What things should I expect if I work with an executive recruiter during my search for a new position?

The interview process is different when a recruiter is involved.

The interview process is different when a recruiter is involved. In today's challenging job market, corporations and organizations often turn to recruiters to help them find the most appropriate fit for their team. Recruiters can target specific skill sets or personality fits based on their tight network within the industry or function because they have access to a wider variety of opportunities than you could ever find on your own.

Expect recruiters to really dig into your background. Because they serve as unbiased middlemen, they'll expect more disclosure from you so they can represent you accurately to their client. Be prepared to provide references early on.

Remember that the organizations who want to fill positions are the recruiters' clients, not yours as a candidate. So while it's also a recruiter's goal to make a candidate happy and successful, the client's needs are the priority.

Respect the search process. Searches with a recruiter tend to take an average of three to four months. The hiring company has put forth great resources and has set high, specific standards to find the ideal candidate, not only in terms of skills and experience, but also in terms of a cultural fit for the organization.

Maryanne Rainone is SVP and MD at Heyman Associates.

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