I am a strong proponent of working with a BV recruiter when embarking upon the tricky waters of a job search. The classic saying, “knowledge is power” certainly applies in this case. With John Borrowman as my “agent” in recent efforts to secure a new job in the BV area, I felt very prepared at each stage along the way. Whether it was helping me to pinpoint exactly what I was looking for, preparing for a phone or face-to-face interview, or mulling over an offer, John’s input was invaluable.
The single most important aspect of my collaboration with John was in his capacity as a coach.
From the first time I spoke with him, I could tell that he was no ordinary “headhunter”. John takes a very deliberative approach that probes deeply the different issues involved in a job search and job change. You might say that John subscribes to the “whole man” school of recruiting. He asks many questions in the initial phone conversation, seeking answers not only for his own use when speaking with potential employers, but (as I eventually discerned) to get the candidate thinking about a wide range of topics. John is a very thorough and detail-oriented professional.
I thought I’d share a few of the insightful tips that John conveyed in our numerous phone sessions:
- An obvious one….he was very helpful with resume pointers.
- One that a lot of recruiters seem to overlook: how to prepare for an interview. For example, John advised me to stand up when in a phone interview….he said I would sound more energetic and business-like.
- Don’t be afraid to “talk shop” with the employer. It can show him/her that you have the requisite know-how; also, your enthusiasm for the BV field will usually come through loud and clear.
- How to handle the delicate issue of pay expectations. His advice: defer to the recruiter (as your representative) or say “Gee, I’ve been so focused on determining if this is a good fit that I haven’t given it much thought.”
- Perhaps one of the most important ways in which John prepared me was all of the “inside information” that he had about the employer and, in particular, the actual interviewer(s). As a result, I always felt well-prepared going in to interviews, especially the face-to-face ones.
I think one of the benefits of working with a recruiter is how a good recruiter will “prepare the ground” before you meet (or speak for the first time) with an employer. For example, John will have “pitched” a candidate’s qualifications in such a way that the employer already has in mind a very positive image of the candidate, resulting in a competitive advantage similar to that of getting referred into a job vacancy. Even though the employer may feel that there is some hype involved in a recruiter’s pitch, he/she probably concludes that there must be at least a grain of truth in the assertions. So, with a recruiter paving the way, the battle for acceptance seems to me to be at least half over.
Working with John served to round out my knowledge of the business valuation field. What I mean by that is the invaluable general context that John provided as we worked through the process. He provided a “helicopter view” of the profession that one doesn’t necessarily pick up working as a technician in a small BV shop. My exposure to his many years of industry knowledge actually gave me the feeling that I had more experience than was the case.
Finally, a word or two about an aspect of working with John Borrowman that was especially meaningful: John gives the impression that he really cares about the candidates he works with. His approach is unlike all other recruiters that I’ve come into contact with. For example, unlike most recruiters, John gives the impression of not being in any particular hurry. That tone he sets from the get-go has a calming effect on the whole process. He gives the impression that he wants any career move you ultimately decide to make to be a wise one.
My parting advice: don’t hesitate to enlist a BV recruiter for your next career move. The benefits are manifold, and the price is right (nothing)! But get a good one. Personally, I don’t think you could find a better professional than John Borrowman.