) in their own assessment of yourreputation and candidacy.We don’t live and work in a six-degree world anymore. We live and work in a two-degree world. Behave accordingly.- Leaders in career transition who view it as a period of life to learn, share, grow, andhelp others throughout the process will leave it more quickly, with greater fulfillment, andwith much more value gained from the experience.Framing your job search in your own mind as an opportunity rather than a challenge,inconvenience or struggle, is an important, but difficult, first step for job seekers.
- Without exception people help people they like. Be likable. Help others without askingfor anything in return. Say thank you. Follow up. Actively listen. Be present.Read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People”http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034or RobertFulghum’s “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten”http://www.amazon.com/Really-Need-Know-Learned-Kindergarten/dp/080410526X - Own your weaknesses and failures as a leader and as a professional. All leaders havethem.Answering openly and honestly to “Tell us about your greatest failure or mistake” oftenleads to the most pivotal and insightful conversation between a candidate and hiringmanager(s)/search committee.- Human beings have an incredible authenticity-filter/radar/antenna regardless of formaleducation/training/job. Be real.Gain additional insights on behaviors that trigger positive and negative responses fromhiring managers/search committees via my partner Dr. Marcia Ballinger ->http://candidateschair.com/interview-performance-in-transition-candidate-versus-the-employed-candidate/  - We all want to be heard and respected. Listen first.Make eye contact. Don’t interrupt. Consider repeating a question(s) back to aninterviewer to ensure you’ve heard it correctly.- Say thank you, a lot, to everyone in your circle.Just do it.- When interviewing, think of it as a conversation, not an interrogation. It’s appropriate topause, think, and reflect before responding. Body language is 80% of how we’re heardand perceived, especially in an interview.See “Your Body Language Speaks for You in Meetings” in September 2012 “HarvardBusiness Review” blog ->http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/09/your_body_language_speaks_for.html 

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