I am excited to have Mark Jaffe as my guest to talk about his new book, Let Me Give it to You Straight: An Outspoken Guide to Working with Headhunters, Advancing Your Career and Reaching Enlightenment…Without the Sugarcoating. Mark drops some valuable gems about executive recruiting. But listen to his advice on how anyone can successfully interview near the end of our conversation. Mark drops some valuable gems about executive recruiting. But listen to his advice on how anyone can successfully interview near the end of our conversation.
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Mark has been an executive recruiter for more than 30 years and quoted in many national news outlets such as Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. He was ranked by BusinessWeek as “One of the World’s 100 Most Influential Headhunters.”
Here are some of our talking points:
- I asked Mark to describe the differences between recruiting now and back in the late ‘90s/2000s. His dating analogy made it clear that job stability was prominent as most executives had many career choices. Therefore, recruiters had to reach out to those who barely qualified for the position they were recruiting for. In today’s job market, the executives who are stable and thriving, and have their heads down are the ones that are being sought-after and are being sold on the idea of working for someone else
- In his recruiting practice, they are agents of their clients (like all recruiters). They do not shop around candidates.
- They do “de Novo research” (keep in mind these are executive searches), not relying on any current databases, or list of waiting candidates (keep in mind these are executive searches), not relying on any current databases, or list of waiting candidates
- Essentially, there are two types of managers in the corporate world, those who play (or hire) to their strengths, and those who spend equal or greater amount of energy or cover their weaknesses. The first is about the team, who can run circles around them in certain areas, and the latter manager hires the candidate who he or she can control
- Job seekers should think of themselves as the solution to the company’s problems by understanding the needs of the business, and wrapping his or her head around the company’s goals and objectives. Mark advises that during the interview to be a consultant and draw information out of the interviewer information about the business solutions the company needs. Talk with the interviewer collaboratively, creatively, and constructively
- Mark says that the great candidates know what they are good at and go into interviews knowing what he or she like to do, and see if they can understand the company’s challenges, objectives, and goals
- Learn what is keeping the interviewer up and night instead of trying so hard to sell yourself. Mark says,“You be the doctor and let the company be the patient. Don’t be a screaming advertisement.”
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