More than 60 percent of executive job placements we make in the Australian marketplace are the result of proactively introducing candidates to the right organisations regardless of whether there are immediate opportunities available or not. Those conversations at this time of year are critical. 

They’re not positions you’ll ever see advertised. They are roles between $150-500K that come about as a result of the professional conversations individuals are having with organisations, and the conversations individuals and organisations are having with executive recruiters.

These interactions taking place require an executive recruiter to not only have a very good understanding of an organisation’s value proposition but also a deep understanding of the type of person that would excel in that employer’s environment.

Influenced by the talent-short market we’re facing in Sydney and Melbourne, what we’re increasingly hearing from leaders in the Australian business community is: ‘if you come across someone that fits this brief, or if you come across someone you think will be a good fit for this company, I want to know about them.’

It’s those business leaders we engage with, who are strategically putting time aside to meet with someone who may be a fit for their organisation or team, who are seeing the benefits of this approach to talent. That’s not to say every encounter leads to new job opportunities, but what we are seeing is that often it plants a seed that helps to nurture and grow opportunities. It keeps both candidates and clients close to the action and it proactively nurtures an exchange of ideas that would otherwise not take place.

If you’re not having these conversations, you’re either missing out on engaging with 50 percent of the best talent in the marketplace or you’re a candidate missing out on being introduced to these opportunities.

As a nation, we get hung up on jobs data indicators but for those working in the employment industry, these statistics are simply that: indicators, and not necessarily a true reflection on the jobs market.  In particular, the executive end of the jobs market.

But when it comes to having professional conversations, Australians tend to be more ‘black and white’ than their UK or US counterparts, where this is common practice and simply considered a ‘meeting of minds’. By making connections only when there’s a position available, and thinking of Sydney and Melbourne independently rather than as one market, the free flow of local opportunities is lessened.

What’s encouraging is that we’re starting to see a shift in this mindset. It’s worth remembering that this isn’t about having a coffee catch up with just anyone and everyone.

 It’s about your ability to judiciously identify where best to invest your time. It's about engaging recruiters who can guide you.

This is where experienced recruiters with deep-sector and market insight add the most value – connecting great people with dovetailed agendas.

We find a lot of candidates get disconnected from the marketplace. Some because they’re independently seeking an opportunity or they’re so busy where they are, they simply don’t have the time to reach out and get a feel for the market.

From the many conversations I’ve had over the years with businesses and individuals, I’ve come to learn that if you’re not investing regular time in connecting in the marketplace, you’re not going to be exposed to the power of these interactions.  You can connect with someone on LinkedIn or add yourself to a talent ecosystem but there is no replacement for going and proactively having a conversation with someone.

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