<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1770253589940451&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Staffing Advisors Blog

Bob Corlett

Recent Posts

Washington DC Association/Nonprofit Job Market Update (Early April 2020)

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 7, 2020

This is the second of our periodic updates on what we're observing in the local Washington DC association and nonprofit job market. (We handle more senior staff searches than most executive search firms, so after completing 800 searches we know what the job market numbers should look like.) 

Current Situation with Employers

We are not seeing layoffs from any of our clients, but we are seeing a few hiring freezes on non-essential positions. This appears to be a simple way to hold the line on budgets until things stabilize. It's mostly a case of stopping to reevaluate. I expect many of those freezes will thaw when offices reopen, events can be held, and budgets can be adjusted for lost revenue during the shutdown.

For essential positions, with very few exceptions, our searches have moved forward to offer and acceptance. This has been true even when a hiring freeze was announced. And from what I am hearing, even those few exceptions will only be delayed until early June.

At the senior staff levels, the local DC job market is just as competitive as it was two months ago. It's kind of amazingly normal actually, especially by comparison with so many sectors in the economy where layoffs are the norm. In our sector, we are still seeing candidates considering multiple job offers. We're not seeing desperation from most candidates, nor any willingness to accept lower salaries. (We have more information on compensation trends below.) 

Our recruiting timelines are the same as before (just as fast as always), but we are finding that interview scheduling with our clients is becoming easier because hiring executives are traveling less. We are seeing some "creativity" with scheduling video interviews on nights and weekends. (Really, who among us can even tell what day of the week it is anymore?) 

The bottom line is this: if you have a key opening and need somebody to start work when you reopen your office, get started now. Jump in, the water is ... kinda normal.

Current Situation with Job Seekers

In our job postings and direct recruiting efforts, we are still not seeing a meaningful change in the numbers of people applying, the caliber of people responding, or the salary expectations of people applying. In our sector of the economy, it is not getting any easier to hire great people nor is it getting any harder. And we're not seeing any shift in compensation trends (except that most people are probably not expecting a bonus for their 2020 work).

The biggest change in candidate behavior we are seeing occurs at the time of job offer. Candidates have been perfectly willing to accept video first, second and third interviews, video panel interviews, etc.. What happens now is that candidates want one final conversation to reassure themselves before moving into the offer phase. They want a real heart to heart about the employer's expectations for remote work, they need to understand what drives the financial health of the organization, and be assured of the importance of the job. Fundamentally this boils down to, "Will I have the support I need to be successful in a remote environment with this organization? And if I am successful, can I be assured that my new employer will not make me, 'The last one in and first one to go' when times get tough?" 

Employers need to think carefully how to handle these valid concerns, signaling their capability and flexibility in supporting remote work, and confidence in their plans for moving forward in this chaotic environment. 

Our Status at Staffing Advisors: 

Because we have always been a fully remote company, we've had no interruptions in our operations and are continuing to interview candidates at a brisk clip. Our clients are becoming increasingly familiar with virtual interviews and we're continually developing new resources to support them as issues arise. That's why we recently published guidance about how to avoid the pitfalls of video interviews

Sharing the Best Advice We’ve Heard From Others:

In our monthly newsletter we share the most useful research and perspective from a variety of sources, but our monthly newsletter seems waaaay too slow in these times of constant change. So I have included a few links to the most useful content I've seen in the last couple of weeks: 

If you are a hiring manager, and you don't want to wait 2 weeks for our next labor market update, or a wait a month for our next newsletter, just follow me on Twitter (or you could kick it old school and pick up the phone and call me.)

If you want to see the latest news and trends on who is hiring, and other advice for job seekers, you can also follow Staffing Advisors on Twitter.

 

 

Read More

How to Evaluate a Video Interview

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 6, 2020

We have quite a few clients who are conducting first, second, and third interviews via video conference software like Zoom. If you are new to doing this, the first thing you'll notice is that it's just different than face-to-face interviewing.

Read More

Career Advice in a Recession

Posted by Bob Corlett on April 1, 2020

When economic times are good, most people with common skills usually don't have much trouble finding and keeping a job. But in an economic downturn, it's far more important to be strategic about your career choices. Things are going to be very uneven in the job market, with some skills remaining in desperately short supply, and other skills enduring massive layoffs.

Read More

Washington DC Association/Nonprofit Job Market Update (Late March 2020)

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 25, 2020

Because of the disruptions in the economy, I plan to periodically share updates on what we are seeing in the local job market. I am not claiming to speak for the whole job market, just for the senior staff level of the association and nonprofit sector in the greater Washington DC metropolitan area. We conduct more searches in that sector than most search firms, and from our years of experience, we know what the numbers normally look like.

Read More

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Status

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 23, 2020

Since 2007, we’ve completed more than 800 searches as a fully remote operation. Our capacity remains unchanged. All our employees continue to work safely and securely from their own homes, using company issued laptops with the most advanced IT security protections (endpoint protection, virtual private networks, two factor authentication, password management, anti-virus, etc.) supported by the experts at Optimal Networks.

Read More

Remote Work Myths

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 19, 2020

So, you've been told to work from home for the first time. And you've read a few blog posts about how to be productive. Meh, most of that advice might not be right for you. As someone who has worked from home since 2002, I'm here to tell you that you are not likely to be terrifically productive right away.

Read More

A Remote-Work Perspective (After 18 Years with No Office)

Posted by Bob Corlett on March 10, 2020

 

Covid-19 suddenly increased attention on remote work, and many employers and local governments are strongly encouraging it. But because remote work is still uncomfortable for some managers, I wanted to share a few thoughts we learned in the past 18 years.

Read More

How to Marie Kondo Your Career

Posted by Bob Corlett on October 8, 2019

When you have had a terrific day at work, what happened? What sparked joy for you? Did you solve a problem, delight a customer, help a co-worker, launch a new initiative, or finally succeed in your evil plan for global world domination? (Hey, we don’t judge.) What sparked joy for you?

Read More

The Increasing Cost of Hiring On Your Own

Posted by Bob Corlett on September 20, 2019

In metropolitan areas like Washington DC, it's become remarkably difficult to hire highly skilled employees and senior staff members. Trying to hire on your own has become more expensive than paying someone a fee to help you recruit. 

Here's why:

The news headlines might blare about future economic slowdowns or potential future recessions, but right now we have full employment (are you seeing any stories about layoffs from well-managed firms? No.) Quite the opposite, some organizations are hiring like mad.

So with low unemployment and fewer candidates actively looking for work, more employers are vying for the attention of fewer available and interested candidates. Consequently a few things happen in your recruiting process. Your job advertising will yield lots of candidates who are not remotely qualified (this is true in any economy) but far fewer candidates who are qualified. Next, when you try to schedule those few good people for interviews, you'll quickly discover that some of the best candidates will withdraw before the first interview because they already accepted a job offer from another employer. Or perhaps candidates accept a first interview with you but then decline a second interview.

To add insult to injury, the job advertising market itself is increasingly complex and fragmented because of all the competition between Google for Jobs, Indeed, Linkedin, Glassdoor, CareerBuilder and others. When you have a poor response to your job advertising, it's difficult to know whether you used the wrong job title, wrote an unappealing job description, posted your job in the wrong place, or maybe your job is just not as attractive to candidates compared to their other career options. All you see is who responded to your ad. You can never see who you didn't reach.  

Read More

What the Search Committee Should Consider in an Executive Search Timeline

Posted by Bob Corlett on June 14, 2018

Finding the next leader of your organization by serving on a search committee is a long process, full of potential pitfalls. It’s also an honor and a privilege. But although the conversations are fascinating, the daunting complexity of the decision and the risk of making a mistake can weigh heavily on each committee member.   

Happily, having the right decision-making process can dramatically improve your odds of success. Long before you develop the job description, and certainly before you begin interviewing candidates, the search committee needs to develop their decision support process, where the information on the position and candidates is gathered and organized effectively. Although “deciding how to decide” can sound terribly bureaucratic, being attentive to this governance question is important. You need to understand who has the authority to decide, who needs to approve the decision, who should have input into the decision, and what information should be used to make the decision. Most importantly, this process will also need to include enough time to consider all the gathered information.

So what should you consider when you evaluate executive search firms proposals and what should you discuss with each search firm?

Read More