finding a job, recruiters and ignored for your highest value



recruit i want you

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”


Chris Grosser


“Recruiters aren’t going to connect the dots for you on how your experience will translate to the position they’re seeking to fill.

They have hashed out with their client company exactly what they are looking for.

Usually, top of the list is “industry experience.”

Taking the risk on someone from a different industry is usually something companies tell recruiters they will not do.”


Online Recruiting Firm







I get a slew of emails and notices and ‘what to do” messages from executive recruiting companies <of which I am not really clear they ever place anyone … they just solicit and receive gobs of resumes online for positions they post> recruit head hurtsbut this one email message really … well … chapped my ass <bet you haven’t seen or heard that phrase for a while>.



Out of courtesy I will not post the entire “dear Bruce” letter <they even personalized the chapping of the ass> but will highlight my issues.







Industry experience.



They have hashed out with their client company exactly what they are looking for.

Usually, top of the list is “industry experience.”







This suggests … uhm … no states … that a recruiter will immediately filter all the resumes they receive into two stacks … first stack is industry experience and the second stack is no industry experience.


The second stack gets immediately filed in the Trash.





Then they say …



Recruiters aren’t going to connect the dots for you on how your experience will translate to the position they’re seeking to fill.

recruiters connect choose





If I have the industry experience I don’t have to connect the dots.


And if I don’t … well … I can try and explain why my lack of industry experience is actually a plus <positive> but then … oops … I run into several huge issues …




1.     My resume is already in the trash. I can be a master Highlights Magazine trained dot connector and all that will earn me is some applause from the other resumes in the Trash.



<in other words … Do not pass Go>




2.      <their words> The burden for that sale in on you. They work for the hiring company, not for the job seeker, so their attention is focused on what their client needs, not on the job seeker’s needs.





I run the risk of being such a good ‘sales person of my own skills’ that I feed a perception of ‘offering industry experience’ <which leads to some expectations from the hirer in how you will act and what you will offer once you walk thru the door> versus ‘selling the value of non-industry experience.’


This implies selling so hard that you stop selling your non industry value <because they have already hashed out what they want … industry experience>.




3.      and they need you to hit the ground running …



Uhm <picture image of me scratching my head here>.



It seems to me I am a senior executive type.



It is an insult to me to suggest that I cannot ramp up fast enough to provide meaningful value.



It is an insult to me to suggest that just because someone has industry experience they can ramp up faster AND that ramping up has a higher value than … well … say … problem solving.



I am certainly not suggesting a slow ramp up is a good thing … but c’mon … this is about priorities as to what is most important.



Any executive who is worth a shit automatically hits the ground running. Shit.


That’s what we do for gods sake.








Problem solver.



“They are looking to hire a problem solver”

Online recruiting firm








Let me be very clear to any executive recruiter <part 1> … any real great problem solver in an industry, therefore “with industry experience,” is not on the job market. They have found a niche and are most likely paid dearly by whomever they currently work for.



Let me be very clear to any executive recruiter <part 2> … any great problem solver in an industry, therefore “with industry experience,” who is on the job market is <a> not a great problem solver, <b> has some other flaw you will have to accept with their problem solving skills, or <c> money is their priority and not problem solving.




Let me be very clear to anyone <recruiters & companies> … if you currently have a problem for which all your problems solvers, with industry experience, cannot solve … well … logic would suggest you need a non-industry experienced problem solver to tackle the problems.




This topic is crazy.


If I were speaking about a ‘doing focused role’ I may be a little less chapped and use some different words but we are talking about problem solving here … and an executive level position.



I am not suggesting someone has to hire non industry experience … but by suggesting industry experience is a priority you have automatically shelved some of your possibly best alternatives. By ignoring candidates who do not have industry experience you are ignoring what some candidates may actually offer as their best value to someone.recruiters candidates








I tend to believe being a recruiter is not only a tough job but can be slightly maddening at times.


Their clients say they want the best for a position and then they put some slightly ludicrous parameters on the position which actually dictate a ‘less than best’ candidate.



The issue is not the recruiter <always> but rather the client or business.






I will never say that I don’t understand why I don’t hear from someone even though it appears I am a good fit.



And I will NEVER say I am a prefect, or the ‘best’, fit <there are a shitload of qualified people out there>.




== perfect for the job post ==




And I do believe as the candidate, it’s incumbent upon me to do some research about the company and assess cultural fit as well as offer some match of the skills I offer to their needs.



Recruiters suggest you be specific which is frankly very difficult.


Most real needs are beyond the obvious. They reside under the surface and need to be mined in discussions and dialogue.



All that said …  let me say “hiring with industry experience” and “problem solver” has a slightly contradictory aspect to it.







I imagine the recruiting firm I just lampooned most likely has some social media expert who lurks online all day searching key word matches and has cruised this post already and that puts me shit out of luck with regard to ever finding a position with this recruiting firm … but … well … sometimes you just gotta say what you need to say … do what you gotta do … and let the chips fall as they may.



What I truly know?




Survival, paying the bills, is a humbling thing.


It can actually be not just humbling but can also chip away at your dignity.


I believe recruiters, businesses and hirers sometimes forget this.



They have a laundry list of ‘must haves’ and forget they are hiring a person.

recruiting cutouts

They have a box called ‘success’ they dangle in front of employees & potential employees which, in their eyes, is a gift they offer … not realizing that I, and most senior type people, would like success defined with some of my terms included.




“If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”


Anna Quindlen





I am thankful I am single with no family or dependents … it permits me some flexibility to hold on to my dignity a little longer than many other people.



I seek opportunities where I can combine pragmatic and creative thinking in a place, or situation, with an entrepreneurial mindset & spirit <they do not have to actually be entrepreneurs> and some larger company vision or purpose <not just selling stuff at the highest price it can>.



I seek opportunities with high-quality products <not necessarily luxury … just say ‘shit with some real value>.



I seek any opportunity in any industry, whether I have direct experience or not, which meets my skills, attitude and sparks me mentally or intellectually.



I’m not really sure that what I seek is that much different than the majority of senior executive search type candidates. Some may, in their desperation for a job. forget these things or put them away in a box placed behind the ‘survival’ box … but all things being equal … I think I am right.




All that said.door closing open



This post took me maybe less than an hour to write once I sat down.



The email I received from this executive recruiting form just seemed to summarize everything that is wrong with job searches and hiring and recruiters <and truly chapped my ass>.



I know not everyone thinks my way or their way.


And I know that some recruiters are worth their weight in gold.



But overall the whole online recruiting platform industry seems, if not broken, certainly dysfunctional. It doesn’t serve applicants or candidates well nor does it serve the hirers well.

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Written by Bruce