An Offer With No Executive Recruiter, What Now?

If you can't work an executive recruiter, this is what you need to know about the process of offers.

If you have been working with an Executive Recruiter, the answer should be, “Great, when do I start?” The reason this is so simply answered is when you have representation, you should not be receiving an offer until two things have occurred: 1. You are ready to receive it and 2. It is at the compensation level that you were expecting.

However, what happens when you don’t have an executive recruiter and you’re representing yourself? This is a question I have been helping friends resolve over the years. Most likely, if you are unemployed or grossly underemployed, the new firm is going to want to get you at the lowest price point. They will be thinking that they do not have to be as competitive as if they were recruiting someone that is gainfully employed. It’s just the sad truth. So when your eagerly awaited offer comes in, don’t overreact to a low-ball number (it is most likely going to occur). Realize that this is an opening salvo over your bow. They are not trying to sink you, but they are giving you a rude wake up call as to your current worth in the marketplace.

So the first thing that you have to remember is that no firm is going to go through the process of numerous interviews, drafting a term sheet (notice I did not say an offer) getting legal opinion, etc. on the term sheet if they are not serious about having you join their firm. So for now put aside your “disappointment in the offer” and let’s go to work. Call them, do not email. First thing you must thank them for the offer and convey your hope to be able to go to work with them. However, you are disappointed in the term sheet that was presented to you for the following reasons: After you share your disappointment, stop speaking and listen to what the hiring manager has to say. At this point most will come back to say, “What were you expecting and why?” This is the time to be articulate and know your “walk-away number”. You may be surprised at the results. On the other hand, if you are able to work with an executive recruiter work with one.

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, FinOps & Bond Counsels. He can be reached at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.

One Comment

  1. Dick Hufnagel

    With 60 years experience in investments, 30 years as a taxable
    FI institutional salesman, and the last 10 as sales manager
    With a boutique Muni bond underwriting firm (my retirement job) I am amazed that the almost $4 Trillion Muni bond market
    Is virtually ignored by every University, both at the undergrad
    And the MBA level. I mentor finance majors from several
    Universities and always ask what they have learned about Public Finance? The answer is always “nothing, really” I point out
    All the advantages of Public Finance vs Corporate Finance and
    Encourage my proteges to explore PF during their interviews
    With IB firms. Many regional firms and bulge bracket firms
    Provide summer internships in PF, but few are visibly advertised. It would be very helpful if a recruiter such as yourselves
    Could serve as a “clearing House” for PF internships and permanent positions. So many highly-qualified people are influenced
    Only by NYC based Corporate Finance departments, and lack
    The guidance to look elsewhere. Perhaps your firm could be that guide. I would enjoy hearing your comments.
    Dick Hufnagel

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