The Big Picture: Choosing The Right Firm

Be mindful about how you select your next firm like executive search firms. Here are a few tips!

“A new focus to my 2015 blog,” was a slogan that was bantered about in the early stages of the PC wars. Managers were so afraid to make a purchasing recommendation, other than IBM, that they missed out on some great technological advances. More importantly, great deals on new innovative machines were completely missed. Now this seems to be echoed in the recruiting world. For example, we had a potential candidate say to us that we were not well known in the bond counsel recruiting world. It just so happens that I agreed with him. This was said to us back in 2015 when we were not well known, but today we are. So, why the same article? It’s not the same as it has a different twist. Today candidates are not questioning our abilities since we are now well-known in our field of recruiting both public finance bankers as well as bond counsels. However, it’s the firms (even executive search firms) we represent that may not be as well known to you as the candidates. It could be due to their geographical location, choice to be not in the spotlight, or hundreds of other possible reasons.

Missed Opportunities For Executive Search Firms, Candidates, Etc.

The candidates, I believe, are missing out on great new opportunities. They always want to go with the well-known firms, in this case the IBM’s (or to modernize this a bit, the Googles & Apples). However, there are even executive search firms that are quietly building a significant public finance business as well as bond counsel practices. You must be open to trusting the recruiters that are fortunate enough to represent these firms. Recruiters are usually very privy to information that the “outside” world is not aware of. They may have (and usually do have) information on what path firms or executive search firms could be going down before it is known to the public. This could help you immensely by getting in on a ground floor opportunity that can yield excellent results for you.

Salesperson Or Recruiter

Continuing with the initial 2015 blog, this one thing has not changed. As a matter of fact, it has been augmented with the outsourcing of candidates being done by offshore companies and the recruiter themselves are not making the initial calls.

My company and I were not well known as the major players in the legal field recruiting. However, the attorney that we were chatting with was not aware of this. They didn’t know that the person that calls to recruit you is usually not the person you’ll be working with at the end of the day. The larger, more prestigious, and well-known executive search firms hire salespersons to entice you to work with their firm. A completely different person will be working with you once you have agreed to be in “play” with that executive search firm. At smaller, more specialized niche firms, the person that you talk to from your initial call will be the person you’ll work with throughout your entire search.

Why am I sharing this with you today?

Frankly, it’s the adage of “you cannot go wrong buying IBM / Apple & Google” mentality that is holding people back from the opportunities they so richly deserve. What does all this mean to you? When a recruiter calls, dig deep into who will be really working for you and bringing new opportunities. Ask the recruiter to negotiate contract terms for you and help you in securing your new position. If it is a firm that is using salespeople only, I recommend finding a new firm. Know whom the recruiting firm or executive search firms are using, as it will only help you in the long run. The key to a successful placement is a good working, trusted relationship between the recruiter, the candidate and the company. Ask your salesperson/recruiter questions. Make certain that they know and understand your area of expertise. More importantly, ensure that they have your best interest at heart and not the firm or executive search firm that they are working for.

If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected].

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, Issuers, and Bond Counsels. He can be reached on LinkedIn, at [email protected] or 760-477-1284.