“I just need introductions to decision makers”

We hear this fateful phrase, “I just need introductions to decision makers,” all too often from prospective clients. The Barrett Group (TBG) has been helping executives clarify their career objectives and find the ideal next position now for more than 30 years. 

Executives naturally tend to think they know everything already.  This is completely understandable.  These executives have generally been quite successful so they have reasons for their self-belief.  However, as every self-respecting mutual fund sales prospectus warns: past results are no guarantee of future performance. Particularly when the executive embarks on a process in which he or she may have limited expertise, i.e., finding a new executive position.

This applies doubly to executives in transition from one role or industry to another.  Typically, they believe their resume is perfect, possibly because they have already had some “expert” rewrite it multiple times.  They also think they know the best way to present themselves in an interview, so all they really need is to get introductions to decision makers … or so they think.

The reality is, unfortunately, very different.

First and foremost, we do not simply accept our clients’ preliminary thoughts on their career targets.  Often these are driven by false urgency. An inadequate understanding of transferability or market opportunity, and most importantly, a lack of self-reflection on what may be really important to the candidate now and in the coming years.  Our Clarity Program© is the first step in our career change system. In Discover the New You, we explore how it has helped hundreds of clients rethink and recalibrate their career targets.  We developed this “Targeting Step” to help our clients speed up by slowing down. A few hours invested up front to holistically clarify objectives can save hundreds of hours of wasted time in the market.

In The Importance of Proper Packaging we discuss how the one-size-fits-all approach to resume writing completely fails to achieve the required cut-through in today’s market place.  After completely rewriting every resume that comes through the door to maximize impact and optimize transferability, we then tailor them for specific opportunities. This greatly increases the chance that Barrett Group candidates will truly stand out from the crowd. 

This year Forbes magazine again named us as one of the best executive recruiters in the United States. 

We are proud of this award and in When is a Recruiter not a Recruiter we discuss the apparent contradiction that most of our clients actually do not land through recruiters at all. They land through the unpublished market where competition is less frequent and compensation is higher.  We help our clients access all three principle executive market places in ways they would probably never think of on their own.

Unfortunately, executives often fail to grasp even the basic objective of an employment interview on their own—until we coach them appropriately.  In The Botched Interview I describe how I personally screwed up in an interview by playing the expert… as many of these executives will, too… because I lacked the kind of expert preparation TBG provides to our clients.  I thought it was important that I demonstrate a thorough understanding of the potential employer’s industry. When that was not at all the key to gaining their trust and engagement.

Nevertheless, some executives who think they know it all choose to waste time bumping around in the job market before hiring professional help. 

In I’m Going to Try It on My Own First we share some of their experiences. Their realization that it would have been a far better idea to hire a pro right from the beginning becomes very transparent. Similar to what you do for wealth management, health services, even fitness training… Why not actually invest in your most important pre-retirement asset: your career?

One really practical example of how we help clients accelerate their searches came up recently. One client put in a research request to his six-member TBG career team and was surprised by the relatively short list of targeted executives that resulted.  His career consultant revisited the request with the research team and discovered several issues. These issues were:

  1. The geographic market place is relatively small compared to other metropolitan areas.
  2. The market was defined too narrowly; and
  3. the targeted titles were also clustered too tightly. 

In other words, our big-fish client was fishing in too small a pond. By helping the client rethink his search parameters, we are able to significantly increase the executive contacts available.

Among the many reasons executives should seek help from the Barrett Group is that our clients earn more as a result of the negotiation support they receive. 

See Why Leave Money on the Table? for some of the results we’ve achieved, or visit our Hiring Line website to read about the executives who have signed on and are interviewing, receiving offers, and landing—every week.

Here’s what one recently landed client had to say about our services:

“I’m so appreciative of George [his career consultant] and The Barrett Group for what they’ve done for me[…]  With their help, I was able to land two jobs within 12 months. Their program works – the proof is in the pudding!”  [Bob, 2021, Read More]

By all means, believe in yourself, but part of growing up is to learn how to park your ego and consider opportunities more holistically.  We encourage potential career changers to do just that and to realize that they may well benefit enormously from working with the acknowledged expert in the career management field: The Barrett Group.  Think beyond introductions to decision makers. Come explore how we can help. 

Peter Irish
The Barrett Group

Read next: Mid-Quarter Executive Jobs Report (May 2021)

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