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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Specialization of Search

When I tell people I'm a recruiter, they generally ask: "so, what do you specialize in?" I know the customary response is something like: I specialize in financial services with a focus on the senior/executive level, but what exactly does this suggest beyond the fact that I know a lot of finance people and have some understanding of what skills are required to perform finance roles? The short answer is not much and the reality is that there are thousands of people this description would aptly describe. They wouldn’t all make good recruiters though; and that’s why my instinct is always to respond differently.
The truth is that I specialize in interviewing people and determining whether they are the right fit for my specific clients. Unfortunately, this concept is a bit abstract for a short conversation, and besides, it is surely not what the asker was looking for.

My skill-set as a recruiter is much less about Xs and Os and much more about the perplexing stuff in between. The question I always ask is what should my clients really expect from me? Is it more important that I have a big network of contacts or that what I really excel at is understanding when I’ve found the right piece to complete a distinct puzzle? Anyone can throw proverbial darts at a job description (and in some cases they even stick), but fewer have the training and curiosity to make sense of the nuances beneath.

If search were a physical science, an assembly line of resumes would suffice. The reality is however, that recruitment at its core is much more of a social science. Each mandate is a pursuit to understand people, their motivations, professional capabilities, and underlying character. Search Consultants must always rely on their inclination to dig deep into every story and then use their intuition to make sense of the content. I know this is my greatest value-add to the search process. I want to understand who people are and what makes them tick because I know it is the most defining factor in determining where they are going. My curiosity drives me. For this reason, when I meet with new clients or candidates, I much prefer to listen than to speak. Ironically, they're often most interested in hearing about what I specialize in.

Aaron Collins, Associate Director


  1. Great piece, Aaron - and testament to why you, and you guys, are very good at what you do!


  2. It is a wonderful blog about the top special search of the executives. But is really very important to now the persons skills and knowledge recruiting it for the senior most post. The specialization search make the recruitment easy and very specified for the companies to hire a skilled person and many headhunters helps the big companies to provide the best candidate.


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