Archives for June, 2016

The 5 Candidates Executive Recruiters…Dread

My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last twelve years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, average placement is $200,000+, and last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars.

My articles are targeted at senior executives; however most of the points apply to all levels. Not here to judge or criticize, only to educate and inform. The more you understand about how Executive Recruiters work, the better your chances of having one represent you.  And Executive Recruiters get all the best jobs.  Here are my thoughts on the five candidate types that Executive Recruiters don’t want to work with.

The Liar – If you don’t have integrity, no Executive Recruiter cares how brilliant or talented you are. Common sense, yes?  Apparently not since candidates lie about education, experience, job title, and/or compensation on a regular basis.  I used to think this was a Las Vegas problem, however several of my more worldly friends say “global issue.”  Honesty is the best policy.

The Narcissistic Megalomaniac – Ego is a serious deal killer. Companies like to hire humble, genuine, authentic executives.  If you come off as an arrogant, egotistical know it all, you won’t move forward in the interview process.  On another similar note, don’t tell the Executive Recruiter what to do or how to do it.  I once told a candidate, “You are probably way smarter than me, but I do this for a living.  I know the client.  I know the position.  I’m your agent and on your side.  Let me do my job.”

The Spammer – Recruiters get paid very handsomely to bring the best of the best in candidates. So it does not take much imagination to understand why they dread candidates that spam their resume.  That can be to every Recruiter in town, every company in town, and/or both.  Smells like desperation.  Remember, a Recruiter can only submit you to a company that you have not applied, submitted or contacted in the last 12 months.  If you spam your resume, they won’t be able to add much value.  Be selective in your job search.

The Dreamer – Mostly I like dreamers, but not the ones disconnected from reality.  Regularly get $100,000 candidates that want $200,000 or $250,000.  What?  No company is going to double your salary.  An Executive Recruiter gets paid to review your resume, then based on education and experience, come up with the “market rate” for the candidate.  What they can reasonably expect to receive in compensation given the economy and job market.  This is probably the number one reason Recruiters pass over candidates – they are unrealistic about salary.  Be realistic about compensation.

The Tire Kicker – Most Recruiters are paid on a contingency basis, meaning they only get paid if you get the job. As such, they don’t like tire kickers.  Recruiters want to represent candidates that are 100% committed to making a move.  They don’t want to waste your time; they don’t want to waste the hiring company’s time.  Kick tires on your own dime.

I Have Jockeys, I Need Horses (Bonus Tip) – My race horse trainer once told me, “I have jockeys, I need horses.”  Translation? Horses pay the bills, not jockeys.  In the Executive Recruiter world hiring companies pay the bills, not candidates.  Recruiters are overwhelmed with resumes and candidates.  Many are under the mistaken impression it’s an honor and privilege to represent them.  Could be, but mostly…it is not.  When working with an Executive Recruiter, always remember the hiring company pays the bills, not you.  Be professional and courteous.  Make your career search a priority and do your best to make the Recruiter/Candidate relationship a positive experience.  One last tip – meeting an Executive Recruiters when you are unemployed is a terrible career strategy.  Recruiters represent executives they know and trust.  People they have long term relationships with.  Be sure to cultivate two or three Recruiter relationships while you are gainfully employed.  Dig the well before you need to take a drink.

The 7 Deadly Career Sins

My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last twelve years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, average placement is $200,000, and last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars. My articles are targeted at senior executives; however most of the points apply to all levels. The only purpose of my blogs is to communicate what Executive Recruiters and hiring companies look for in top executive candidates.

Integrity – A CEO once told me, “If they don’t have integrity, I don’t care how brilliant or talented they are.” I deal with dishonest executives on a regular basis.  They lie about their education.  They lie about their experience.  They lie about their compensation.  They lie about whether they already applied for the job already.  These are not low level hourly employees – these are executives making hundreds of thousands of dollars.  All you have in life is your word and reputation.  Integrity is the number one deal breaker with candidates.  Be honest.

Ego – This would rank #2 for me.  No company wants to hire a narcissistic megalomaniac (look it up).  Don’t insist on being the smartest person in the room.  News flash – you are not.  If you were, you would not be unemployed.  After six to twelve months on the bench, you will feel much differently.  HUMBLE and GENUINE is attractive.

Greed – I call this “fighting about nickels.” Too many candidates take a short term view of the world.  All they care about is money.  Now don’t get me wrong, the only people that don’t care about money….don’t have any.  That stated, companies want to hire executives focused on OPPORTUNITY.  Had a candidate at $65,000 that wanted $90,000.  Sorry, no company is going to give you a 33% raise.  Another candidate told me, “Well, I used to make way more money.”  Again, hiring companies care about the NOW, not what you made 10 years ago.  Finally, compensation is based on education, experience and skill set, not your mortgage payments, your kid’s college tuition or your lifestyle.  I know y’all are laughing, but this is a common problem – executives with a great education…and no common sense.

Selfishness – We live in the instant gratification generation. Everybody wants their Big Mac, and they want it NOW.  Gone are the days of the greatest generation where my Dad fought in World War II, then came back and worked two jobs to put food on our table.  Self-serving and self-absorbed is not on the desired attribute list of any hiring company.  Here is the SECRET.  Hard work and perseverance pay off.

Pessimism – Bitter and angry does not sell. I have heard it all.  It’s my boss’s fault, the company’s fault, my kids fault, my spouse’s fault, my dog’s veterinarian’s fault.  If you are carrying around that rock known as bitterness/anger, you will never get another job.  Interviewers can sense it; Executive Recruiters sense it. Let go and let God.

Laziness – Yoda said, “Do. Or do not.  There is no try.”  I’m constantly amazed at how many candidates don’t event TRY.  They are “too busy” to interview.  They don’t return phone calls or emails promptly.  They get fired, then expect an Executive Recruiter to drop everything for their career crisis.  Remember, YOU need a job, so give it 110% effort.

Ungrateful – Everyone likes to be appreciated, even Executive Recruiters. It’s interesting that half the executives I place don’t bother to say “thank you.”  Be sure to thank everyone in the interview process, even if you don’t land the job.  An attitude of gratitude will take you a long way in life.

Relationships Trump Talent (Bonus Tip) – If there is one piece of advice I could give you above all else, it’s that relationships trump talent.  All things being equal, Executive Recruiters submit candidates they know and like.  Companies hire candidates they know and like.  I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of highly competent executives get run out of town because they alienated everyone.  It’s not a talent issue; they are brilliant. It’s a “does not play well with others” issue.  Don’t burn bridges, and as your Mother said, “Play nice.”