Introducing the New Lead5 Corporate Executive Recruiter Database

One major trend of the executive search industry over the last two decades is the increased flow of consultants from the major firms (Korn/Ferry, Heidrick, Spencer Stuart, & Russell Reynolds) to in-house executive recruiting roles within companies, PE firms, and VC firms. The takeaway for the candidate is more senior level leadership positions are being actively sourced and placed directly by the company or financial sponsor. Add the Covid-19 lockdowns and an increased corporate view on cost cutting and you have a scenario entering 2021 where, more than ever, companies are directly recruiting executives and bypassing the retained search firms.

With this trend in mind, Lead5 has built and launched a corporate executive recruiter database that our members have access to and the Lead5 community continues to enhance. Log in to Lead5, click on Community, then People, scroll down and select the Corporate Recruiters tab and use the Lead5 filters to identify the gatekeepers to leadership hiring for thousands of companies including contact details.

Remember, you have a green light to send your resume directly to these in-house executive recruiting professionals and the goal is ensuring your information is updated in the company or PE firms’ executive ATS (Applicant Tracking System). In addition, you want to make the networking connection with the in-house team to keep you informed of current and future leadership openings.

One Lead5 member built a targeted list of companies specific to his industry sector and experienced a 70% response rate to direct outreach to in-house recruiters. This method yields a much higher response than contacting retained recruiters or C-level execs – why? Because the in-house recruiters number one priority is to evaluate external talent and build a bench of current and future available talent for the organization. Remember, retained recruiters number one priority is the hiring company, not the candidate!

Want to learn more? Join the market discussion on Lead5 here:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

Review sample emails for direct outreach here:

https://lead5.com/blog/how-to-best-approach-executive-recruiters/

https://lead5.com/blog/how-to-send-a-strong-intro-email-to-a-ceo/

 

 

Executive Outlook – January 2021

 

The results are in for 2020, and much like all aspects of last year, the executive hiring market has everyone ready to move on to 2021. The total number of executive opportunity leads shared and tracked by Lead5 in 2020 was down 34% year over year from 2019.

 

 

The good news is that the market stabilized in Q3 2020 with a slight uptick for Q4. As we shared in our October Executive Outlook analysis, after discussions with corporate executive recruiters and talent partners from PE firms, we anticipate the traditional Labor Day through Thanksgiving seasonal executive hiring cycle is being pushed back to Q1 2021 due to the global pandemic and the US election cycle.

What this means for you is that executive hiring for Q1 and Q2 in 2021 will bring increased activity and you should be taking steps now to craft a pro-active career strategy. Lead5 will continue to monitor, analyze, and report on these executive hiring trends.

Lead5 is the fastest growing executive community that allows our members to share and exchange hidden exec openings, intel, and career advice. The Lead5 executive platform provides expert methodology and tools, allowing our members to transform data into career advancing results. Learn more at www.lead5.com.

Executive Hiring Doubled from Q2 to Q4 Based on Lead5 Member Analysis

Lead5 analysis of executive members who indicated they landed a new position has increased 98% from Q2 to Q4 in 2020. The increase from Q2 to Q3 was 40%. This is consistent with the pent-up demand from the predominate lockdown months of April through June and is a good signal for a continued uptick in executive hiring to carry through Q1 2021 and beyond. We will continue to monitor these leading indicators from Lead5 data.

Lead5 is the fastest growing executive community for exchanging hidden opportunities, intel, and career advice.

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

How to Best Approach Executive Recruiters

One of the most frequently asked questions from members of Lead5 is how to approach executive recruiters. We have put together a sample email at the end of this blog that we hope is helpful, but let’s also highlight five key points to remember when connecting with search firms:

1. Understand the retained search business model. Lack of understanding of how retained executive search firms operate is the first clue you are not an experienced executive. Retained firms only work for companies – the hiring company is the client. The candidates are a commodity. We as search professionals try not to treat the candidates like a commodity, but the business model is structured in a way that, more often than not, leaves the candidate sensing this dynamic

2. You have a green light to send your resume directly to executive search firm consultants, but make sure you are doing your research. Every firm has partners and principals who recruit for specific industry sectors and functional roles. Determine the best contact by reviewing bios to ensure there is a match between your experience and the partner’s coverage area. The Lead5 recruiter database is a go-to resource for this research. There, you can quickly pinpoint the right targets using your My5 filters.

3. Most executives conducting an active job search connect with 5 to 7 retained search firms, typically with recruiters that have approached them in the past. This is fruitful, but candidates should send their resume to 25 to 30 plus search firms, given the executive search industry is highly fragmented beyond the top 4 to 5 firms. Take the time to complete the research necessary to make sure you are in the “flow” of available opportunities for your industry/function.

4. If you do not hear back from a retained executive recruiter to whom you have sent your resume, do not worry. The first priority is having your resume updated and marked in the proprietary database of the search firm as interested in opportunities. All search firms have a process to update resumes in the database and mark you interested for a 6-to-12-month time frame. In some cases your name is actually highlighted within the system. The baseline is to market yourself to 25 to 30 search firms by having your profile activated in the database. If the particular search consultant you reach out to has an active search that is a fit, they will reach out to you. Otherwise, you are a “seeker candidate” and the best path for a seeker candidate is to get tagged in the system so the entire firm can query and have access to your resume.

5. Personalization is key. If I recruit Chief Marketing Officers and a Chief Technology Officer reaches out, it is not a good look. Do your homework, as 15 to 25 highly targeted, thoughtful notes to search consultants who cover your areas of expertise by industry and function is much more effective than the spam blanket email sent to 100 recruiters. Start with the recruiters/firms you know and expand out with direct outreach to the firms who need to know you.

 

Sample Email to Retained Executive Recruiters

Hi Susan,

Good afternoon. I am a senior HR executive with over 20 years of experience in the consumer products and industrial services sectors. I am aware that you specialize in the HR center of expertise for SmithThompson Search and I’m currently actively seeking out my next role. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my background further at your convenience and I would also appreciate getting marked as active/interested in your firm’s database.

I’ve attached my resume, but my work experience includes the last four years as CHRO of Virtue Products, a PE backed, middle market global consumer company based in Phoenix, AZ.  I previously spent 8 years with Danson Corp, the publicly traded large cap environmental services firm where I served in a variety of divisional and corporate HR leadership positions. I have an undergrad in management from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from Notre Dame. Given the right opportunity and location, we would be open to relocation from our current home base in Arizona.

Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide and thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards,

Joe Sample

 

 

Executive Outlook – October 2020

With analysis of Lead5 data through Q3, the executive hiring market has stabilized in September with a slight uptick in executive opportunities tracked by Lead5 of +6% MOM from August to September. Moreover, executive appointments are up +31% MOM August to September.

At Lead5, we track appointment and departures of executive teams for leading US based companies and we have been monitoring the data closely to determine if the overall executive hiring market is stabilizing and trending upward.

The September gains match discussions we’ve had with corporate executive recruiters and PE firm talent partners that, after a lull in August, activity is starting to pick up. The prevailing sentiment is that the normal Labor Day through Thanksgiving cycle will likely be replaced by an election day through Q1 2021 activity cycle.

Lead5 will continue to monitor and report on executive hiring data trends.

Executive Outlook – September 2020

On September 4, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment has continually declined since the jobless peak spurred by the covid-19 lock down measures in March.  Lead5’s recent analysis of executive appointments shows a gradual improvement in the c-level job market, and we will continue to monitor and report on these trends as executive hiring is historically an early indicator of overall employment.

A discussion point in the Lead5 Executive Community is what executives should be doing now to increase their marketability.   The good news is that there are proactive measures that executives can deploy that are proven to be effective in any market.   The key is developing an action plan and sticking to it.

Executives: Be Proactive and Discover New Opportunities

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

Boost Your Executive Opportunities by 200%

Boosting your executive opportunities by 200% is easier than you think.

Are you an executive who is seeking ways to increase your market exposure?   The good news is that it’s easier than you think.   From placing top executives in leading firms for over two decades, here is a trap to avoid and a tactic that is proven to work:

  • Trap to avoid: many execs I consult with rely solely on their own professional network to seek new opportunities or they select a few executive recruiters they have come in contact with over the years.  While it’s smart for you to tap into this network, you must realize that this represents only a small fraction of available opportunities.
  • Best method: I emphasize to my executive clients the need to be proactive.  This means researching and discovering the companies and opportunities that fit your background and marketing yourself directly to those company’s key contacts. It also means marketing yourself to the relevant industry or functional practice sector consultants at all the major, regional, and boutique executive search firms, not just the select firms you know from the past.
  • How can you start today? My company Lead5 offers comprehensive lists of companies that you can filter by position, region, company size, industry, and ownership structure.  This list, combined with Lead5’s intel of executive departures, yields companies that are strong candidates for your outreach. Lead5 also maintains an executive recruiter database of the leading US-based retained search consultants for firms of all sizes, sortable by the Lead5 filters.
  • Start small, think big. If you deployed this proactive methodology, even sending only one outreach per week, you are exponentially increasing your chances of being discovered.

To wrap this up, I encourage you to take a proactive role in your career.   This is the best way to maximize your value in the marketplace.  I see too many executives waiting on a phone call from a recruiter or over-relying on their own professional network.   By expanding your comfort zone, you are positioning yourself for career growth and stability.

Harness Lead5’s Company Lists to Boost Your Career Opportunities

 

Did you know Lead5 has a unique company list feature that you will not find online or with any other database?   For these lists, Lead5 focuses on US based companies that are actively recruiting executive level talent because these are the companies that are seeking the men and women who comprise the Lead5 member base.

As a busy executive, you probably don’t realize how many companies in your area are seeking executive-level professionals.   That’s because every area has a handful of well-known companies, but there are many high-growth and successful companies that often fall under the radar.   Additionally, most executive jobs are hidden or unlisted.  At Lead5, we strive to provide you with company lists that give you the full picture of the companies hiring executives in your particular function and region.   This empowers your ability to conduct proactive outreach, putting you in the driver seat of your next career move.

Here’s an example of how you can use Lead5’s company lists:

Let’s say you are a healthcare-focused CFO who wants to remain in Atlanta.  There are 27 companies in the Lead5 database when you filter for region ‘Atlanta’ and select industry ‘Healthcare Services + HealthTech’ that are private equity backed, and another 17 that are privately held with no institutional backing.  Do research and become familiar with those companies. Learn about the cultures of those companies through networking.  If you have been in the same market for some time, you will be amazed at how quickly you can connect with someone who knows the inside story or culture of the company.

Lead5 also shows you that 6 private equity deals have taken place in the last 12 months in the Atlanta market in Healthcare Services + HealthTech. Did you know that when a PE firm acquires a majority stake in a new company, that 70% of the time they replace the CFO within 12 months of the deal? PE deals are important hiring indicators for most C-level functions.

What about a newly appointed CEO? New CEOs will likely restructure their leadership team within the first 12 months on the job. With Lead5 you can track and monitor new CEO appointments for companies in your industry and region. Lead5 has recommendations for how to approach a new CEO directly or through networking contacts. Timing is key and Lead5 gives you an edge for how and when to make these connections.

Here is a breakdown of the companies we cover at Lead5:

  • US based public companies traded on NYSE & Nasdaq over $25 million in market cap
  • Private equity backed companies owned by the leading PE firms
  • Venture capital backed companies that have received $25 million or more in funding
  • Inc 5000 high growth companies over $15 mil in revenue in top 40 US metro markets
  • Private companies over $250 million in revenue in top 40 US metro markets

This mix gives our members a broad lens into the executive hiring landscape across company ownership types and market caps, allowing our members to target companies that are perfect fits for their career elevation strategies.

If you have any questions about how to yield the most value from Lead5 company lists, please email us at support@lead5.com or you can email me directly: josh@lead5.com

Lead5 Executive Empowerment Center

Welcome to the Lead5 Executive Empowerment Center

Hello, Josh Wimberley here, CEO and founder of Lead5 – The Executive Career Platform.  I wrote this blog to help you elevate your executive career by highlighting the 5 dimensions that successful executives must master.  It’s also intended to be a reference guide for Lead5 members to help them get the most value from the platform.   I have broken this information into 6 modules.    Please email me anytime with your feedback or if I can assist you in any way!   josh@lead5.com

Your partner in success,

Josh Wimberley

Module 1: Unveiling the Hidden C-Level Career World

Before forming Lead5, I led the largest executive search firm’s CFO practice. In over two decades, I have helped 100’s of C-level executives just like you advance their careers and achieve their goals.  As such, allow me to share some important C-level recruiting insights that you were probably unaware of:

– Most of what you think about managing your executive career is wrong because most of the key information is hidden.   This hidden information includes: job opportunities, insider intel, and meaningful ways to network.  I formed Lead5 to unlock those doors and I will be covering these elements in more detail in this blog.

– The proactive executive always has the edge on new opportunities.  As an executive, you have been trained to wait on a recruiter’s call that may never come.  You’re also probably relying too heavily on your personal network.  These approaches provide you with only a fraction of the total opportunities available to you. Through a combination of AI, dedicated research teams, and crowd-sourcing, Lead5 provides you with instant access to hidden executive jobs, expanding your universe of opportunities.

– Your openness to relocation is a critically important variable for your success. Most c-levels will move multiple times over the course of their careers, and an unwillingness to relocate will ultimately hold you back in your career. Lead5 helps you find opportunities worth the move, wherever you are.

– A ‘full-cycle career plan’ is your means to continue your success in today’s challenging economic climate, and Lead5 is built around the 5 dimensions that comprise this career strategy.  Executives are often so maximized in their current role that they think about their career through only 2 dimensions: managing their current role and then scrambling to find their next one, and often, when it’s too late.   You must understand that it typically takes 4-6 months for executives to find their next opportunity, and this is during strong economies.   The Lead5 Executive Community keeps you connected throughout your career life cycle with thoughtful insights and discussion, expanded opportunities and key contacts.

Lead5 Is Built Around the Following 5 Dimensions That Successful Executives Must Master:

1.  Proactive Opportunity Outreach

2. Continuous Networking

3. Honing Your Skill Set

4. Connecting with Peers

5. Establishing Yourself as a Thought Leader

Because this 5-dimension full-cycle career plan is so important, we offer a complimentary phone consultation to help you develop this approach.  To set up this up, please contact me: josh@lead5.com

Module 2: Personalize Lead5 and Maximize Your Results

My5 is the name of Lead5’s search filters that you will set to deliver to you personalized open opportunities and career intel on the Lead5 Platform.   My5 consists of the 5 company attributes that most C-level executives consider as they pursue their next opportunity.

The My5 components are:

1. Function

2. Industry

3. Region

4. Market Cap

5. Ownership Structure

Once you’ve set your My5 filters, you will see focused opportunities and intel in your dashboard, and you can quickly apply these filters in the section called “Jobs & Intel.”

As your search criteria changes, remember to keep your My5 filters up to date so that Lead5 can work for you optimally.

My5 Search Filters are located at top of all Lead5 web pages:

 

My5 Search Filters: Simple check boxes give you complete control:

Tip: Expand the plus symbol (+) for more granular filters.

My5 Search Filters personalize your dashboard view:

Apply your My5 Search Filters with 1 click:

By selecting “Apply My5”, you quickly surface relevant intel when browsing.

Module 3:  ‘Potential’ and ‘Verified’ Opportunities on Lead5: What’s the Difference?

To maximize your total universe of opportunities for your outreach, Lead5 offers two types of opportunities – ‘potential opportunities’ and ‘verified opportunities.’  Here’s what you should know about these.

Potential Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has discovered that a company will likely be looking to fill an opening soon.   Not every potential opportunity evolves into an actual opening, but potential opportunities have significant value because candidates can enter a potential job search at the earliest possible moment, increasing their likelihood of being discovered.

– How to Pursue Potential Opportunities: We advise members to reach-out to a ‘recommended contact’ that we provide and make an introduction.

Remember: making a connection is always the first step to landing an executive role.  Even if a potential opportunity doesn’t pan out, making a positive impression expands your network and could open up new doors in the future.

Verified Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has uncovered intel that a company is actively seeking to fill this role.

– How to Pursue Verified Opportunities:  We advise members to reach out to the recommended contact and/or recruiter. In some cases, an application link is provided. At a minimum, you should strive to make a connection and broaden your executive network.

Action: Once you’ve identified an opportunity to pursue – whether potential or verified – click the “Pursue Opportunity” button on the opportunity details view.  This will trigger theLead5 Advisor’ which will make a recommendation on the best approach.

Here’s an example opportunity:

Most of our opportunities are unlisted, meaning there’s no online application. Once you click the “Pursue This Opportunity” button, it launches the Lead5 Advisor to organize your steps.

The Lead5 Advisor:

The “Lead5 Advisor” Provides Action Steps

When launched, the Lead5 Advisor gives you specific guidance, recommended contacts, email templates, and more — everything you need to pursue opportunities of any type.

Additionally, we provide suggested email outreach templates to help guide your messaging to the suggested contact(s).

Module 4: Use Your Lead5 Playbook to Maximize Your Productivity

A full cycle career approach includes proactive outreach and continuous networking.  To perform these tasks effectively, we built the Lead5 Playbook to help you organize your activities and store important data.

Your Lead5 Playbook helps you track, plan, and organize:

– Opportunities you wish to pursue in the future

–  Opportunities you’ve already pursued

– Contacts you wish to reach out to

– Phone call notes

– Future scheduled activities

Here is a My Playbook example:

Your time is valuable.  By using your Lead5 Playbook, you can maximize your productivity on Lead5.com.

Module 5: Harness Lead5’s Intel to Elevate Your Career

Utilizing insider intel is key to your executive success.   Lead5 offers actionable intel that will help you in every stage of your career life cycle.   This intel can be found in the ‘jobs & intel’ and in the ‘community’ sections on Lead5.com.

Verified Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has uncovered intel that a company is actively seeking to fill this role.

Action: You can pursue this role or make important connections with key company contacts.

Potential Opportunity – This means that Lead5 has discovered that a company will likely be looking to fill an opening soon.  Not every potential opportunity evolves into an actual opening, but potential opportunities have significant value because candidates can enter a potential job search at the earliest possible moment, increasing their odds of being discovered.

Action: You can pursue this role or make important connections with key company contacts.

Executive Moves: typically covers executive appointments which indicates a near term executive hiring (example: CEO will soon be appointed and will seek to build his/her team).  These executive appointments all signal potential changes in vendors and suppliers.

Action: This is a perfect moment for you to make a connection.

The Lead5 Executive Community: here you can exchange intel with an exclusive membership base comprised of your executive peers.   These intel focal points are: opportunities, career insights, and career best practices.

Action: This is a forum where you can establish yourself as a thought leader, hone your skills, and connect with peers in a meaningful way.

Private Equity Deals: represent acquisitions or assumption of a controlling interest in a portfolio company.  These deals indicate near-term C-level executive hiring flows, new growth capital, and potential changes in vendors and suppliers.  Most PE-backed companies replace the executive team in the first 6 months of the deal closing.

Action: This is a perfect moment to make a connection to the PE deal partner while new leadership teams are being formed.

Module 6:  Connect With The Lead5 Executive Community

Connecting with peers and establishing yourself as a thought leader are important fundamentals to achieving full cycle executive career success.   In an economic environment that is increasingly isolated, we have received feedback from members who have expressed a desire to connect and contribute.  In response, we recently launched The Lead5 Executive Community to help you exchange information with our exclusive network of top executives and executive career experts.

This information includes:

– Member-Contributed Opportunities

– Career-empowering insights

– C-level best practices

It only takes one opportunity, insight, or connection to elevate your career or the career of one of your peers.   As the Lead5 Executive Community continues to grow, our members will reap the benefits.

Here are some specific ways that you can benefit and contribute:

Ask a confidential career question on our message board and receive insights from peers and the Lead5 leadership team who has decades of experience in executive recruiting and executive career management

Submit an opportunity that may not be the right fit for you

Provide impactful insights that helps your peers and establishes yourself as a thought leader

Participation is completely voluntary and you have the option to provide information under your name or anonymously.

I hope this blog has been useful to you.  Please email me anytime with your feedback or questions.   josh@lead5.com

Your partner in success,

Josh Wimberley

Lead5 CEO

How to Send a Strong Intro Email to a CEO

Connect to a CEO

As an executive candidate you need to be aware of the “numbers” of a typical retained executive search where the search firm over a 90 day time frame may interview/screen as many as 40+ qualified candidates. In contrast, when you connect with a CEO or other recommended hiring contact of a company when the news breaks of an opening, there are times when companies work their own network to see if they can interview quick hits for the position without going the full retained search route. In this case, if you are qualified for the position, you are one of 4 or 5 as opposed to 1 of 40 in the typical 150 day exec search.

The Lead5 view is to pursue all angles (direct and through exec recruiters) to maximize your flow of awareness of available opportunities and obtain a greater understanding of the dynamics at play behind the recruiting process.

In summary, at times a position warrants a quicker fill time with best athlete available vs. the “take our time” 150 day full due diligence process. Lead5 is built to create awareness, leads, and ultimately connections for both types of openings. Below are sample emails Lead5 recommends you send to CEOs and other recommended hiring contacts in various scenarios, along with commentary in BOLD italics.

Sample Note to for CEO Opportunity

Hi Carol,

Good afternoon. I recently became aware of the CEO opening at ComTech. I would like to confidentially submit my credentials to the search committee. I am an experienced executive officer most recently with (insert current company, a $x billion market cap publicly traded insert industry sector/brief description of your current/most recent company). I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to confidentially discuss the position. (Also consider adding a line or two about your combination of experiences over the last 5 to 7 years leading large teams, driving P&L, working in a related biz model, etc. that might relate to the particular company)Thanks in advance for your time.

A note that is efficient/to-the-point they can read in less than 30 seconds and have a good summary understanding of your skill set is best – they can always click on and read your resume if they want more information.

Best Regards,

Jason Candidate

Sample Note to CEO for Potential CHRO Opportunity

Robert,

Good afternoon. I recently became aware of a potential CHRO opening at your company. I am an experienced CHRO most recently with Smith Corporation, a $5 billion market cap publicly traded industrial manufacturer (or best description of your most recent company). I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the position if it remains available. Also consider adding a line or two about your combination of global manufacturing, leading large teams, process improvement, etc. that might relate to the particular company – i.e. “I have 15 plus years of experience leading the HR function for global manufacturers that would be highly relevant to Smith Corporation. Thanks in advance for your time.

A note that is efficient/to-the-point they can read in less than 30 seconds and have a good summary understanding of your skill set is best – they can always click on and read your resume if they want more information.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Candidate

Sample Note to companies you are targeting with newly appointed CEO’s

Catherine,

Good afternoon. Congratulations on your appointment to NewCo Corporation as CEO. I wanted to make a brief introduction. I am an experienced Chief Human Resources Officer most recently with Smith Corporation, a $5 billion market cap publicly traded industrial manufacturer. I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to confidentially discuss available leadership positions that may be open in your company. NewCo Industries is a company I have targeted for my career search given the similarities in business model and industry sector to my career experience. Thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards,

Joseph Candidate

Sample Note to Private Equity Partners or CEO’s of PE backed companies that are the result of a recent/relevant PE deal

Robert,

Good afternoon. Congratulations on the recent deal of NewCo Corporation’s recapitalization with MountainTop Capital. I wanted to make a brief introduction. I am an experienced Chief Human Resources Officer most recently with Smith Corporation, a $5 billion market cap publicly traded industrial manufacturer. I am actively seeking out my next executive career opportunity and we are open to relocation. I am interested in pursuing HR leadership roles with private equity backed middle market companies in the industrial and consumer products sectors. Please find my attached resume and I would welcome the opportunity to confidentially discuss an HR leadership position if it becomes available with this new investment/growth phase for NewCo Corporation. Thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth Candidate