We started a series on insights from Headhunters earlier this week, and today we have a few answers today, with a humorous twist for your application process, considering it is a fun Friday! Today’s insights come to us from Mitch Beck from Crossroads consulting. Crossroads Consulting, LLC is a full-service Employment Agency and Executive Search firm whose mission is to help people find genuinely rewarding employment and assisting companies find the dedicated professionals they seek.
- What makes a headhunter, ‘successful‘?
The same thing that makes ANYONE successful. Ambition. Hard work. Mental toughness. Opportunity and, at least in my opinion, interpersonal skills.
- What was the biggest candidate faux-pas you experienced?
I could write a book on this one… So many that it would be too lengthy to get into .The bottom line is to use your head folks. Be Smart. Think through what you are going to do when you get there and use a smidgen of common sense. You want to differentiate yourself from your competition, but you do not want to do it by being an idiot. Always treat every interview with all the seriousness and respect that it deserves. Answer the questions that come your way as directly as you are able. Smile. Be friendly. Look people in the eye when you are talking to them. Most important of all, DO NOT LIE! It is as simple as that.
- What do headhunters pay attention to, in terms of a candidate’s appearance?
REALLY? Do I really need to answer that question? Hmmm…let me think about that a moment? Okay… my answer… Breasts! People care about breasts. That is why they are the most often ordered piece of chicken, why a whole industry is built around them for women, why men go to the gym for endless hours and take supplements to get one… and why Pamela Anderson even had a career. Okay… I hope that you do realize I am joking. Recruiters are human beings. Let us stop right there in elevating them by thinking they are looking for something everyone else is not. They are not. They want to see a neat, clean and professional appearance just as the hiring companies do.
- How do you identify high potential candidates for an interview?
We have discussed that several times. Some of it is instinct and the rest is presentation. Does the person come off energetic? Do they come across as friendly? Do they sound desperate? Is anyone still reading this? I am boring myself at this point. Be sincere and do your best. For the thousandth time, do not risk everything on one endeavor and put all hope of your future in some recruiter somewhere. Use them as another of the resources that you have available to you to get where you want to get to.
- How should a potential candidate respond when they receive a call from a headhunter at their current workplace?
They should be in awe of my incredibleness. They should ask how they could properly worship me. Come on…they should be professional and friendly. If they cannot speak at that moment, just be honest and say so. Arrange a time when you can speak. All together now…treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Which questions should a candidate never ask?
Another loaded question for a former comedian. Again, to me it is all common sense. I sound like a broken record (a skipping CD for those of you who have never seen a record) in that you should treat the interviewer not differently than you would want to be treated yourself. Use your head. Anything that would get you ruled out by offending the interviewer would be bad.
- What is the one thing you particularly look for in a resume?
The most important thing is readability. Many programs out there allow you to do all sorts of fancy things with fonts and layout and all sorts of things to try to make your resume stand out. Many resume writers charge you a boatload of money and justify it by dressing up your resume into a work of art, but people lose sight of what a resume IS. It is an advertising piece. If you have too much on it, nobody will read it. If you have too little on it, they will not read it either. I ALWAYS recommend having multiple resumes that you customize for the particular job that you are applying. They MUST contain 100% of the truth, but gear the language on your resume to include the same keywords that the advertisement or the job description is using. The idea is to just, “Keep it Simple…” If you take one thing out of reading this piece, remember this… “A resume does not get you a job. It gets you an interview. A prepared, positive candidate is the one who gets a job.”
- How do you (headhunter) obtain a search mandate for a senior position from a company?
This is the most straightforward question to answer. YOU ASK FOR IT! You do not get what you do not ask for.
One of the rather humorous yet insightful interview we have had on Vantage Point so far. Thank you Mitch, you really do put the ‘human’ back in recruiting! We will back with another part of this interview about more topics related to headhunter and executive recruiter perspectives related to the job application process. Hopefully all our candidates aspiring for management jobs and executive positions can gain new perspectives through this series!
About Mitch Beck & Crossroads consulting LLC
In the fall of 1996 Mitch Beck was at a personal “Crossroads.” Alone and out of work he had to make a decision about his future. Mitch had spent 20+ years as an innovative Radio Personality & Comedian and had also worked on and off as an Executive Recruiter in the Employment industry since his childhood as his mother owned an Employment Agency. So Mitch decided that he wanted to add something he hadn’t had in his life in quite some time, no, not a date, but employment stability. So Mitch borrowed $5,000 from a friend, took out his 3 ring notebook filled with fresh ideas and dreams of success and Crossroads Consulting, LLC was born. Crossroads Consulting, LLC is a full-service Employment Agency and Executive Search firm whose mission is to help people find genuinely rewarding employment and assisting companies find the dedicated, hard-working professionals they seek.