As headhunters, our job is to find the best candidates in the market. We need to think outside of the box because not everyone is on LinkedIn or listed on a company website. The more creative side to our approach comes from sourcing industry experts to gain market insight on up and coming talent. Therefore, in order to be recommended by industry experts, you need to be visible and memorable.
One of the most obvious methods of raising your profile is to simply create one! LinkedIn is the largest global professional network and is useful for a variety of reasons; you can provide and receive recommendations as well as read, write and react to industry updates. Its uses go beyond just snooping on past colleagues and former school friends; you become visible and part of a professional community. You might not be actively looking for a new role but it does mean that your expertise is on show to a wider audience and your former colleagues can keep in contact with you.
There is also the option of physically talking to your network - not a prospect people tend to relish but it tends to be the most effective. Events and conferences provide a fantastic opportunity to keep on top of industry news, while also increasing your profile with a group of individuals that you may not come across on a day to day basis. At Berwick Partners, we host around 60 industry focused events each year which provide a chance for likeminded individuals within our network to gather and discuss hot topics. We invite well-known industry leaders as guest speakers to get involved, lead thought provoking debates and discuss the market.
It is important not to underestimate the value of internal networking. Consider this, how well known are you to your executive management team and what would be their impressions of you? How do your colleagues see you? How you behave and appear both internally and externally can have a significant impact on career progression - you don’t know what the future holds or crucially where your colleagues or leaders may move onto.
Throughout any search, we consider and speak to industry sources that might know or be able to recommend candidates. These recommendations are based on experience and potential as opposed to whether you appear to be on the market, therefore do not panic if you receive an unexpected approach based on a recommendation - it’s probably because you have impressed and not because you look like you want to jump ship! The majority of the individuals we approach are not active candidates and occasionally not interested in a conversation about their career. Personally, I think a conversation is always useful as you will be at the front of our minds if that ‘perfect role’ comes up.
The overriding message here is that if you want to climb the career ladder, people need to be aware of who you are and what you’ve done. Even if everything is going well and you are happy and well looked after; it doesn’t hurt to consider long term goals and where you want to be in the future.
Anwen John is a Researcher in the Financial Leadership Practice at Berwick Partners
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