THE BLOG

The GREAT Million Dollar Candidate, Part 3

02/10/2015 09:29 am ET | Updated Apr 11, 2015

My name is Mark Wayman, and my 15 minutes of fame was two software companies. One went public on the NASDAQ and the other (counter-terrorism software) was acquired by IBM. For the last ten years I have owned an Executive Recruiting firm focused on gaming and high tech. Compensation starts at $100,000, and last year I placed eight executives north of a million dollars.

This is the last and final article in my series about what makes a GREAT million dollar candidate. Given that most senior level executives are placed through Executive Recruiters, we'll focus this last article on how to interact with them.

The Executive Recruiter is your Agent - When an Executive Recruiter submits you for a job, it is NOT a referral or introduction. They are your agent of record for twelve months. If you get hired, they get paid. Let the Executive Recruiter manage the process, and follow their directives. If you end run the process, there is a good chance you will be withdrawn from consideration. I regularly get candidates that try to brush me aside once the interview process commences with, "Thanks for the introduction." No, I'm your Agent. Just as an Actor or Actress has an agent, the Executive Recruiter is your Agent to the hiring company. Never, ever burn the bridge with the Recruiter. It's a small, small world.

What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate - You want to communicate the RIGHT amount. Not too much; not too little. Be sure to keep the Executive Recruiter in the loop when you receive communication from the hiring company. When you are scheduled to interview. When you have feedback after the interview. If I had $20 for every candidate that failed to keep me in the loop, and then asked me to set their apple card back up after the interview process fell apart...I would be very wealthy. The only way an Executive Recruiter can property represent you is if you communicate. On the other hand, candidates that over communicate and ask for hourly/daily updates will soon find themselves persona non grata. The Recruiter may have 50 to 100 executives interviewing. Trust me; they don't get paid unless you get the job, so they are on the case. Emailing them every morning just paints you as desperate.

When You are Unemployed, All Jobs are Good Jobs - Most Executive Recruiters will ask you some preliminary questions about compensation, relocation and background. Be HONEST. They don't care if you made $20,000 or $2,000,000, they are simply trying to match you to a job. Unemployed candidates are a special situation. At the million dollar level, no company wants to interview unemployed executives. Sorry, not being rude or disrespectful, just honest. Recently asked an unemployed executive for his base salary. He said $400,000. I responded, "No, you are making ZERO. You don't have a job." Surprisingly, I was able to get him interviewed for a $600,000 job. He told me that was not enough money. I kid you not. True story! I dropped him like a hot rock. So my point is this - if you are not gainfully employed, you need to consider all reasonable offers.