Search Firms See Executive Hiring on the Rise

The results from Execunet’s most recent Executive Employee Report indicate that executive hiring is trending upward.

“According to the report, the Recruiter Confidence Index (RCI) increased in October for the second consecutive month, once again bucking August’s report in which the RCI fell as a result of the mortgage industry’s sub-prime lending crisis. An overwhelming majority (81 percent) of executive recruiters are expecting an increase in assigments over the next three months.”

If you haven’t seen it, the full article appears in Manage Smarter.

While on the surface this looks like great news for executive job seekers, if you read my article following the Kennedy Recruiting Conference from last week then you know that this is much better news for passive, top–talent than it is for unemployed executives.

If you are unemployed and looking, you must understand your marketability and clearly articulate your value … and get out of the job boards … in order to compete with the coveted passive candidates.

For senior–level executives, resume saturation in the public job boards can be career suicide.

Recruiters on Resumes

At the Kennedy Conference last week, our recruiter panel offered up the following thoughts on what they wanted to see in a resume:

––Results–driven contributions, not a listing of job descriptions
––Enthusiasm & passion (this is where branding becomes so important)
––Polished presentation
––Vision (strategic initiatives – start to finish)
––The ability to clearly communicate
––Reverse chronological format
––Tailored cover letter

One panelist said he loves the concept of personal branding as it "provides evidence that the candidate can get the job and do the job.”

One other speaker at the conference said this, and it speaks to the first item in the list … “candidates confuse performance with experience … without performance experience doesn’t mean much.”

You Are Out of a Job …

You’re Out of a Job, Now What” in Today in Finance at CFO.com is perfectly timed for the Personal Branding Summit being held today from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

<<Coke is the real thing, while with Allstate you’re in good hands, and Nike just does it. What’s your brand? How do potential employers, former colleagues, and service providers perceive your brand of management and business savvy? Part of the answer is in your personal style, says Croddock, who has worked with many CFOs who run tight ships, but remain detached and even abrasive. Applying such an approach to job hunging won’t work, says the executive coach. Rather, work to become more involved with people, not just the work, during a transition and beyond.

Proul claims that "career goals may change, but a branded individual will have the ability to make transitions easier and at their discretion." And the building blocks of a personal brand are probably already listed on a job seeker’s résumé, including the types and size of the industries, markets, and companies a candidate has worked in, as well as career path, work/life balance, skills, strengths, and expertise, says Proul.

Also, candidates should co-brand themselves through association with employers or departments, writes Proul in a report he authored for Century Group. He explains that many candidates are called in for interviews because of the strong reputation of the company, industry, or products with which they are associated. Writes Proul: "Your employer already spends time and money on marketing; you can capitalize on it. In no other business relationship can you more freely use the branding and name of a company without consent.">>

The entire article is terrific … and a must read for every finance executive who understands that a business plan for his career is just as important as the business plan for his company.

5 Headhunter Secrets

Are you aware that …

–85% of recruiters use online resources to uncover “information” about candidates

–35% of recruiters eliminate candidates based on what they find (Business Week June 2006)

— Blogs are becoming an executive accessory (Debbie Weil)

–6 degrees of separation is now 5 degrees (Columbia University)

–70% of recruiters said their opinion of candidates improves when the find evidence of community service, leadership, awards, and published articles. Opinions decrease when the find candidates own their own business, misstatements and inconsistencies, ethics issues, or are invisible

–76% of executives expect to be Googled; 8% said they found information they wished wasn’t available, 4% posted controversial (up 150% in last year)

–20% of executives have a web presence

If you would like to learn where recruiters are looking for top talent and how to be found by those recruiters, please join Recruiter Bill Vick in the CFO–Career–Forum on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at 4:00 p.m.

To get the inside scoop, sign up TODAY!

If you are a member of the CFO–Career–Forum, log in and register today for our conversation on October 23 at 4:00 Eastern. If you are not a member of the CFO–Career–Forum but want to join the call … register here!

Why MEASURABLE Impacts are So Important

According to the article “CEOs Don’t Earn Their Pay, Execs Agree” in Today in Finance at CFO.com magazine,

>>Although chief executives are usually charged with setting performance measures, 58.8 percent of respondents said the reason for overcompensated CEOs is a lack of real performance objectives and evaluation. Further, 47.8 percent said rewards bore little connection to future corporate performance. And 39.6 percent faulted "undue CEO domination of the process" as the reason for exorbitant pay.

With everyone seemingly ganging up on the CEO, it might comfort some that 56.3 percent of those surveyed said that their board has a formal CEO succession plan. Good news for the CFO is that most of those queried consider the finance chief to be a natural choice to take the top job.<<

A CFO can become the trusted advisor and confidant to the CEO in creating and executing strategic growth initiatives; benchmarking world-class finance performance measures; and becoming a very visible face of the organization through liaisons with investors and lending institutions thereby positioning himself to move into a CEO role.

The challenge I see … constantly … from my CFOs is a focus on what they did rather (responsibilities) rather than how they delivered (performance). If that sounds like you, begin today to keep track of both the measurable impact to the bottom line and the long–term strategic importance of your contributions. It will matter in defending your future salary.

Movin’ On

An excerpt from CFO.com’s Editor Letter of September 27 says …

<< The latest CFO/Duke University Business Outlook Survey found CFOs pessimistic about the economy and reigning in spending and hiring. But a Robert Half survey suggests that might not apply to their own departments: finance hires are predicted to rise.>>

In an attempt to find more information on the CFO.com site about this, I stumbled across Julia Homer’s article, “The Three–Year Itch.” It says in part,

<<CFOs (and their bosses) are vacating their offices at an alarming clip. Various surveys estimate the average tenure of a CFO at anywhere from four and a half years to a mere 17 months.>>

This kind of trending, coming directly from CFO.com, should serve as a wake–up call to all senior finance executives. It is not the “good–old days” anymore where company loyalty kept you there for most of your career. In all likelihood you will be moving out of your current position, and it may be sooner than you thought.

The question becomes, will you have to hunt for your next position or will you be found as the ideal candidate? 

Fireproof Your Career

Anne Baber, of “Make Your Contacts Count” fame, joined us in the CFO–Career–Forum on Tuesday to discuss strategies for creating a personal protection plan for your career … i.e., a strategic business plan for your career.

She had so much great information I actually took five pages of notes!

Her basic premise is, “be eager to stay and prepared to go.” The bottom line is that each individual is responsible for his or her own career. Anne refers to this as being “the champion of your own career.” I love that visual. It is not the responsibility of your boss, your company, or anyone else … the responsibility for your career lies with you. As a side note, Cliff Hakim authored a great book around this very topic called, “We Are All Self–Employed.” It’s a great read for anyone who is in the workforce.

One of the key strategies she mentioned was “liberate your mind.” In other words, be open to who you are outside of what you do. She noted an interesting statistic … the degree to which you identify with your company (i.e., introduce yourself as the CFO of ABC Company) is a strong indicator of the joy you get from your association with the company.

For example, when you introduce yourself is it as, Joe Smith, CFO of ABC Company? Or, do you lead with one unique and interesting statement about you that is memorable and promotes a continuing dialogue?

Do you have your own identity or is your identity woven into the company who provides your paycheck? If it is the latter, how long are you hoping that identity will last?

LYNNE WAYMON, Co-Author of Make Your Contacts Count

Would you like to become the natural and only choice when opportunity arises?  Networking is the career tool that will help you do just that.  Learn how to create, cultivate, and capitalize on relationships that will ensure you give the most value to your employer and the greatest boost to your career.

Lynne Waymon, author of “Make Your Contacts Count,” will show you how to make great connections – even if you’ve always said, "I hate networking!" Lynne will show you the 6 stages of relationship building and what to do and say at each stage to build a more trusting relationship.  She’ll show how to network strategically without wasting your time and your money.  She’ll show you the three key moments in networking and how to use conversation to teach people what you’re good at, what to come to your for, what to count on you for – – without bragging!   

Whether you’re looking for a new job or just want to excel in the one you’ve got, join us for an hour on June 19 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern and gain the tools to make networking an art … not an accident!

If you are a member of the CFO–Career–Forum, log in and register. If you are not a member of the CFO–Career–Forum but want to join the call? Register here! The call will be recorded so you can listen at your convenience, but you must register in advance.