Getting Discovered by Executive Search Researchers Through Social Media

“The added value of retained executive search is not just finding candidates; it’s finding the best candidates.” Rachel Roche, President of Smart Search

Those who are familiar with the retained executive search process know that the first point of contact in an executive search will often be with a firm’s researcher or associate, so it is imperative that executives know how they can stand out to these search professionals in particular. Yesterday, the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) hosted the annual Americas Researchers and Associates Summit in New York City. The Summit provided a full day of thought provoking training sessions and presentations to retained executive search researchers and associates from across the Americas region. Throughout the day, the presenters and the researchers themselves provided valuable information and tips for how executives can increase their visibility.

Executive recruiters are starting to tap into social media and mobile as part of their toolkit for sourcing potential candidates. Laura Stoker, Executive Director of Global Training at AIRS, discussed this topic during her detailed and informative presentation. Researchers are now beginning to realize the value of these sources, so executives must have a presence on social media and mobile if they hope to be found by executive search consultants. Here are some of the valuable tips for executives that were learned from Laura’s presentation:

LinkedIn has a LinkedIn Alumni and LinkedIn Skills section, so make sure you keep your profile as up to date as possible to show up in the searches executive search researchers are doing though these LinkedIn tools. According to Laura Stoker, “Searching for skills on LinkedIn is useful for discovering information on a little-known industry—even dairy pasteurization.”

There are other sources researchers are starting to use besides LinkedIn. Some of these include Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Lanyrd (recently bought by Eventbrite).

Researchers can use Lanyrd to find potential executive candidates by the events they may be attending or even presenting at.

Facebook Graph Search allows researchers to search by company, school and more in a database of over 1 billion. To help researchers find you through Facebook Graph Search, add your title and company to your Facebook profile. If you do not want researchers or headhunters to see everything on your personal profile, then you may want to take advantage of the privacy settings Facebook offers, which allow you to show only certain posts, photos, etc. publicly while only showing others to your current Facebook friends or friends of friends.

Researchers can find executives and source potential candidates through their Twitter bios, so be sure to use appropriate industry and job title keywords.

Meetup has been a useful tool for executives and researchers to connect. Researchers can utilize Meetup to search for candidates within industry groups or attend events.

Create a free page, which will allow your profile to show up in search engine results. Be sure to use relevant industry and job functional keywords!

The way researchers communicate with potential candidates for executive placement is becoming more mobile—texts may be faster than phone calls.

“Assess a candidate on LinkedIn as the whole person. What groups are they in? What is their passion? Don’t forget to make a human connection.” Lori Ruff, “The LinkedIn Diva” and CEO at Integrated Alliances

Later in the day Lori Ruff, “The LinkedIn Diva” and CEO at Integrated Alliances, talked more about how executive search researchers find candidates on social media, while also providing valuable tips for improving your own executive profile.

Here are a few of the excellent tips and words of social media wisdom Lori Ruff provided:

  • Your LinkedIn profile summary should be written in first person to invite potential executive recruiters to connect with you as a person.
  • You are a brand ambassador for your company and industry because you have a LinkedIn profile.
  • If your LinkedIn profile is not getting traffic, you won’t turn up on the first page in search results.
  • Build relationships with people before you need something – Tap into LinkedIn on a personal level by building relationships.
  • Read recommendations that someone has given to others to find out their values.
  • Showing up to network is what matters—Get on to your preferred social media site for a few min each day to comment, like and interact!
  • LinkedIn is a place for keeping it professional, but also a place for what you talk about around the water cooler.
  • Be a thought leader in your industry by sharing your thoughts via social media.
  • Profiles are 40 times more likely to be selected if you have a visible profile picture.
  • Create a template for your LinkedIn profile or your team. In the summary—Start with something about you.

This article was written by Julia Salem, Senior Manager, Digital Marketing at the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).