Because we represent client companies only, we are not in a particularly good position to assist an individual with a personal job search. From your standpoint, it is a matter of timing. It would be coincidental if we were working on a current assignment appropriate to your background. However, we do maintain an extensive database, keeping unsolicited correspondence for a period of time. We apologize in advance for not responding personally to your inquiry. Because of the high volume of information we receive, it is impossible for us to provide you with this type of feedback. However, if we begin a search assignment that appears a fit for you, one of our consultants will contact you. Cizek Associates is not in the outplacement business, nor is CAI an employment agency. We have provided the following information purely as a service to those of you currently seeking new opportunities.
JOB SEARCH TECHNIQUES
GENERAL COMMENTARY. Mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, leveraged buyouts, reorganizations, business failures, and other dramatic changes in American industry have become common. This has resulted in the elimination of many professional, middle and upper management positions. The stigma which once applied to being unemployed still exists but to a much lesser extent than in the past. At any particular time during the past twenty years or so, there have been hundreds of thousands of executives displaced, for the first time in their business lives, and through no fault of their own. Most savvy executives understand this today.
METHODS OF JOB SEARCH
EXECUTIVE (RETAINED) SEARCH FIRMS. Learn how we operate and have reasonable expectations. Some firms specialize by conducting searches within particular industries or specific functional areas, some firms operate primarily in certain geographic areas while others are unspecialized. Remember that each retained firm is working exclusively on its own current assignments. The business of retained executive search firms is not helping individuals find jobs, but rather in representing the needs of client companies, acting as an extension of the client firms’ recruiting functions. They can only be of direct assistance when your background and qualifications fit a current assigned search.
EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES (CONTINGENCY FIRMS). While some have occasional retainer arrangements, such firms generally represent individuals seeking employment. Most companies make use of employment agencies and usually the employer pays the entire employment fee. To the job seeker this represents a free source of assistance in finding a job. In general, they represent persons (clerical, professional, and managerial) whose starting salaries will be in the low to high five figure range.
OUTPLACEMENT FIRMS. Sometimes called career counselors‚ these firms direct job-finding campaigns on an individual or a group basis. Their fees are paid by their current employers or by the individual seeking employment.
ADVERTISEMENTS. This source of employment must be pursued with the understanding that competition for advertised positions is significant. For professional and managerial people, the primary sources of such advertising are large national and metropolitan newspapers, trade or industry magazines and association newsletters and jobseeker services.
NETWORKING AND RELATED ACTIVITIES. In general, this refers to establishing contact and requesting assistance from selected professional and business acquaintances and frequently the people with whom they are acquainted. Handled skillfully, this process can be developed to the third and fourth tier. Networking can provide access to potential employers which otherwise might not be attainable. When networking, approach selected acquaintances not as potential employers, but rather as sources of advice or referral to others who could be helpful.
CHANGING INDUSTRIES OR FUNCTIONAL AREAS. This is not as easy as one might think. One quality characterizing the retained executive search business today is the high degree of background and qualifications specificity demanded by Clients. In some cases, commonalities between industries are readily apparent. In other cases, employers will not see the relevance of your prior experience to their business. Your challenge will be to show that what you have already accomplished in your industry and functional area will apply in a new situation.
The best possibility of such moves would be to industries and functions that are growing at a very rapid rate, outstripping the availability of trained executives. These are industries that are forced to accept generalized qualifications. Your greatest marketability will derive from the specifics of your past career.
THE INTERNET. The Internet is a significant factor in recruiting and individual job search. There are now hundreds of entities involved. Almost all of the candidate databases charge the candidate and many charge employers and recruiting firms.
For middle and senior management executives, there are several firms doing an excellent job of assisting executives market their own qualifications. Our research indicates participants find them very worthwhile. In fact, it is not uncommon for retained executive search firms to list searches with these online portals.
If you are seeking new employment opportunities, are a senior level executive and have experience in one of the areas mentioned on our “Searches Page”, you may send us information through our contact form: