How to Maximize Your Career Opportunities in a Candidate Driven Market

We are seeing a shift in the market that is causing candidates to miss out on opportunities. Currently, the job market is very candidate-driven. This is creating a process requiring hiring managers to move faster while top talent mistakenly believes being in the driver’s seat means they can take their time.

Quite often when you reach the executive level, employees are content with the position they are in. Therefore, it is understandable for a top marketing executive to take their time when responding to an executive search firm. However, as the beginning of 2020 commences, top talent needs to understand that being in the driver’s seat does not mean they have the option to move slowly. Every day recruiters are getting calls back from candidates three to four weeks after the initial outreach wanting to explore the role. Unfortunately, they come to find it has already been filled.

Top talent’s view of the market anticipates they have options, which is accurate. However, on the other side, hiring managers are making quick decisions that are essential to keep from losing out on top talent to other competing companies. Therefore, while top talent has options, time is not on your side if you want to grow your career.

MarketPro, a marketing executive search firm, has seen a lot of candidates miss out on job opportunities in the last six months that would have been a big step forward for their career. There are many reasons why a nominee loses the chance to explore new opportunities. Thankfully, candidates can change the variables based on how quickly they respond.

Companies are seeking an executive who can launch the business to the next level. Knowing how competitive the market is, top employers are changing their interview process to move much faster. Executive-level hiring processes that used to take two to three months are now being completed in two to three weeks. This is to say that within this time span, the candidate would have had two-three interviews, references are checked and offer-letters are sent out. Candidates that take even a week to return a call, email or text back to the recruiter would have lost the chance to understand what the job entails or even who the job is with.

So how does this apply to an employee that has already made it to the executive level and why should they dedicate their time to interview for another role? It is clear that their current job requires a lot of attention. Attention and time that most executives do not have to give to a less important task. However, it wouldn’t hurt to understand other options to grow your career. Reality is that you will get ten calls from a retained marketing executive search firm and only one of those jobs is interesting enough to consider. Don’t let the odds make you miss out on the one that takes your career to the next level.

Video: What are some candidate / top talent best practices?

Always return a recruiter’s call

Great companies acknowledge that most highly skilled candidates are not necessarily looking. They will use a marketing executive search firm like MarketPro to seek out the best fit. The first question you should always ask when you talk to a recruiter is if they are a retained or contingency search firm. This is a huge determinate whether you should invest your time. Retained Search Firms have a solid relationship with their client and the client has invested in the search with only one partner. This eliminates the potential for the position to be filled by a different source. Contingent Search Firms have clients that have an array of firms that are working the same search. This leads to a very broken process which is unlikely to yield results.

The easiest thing to do is call the recruiter back during your commute. Definitely more productive to your career than listening to the news.

Make sure your resume is up to date annually

It is easy to forget about your resume when you have a secure job that you are comfortable with. You are not in the market for a new job, therefore, it is the last thing on your mind. However, when the time comes for you to provide a resume, you do not want to be trying to remember the last eight years of accomplishments.

Once you get into the habit of refreshing your resume; you aren’t just ready for any new career possibilities, you are also tracking your career progress and can determine if you are moving forward in your career and address any potential gaps you might need to address with training.

Make your recruiter your best friend

A recruiter’s job is to find the best candidate for the role they are working on. They make sure you are interested in the role and learn more about your background and interest to better recommend a position that fits your career goals as well as finding you the right culture fit. Timely/professional responses are going to have you on a shortlist when something new comes across their desk. You want to be the first contact they call so that you have enough time and advantage over other candidates with a similar background.

The right recruiter can really assist your career growth. At the end of the day, you will move up based on your accomplishments and the value you can add. But it also helps to know the right people and to be in the right place at the right time. That is where a top executive search firm can be a big asset.

It is imperative to fully grasp the significant changes made in the last two years. When you get contacted by a recruiter you won’t know if it is a good fit for you unless you return the call. You need to act fast if you want to be considered a candidate.