Working with an Executive Recruiter: What you should expect – What is expected of you

Part 2 of a 3 part Guide. 4. Evaluating the Offer –

Most individuals interview for a new job an average of once every four years or so at best. Because of the infrequency the typical person interviews, many don?t know how to determine what a good salary offer is. I’ve taken statistics on each placement from hundreds of interviews conducted annually, and arrived at a formula you can always use. Regardless of your current salary, whether it is $44,000 or $444,000, you know you have a good offer on your hands if that offer is at least ten percent ABOVE your current compensation. However, you may do even better. Any offer falling between 12 – 15% ABOVE what you are currently earning is excellent. Occasionally we may see an individual secure an offer that is 16 to 20% above their current income. In rarer cases yet, an offer may exceed this percentage. KEEP IN MIND this is a rare occurrence. Here is the formula you can use: Offer is 10% above current salary – GOOD

12 – 15% above – VERY GOOD

16 – 20% above – EXCELLENT

Above 20% – BEYOND EXCELLENT Your recruiter will try to determine if you have exhausted any possibility of remaining with your current company in another position. If you think you may be able to negotiate an increase, a promotion, or departmental move, the time to do it is BEFORE YOU HAVE REVEALED securing an offer from another company! The professional way, to handle an offer, is to give it one to three days maximum (most offers are accepted or declined within 24 hours since by the time we have reached this point the candidate has generally had ample time to study the position, research the company, and get comfortable with the people he/she would be reporting to).

If you accept, do so with appreciation and gratitude toward your new employer. If you decline, do so decisively, take no more than two or three days. It is best for future relationship building if you tell your recruiter specifically why so that she/he may help avoid the reason which made you turn the offer down going forward as you are presented to other companies. YOUR recruiter will appreciate being recognized for their hard work, whether you accept or decline. Do so with professionalism and thank him/her. You are most likely to encourage them to work with you again in the future if you leave your bridges unburned. Here is an example of the professional way to decline an offer: ? Thanks Mr. Johnson. I?m flattered they offered me $65,000 and chose me of all the candidates you interviewed for this. Although this may disappoint you, I must respectfully decline as I have chosen to (remain with current company/accept another offer at higher salary, etc.). I hope we can keep our friendly business relationship open in years ahead.? That my friends, is the correct way to decline.

In one case, a promotion took place in the midst of the search, we believe as a result of his current company suspecting he had interviewed with us. We were able to obtain an offer in exceeding the candidate?s NEW higher salary by still another 10% … yet were turned down only after asking for a week to think about it. It?s a sure bet to blemish your credibility and professionalism, and portray yourself as someone other recruiters may not want to ever approach again once word gets out (recruiters do regularly meet at association meetings…word will inevitably get out) that you may be an indecisive candidate to work with. Not to mention, this could annoy some more aggressive recruiters into raiding the department or staff of the manager engaging in such behavior. No professional recruiter would want any candidate to accept any offer you feel is not right. What IS expected is to make such a declining of an offer with empathy, courtesy, gratitude, appreciation and professionalism. Doing so ensures you will have a business contact to speak to in the future. Its a matter of simple respect, the same you would like to be granted toward yourself. Other offers/Multiple offers:

If you accept or are about to accept an offer with another firm, call your recruiter and let him/her know. Not only will this flag us to stop further efforts, but in case we can accelerate something we?ve already invested time in, now?s our last chance to see if we can bring something to the offer stage in case it has been stalled. 5. Counteroffer –

According to a recent article in the National Business Employment Weekly, 82% of individuals which negotiate or accept counter offers with their original employer, are fired within nine months. Accepting a counter offer is UNPROFESSIONAL. You should always explore internal opportunities first with your current employer. If your current employer requires you ?blackmail? them with another offer in order to obtain a promotion or increase, why would you want to remain with such a company in the first place? Accepting a counter offer may also blemish your professionalism in the marketplace. In certain industries and niche disciplines, word will get out, and may without your even knowing it, adversely effect your chances of getting other offers if you decide on interviewing again months later. I?ve personally seen cases where this happened! A professional candidate thinks carefully about the offer, makes inquiries as to possible ?wiggle? room for upgrading the offer or throwing in perks, and then accepts or declines with conviction in two to three days. Once you have made your decision stick to your guns. Tell you employer, ?I?ve thought about this carefully, and I?m sticking to my decision … thank you for your counter offer … I?m flattered…but my decision is final.? In the end, everyone will respect your more for not waffling and being decisive. Stick to your guns.

Always have a type written (better yet PC wordprocessor-printed) resignation letter in an envelope to add formality to your resignation meeting. We?ve seen cases where candidate will sit on an offer for nearly an entire week or more (only where the company hiring manager generously allows this will a recruiter even let an offer go so long), then go from manager to manager of their current employer mentioning the offer without ever formally resigning, as if to ask for advice suggestions, etc. regarding the new opportunity. This could be interpreted as veiled blackmail, or searching for a counter offer – in sum, most unprofessional. The correct way is to make your decision on your own first, then resign in person through a face to face meeting and BACK IT UP with a written resignation letter. Period. There is no other correct way. All the career books such as Adam?s Job Bank, Executive Recruiter Directory will echo the same advice. Unfortunately, the people who need this advice most never read those books. 6. Resignation –

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Even six figure financial directors and CEO?s can be horribly sloppy when it comes to a clean resignation. Again, face to face meeting, and back it up with a resignation letter. Resignation letters should be brief but courteous. Example:

Mr Jones, CFO,

F & C Financial Services Corp.

Dear Mr. Jones,

I wish to thank you and F&C for all the wonderful years I have enjoyed as controller of this company. Because of F&C, my career began as an auditor, and advanced several times to Director during the last ten years. However, the time has come to move on. As of today I submit my resignation which will be effective (some future date two or three weeks maximum). I wish to express I will miss working with you all, but have thought about this decision carefully and feel it is time to meet a new challenge and opportunity. I hope we can maintain a friendly, professional relationship in the upcoming years. Sincerely,

Ken Jones

I will conclude with items (7) Upcoming Vacations and other contingencies; (8) What if the new job doesn?t work out; (9) Little things that aren?t little; and (10) Referral reward — in the last part of the series.

President of & Within two years after leaving the corporate world in 1987, Frank Risalvato was earning $21,000 average fees as a search consultant. Each individual fee equated to almost 50% of his previous annual salary in 1987. In 1991 he founded, the search firm he continues to operate today. Today his fees are more than double that of his earlier years while working fewer hours weekly. Frank's audio download page on provides an opportunity to "be a fly on the wall" and listen in to live calls, messages, conversations with clients and candidates. His recent book, A Manager's Guide to Maximizing Search Firm Success has helped recruiters using it lock up partial and full retainers between $5,000 to $45,000 by helping drive home the concept of exclusive/retained over the usual contingency approach.