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Informed Careers

2015 Executive Hiring Continuing to Strengthen

March 22nd, 2015

Employment continues to strengthen the beginning of 2015 especially for executives in the financial services and consulting arenas. Healthcare also continues its strength. Clearly this is putting pressure on compensation both for retention and recruitment purposes. Time to brush up your resumes and career plans to take advantage of attractive opportunities as they arise, which will continue to be more frequently in this executive talent market.

Employers need to speed up their decision making processes as candidates are frequently in discussions with several potential new opportunities. As we like to say, “no” is an acceptable answer for whether a company would like to proceed with a candidate, but no answer is just not acceptable for that candidate but also in terms of the reputation of an employer.

So get ready and prepared for an increasingly competitive executive talent market for 2015!

Time for a Career Checkup

December 11th, 2013

With the holidays and year end rapidly approaching, it is time for a career checkup to assess where you are, how well you are doing, and what should be done to improve or modify your career trajectory in the upcoming year. Having a career vs job perspective is critical to better judge where you are in a life time of working as well as the long term steps that will enable one to achieve a career vision. Establishing a career goal or vision is also essential to help guide your actions and development. Happy holidays and let us know how you do in your career checkup.

Continued Growth in 2014 Executive Hiring

December 11th, 2013

There continues to be growth in overall US employment and especially at the executive level as economic growth has continued at a reasonable rate along with a strong stock market and low interest rate environment. We see 2014 as being even stronger with increasing confidence and a global rebound. Consulting firms have continued to experience attractive growth for both large and niche firms in both growth strategy as well as cost and process improvement engagements. Financial service firms are also rebounding from reductions in force during the financial crisis and are hiring. However, we have seen slower and more deliberate hiring processes requiring patience and persistence to be successful. As the talent requirements for success become even more important, this will require improved processes and decision making for executive hiring in 2014.

Executive Resumes

February 4th, 2013

Informed Careers has reviewed thousands of resumes from Executives and continues to be surprised by many of them.  A resume is a marketing tool for an Executive to profile their background in relation to a specific target position.  Many resumes are written to be too broad and a history of an executive’s career.  The resume must be accurate regarding companies, titles/roles, dates, and education as well as for one’s responsibilities and accomplishments.  However, titles should reflect industry standards to be better understood by readers and accomplishments should be limited to those that are relevant to the desired and targeted roles.

Summaries on resumes are also controversial and usually are too general to be valuable. Informed Careers prefers a brief positioning statement to define an Executive’s  career and differentiate that Executive from others.

Dates on resumes seem to be a concern for many Executives.  To the degree possible, seek to highlight and demonstrate longevity with a firm vs. dates for each position.  Leaving out dates for college and/or graduate school graduation is recommended by many career coaches, but Informed Careers thinks that the reader of a resume assumes that you have left off the date because you are hiding something and becomes more suspicious and concerned about a background.  Starting a resume with experience as a VP is also highly unlikely so recruiters find that to be suspicious as well.  The resume should not raise issues from our perspective.

Resume formating is another issue we find to be common for Executives.  Resumes have become electronic and are usually put into Applicant Tracking Systems for record keeping and processing.  Therefore, the format should be easy to read by the parsing systems and easy for recruiters to reformat for their needs as well.  Do not put information into the Headers and Footers that may not be read by those systems.  Do not put in lines and complex formating structures.  Please keep your resume clean and professional as you are an Executive.

The length of a resume is also a topic of debate.  At Informed Careers, we do not think that a resume needs to be on one or two pages for an Executive.  Providing relevant and important information on the resume is more important then the length.  Some Executives also use addendums to provide additional information once they are involved in discusisons with a hiring organization.

Informed Careers offers a FREE Resume Review if you are interested.  Please email us at info

2013 Executive Hiring Looks Strong

February 4th, 2013

We just completed our 10th Claymore Partners Executive Talent Market Survey with almost 500 participants.

The Claymore Partners’ Executive Talent Market Survey revealed continued growth and strength in executive hiring for 2013. Consulting and Professional Services, Health Insurance, and Healthcare industries their strong executive hiring trends and consumer finance / payment products have also shown strong and improving executive hiring. Sales, compliance/risk management, and IT functions also contribute to demonstrate strong executive hiring.

Both employed and unemployed executives see improved hiring as well as being concerned about resolving the fiscal cliff to maintain executive hiring growth. Fewer employed executives seem to be unsettled about their current situations. The best sources for executive hiring are viewed as referrals and LinkedIn while job boards and Facebook were viewed as the least effective sources. Internal, retained and contingency recruiters were viewed as frequent and adequate sources for executive opportunities as well.

Growing Optimism for Executive Hiring in 2012

February 6th, 2012

Major Conclusions 

Executive hiring prospects have markedly improved since our last survey in September 2011with about 61% of employers selectively or significantly increasing executive hiring.  However, the impact of the recent economic and stock market turmoil is seen to be reducing and slowing executive hiring in the near future.    

All industries have improved expectations for strong or selective increases in executive hiring for 2012 other than investment banking and securities brokerage. Executive respondents indicated that the industries planning to hire the most are Consulting/ Professional Services, Consumer Finance/Payment Products, and Health Insurance.  

Executives also indicated that most functional areas are demonstrating growth in executive hiring for 2012. The functional areas with the greatest executive hiring opportunities are in Sales, Risk Management/Compliance, and Consulting/Professional Services. The IT function has shown improved hiring and product development/management remained strong.  The Marketing function appears to be weakening in terms of hiring prospects. 

Continued increases in executive hiring are projected throughout 2012 by over almost half the respondents companies which is a significantly more optimistic outlook than other surveys we have conducted since 2008.    

About three quarters of currently employed executives are currently open to or actively exploring new opportunities.  

Unemployed executives are generally less optimistic then employed executives, but are becoming more positive about their executive hiring situation and the timeframes for improvement since our last survey.  

Key Implications 

For executives, opportunities are increasingly becoming available but employers continue to remain cautious and selective requiring executives to be well prepared to respond to good opportunities in a timely and serious manner if interested.  For unemployed executives, it is increasing important to be active and engaged by being proactive in gaining introductions to desired employers on a direct basis, via company executives and recruiters as well as in working with quality third party recruiters.  Putting an executive’s resume on a web site and responding to job ads does not seem to be worthwhile and often interferes with other channels.  

For hiring organizations, there is an increasing need to be more timely and responsive with top candidates that are being pursued as well as to focus more on the retention of their top talent with increased responsibilities and compensation.

Financial Services Hiring Continues to Expand

July 8th, 2011

Despite the slow growth in the economy, Claymore Partners continues to find financial services executive hiring growing with a focus on marketing, product development, and sales/business development roles in particular.

We find that clients are increasing looking for top quality candidates that specifically meet their demanding requirements, not just generalist talent.  Claymore Partners recommends that executive candidates stay focussed on positions and industries where they can add the most value immediately as they seek the next moves in their career development.  It is time to revitalize resumes and career plans as the fall hiring season is soon to be upon us when financial institutions will be looking to fill positions by year end or early next year after bonuses have been paid out.

Executive Hiring is Back based upon our Spring 2011 Executive Talent Market Survey

April 8th, 2011

We just completed the Claymore Partners Spring 2011 Talent Market Survey and had over 400 respondents which provided a great perspective on what is currently happening in the executive talent market and shows trends since 2008 when we began this series.

The survey highlights include:

  • Executive hiring is back in financial services and consulting
  • Sales, Marketing, and Product Development/Management functions are increasingly in demand
  • Continued expansion of executive hiring is anticipated throughout the balance of 2011
  • Employed executives are increasingly willing and actively seeking new opportunities with expanded roles and growth potential
  • Unemployed executives are becoming more optimistic but remain skeptical despite the up tick in executive hiring

Major Conclusions

Executive hiring has accelerated substantially since our last survey with almost ten percent of employers currently significantly increasing executive hiring.   Executive respondents indicated that most of the companies in their industries are increasing executive hiring with Consulting/Professional Services, Wealth Management, Investment Management, and Consumer Finance/Payment Products having the highest percentage of firms hiring at this time.  Sales and  Marketing function executive hiring are strongest along with increasing hiring along with in product development/management. Risk Management/Compliance hiring is rebounding strongly as well (71%). 

Continued increases in executive hiring are projected throughout 2011 for almost half the respondents companies which is a strong result in comparison to previous surveys since 2008.  

Only 20% of currently employed executives indicated that their employment plans are to maintain their current employer/position which is the lowest level since Sept. 2008.  Therefore, over 72% of currently employed executives are currently open to or actively exploring new opportunities.  The proportion open to exploring new opportunities is the highest since we began the survey.

Unemployed executives are also more positive about the executive hiring situation and timeframes for improvement though they are less optimistic then employed executives.

Key Implications

For executives, opportunities are increasingly becoming available for which they should be prepared to assess in terms of their current position and organization situation as well as their career objectives and plans.  There is an increased caution and need to evaluate the hiring organization and role being offered as well in the recruitment process for executives.

For hiring organizations, there is an urgent need to focus on retention of top talent and revamping their executive recruitment approaches in this increasingly competitive executive talent marketplace.  Use of job boards, advertisements, and the company career site are not particulary valuable for executive recruiting.  Strong referral programs and talented recruiters (internal, retained, and contingency) are best for effective executive search.

Career Development Stalled

March 15th, 2010

For many executives, it appears that their career development has stalled whether employed or not employed as that market has been in the doldrums while companies remain tight on hiring and promotions.  However, the fear in the market about shifting to a new employer has abated and most bonuses for last  year have been paid.  We see and expect a significant change in the interest of executives to move to a new organization that offers greater career opportunities.

For employers, it is time to relook at your key employees and what new challenges and opportunities can be provided to further their career development as well as the profitability of the organization.   Time to reestablish development and training programs for your team. Time to reexamine compensation and bonuses in light of the marketplace. 

For executives, it is time to reexamine your current career status and what is most important to you as well as how and whether your current organization can provide that for you.  It is time to pursue those needs first within your organization and then to examine opportunities that are increasingly emerging at other organizations.  It is time to refresh your resume as a focussed marketing document and think through what target organizations and roles would be attractive. 

It is time!!

Executive Hiring Stalled?

February 10th, 2010

Executive hiring levels appear to be stalled though selective hiring is occuring per the Claymore Partners’ Executive Talent Survey of over 600 executives. 

Please see my recent article for more insights at http://www.ere.net/2010/02/08/executive-hiring-stalled-or-the-lull-before-the-storm/