Many of you who know me might assume that because I have chosen to recently leave the executive search business in pursuit of career consulting that I am trying to justify my decision. There is some truth in that. But it is more true that I saw the writing on the wall and decided to get out of executive search before that business became extinct.
How did executive search business get in such a state?
Simple, technology. I recently remarked to someone that there isn’t a business on the planet that has not been affected by technology, (and by technology I mean computers and the internet) and the executive search business is no exception.
The ability of organizations to source their own candidates using online tools is substantial, and those tools are only going to get better. Executive Search firms have the uphill battle of trying to stay relevant in the do it yourself world of computers, and it is not going to be easy. I believe that for most, (if not eventually all) it will prove impossible.
What does that mean for job seekers? First, it means that maintaining an online presence is crucial to career management. Anyone who still thinks that they can live without a LinkedIn profile hasn’t been paying attention. Its all about being found. Networking is now mostly about online networking.
There is a new reality. No longer can candidates rely on executive recruiters to be in touch when appropriate opportunities arise. Candidates must proactively make themselves electronically “available” to those who would seek to hire them, with a strong enough online presence to elicit contact. That is the future of recruitment.
Job seekers can wistfully recall the old days or they can recognize that to be relevant in today’s job market you must adapt. To not do so is a recipe for career extinction. You’ve been warned.