Deputy Managing Partner, Education
San Francisco, CA
How to Work with an Executive Search Consultant
By Suzanne Teer
As an executive search consultant, I often work with candidates who are well suited for a given position but don’t always understand my role in assisting their candidacy. While my primary responsibility is to the client, it is an important part of my job to build a great slate of candidates and to shepherd those candidates through the entire job search process. I want candidates to shine and succeed.
Developed in collaboration with NALHE, the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives, the following article offers a few pointers on how to work best with a search consultant:
Initial inquiry: When you learn about a new leadership position, your first step should be a conversation with the search consultant. It shows you have forethought.
Resume and cover letter: Use the insights you glean from your conversation with the consultant to help shape your resume and cover letter. Then tailor your resume or CV and cover letter to the organization and position.
Phone screen: Although you may see the call as a great opportunity to sell yourself, remember that the consultant has key questions they need you to address to help determine if you are a good fit for the job. Resist the urge to monopolize the conversation.
Internal interview: Take this interview as seriously as you would an interview with the client.
In-person interviews: Be sure to ask your consultant questions that they are uniquely prepared to address—composition of the search committee, insights into key influencers in the interview process, logistics for the interview and the timing of next steps, for example.
Communication and follow up: Get in touch with your consultant if you have questions or new information to share. If your schedule changes, you are having second thoughts or you become involved in another search, let your consultant know.
Although we work on behalf of our clients, search consultants cannot do our jobs well without great candidates. We are highly invested in your success, too.