It's an honor just to be nominated.
July 24, 2013 6:29 AM   Subscribe

How do job candidate nominations work, particularly when a search consultant is involved? And what is the search consultant's role in the hiring process when it comes to screenings and interviews?

Let's say Widgets Inc has just posted a job listing with the help of external party Joe the Search Consultant. The listing provides all of the details of the position and asks applicants to submit their cover letters and resumes directly through the Widgets Inc website, not to Joe the Search Consultant.

The listing also says something like, "inquiries and nominations can be sent directly to Joe the Search Consultant."

Would it be appropriate for a candidate to ask a respected coworker (same level) to send a nomination letter to Joe? Or are nominations supposed to be somehow unsolicited, or supposed to come from people the candidate may know from Widgets Inc? (Assume the candidate does not know anyone currently working at Widgets Inc, but has other colleagues at his/her current position at Nonwidgets Ltd that would be glad to give a nomination if asked.)

Also, if the application is going straight through Widgets Inc, and not to Joe, what is Joe's role in the hiring process? Who gets the initial review of applications? Would Joe do an initial screening before interviews at Widgets Inc?
posted by dayintoday to Work & Money (2 answers total)
Best answer: Here's how it usually works. All applications go through the company site because the company needs a central place to collect them all. They are shared with the search firm. Nominations go directly to the search firm and the search firm does the initial screening and interviewing of everyone. Yes, it's fine for anyone to make a nomination to the search firm directly, and it's fine for the nomination to be solicited by the candidate or unsolicited. It would also be fine for you to go directly to the search firm. In that case, you would need to follow up by submitting your candidacy through the company site.

So a good path for you might be this: Get your colleague to write you a letter of recommendation directly to the search firm. It doesn't need to be particularly formal or awesome -- they can just say that they work with you in x capacity at y firm, and think you sound like a really good fit for the role. Then contact the firm directly to express interest. Ask a couple of good questions about the job, and tell the search firm you plan to apply through the site, and then do it. Easy :-)
posted by Susan PG at 9:23 AM on July 25, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks so much! The candidate's application is already in, but it sounds like it won't be a horrible faux pas for the colleague to send a brief note over to the search firm.
posted by dayintoday at 2:49 PM on July 25, 2013

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