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January 16, 2012

Are You Ready for an Improving Executive Job Market?

Many indicators point to hiring in general picking up but one of the leading indicators proves that executives hires now look very strong now. Not only has the US Department of Labor backed up these statistics but many leading indicators prove executive hiring is climbing at a healthy rate. Any rate of advancement seems good vs. what we have had for over three years. But this growth in executive jobs also presents a dilemma for those in both a confidential search or non-confidential search.

First, decide if you can pursue a confidential search and devote the time and energy to do it. Then decide if you are in a full-time search and confidentiality with a current employer is not an issue how do you run your search? Here is a tip – don’t ever come across like a jobseeker but a strong brand, ready to be deployed to take on the challenges of a new business or organization. Are you ready to do that in this market, which looks better but is still extremely competitive?

Are you expecting an executive job? Do you need to make $100,000+?

Here are three Executive Job Search Dilemmas that you need to know about:

1. Know How Recruiters Think…Now -most career coaches, hiring managers and well-meaning employed people can recount the ways you need to “network” your way into your next job. If you are in search you must go beyond all the normal search engines out there to gain the kind of interviews and results you need to be at $100,000+. According to Joseph Daniel McCool of Execunet, even the good news in executive hiring only reinforces “the notion that executive job search and career transition will continue to require a thoughtful campaign” and many months to achieve. Chief Execunet Economist Mark Anderson goes on further to suggest that companies “who have needs are not aggressively looking to fill them” and he is right. This echoes many of our own client experiences in the marketplace.

2. Tap the Hidden Job Market – according to the same Execunet survey recruiters also indicated that “another 51 percent of companies would be interested in upgrading their executive talent but aren’t actively posting these jobs at this time” and according to Anderson: “This defines the hidden job market of today and in this more selective market, you need a thoughtful job strategy to get yourself in front of the decision-maker.” The “hidden” job market includes many in company recruiters, third-party recruiters and hiring decision-makers. It also may include anybody who knows key decision makers at your target organizations. How do you build the relationships now with key people without being offensive or giving up the ghost on your search confidentiality.

3. Create a Powerful Plan and Execute – further, the hidden job market must be pursued and tapped not by ordinary approaches but by Advanced Volunteering Leadership, In-Depth (Confidential or Non-Confidential) Networking, Creative Personal Branding, Powerful Resume and Marketing Materials, Strong Research (Company and Recruiter), Personal and Professional Brand and Goal Alignment.  Many executives forget to build their personal and professional brand while they are looking and that is often a mistake. Brand building may include speaking, writing and recording content that exposes them to others and gets them noticed. I have worked with both confidential executives in career transition and non-confidential executives on this very issue and it can be done effectively.

Another insightful point clearly made by Execunet is to focus on planning NOW. “If you’re really thinking about making a change by the middle of next year, you’ve got to start planning now,” says Anderson. “Whether you’re employed but want to carefully pursue new career opportunities or unemployed and seeking that next executive role, you have to think now and plan now and expand your professional network now in order to connect with opportunity in 2012.”

Heed the new good news but make it work for you by getting to work on distinguishing yourself from your competition. Despite the fact that the job market has improved it will still be incredibly competitive.

Are you ready for the next phase in business and are you ready to advance your career?

 

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