7 tips on how to land on the radar of an executive recruiter

executive search recruiter consultant

How often have you been advised to take a new career step in the last year? And this from an executive recruiter who offers you a top position that suits you perfectly?

This process is traditionally referred to as “executive recruiting” a recruiting sector that has grown exponentially in recent years. Without an executive recruiter, you are denied access to the most exclusive vacancies. In this article, you will find some tips on how to change this.

How executive recruiting has spread?

Ten years ago, executive recruiting was reserved for C-level positions only. A renowned executive search firm was usually contacted to find the very best candidate for a specific position and to convince them of the new career opportunity. Names like Heidrick & Struggles, Korn Ferry, Taplow Group were considered equivalent to executive recruiting.

Social networks and online platforms such as LinkedIn have changed the situation. This allows recruiters within a large company to search the candidate market themselves and contact potential candidates directly. The number of positions filled by executive recruiters has increased significantly as a result. This includes positions that would otherwise not appear on the public job market at all. It is worth paying attention to the requests of an executive recruiter.

The definition of executive recruiting has changed in recent years. Therefore, managers should urgently follow these instructions to land on the wheel of an executive recruiter.

Here are 7 tips on how to land on the radar of a headhunter:


1. Maintain your online profiles.

Initially, an executive recruiter starts by identifying potential candidates on the market based on their profiles. A recruiter has a “wish list” that summarizes all the qualifications that the perfect candidate should have. By this the executive recruiter understands areas in which you have already gained work experience, technologies you have mastered, clients you have served, the scope of your network. To fulfill an executive recruiter’s “wish list” and be found, you should make it publicly available.

The most important thing here is that the executive recruiter will see your profile when he searches for the relevant terms. To ensure this, you must present yourself detailed and adequate. An executive recruiter who reads your profile should be able to quickly identify your strengths, your area of responsibility, your roles, your area of expertise and your current industry. To attract attention, you can list this information in a separate section of your profile (e.g. Special skills). The more keywords appear in your profile, the higher up your search profile will appear in an executive recruiter’s search results. Focus specifically on profile slogans.

2. Add company profiles for each employer.

Executive recruiter may look for candidates who work or have worked in specific companies with a particular structure. If the open position involves working with several companies from different areas or with several subsidiaries, the executive recruiter will look for individuals who have experience in this area.

Your profile should therefore include a short description in 2-3 sentences of each employer, summarizing at a glance the most important facts about the company. What are the company’s fields of activity? What is the composition of the company’s customer base? Is it a local company or does the business expand to different branches? Does the company carry a special title like Fortune 500?

Your experience is not a given! It is this very information that can make an executive recruiter call you and not one of your competitors. Make it as easy as possible for recruiters.

3. Get yourself noticed.

Your goal should be to position yourself as an expert in your special field. Take part in company events, publish professional articles, take part in group discussions on the Internet with qualified contributions. You can also follow specific hashtags and participate in chats on Twitter.

The more recognition you gain as an expert in your field, the easier it is for executive recruiters to become aware of it. They notice that you not only have experience but also the expertise they are looking for. Personal branding is no longer just a buzzword it is the new career principle.

4. Never turn down an executive recruiter call.

Even if you are not actively looking for a new career opportunity at the moment, it does not hurt to listen to what a new employer might offer you. It also gives the executive recruiter a better picture of your expertise and ambitions, which increases the likelihood that he will contact you again in the future. Perhaps those 15-20 minutes of talking to an executive recruiter could eventually enable you to take a career step you never thought of before.

5. Invest.

Become a mentor for the top talents among the emerging young workers. You know the candidates in your company and perhaps you have already thought to yourself at either: “He or she will get really far in his or her career.

Outstanding employees will draw attention to themselves. Supporting them in their development can help you excel as a mentor, an investment in your own future. You never know when this commitment will pay off for you. Many executive recruiters were themselves employees at some point in time in the area for which they are now seeking top talent. First-hand experience of the characteristics of certain industries is invaluable. So the more you advance in your career, the more likely you are to be paid back for this service at some point.

6. Build up a network.

Executive recruiters are experts when it comes to getting good tips. Some clients use them, sometimes solely because of their large network. For example, if a hospital is looking for a new head nurse, it will hire a recruiter who has good connections to other hospitals and within the healthcare sector.

Executive recruiter will ask the contacts in their network for specialists and managers suitable for a position in their field. So the more you have been in touch with your previous educational and professional background (university, colleagues, clients), the more your name will be mentioned in relevant discussions.

7. Prevent an executive recruiter from missing you.

An experienced executive recruiter can read between the lines what a customer is really looking for. He develops a rating system that helps him assess a candidate’s strengths crucial to the open position. Executive recruiter also have the instinctive ability to identify a candidate’s soft skills.

If an executive recruiter has worked with a client in the past, then that client will also place more value on their opinion. If a candidate’s CV has a gap or two, the client will overlook it if an executive recruiter explicitly recommends the candidate. Experience is only part of the equation when executive recruiters are looking for great candidates. Their goal is to identify the best talent for a position, so the client only needs to interview a handful of qualified candidates.

However, not all recruiters have this experience. Some are relatively new to the recruiting business. They haven’t been able to build that much trust and therefore only refer candidates whose online profiles or professional presence match the client’s “wish list”. So if your public profile does not provide a detailed overview of your skills and specific experience, you may never get the call you’re looking for which again highlights the need for your presence on social networking sites and online platforms.


Many professionals and managers still think of as traditional executive search firms and therefore mistakenly believe that this service is reserved for top positions in large, global companies. So if you don’t try to be found by modern executive recruiters, you may miss out on interesting opportunities in your field. Follow the tips and discover new career opportunities. It’s worth it!

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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