My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 14 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, average is $250,000, and last year I placed several executives north of a million dollars.

Disclaimer: Only represent executives I know personally or by referral. No online job postings, no candidate databases, no unsolicited resumes.

Probably best known for my monthly casino newsletter that goes out to 5,000 executives. Who got hired, who got fired and all the latest gaming/casino news. If you want to keep up in real time, follow me @GodfatherWaym on Twitter. End of promo!

This week I received half a dozen unsolicited resumes. Translation: Executives that sent me resumes I did not request, and that were not applicable to any of the job searches I’m working on. It’s the equivalent of a cold call. Several of the executives had not contacted me in the last five years. One guy had not contacted me in the last 15 years!

So I thought it might be good to explain how Executive Recruiting works, and how we (Executive Recruiters) view this type of behavior (people that only call to ask for favors once every five or ten years). It will help you understand why most Recruiters don’t return phone calls. For the record, I respond to every single text, phone call and email (500+ per day) even if my response is, “No thank you.” Why? Because my Dad taught me that was the right way to treat people.

Executive Recruiters get People for Jobs…NOT Jobs for People – If you remember nothing else from this article, remember THIS! Recruiters get paid to fill jobs, not figure out your personal career crisis. Expecting them to drop what they are doing to help you is not a reasonable request. Personally, I have done that for a few friends over the years, however 99% of the Recruiters will not.  If they don’t fill the jobs, they don’t get paid.

I Need Horses, Not Jockeys – My race horse trainer used to say, “I have jockeys, what I really need are race horses. They pay the bills.” Executive Recruiters are focused on clients, not candidates.  There are an infinite number of candidates; a finite set of hiring companies. Candidates approach me like it’s an honor and privilege to represent them. Mostly…it is not. Every time I get a $400,000 job, I am overwhelmed with candidates.  Recruiters focus on clients, not candidates.

Stop Cold Calling Executive Recruiters – When an Executive Recruiter gets a $200,000 job, do you really think he is going to submit someone he does not know and has never met? Let me help you: Oh hell no!  Clients expect us to personally vouch for the candidates. Every time we send a resume, our reputation is on the line.  No way we are sticking our neck out for people we don’t know.  Any Recruiter that takes your cold call, is not someone you want representing you.  Talk to your peers and get a referral.  Better yet, have them call the Recruiter on your behalf and get you a warm introduction.

Stop Applying to Online Job Postings – Do you know how 95% of the best jobs (emphasis on BEST) get filled? 85% by referral (peers, networking), 10% by Executive Recruiters and the remaining 5% from a variety of other sources. If you make $100,000+, your chance of getting a job by applying online is one in a hundred. And I have a saying about “A” executives, “Any executive that applies online, is not someone you want to hire. Any company that posts jobs online is not a company you want to work for.”

Relationships Trump Talent – At the end of the day, it’s all about RELATIONSHIPS. Let’s say I have a $300,000 CFO role. Total compensation (W2) of $1,000,000. There are five candidates. Two I have known for 15 years. They are former clients, have supported my business for 15 years, and bought tables to my charity events. The other three reached out to me last week. Have not heard from them in years. One of them actually opted out of my monthly newsletter, but here he is 10 years later with his hand out for a $300,000 job. You tell me, who should I submit for the CFO job?  If nothing else, I’m the most loyal person you will ever meet, and all things being equal, I’m sticking with executives I know and trust.

Build the Bridge Before You Need to Cross the River – I used to get annoyed by two things. First, ungrateful executives that think it’s an honor and privilege to represent them. Placed a $250,000 CIO and she did not even bother to say “thank you.” What I have come to understand over the years is that I’m an Executive Recruiter, and I get paid to place people. That stated, a lack of gratitude goes to character. Won’t represent her again. And by the way, she has changed jobs every couple of years since. Second, people that only reach out when they want something are “takers.” I get it, I’m a Headhunter. They only call when they are unemployed. But again, don’t you think that goes to character? Executive Recruiters live on relationships, not transactions. Build that bridge BEFORE you need to cross the river.