Strategies for Effective Job Hunting
One of the most rewarding aspects of our job as a recruiting team here at South End Partners is having the opportunity to help talented executives plan and secure the next step in their career.
As a Toronto-based HR and recruitment firm, we work on behalf of our clients to find the right candidates. But our results depend on us having access to the best talent and on building trusted relationships with that talent. Those relationships typically start with a coffee and a career conversation where we can offer candidates advice on how to approach their job search.
These conversations are always unique and tailored to the specific needs of the candidate, but below are some of our overarching themes and takeaways that form the basis of any effective job hunt or career change.
Before you start, reflect.
Before you begin a new job search or plan a big career move, you need to reflect on your career accomplishments so far, and identify exactly what you are looking for in that next move.
Take a look back at the key moments in your career when you have been at your best and the most fulfilled and think about how that can be applied to your next role. What were you doing? Who were you working with and for? What was the mission of the organization and the team culture? Just as importantly, think about the moments when you were most unhappy or unfulfilled. How can you make sure you avoid similar dynamics in the future?
Next, outline your overall career goals and think about the next role in the context of where you want to be over the long term. You want to make sure the decisions you make now set you up for achieving the long-term goal. Do you want to be part of the C-suite? Do you want to change industries? Do you want to shift functions?
Outline your dream new role.
Be as specific as possible when outlining your dream new role, and be sure to include areas adjacent to the ideal role that would also be interesting to consider. Keep in mind, sometimes it may be better to pursue opportunities inside your current organization, especially if you want to pivot to a new function where you do not have experience.
Build a list of organizations you admire and could impact.
Create a list of places where you would love to work, organizations whose mission and values align with yours, and where you feel you could have the largest impact. Next, take a look at the people teams at these companies and think about if anyone in your network could broker an introduction.
Let your network know you are open to new opportunities.
Your first step in any job hunt is to build awareness. Start with your network, especially the connectors who likely have their pulse on new roles and opportunities. This might be former bosses, board members or peers. Focus on people with large networks, who understand your goals and will be likely to refer you when they are asked for candidate suggestions.
Engage with recruiters.
Through your network, figure out the executive recruiters who are experts in your field and industry. Reach out and introduce yourself and outline the type of role you are looking for. Some recruiters will want to engage in a conversation with you right away while others will wait until they have a role to discuss.
Talk to people who are already in the role you want.
This is a great way to both network and gain awareness. Those already doing the job will likely be hearing from the hiring managers and recruiters (internal and external) for other similar roles and can (hopefully) refer you.
Not sure where to start? We can help.
At South End Partners, our Toronto executive recruiters work with large and small organizations across industries (from technology, to supply chain, to sales and operations) to help them find the right leaders for the right opportunities using an objective, data driven approach.
We also provide comprehensive HR consulting services including onboarding support, interview coaching and training, and strategies to develop your superstar teams.
Reach out to find out how we can help you today!