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The Difference Between How You Deal With Recruiters and What C Level Pros Do

There is a very clear difference between how C level professionals deal with recruiters and how non-C suite professionals and non-professionals do. What are you doing wrong?


I was coaching someone this morning and it reminded me of something where I want to talk with you who are not executives, who are not in the C suite, in terms of how you deal with recruiters.

What I coach C level professionals, one thing is incredibly obvious. They treat every interview with the recruiter as though are an interview with the client. They prepare for it. They want to understand the job. They start researching their own background and how it meshes with where they have connections that can play into the organization that the search firm is doing the search for. They treated very seriously.

For most people, they don't work at that way. They view it as a nuisance and an inconvenience. Often, the the messages given, "They are wasting my time," or "They are getting in the way." They send all sorts of messages that in for nuisance an inconvenience. Sometimes, the contingency recruiters not seen as being as professional as the executive search firm. Sometimes, that is absolutely true. AND half and you don't know that going into the conversation; all you know is that you got a phone call or an email or an inMail talking about a particular search, maybe they are asking for help, and suddenly this is PAIN. Suddenly, you are whining and complaining vs. a C suite person who will offer a referral , make a suggestion to the search firm and prepare for the interview.

They get results and you get aggravation. They become successful the search was far more often than you do. What's the message in that?

Again, sometimes contingency recruiters are not competent. Sometimes, executive recruiters an optically competent either. You are times that executive search firms that in the contingency area AND it makes no difference.

One thing I want to leap in with is that sometimes those contingency firms are approached with racism.

"Some Indian firm called."

"Some Indian guy called."

Excuse me? I want to stop eating the tracks on that one. The fact that they have a particular national origin or from a particular nation and hired by a US firm to do recruiting for them? STOP IT. STOP IT!

Take a bias outside because you wind up being no different than any other bigot and cutting yourself off at the knees, even if they are a very junior individual and from a nation other than yours, no matter where in the world they are, does not make them incompetent, rude, or worse.

Slow down and work on creating a great impression. It is what executives and people in the C suite do.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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