The following content has been reproduced with permission from the publisher and author of Inside Commercial Construction’s MVPs (Hunting House, Coty Fournier, copyright 2014).
August 13, 2015
Coty L. Fournier
Continued from Part I…
WELCOME TO THE CLUB
Although the MVPs rarely discuss it openly, having your own Jerry Maguire is one of the best-kept secrets to success. Relationships within the executive search community can feel like membership in a quasi-private club, reserved for the few who understand how it works and how to maximize the benefits.Here’s a glimpse into some of what the insiders know, and you can find much more information in chapter three of Inside Commercial Construction’s MVPs.
JERRY MAGUIRE KNOWS THE STREET AND THE GRASS
The top executive search professionals in our business know the street, meaning they have a pretty good feel for what’s going on in the industry as it relates to human capital, such as:
- What companies are growing and hiring
- What companies are shrinking and firing
- Current salaries and compensation packages
This is particularly true within their area of expertise or geographic niche. Careful research will reveal which firms have established favorable reputations and market mastery in the areas of specialization or geographic locations that are most relevant to your career goals. Maintaining a constant feel for this type of information is a full-time job, and it’s one of the ways that executive search professionals earn their living. Therefore, having your own Jerry Maguire is a great reality check. He can give you bits and pieces of current information from the street when you need it.
In addition to the street, Jerry Maguire often knows about the grass. For example, some people reach out to their Jerry Maguire to discuss the general state of their career, their goals, and any potential opportunities that may be inside or outside of their current company. These kinds of confidential discussions can be helpful and enlightening, because he may have some insights about whether or not the grass is greener somewhere else. It may be. It may not be. Either way, the MVPs often tap into their Jerry Maguire for advice before making any major decisions, as it can be a much more discreet way of gathering some of the information you need. Not only will his knowledge of the street and the grass help you personally in your own career, it will also help you protect the best interests of the company you work for when building your own internal teams.
GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESS
Take a cue from the industry’s MVPs and follow these five guidelines to increase your chances of success with your own Jerry Maguire:
- Prequalify him first. Make sure he can show you a proven track record for success in commercial construction placements. Anything he has done outside of the industry is irrelevant. Ask him for a list of his corporate clients, and how many people he has placed at each one in the last five years. Look for him to drop a few MVP names to show you that he has the right relationships. If he holds back, he might be waiting to learn more about you first. But if he doesn’t eventually drop a few power player names that you recognize, he probably doesn’t have any to drop. Move on.
- Don’t wait to establish a relationship until you need a job, as that’s usually too late. You can want a new job, but needing a new job is an entirely different psychological state and much harder to sell. Start now wherever you are.
- Know who you are and what you want. It’s very hard for executive search professionals to get excited about you when you don’t know who you are and what you want. Be clear. Be very, very clear in conveying exactly what you’re trying to achieve in your career, both short and long term.
- Tell the truth. These guys need to know the truth about your employment history, salary requirements, personality, career goals, and more. They need to know what you’re actually capable of doing and what you’re expecting in return. Anything less is a waste of everyone’s time and potentially damaging to both of you.
- Be ready to sell yourself with rock solid answers to the “What else you got?” question highlighted in chapter one of the critically acclaimed book: Inside Commercial Construction’s MVPs. Your answers need to be front and center in all of your verbal storytelling and reflected in your LinkedIn profile, resume, and bio. If you cannot sell yourself to him, he won’t believe you can sell yourself to anyone else.
For more information on this topic and other strategic insights from highly successful construction professionals, refer to Amazon for the critically acclaimed book: Inside Commercial Construction’s MVPs: 7 reasons why they get promoted faster, make more money, and enjoy a seemingly unfair advantage over everybody else.
Coty Fournier is a U.S. commercial construction executive, entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker with sustained success in construction operations and business development, on both sides of the Owner-Contractor equation. She is also the co-founder and former CEO of Jobsite123.com, acquired by The Blue Book Network in May 2013. In addition to her leadership role as Vice President of Network Solutions for The Blue Book Network, she continues to serve the commercial construction industry as one of its most prominent thought leaders on industry relationships, executive talent development, and marketing platforms. For more information, connect with Coty on LinkedIn, or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org