My name is Mark Wayman, and I'm an Executive Recruiter focused on gaming and high tech. Or as some people call me: a Headhunter. Over the last 15 years I have placed 800+ executives. Compensation starts at $100,000, average placement is $200,000+, and last year I placed several executives north of $1,000,000. Most of my work is at the high end, however these tips are a good review for executives at all levels.
Disclaimer: I only represent executives I know personally, or that are referred to me by friends and clients. And there is good reason for that. At senior levels, my clients expect me to vouch personally for the candidates. Additionally, the executives in my network have supported my business and charity work for the last 15 years, and if nothing else, I'm the most loyal person you will ever meet.
Today’s topic is three situations that will keep you from getting a job, so you might as well quit sending our resumes and interviewing. You are wasting your valuable time. So here comes $20,000 of career advice...pro bono.
You Can't Relocate – If the job REQUIRES relocation, and you can't relocate, stop interviewing! Just made an offer to a candidate that told me on three occasions he was 100% sure he wanted to relocate, then he declines the job offer stating "I don't want to relocate." So you wasted two months of your time, my time and the hiring company's time? Another issue is commuting. Most senior level jobs require a strong commitment and long hours. Very rare that a company will let you telecommute. Maybe for a month or two until your kids are out of school and the family joins you, however beyond that, you are spinning your wheels. Not going to happen. If you can't relocate, only apply for local jobs and find a LOCAL Executive Recruiter.
You are Too Busy to Interview – It’s OK to be a passive candidate. Passive defined as “have a comfortable job but always open to opportunities that move my career forward.” Let me tell you what’s NOT OK with Executive Recruiters and hiring companies – tire kickers and candidates that are “too busy” to interview. Nobody like a tire kicker. The person that is always asking, “Who is that CFO role for.” Nosy Nellies. Remember, curiosity killed the cat. As a candidate, it is incumbent upon you to clear your schedule for phone and on-site interviews. Being too busy will get your resume round filed pretty quickly. If getting a job is not a priority for you, it’s not a priority for me. Make your job search a high priority.
You are Unrealistic About Compensation – If you are making $150,000, no company is going to pay you $250,000. No one gives 50% pay increases. Mostly it’s $10% to 25%. Candidates that are unrealistic about compensation are quickly dispensed with. Compensation is based on education, professional experience, job requirements and market conditions. Right now the talent market is red hot, so salaries are above normal. In 2008 I saw $250,000 executives take $125,000 just to get health insurance. Let me tell you what is NOT relevant. Your mortgage payments, alimony payments, or any other personal attribute. I can’t believe how many people bring this up. Don’t make your problems the hiring company’s problems. Another area is “compensation sync.” Prior to interviewing most Executive Recruiters want to discuss your salary history to ensure you are “in scope” on compensation. They are not negotiating your compensation, simply making sure you are in range. I knew a CIO that flew across the company twice, then was offered $50,000 less than he was currently making. I said, “You never asked about the salary? Bahahahaha!” You don’t want to disclose your salary? Don’t believe it is relevant? No issue, you will be dropped from consideration. Time is the great equalizer, and hiring companies don’t want to waste their valuable time on people that play games. One last issue, the “I need a sign-on bonus to cover the equity I’m leaving behind.” There are three ways to deal with a candidate that is walking about from a bonus and/or stock options. First, if it’s a month or two out, they can start after they collect their bonus. Second, the hiring company may cover some portion of the bonus/equity with a sign-on bonus. Very rare. Third, the hiring company can walk away. Again, NOT the hiring company’s issue, it’s a candidate issue. If they truly are looking to make a move, you can’t have it all. Be realistic about compensation.