A call to a potential candidate is usually very unexpected. In order to get the most out of such a call, which could be the catalyst for a potentially career changing experience, it is helpful to be develop a general level of preparedness. A search consultant will likely have two reasons for wanting to connect with you; the first is that they will want to discuss a specific role with you, with a view to examining your suitability and interest head-on, or they may be seeking your help, given your level of professional experience and judgment, in the form of asking you to recommend and vouch for other suitable candidates.
Either way, your responsibility ultimately is to yourself, in the form of your reputation, position and standing in the market. If you are confident and satisfied that Avellio has presented its competency and the opportunity to you in a cogent way, most forward-thinking and opportunistic executives that are approached as a potential candidate will be receptive to learning about the scope of the role presented and the reasoning behind why it is being presented to you as a ‘career opportunity’. By allowing the consultant to proceed with an outline of the role and a brief joint appraisal of your suitability for candidacy it might just present with a unique opportunity, even if you are not actively looking for a job change.
During the initial call the consultant is typically restricted by a client confidentiality agreement in terms of releasing the name of the client. The role will be presented in very general terms and you be asked from the outset of the call whether you are open to discussing the opportunity on that basis. From this moment on your relationship with Avellio and our client is conducted on the basis of openness and confidentiality.
At first stage, your only commitment is to confirm your interest along with a gesture of willingness to explore the opportunity to a further extent, with no obligation or commitment implied. The following step will involve the scheduling of a formal telephone interview to analyse the specification with you, exploring and relating your skills and experience and forward-thinking career goals that will be compared and contrasted with the client brief. Ahead of the telephone interview you will be requested to have prepared and presented an up-to-date CV.
The Second stage will involve an invitation to meet with the consultant managing the requirement on behalf of the client. The tacit understanding between the consultant and candidate should be one of honesty, openness and confidence. It is important to be clear and concise on the information requested involving an exact and substantive breakdown of your salary, bonus and benefits in order to qualify whether our client can meet with your expectations
Should the opportunity seem mutually acceptable for further progression, we will compile a biography and career summary for inclusion on our ‘long list’, this is a document containing no more than 15 names, compiled for presentation and discussion with the client in order to discuss and argue your suitability as a contender for the role. Following this appraisal and in agreement with the client, your name will be advanced to the ‘short-list’, which contains the names of the final 5 candidates. At this advanced stage we will request your permission to solicit references, specifically we will be seeking to speak to the names of the individuals that you have supplied, both peers and people that you have reported directly to. As part of our confidentiality agreement with you, and in observation of our code of ethics, you are assured that we will not either misuse or contact any person related to your current employment, or seek to benefit from the information that you supply.
It is all too frequently noted that those that are considered highly effective at managing other people also take a fleeting ‘global view’ of the employment opportunity presented to them, which leaves them missing out on crucial details and overlooking some of the challenges and restrictions at play. In the general day to day course of their role managing people they meticulously survey and employ thorough due diligence to each and every proposal involving case studies of best versus worst possible outcomes. In contrast, when approached as a potential candidate for a job opportunity they fail to ask the right questions and do not perceive the array of challenging situations that may present. Following this and in view of doubt that they may have about pursuing a new job role, they are then susceptible to having their present employers convince them to remain, which then places a question mark on their heads with their employer around loyalty and ‘best interests’, or conversely they may pursue the new opportunity and then regret the decision at a later date.
In conclusion, referring back to the initial contact with an executive search consultant, you would most certainly be one of a number of prospective candidates identified for the role from a very long list of contenders. If you are to make the ‘final five’ you are rated highly for your skills and experience. Therefore, if ultimately you are not selected for the role, at the very least you will be offered the opportunity to talk it through with the consultant to constructively determine the factors which precluded you from an offer, thus enabling you to refine and improve upon any areas of your performance or abilities that might need improving in time for your next performance. Rest assured that if you are a great candidate and make the final 5, you will almost certainly be hearing from us again with the best opportunities