In 2014 – the big career challenge is to sell our skills


In 2013, the number of companies involved in corporate recruitment expanded again, for better or for worse.  In 2014 there will be type of chaos in the market, which will effect how real people achieve career-defining steps and changes.

Executive recruiters; in-house recruiters; HR directors; outsourcers; procurement teams; Linked-in junkies, employer brand managers; company referral schemes; and renegade managers each contribute to their bit to the chaotic recruitment landscape. In 2014, everyone will protect their patch and want their due.

Many factors will make it harder for good recruiters to really help you  

1.  Executive Recruiters are under lots of pressure to only find and charge for, near-perfect candidates.  Because employers now have a plethora of means to find ‘nearly right’ candidates themselves and many are prepared to put in time to dodge big fees, you may need to have done 90% of a job before, before an employer is happy to pay a recruiter for the introduction.

2.  Most people making a big career move represent a degree of risk to employers. Whilst some good employers do regularly take risks to hire talent above a matching CV, few want or need to pay thousands for the privilege.

3.  The economy in 2014 should be brighter than for many years. As a result the senior recruitment market will get more competitive and employers will want to watch their recruitment spending.

If you genuinely want a big step upwards or change of career path, you need to de-risk yourself. Which decoded, means free, free at least from a recruiters big fee.

Thankfully, the best Executive Recruiters present candidates to a client in a way that shows a good commercial rationale and address risks, they remain a FS professionals ally.  Also some foresighted companies deliberately seek talent in left-of-field places, but both are now exceptions to the market rule.

How your tactics should change in 2014

Be more optimistic.

A chaotic market means practically anyone, whether in-house or independent, charming or nauseating could possibly present you with a real career-change opportunity- there is no telling what quarter it will come from.  If you pride yourself on shutting-down cold callers with a volley of harsh words– it could have a price. Particularly listen-out for calls from in-house recruitment teams because whilst their pitch style could be different to true headhunters, they could still give you access to great chances.

 Be clearer about your value.

Hiring processes, particularly at their outset, place undue weight on your ability to talk with comfort about your professional skills and potential.  Without an independent recruiter to ‘sell’ you, the onus is on you.  Practising that small skill could make all the difference in the chaos of the 2014 career market.

olivier-vidalOlivier Vidal is MD of Go.Show.Do

At Go.Show.Do we know that being great at your job doesn’t mean selling yourself is easy.

We coach ambitious professionals to tell their story to employers – online, on paper and at interviews.

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