When I get on the phone with a candidate, it can be a bit awkward at first. They’re busy focusing on their job, helping their current company succeed, and then here I come, talking to them about another position somewhere else. I catch a lot of people off guard, but if a search consultant like me comes calling, it’s smart to listen.

Why? Well, first off, it means you’re killing it in your field and others have taken notice. When search consultants are finding the perfect-fit candidate for one of our clients, we comb our networks to unearth the all-stars who aren’t even actively looking for a new job. And if you’re someone our clients will want on their team, we want to get to know you better.

Why You Should Work with a Search Consultant

1. Access unlisted job openings

As we work with companies in the market, we often find out about opportunities not listed on company career pages or positions that will be available soon. Building a relationship with a search consultant means you’ll be top of mind if you’re a good fit for the positions we hear about first.

2. Avoid the resume black hole

The average corporate position attracts 250 resumes. That’s a big crowd to try to stand out in. Thanks to our unique process, your resume doesn’t sit in someone’s inbox or on a server, hoping to be noticed by the hiring manager. When we believe you’re a great match for our client’s position, your candidate profile goes right to the team who’s doing the hiring.

3. Prepare for the unexpected

When you’ve got an aching tooth, is that the time to start looking for a dentist? Of course not – and when you’ve had it up to here with your current job it isn’t the time to start trying to get to know search consultants. My colleagues and I actively watch the job market, so we’ll know what’s out there for someone like you. We can usually spend just 15-30 minutes with a candidate and figure out what will be the right position for them to make a move. So, when you’re ready for the next step in your career, it’s better if we’re already on each other’s radars.

For example, we spoke with a candidate a year ago about the ideal position they would need to make a move. And when a new client came to us recently looking for someone who fit the candidate’s background, we knew just who to contact because the position aligned with the candidate’s next career goal. It was a great fit for both our client and the candidate – and it all happened because the candidate was willing to spend just 30 minutes talking with us.

4. Get to know your niche

In tight-knit industries like construction or building services, a search consultant will know all the latest trends. A consultant will be able to help you identify the type of position that you’re a good fit for now and advise you on future steps in your career.

5. Better prepare for the interview

When you work with a search consultant, we’re not just passing you off to our client. If we’ve matched you with a position we think you’re perfect for, we’re going to prep you for the interview thoroughly. We’ll ensure you know what to expect, why you and the company are a good match, what you will bring to the position – and what the position will bring to your career.

6. Move faster

Glassdoor found that the average interview process in the United States takes 23.8 days. Compared to going through a company’s typical HR channels on your own, search consultants can move the introduction and interview process along much faster because we are only presenting you alongside a select few other candidates.

7. Leave the negotiation stress to someone else

Sometimes the negotiation process can put a little damper on the excitement of working for a new company. That’s why a search consultant will work with you well before this stage to get a complete understanding of your salary expectations. Deep industry knowledge and an extensive network give search consultants the inside track on salary trends, so we can coach you on realistic expectations of compensation and then go to bat for you.

The Engaged Search Difference

Search consultants aren’t recruiters. We don’t take your resume and send it along with 100 others to a client and hope for a bite. We also don’t bombard you with mass emails about jobs that aren’t a good fit for you and your background. In engaged search, we develop relationships on both sides of the process so we can match outstanding professionals with jobs they’ll love and excel in. So if someone like me shows up in your LinkedIn inbox or in your voicemail, it’s a smart move to connect.