Meet the Headhunter: Stephen Lecker, Accounting & Finance Recruiter

November 25th, 2016

10 Questions & Answers by Stephen Lecker, Toronto Accounting & Finance Recruiter

To help you get to know the headhunter on the other end of the phone, each month we at IQ PARTNERS profile one of our recruiters by asking them the same 10 questions. This month, meet Toronto headhunter Stephen Lecker.

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

In university I worked at a dress factory as a production coordinator, and my job was to cut the swatches for dress orders… so definitely an “odd” job for me.  It was a family business and they were very interesting people to work with – there was a lot of yelling and screaming and infighting – so it was a great learning experience in terms of dealing with difficult people.

2. Who are your heroes in business?

My uncle, Leonard Herberman, owned a film distribution company for many years.  He started from nothing as a poor kid and built this successful business, so he would probably be the closest thing to a hero for me.

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

Meet the Headhunter Stephen Lecker

I think a lot of firms have too much of ‘dog eat dog’ culture and mentality where it’s all about the money.  In this business a collaborative environment works best; for example at IQ PARTNERS if my client needs a marketing person I can flip that job over to one of our marketing specialists, and vice versa.  I just think it serves our clients and candidates better.  These are peoples’ lives we’re dealing with and it shouldn’t be just about getting paid.

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

In my area of expertise in accounting and finance, it’s all about technical skills first and foremost.  But it’s also being able to fit the right character and personality with the right accounting firm, and understanding the candidate’s career goals so you can make that win-win match.

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

I would ask “who’s your best employee and what’s their name?” and then go and study their profile.

Meet the Headhunter Stephen Lecker

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

“Why did you choose me to call?”

In the headhunter’s answer they should look for specificity.  Basically, are they just going down a list of profiles from their keyword search results or have they actually done some research and determined that this is worth the candidate’s time?

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

Meet the Headhunter Stephen Lecker

In accounting and finance recruitment there can’t be just one trait — it’s personality and technical skill every time.

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

I did an interview at a Second Cup once where, in the middle of the interview, the candidate excused herself and then came back in a completely different outfit with no explanation.

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

Too many recruiters think they know the role — it’s a senior accountant at a public accounting firm, for example.  But it’s knowing what is different about this senior accountant role and choosing a headhunter that really understands that.

10. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

The small things with my wife and my girls – watching TV, going for walks – the little things.

Get more recruiting and hiring tips from our headhunters in Toronto:

Have You Tried Peer-to-Peer Recruiting?

Should You Hire for Personality or Skill?

Fascinating Recruiting Stats That Will Change How You Hire


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. 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.

Stephen Lecker

Stephen is a Partner and Practice Lead in the Accounting and Finance group. In 2011 Stephen purchased The London Group, and over the next several years built a small team and became a go-to recruiter for several mid-sized accounting firms. In 2016 the London Group merged with IQ PARTNERS, allowing Stephen to grow his accounting and finance recruitment practice under the umbrella of IQ PARTNERS.

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