Toronto Headhunter Mark Rouse
10 Questions & Answers by Mark Rouse, Partner & Marketing Recruiter

IQ PARTNERS would like you to get to know some of our recruiters.  Each month we ask one of them the same 10 questions about their lives, the headhunting business, and what you should know as a talent seeker or candidate in the current job market.  Meet Partner & Marketing Recruiter, Mark Rouse.

1. What’s the first or oddest job you ever had?

The oddest job I had was when I was a teenager. I went in to apply at the grocery store and the manager hired me on the spot. When I showed up the next day, the manager had been fired, and no one had any idea who I was. They asked me to work that shift though, so I did. When I showed up again the following day, they said sorry, you don’t actually work here. I never got paid for that shift. I did get a T4 slip though. $0 earned. $0 deductions. Weird.

2. Who are your heroes in business?

There’s a story about Pablo Picasso that speaks well to the enormous time investment that recruiters make (to know the candidate market, to really understand the industry we serve) well in advance of actually being engaged in a search.  It goes; a woman sees Pablo Picasso sitting on a park bench, idly sketching. She approaches and asks for sketch. He says yes, does it and as he hands it to her says “that will be $5000.”  The woman is outraged and says “that only took you 15 minutes!” to which Picasso replies, “No Madam, that took me 40 years.”

Meet the HeaMeet the Headhunter Sarah Brekelmans

3. How do you think the recruiting business could be improved?

From the way we do it at IQ? Not a single thing. Seriously though – a bit more time to find #5. On every search, we are always able to find the top 4 people in the market for the job; those that are open to making a move. But #5, often a hidden gem, sometimes takes a little longer to uncover.

4. What’s your secret in connecting smart people and great companies?

Truly understanding what the client needs, and that is much more than just a job description – that is understanding the value that the right candidate will add and how it will make the client company successful. And then matching that understanding to a candidate that offers that value.

Meet the Headhunter Mark Rouse

5. If you could only ask clients one question when getting a recruiting brief, what would it be?

What will the hired candidate achieve (3 months in, 6 months in) to make you believe you made a spectacular hire?

6. What question should every candidate ask when a headhunter calls?

Why do you believe I am the right person for this role and why do you believe this role is right for me?

7. What trait do you most like to see in a job-seeker?

Personal Responsibility. Because in order to have that quality, so many others have to be present. Like self-knowledge, accountability, desire for continuous learning & improvement, honesty, integrity, confidence, humility, and generosity. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I meet with zero personal responsibility; that believe every misfortune they’ve had is someone else’s fault. Anyone else’s fault. They never take responsibility for their own mistakes, so they never learn from them. Candidates with high levels of personal responsibility are accountable (to themselves) for their own success and development. They are confident enough to admit what they don’t know and ask for help. They deal with set-backs in a solution oriented way instead of assigning blame to others. Definitely personal responsibility.

Meet the Headhunter Mark Rouse

8. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever seen in an interview or on a resume (no names please)?

A candidate once submitted a resume listing a title, company, and time for a company that I once worked for; at the same time, with the same title. They were claiming to have had MY job.

9. What’s the one quality companies should look for when hiring a headhunter?


10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Hot sun, warm water, and cold beer.

IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm in Toronto. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Financial Services & Insurance, Marketing Communications & Media, Emerging Tech & Telecom, Consumer Goods & Retail, B2B & Industrial, Technology, Accounting & Finance, HR & Operations and Mining & Engineering. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Mark Rouse Marketing Recruiter

Mark Rouse

Mark leads Canada’s largest Marketing Communications & Media recruitment practice. Leveraging close to two decades of industry experience in the Marketing Services and Agency businesses, he has been responsible for hiring, developing, and retaining top talent as Vice-President with companies such as Young & Rubicam, Wunderman, and J. Walter Thompson.

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