Leadership / 08.03.20
Recruiters Need Pros Like You! 5 Things Ticketing Professionals Should Know About Recruiters
“Should I talk to a recruiter as part of my job search?”
This is a question that many people have silently considered but perhaps never asked. The good news is that INTIX has you covered, and we are here to help!
So is Mark Gnatovic, friend to INTIX and Executive Vice President at recruiting firm SearchWide Global. After 15 years in the convention and event industry, he has led the firm’s venue search practice, covering convention centers, stadiums, arenas and performing arts facilities, as well as the trade show and experiential marketing segments since 2006. Gnatovic recently served six years as a Board of Trustee for the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) Foundation and is currently on the Executive Committee for the IAVM Board of Directors.
Here are five things that Gnatovic thinks ticketing professionals should know about recruiters and how they can help when you are looking to make your next career move.
1. There are two types of recruitment platforms. All recruiters work for the organization or company that has hired them, but the arrangements with their clients are not always the same.
“Good recruiters are advocates for your career; they want to know where you have been and where you will be successful moving forward. Good recruiters have their own personal brand at stake, too, and should be focused on submitting candidates aligned to expectations,” Gnatovic says. “There are recruiters that work specifically ‘contingent search,’ which means if they place somebody, then they will get paid on that search.” In these cases, the recruiter may not “own” the search; they may not be the sole sourcing agent and might also be competing with an internal HR department and applicants that go direct to the company. This is why most contingent firms don’t post the company name on their postings.
“There is also a ‘retained’ search, which is exactly how it sounds: the recruiter is contracted and works directly for the organization that hired them to conduct the search. Approximately 85% of the work we do is on retainer,” Gnatovic says. “In this model, one recruitment firm is hired exclusively to conduct the search. The recruiters are an extension of their client and very consultative. They will bring years of experience to the table and often help their clients think more strategically or at least a bit differently because they know the industry, the competitive set and the people in it.”
If you are speaking with a recruiter about a position, Gnatovic recommends asking the recruiter if they are the sole sourcing agent for that assignment.
2. There are many ways that recruiters identify potential candidates. It is all about relationships, right? You bet, but technology and social media nowadays help quite a bit, too.
“How can we find the ideal candidate, aligned to our client’s expectation, as efficiently possible? That is the magic question,” Gnatovic says. “All of the SearchWide recruiters come from the industries we serve, and that helps. We have relationships at many angles. Our recruiters attend industry events, and we are on advisory committees and boards. We may see you at trade shows and talk to you in person or know people who know you. Social media, specifically LinkedIn, is super important for us and for a candidate. It might be your presence on LinkedIn that draws the attention of a recruiter. It may be your actions on a committee or at a show. The point is, everyone is watching everyone.”
What points a recruiter to you, or to the next person? “When we are retained for a search, we have a pretty detailed conversation with our client,” Gnatovic says. “A lot of times we will fly in [to see the client, or the board and community leaders in person] at all levels of search. We will go in, look at the product or know the service. We want to understand what has worked, what does not work and where they want to go. We want to know what success looks like because our candidates want to know that, too — at least the good ones. We will lead discussion to understand what the ideal experience will be for the position, what is the right resume. What are the politics? How about the goals, service initiatives and the strategic plans, and where are they with those? All those answers will define the experience and characteristics needed to be successful in the chair. We will figure that out to know the candidates we should present.”
3. Recruiters want their placed candidates to be happy and successful. Recruiters are humans and carry a lot of integrity and compassion. They should work hard to know you and present positions that are in your best interest and not to just “fill a job.”
“It is very important for any good recruiter to place a candidate into a position where they will be successful. The recruiter’s brand is at stake with this, too,” Gnatovic says. “It is important for them to present solid candidates who are aligned to the client’s expectation of them [and for the position].”
Gnatovic continues, “Candidates should ask questions. A curious candidate means they are doing their homework and really thinking about this next career move. As a recruiter, we like that; we want candidates to be successful and go for positions where they will be successful and not just because it seems like a ‘fun’ job. Fun is part of it, but you have to move the needle, whatever that may be.”
4. Social Media and LinkedIn. It is particularly important that you keep it up to date at all times, especially if you are thinking about making a move. Keep LinkedIn polished and all personal social media locked down for friends and family.
“Our own database is only as good as the information that we put in it. We really prefer LinkedIn,” Gnatovic says. “LinkedIn is an important resource for any candidate who is looking for a position. LinkedIn is real-time information and the first source any hiring party will go to after a glance at your resume.”
Gnatovic continues, “From a candidate perspective, their social media presence — their digital footprint — says a lot about them. Any candidate needs to polish that up when they are considering looking for a new job. It is the first place that any client will go [when we recommend candidates]; they are going to look at the resumes then find you online.”
Get more valuable tips in this INTIX Access article: 11 LinkedIn and Resume Tips from Entertainment Recruiters at SearchWide Global.
5. Recruiters want to know you. Firms like SearchWide Global have earned their reputation by placing great candidates in jobs where they add value and drive an organization forward. If you do not know any recruiters yet, the best time to say hello is today. Even if they are not actively filling your dream job right now, you never know when the ideal opportunity may cross their desk.
“Anyone in the ticketing industry can develop a relationship with a recruiter. Why not? A recruiter can be a resource for you now or for the future,” Gnatovic says. “We gravitate toward candidates working or not working, and those that are happy and content but curious. Regardless of your situation, have a solid elevator pitch as to why you left each position; be candid and truthful, because we’ll find out. There are very good reasons why people are not working right now in the event industry, so have your pitch nailed. The reasons people transition from one company to the next are important for recruiters to understand so we can determine what environment will create success for you. Regardless of your situation, a relationship starts with ‘Hi.’ You never know, we may call you three weeks from now, three months from now or three years from now. We know this is an emotional time for many, and while our postings are not too plentiful right now, at the very least, we can lend an ear and maybe a few bits of advice.”
So, what are you waiting for?
SearchWide Global is an executive search firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management, experiential marketing, sports and entertainment industries. The firm specializes in C-level and director-level executive searches for companies ranging in size from Fortune 500 corporations to mid-sized public and private companies and associations. In live events and entertainment, Mark Gnatovic led the searches that placed President and CEO Maureen Andersen with INTIX as well as Brad Mayne as President and CEO of IAVM, among others.
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Tags: Social Media , Leadership , Workplace , COVID-19 , Coronavirus