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Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire

 
#1 Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
29/03/2006 15:49

DJ

Hi, I wonder if someone has any advice to offer me.

I'm an ex-internal consultant with 7 years strategy experience from a large blue chip MNC. Done everything from M&A, due dilligence, competitor analysis, re-organisations, unit integration, sales strategy, - a really wide range of projects, all at senior or board level.

I'm trying to move to an 'external' strategy consulting role.

But my application keeps stumbling with recruitment agencies in two ways:

(1) Junior academics. My A-level/BSc marks were poor. But they were over 10 years ago, and I've since gone on to get a good MSc in Management from Bath and clocked a lot of hard experience, which seems to be ignored.

(2) Recruitment agents who don't seem to understand my experience. I just had a chat with a really nice fellow who was trying to convince me that I couldn't do strategy becuase I needed experience in M&A or competitive strategy (i.e. everything I did for 7 yrs). He was asking me about going into outsourcing advisory. I said, I found it interesting but had no experience in it. He said, "would you like to learn?"!

I was dumbstruck! I love learning new things but this is just silly.

Any advice will help me hold on to my sanity.

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#2 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
29/03/2006 20:58

bad news

I'm afraid to say that it's probably easier to move from an external to an internal consultancy role than the other way round. No matter how big your previous company was, the consultants in the traditional strat houses would have gained a whole lot more experience in different industries than you have. This is obviously not a criticism on your particular skills or maturity as a consultant, just a statement of facts. An MSc from Bath might sound good to you, but what these people want to hear is MBA from Insead, HBS or Wharton. The closer you can get to that, the more likely you are to have a serious conversation about possible vacancies. If I were you, I'd stay in internal consultancy, maybe moving to another firm in a different industry. The big firms (GE, Siemens, etc.) are diversified enough to provide a wealth of cross-industry experience and challenges and paypackets close enough to the external firms.

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#3 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
30/03/2006 10:17

no longer frustrated

Hey my background is very similar to yours! I have had similar frustrations but have just received two offers from consultancies. This was not easy but clearly it is possible.

I agree with previous post regarding Strat cons. However there are many other consultancies out there. The critical issue is that the recruitment market is about specifics not a broad background.

So my advice is to identify a specific skill e.g. M&A, programme management, Marketing Strategy. Identify roles that require this skill; write your CV to be 80% focused; and keep the focus at interview.

Secondly think about channel strategy. Best approach by far is to get your CV to the recruiter from an existing employee. Agencies provide benefits to recruiters by adding an extra layer of filtering. Agencies offer limited benefit to you. Indeed I have been "rejected" for several positions by agencies and subsequently secured interviews by applying direct. Why would you need an intermediary to address a small target market?

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#4 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
30/03/2006 16:09

DJ

Hi 'no longer frustrated'. Thanks, that sounds encouraging. I am indeed broadening my search to the strategy practices of the large consultancies as well as other areas where my skills are strong. I'm also applying direct whenever possible. Fingers crossed this will work better.

May I ask roughly how much time your job search took?

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#5 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
30/03/2006 18:45

no longer frustrated

I am too embarassed to say how long. Use your imagination and double it.

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#6 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
31/03/2006 22:18

Jessica Elias

Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I am looking for talent with a strategy, analytical, innovative background. Are you open to hearing more about target? would love to talk with you. Please email me directly at jessica.elias@target.com

look forward to hearing from you!

Jess

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#7 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
05/04/2006 19:43

YB

Hi 'no longer frustrated', can I ask what you were doing in the long time that it took for you to get a job offer? Were you self-employed?

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#8 Re: Frustrating recruitment experience / Experienced hire
09/04/2006 20:08

Lynn Saratore

DJ, I have a couple opportunities available in Chicago if you are interested. If so, please send me an email - Lynn.Saratore@Hewitt.com

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