• Featured Expert: Mary Lee Montague on Non-Profit Executive Recruiting

    MaryLeeHeadshotMary Lee Montague is the managing partner of the North American Non-Profit Practice for DHR International, a top executive search firm.  She also teaches non-profit management at the Kellogg School of Management, and serves on the board of the International Women’s Forum.

    7 Things to Know if You Are Approached by an Executive Recruiter

    Lightfellow sat down with Mary Lee this summer to discuss her specialty, non-profit executive recruitment.  She had a lot to say about both recruiting and being recruited. If you want to read her article about for-profit executives transitioning into running a non-profit, click here.  If you have been approached by a recruiter for an executive position in a non-profit, or if you will be putting yourself out there soon, read on for 7 great tips for working with recruiters.

    1. Understand that retained executive search firm recruiters aren’t working for you. They are not trying to find you a job. They are working for the company that has hired them to fill a position. If you are looking for a new job, you should make sure top search firms have your resume, but don’t expect a call unless you are qualified for a position that they are trying to fill.
    2. Recruiters are the gatekeepers to the company and the people who do the hiring. When you meet with the recruiter, you are de facto interviewing with the company, so take it as seriously as the “real interview”.
    3. Brag, but don’t embellish. To do this, prepare examples of how you’ve made an impact in your current job. You should have 3 stories highlighting the situation, your solution, and measured results for every area that you will focus on in your new job.
    4. The recruiter is not your friend or your coach. You need to be ready to sell yourself to them.
    5. This should go without saying, but you must have a firm handshake. If you are a woman, or if you are shaking hands with a woman, the handshake still needs to be FIRM.
    6. Wear a suit to the interview. If the organization is more casual, wear a coat and tie or skirt and jacket. You may be more dressed up than the interviewers, but that’s OK. It shows respect.
    7. Be kind to everyone you come in contact with. Recruiters often tap their staff for information on how well you treated them.

    Here’s to your success!

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