Working with Executive Recruiters: Positioning Yourself for Your Next Career Move

Research explores the qualifications needed for today's top positions, gender differences during the recruitment process, and how women can increase their chances of landing the job. 

For many women seeking to advance their careers in commercial real estate, the numbers seem to be stacked against them: The vast majority of senior-level positions are held by men, and men still vastly outnumber women in many segments of the industry. And frequently, when companies seek to fill a position, they look for someone who's already in that position at another firm.

Despite those odds, the executive recruiters who participated in CREW Network's 2015 research paper, “Working with Executive Recruiters: Positioning Yourself for Your Next Career Move,” say there's much room for optimism. The desire for greater diversity in the executive ranks is strong, women are outpacing men in many graduate degree programs, and more women are making their way up the corporate ladder in CRE.

To help women understand the executive search process and better position themselves for advancement, the research paper features summaries of interviews with 11 executive recruiters who specialize in retained searches for C-suite and senior-level CRE positions. These recruiters represented a variety of firm types, from global, multi-industry search giants to small boutique firms, and were located in major markets across the U.S. and Canada. Their identities were kept confidential to allow candid conversations about their perspectives and experiences working with both men and women in the recruitment process. The result is an informative look at the qualities needed for executive leadership and strategies women can use to set themselves up for consideration, whether they're seeking a senior position or looking to take the next step in their careers.

Topics discussed with the recruiters included:

  • 'Hot' jobs and skills in demand
  • How to build and maintain relationship with recruiters
  • How women can make themselves more visible to recruiters
  • Contrasting behaviors exhibited by men and women during the interview process
  • The gender wage gap


Laura Lewis
CREW Network Chief Communication Officer
+1 (785) 865-8275


The research paper was written by the 2014 CREW Network Industry Research Committee.​

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