Episode 45

What Executive Recruiters Need from GCs: Joelle Khoury, Consultant at Egon Zehnder

Episode summary

Introduction: 0:00

  • Introducing Joelle Khoury, executive recruiter at Egon Zehnder, a leading executive search and advisory firm.
  • Transitioning into executive recruiting from a career as GC at private capital managers like Fifth Wall and Saban Capital Group.

Building a legal career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Cooley LLP: 3:09

  • Starting your career with the goal of becoming a partner.
  • Building a legal office from the ground up and discovering an affinity for business, strategy and vision.
  • Leaving a career in law firms behind after a random call from a recruiter.

Comparing Saban Capital Group with Fifth Wall: 5:55

  • Learning to assess commercial risk at Saban.
  • Appreciating the flexibility offered at a family office.
  • Gaining institutional capital and capital raising experience at Fifth Wall.
  • Taking advantage of opportunities to think through decision making and strategy.

Advice to lawyers raising capital for the first time: 8:16

  • Emphasizing communication with internal and external stakeholders and building alignment towards a macro strategy.

Leaving Fifth Wall and reassessing your career plan: 9:55

  • Redefining what success means and how you want to spend the second half of your career.
  • Resisting the pressure to follow a linear upward career path.

Taking time off before joining Egon Zehnder: 11:22

  • Using a career gap to attend conferences and meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.
  • Figuring out what you want to do with your career instead of working through a checklist.
  • Making new friends with peers that become your biggest supporter.

Transitioning from a legal career to executive recruiting at Egon Zehnder: 16:07

  • Developing valuable relationships with recruiters during a GC placement that led to a role at the recruitment firm.
  • Falling in love with the business model, recruiting staff, and mission.
  • Making up for short-term financial trade offs with work that resonates with you.
  • Going beyond transactional search to handle advisory roles related to board placement, talent review, and more.

Advice to executives looking to executive recruiters for new opportunities: 21:43

  • Introducing yourself to recruiters when you aren’t looking for work.
  • Using LinkedIn to tell your story so recruiters can better understand what you’re looking for.
  • Developing relationships with recruiters that go beyond transactions.
  • Being clear about what you want so recruiters can consider you as a solution to a company’s specific need.

Tips for nailing the interview process: 26:10

  • Prioritizing transparency and high EQ and being direct about whether you are or aren’t interested in a role.
  • Being thoughtful to the recruiter’s needs and reciprocating by offering your own network and resources.
  • Navigating the difficulties of virtual interviewing.

Tips for negotiating after receiving an offer: 29:40

  • Shattering the myth that negotiating hard gets the best results.
  • Managing compensation expectations through transparency and consistency.
  • Allowing the recruiter to translate your needs to the hiring team so you get the best results.

Lessons you learned as a recruiter that you wish you’d known as a GC: 33:33

  • Following your energy, taking risks, and making changes.
  • Being unafraid to explore outside of the legal box and lean into change.

What you wish you’d known as a young lawyer: 35:27

  • Taking more time off between college and law school.
  • Spending six months living and breathing the work you want to do.
  • Letting the path lead you to the place it wants to take you.
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Tyler Finn
Head of Community & Growth, SpotDraft
Joelle Khoury
Consultant, Egon Zehnder

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