My name is Mark Wayman, and for the last 16 years I have owned an Executive Recruiting company in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mostly I work in the gaming/casino and high tech space. The business funds my true passion: Charity and Community. A portion of each placement is donated to a dozen national and local charities. 

Disclaimer #1: Only Represent Candidates I Know Personally or by Referral – My clients expect me to personally vouch for each and every candidate, and I can’t do that with people I don’t know and have never met. No disrespect intended. Currently have a hundred friends in career transition due to the Pandemic, and if nothing else, I’m the most loyal person you ever met.

Disclaimer #2: I’m Not Here to Judge or Criticize – That’s God’s job. Simply here to communicate valuable lessons I learned that might help someone else.

Disclaimer #3: Why I Love America – We can agree to disagree and still be friends! I welcome all opinions and viewpoints provided they are professional and respectful. Trolls will be deleted and blocked.

Honesty is the Best Policy – First and foremost, be HONEST! As my Dad used to say, “Without integrity…nothing else matters.” If you are not 100% transparent about your previous TITLE, TENURE and COMPENSATION, it will end very badly. I actually had one (out of 1,000+) person hired, then fired, when the background showed they lied about their compensation. Be sure your resume is 100% accurate.

Kindness is Free, and Relationships Trump Talent – Always think in the long-term. Be kind to everyone, from the Janitor to the CEO. The people you pass on the way up are the same people you will pass on the way back down. Burning bridges, which I see on almost a daily basis, is not a strategy. Relationships trump talent, especially in my world of gaming/casinos and high tech. As Walt Disney once said, “It’s a small, small world.”

Always, Always, Always…Disclose – This would typically be on the employment application. If you have a criminal record, DUI or any other Compliance issue, ALWAYS disclose. Many of the items are not deal breakers unless you get caught lying about it. If asked, always disclose.

Accurate Contact Information – Common sense, yes? Yet I’m constantly seeing executive use WORK email addresses under CONTACT on LinkedIn. Unless you are retiring at your current company (trust me, you are not), use your PERSONAL email address on LinkedIn. Same for your resume – don’t use your work email address or home phone number. The correct format is: Name, Address, Cell Phone Number, Personal Email Address.

Realistic Compensation Expectations – This is where the rubber meets the road, and the #1 reason I disqualify candidates. If a candidate was making $100,000 and is looking for a bump to $150,000 going forward…I am OUT. Salaries have dropped 15% to 30% since the plague hit, and it is not a productive use of my time to work on things that will never happen. Looking for a lateral on money makes sense, although some highly compensated may have to take a significant drop in compensation to find work. During Depression 2.0 (2008) I dealt with candidates that wanted $200,000, but ended up taking $125,000 after they were unemployed for a year and their COBRA ran out. This is the new normal – be reasonable.

The Wrong Time to Meet an Executive Recruiter is When You are Unemployed – Rule #1 with Executive Recruiters. Most executives wait until they are unemployed to start a relationship with an Executive Recruiter. But here’s the thing, the best Executive Recruiters don’t take cold calls. I spend at least one hour every day sending courteous, “No thank you” messages to candidates that send unsolicited resumes. With 100+ candidates already in the queue, I’m not able to take on people I don’t know and have never met. If you don’t know a good Recruiter, ask your peers for a referral and establish the relationship TODAY…not when you are unemployed. Build the bridge before you need to cross the river!

Executive Recruiters Get People for Jobs, Not Jobs for People – Executive Recruiter Rule #2. If Recruiters don’t fill their executive searches and get people placed…they don’t eat. They are laser focused on filling their existing roles. Every time they stop working on a search to engage with a new candidate, they are losing money. If they are unresponsive, it’s not because they want to offend you. They don’t know you well enough to hate you. It’s because they are running a “for profit” business, and trust me, recruiting is no fun during a plague. YES, there are arrogant, self-focused Recruiters that only call you for a favor. On the other hand, there are some very good Executive Recruiters. Again, ask your peers who they like.

When You Can’t Relocate – Given the Pandemic, mostly you have to follow your career. If you are not in a position to relocate, your best strategy is to engage one or two LOCAL Executive Recruiters. They will have the local listings. Unfortunately, this will result in a limited number of career opportunities. On the other hand, if you can relocate nationwide, you get more opportunities. And remember, talking to five Recruiters does not get you five times the jobs, it just smells like desperation. No more than three; one or two is better.

Don’t Make Me Chase You – I’m constantly frustrated with candidates that ask for my assistance, and then are either unavailable and/or unresponsive to messages. Listen, I don’t need a job, you do. If you are asking me to donate my time and effort for something I may or may not get paid for, be responsive. Trust, me, if you don’t make yourself available, Recruiters will drop you like a bad habit. We have jockeys…we need horses. 

Help a Friend, Because One Day…That Friend May Be You! – This is one that has really been weighing on me lately. One of my favorite sayings is the House of Blues motto, “Help ever; hurt never.” When I send a CFO search to 200 contacts I’m lucky to get three referrals. It’s really disappointing that so many people are self-focused and won’t help any of their peers out. Really thought the Pandemic would be a wake up call that we all in this together. If you can help a peer by referring them for a job, DO IT! Anyone that gives me a referral gets a line pass when they require assistance.