EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

One of the very important issues facing us as an organization is the “care and feeding” of our many friends in the search community. (And, there aren’t many left.)

While studies have shown that only about 15% of the jobs in this country are handled by recruiters, to me they are still an important audience for us to treat with respect. And yes, they have feelings too. (I will let you guess how the other 85% are filled. Okay, I’ll tell you: Networking, networking and more networking.)

Our first rule as an organization is that any job posted in our newsletter is to be responded by “qualified members only” and at no time, even if you are SO smart that you can guess the client do we EVER go direct to the client. Sorry, but your best shot is to avoid killing the “goose that laid the golden eggs” and to present your credentials to the firm and/or individual who has been kind enough to trust us and let us know about these many opportunities. Running around recruiters is disrespectful of their hard won business relationships and will normally only serve to ensure that you are NOT considered. In the ordinary course of business, your resume will end up circling its way to them and your “goose will be cooked.” (I guess goose must have been a very popular dish at one time to have generated all these expressions.)

All members of The FENG are expected to sell our friends in the search business on posting opportunities in our newsletter. When you do this, you need to make an effort to set their expectations properly. Many things about our august body are different than other Internet related websites or even other networking groups.

We are THE largest networking group of senior financial executives in the entire world. With a membership of over 40,000, anyone providing a posting can expect 50 to 100 responses to just about anything. What’s worse, or best, depending on your perspective is that all this “magic” is likely to happen within 48 hours. It can appear to be a flood to those not expecting it. However, they won’t be shocked if you warn them.

Under the heading of “for best results,” strongly suggest they provide the city location and the salary range for each opportunity, followed by a well written position description of anywhere from ½ to a full page or more if they prefer. I believe that “long copy sells” in that a more complete position description allows us to disqualify ourselves and holds down the number of responses.

To further the impression of mutual self-respect, ask them to write you or me a personal note so that the fact that there is a business relationship is clear. They should then sign their missive with their FULL business card information. To forestall phone calls, they are welcome to precede this information with “Please NO phone calls.” Their points of contact are provided to enable you to fill in the blanks if you should happen to get a phone call on your cell phone. (Can you hear me now? No, I can’t.)

Item last. It is not realistic for us to expect a tailored message as to why we weren’t selected from the resumes submitted. However, it would be very nice if they sent an acknowledgement that just states: “Got your credentials. We will be in touch if our client has interest.” Not a lot to ask and it eliminates the need for anyone to call with the silly question: “Did you get my resume?” (Hint: You can put a return receipt on if you really want to know.)

In closing, let us not forget about the importance of this audience to us. They will come back if you let them know what to expect and if we all play by the rules. Not much to ask on either side.

Regards, Matt

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