How to Conduct a Proactive Job Search with a Trusted Recruitment Partner

Written by Robert Reyes

It is very easy to be overwhelmed by the vast quantity and myriad of resources available, especially online, for job seekers. In the normal course of events, a job seeker updates their CV, looks for opportunities, usually on job boards, and submits an application. This is a tried and tested way of getting a job, but is based on candidates reacting to what is available at any given time – we ask, is this the only way to secure access to the best jobs? The best recruitment partners in the market, will spend time with job seekers to help them be more proactive in achieving their career goals.

What is a Proactive Search?

A proactive jobs search is when job seekers identify the kind of role they want, the companies they want to work for, the locations they are interested in – and then set about targeting themselves to a short list of desired employers.  It may seem as slightly more time intensive way to conduct a search, but the advantages are multifaceted. It certainly saves the frustration of sitting around waiting for a process to happen that you have no input or control over, but it also eliminates any competition. By accessing what is effectively a hidden job market, you are increasing tenfold the chance of being considered for a position before it comes to market. As recruiters, we have seen situations where near perfect candidates have had roles created for them, as the opportunity to acquire best in class talent was just too great.

Research, Research, Research

The first step to a proactive job search is to identify the company and companies that you want to work for. Work with your recruitment partner to identify the organisations best suited to your career goals, then together you can research them inside out, find out everything there is to know about their structure, their business goals and their culture. If you are to put time and effort into targeting them, you need to be sure that you will have some sort of longevity in your tenure with them, and their values align with your own. Information can be found online, but also by leveraging your network and that of your recruitment partner, to help access people already in the firm or whom have first-hand dealings with it, will add valuable insight.

Building Relationships

Focusing on your relationships and networks will also enable you to reach out to hiring managers. This can be done most easily through a credible and knowledgeable recruitment partner, who will be able to give you the inside track on how best to make potential hiring managers aware of you and your skills. They may suggest you start by engaging with target firms on social media prior to making an approach, through constructive and informative discussions within social media, where possible. Laying the foundations, by creating a credible digital footprint,  can help an approach come to fruition more easily and enable you to impart more information about yourself and what you have to offer.

Knowledge & Contacts of a Recruitment Partner

Recruiters can play a valuable role in a proactive search, especially executive search firms that can only operate successfully if their consultants’ networks of contacts are extensive. Most active or passive job seekers will have only come into contact with a search consultant when an opportunity becomes available, but a good consultant nurtures their long-term relationships with hiring managers and candidates alike. They are best placed to work with you on your proactive job search because they have access to who you need to know, and they can help and advise you on preparing your CV and your digital profile, as well as provide information about your target organisations.

Reaching Out

Once you have identified the company and the people within the firm that you need to gain access to, your recruiter can make an approach on your behalf. In a reactive search you take the time to tailor your application to the role on offer, in this case, the focus is more on your own value proposition, and why you Outline areas where you have overcome challenges, provide metrics and proof of deliverables and successes, all presented in a succinct and precise manner which leaves readers in no doubt the value you can bring to their firm. 

For more information and to find out about our latest  banking, financial services, legal, risk & compliance, HR, sales & marketing, and IT & technology sectors roles, please contact Robert Reyes at or connect Robert via LinkedIn to have a confidential discussion on the opportunities