Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Positive Economic Indicator

Worked out at the gym this morning next to an old acquaintance who is in the Commercial Real Estate field. She was telling me that typically there is 10 - 20 million square feet of space being looked for to lease, in the area. She said that it has been down this year to 4 million feet being looked for, but that the most recent report now is at 8 million square feet. I thought this was a good sign for the economy.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Accounting Partners View On Employment Market

In terms of the employment market, I wanted to share what we have seen so far.

Overall, as a company, we saw a very difficult 2009, culminating with a low point in demand during the middle part of the year. This was followed by a slight pick up, at the very end of Q3 which didn't materialize into a significant recovery. Q4 has been fairly flat with some signs of improvement and with many employers still pushing off hiring into 2010.

While history has taught my firm that simply changing the numbers on a calendar from one year to the next doesn't translate into a recovery, there are many signs pointing towards a 2010 recovery.

Specifically, three items stand out: Job Losses -- In November, employers trimmed the fewest jobs since the beginning of the recession and the unemployment rate posted the bigget one-month decline in more than 3 years. In October the average work week increased to 33.2 hours versus 33 hours. While this doesn't sound like much, it is important because it is a sign that employers that cut the hours of their workers were starting to restore these hours. This is the biggest jump in 3 years. Temporary worker increase -- There was a monthly increase of 52,000 temporary workers, which is the biggest jump in 5 years. Employers will hire temporary workers back first before hiring full time employees. While 200,000 - 300,000 added monthly temporary workers are needed for a real improvement, we need to walk before we can run. According to the CEO of Adecco ( world’s largest staffing firm), these levels should be reached in Q2 2010.

Click here for a poll that shows what others are thinking about 2010. http://polls.linkedin.com/p/68967/ydftb

Monday, August 17, 2009

Job Interview Follow Up - How to Evaluate an Offer

So, you follow up on your job interview and find out things are looking good…really good. You are anticipating an offer.

I know, this is a good problem to have, right? However, how you evaluate your offer is very important. To be honest, it is difficult to get this down to an exact science because the actual accepting of an offer is very emotional. As much as people do not want to admit, taking a job or not taking a job ultimately comes down to how they "feel" about it.

However, for the logical side to us there are some reasonable questions that we can ask that will bring us back to a balance between logical and emotional. Now, before I go through the list of questions, please understand that you do not have to answer a yes on each one in order to accept the offer. The truth is you do not have to answer yes on the majority of the questions to accept the offer. I will give you a recommended scoring system at the end.

1. Does this opportunity allow me to build upon my previous work experience? Yes or No

2. Do I like the actual day to day work that I will be performing in the role? Yes or No

3. Can I perform the day to day functions of this job successfully? Yes or No

4. Is there a good balance between what I have done and what I need to still learn? yes or No

5. As best as I can, am I aware of the stability of the company or position? Yes or No

6. Does there appear to be an opportunity for growth? Yes or No

7. Does the opportunity align with my personal goals that I want to accomplish? Yes or No

8. Is there an evidence of chemistry and cooperation with the people of the company? Yes or No

9. Is the compensation fair and reasonable for the role that needs to be performed? Yes or No

10. Is my personal values and philosophy in alignment with the company’s values and philosophy? Yes or No

11. Can this experience easily carryover to meet with my future goals? yes or No

12. Is the physical location of the company (commute) acceptable? Yes or No

Now, most accounting & finance people I know will have a tendency to over-analyze this list and of course that is a strength of yours and you should use it. However, don’t let one "no" keep you from accepting a good offer.

Here is a general guidline for you to follow:

Yes on 8-12: If you can get a yes to at least 8 or 9 questions, that is about as good as you are going to get.

Yes on 5-7: May still be a very viable opportunity for you, but you may have to be willing to make some compromises along the way.

Yes on 1-5: You probably need to pass up on this opportunity or run these questions by someone close to you and get their perspective. Lastly, you could possibly negotiate with the potential company to change one of these no’s to a yes.

There is no perfect formula and I will be the first to agree that sometimes accepting an offer is a gut feeling, but for the logical one out there (or the super emotional) this can be a guideline for you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

These are the type of responses that we receive for our open jobs.........

Here is an actual response to an ad that we placed for a job that we are working on:

Your advertisement in USATODAY interested me very much.

I am good at mathematics and biology.And I am proud of my physical ability because I have taken a proper amount of exercise for 30 years.The friends of mine say,"you look like a wrestler."

While I was in Uconn,the classmates used to say,"you are the boss of the class."I was very proud.In HLS,I chiefly studied at the library of the school.

I knew some prominent attornies at law both in Boston and NYC.One of them was Francis Sogi who worked for Kelly Dry & Warren in NYC.He is one of the most famous American lawyers in Japan.And I was familiar with the professor of Harvard Medical School.He runs a chemical corporation in China. Moreover,I knew a director of Sumo Airline which is a subsidiary company of Japan Airline.He said,"I will fully support you in New York City." But over ten years has passed since I left the United States.I do not keep in touch with them.I can not ask for their help now.

Now,I ask a favor of you. I will do my best in order to complete your work.Thank you for your consideration.

P.S. Chuo University is traditionally the best law school in Japan.Thank you again.


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ten Recession Proof Jobs

When every day we see more gloom and doom news, I read something that I thought was worth sharing. Salary.com just came out with a survey that listed Accountants and Financial Analysts as one of the top 10 recesssion proof jobs. Here is what they had to say about these positions.

Accountant: Now more than ever, companies are paying attention to the bottom line. They need good “bean counters”, whether they are fresh out of school or are armed with years of experience to get the job done.
Accountants and auditors help to ensure that an organization is running properly and its funds are managed efficiently and effectively. They make sure the company’s public records are accurate and its taxes are paid properly and on time. As accounting rules become more complex and stringent, it is vital to have mangers that can run their bookkeeping operations.

Financial Analyst: As businesses struggle to meet financial goals, it is important to have skilled financial experts on staff to guide business decisions and help improve managerial effectiveness. In light of the current economic situation, a closer eye will be focused on the bottom line and financial analysts will be needed to keep struggling business in the black.

Also on the list were Administrative Assistants, Customer Service Reps, Mechanical Engineers, Network Administrators, Police Patrol Officer, Public School Teacher, Software Engineer and Staff Nurse.

We're in for at least 9 - 18 months of difficult times but it is good to know that accounting and finance should still show demand.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Careful Who Your Friends Are!!!

More and more of our clients are no longer resting with the 3 references that we conduct on our candidates behalf. We are getting word that many of our clients are actually searching online for potential employee's Myspace home page to learn more about their interests and the friends that they associate with. Some have even gone as far as informing us that they may call names from their Myspace page to obtain informal references.

With that being said, how is a candidate to respond to this new method of background checking.

One possible solution is to delete friends that you are concerned with. While it may not sit well to weed through friends that you deem "undesirable", when it comes to finding employment in a tough, competitive marketplace, you may need to make some hard decisions.

As this is a new techique, I would love to hear from you as to your thoughts and recommendations to deal with this new reality.

Monday, August 18, 2008

3 Mistakes To Avoid If Working With a Recruiter

Over the last 14 years, we’ve been fortunate enough to work with a wide variety of clients in not only the Phoenix area but also in California and Washington. In that time, we’ve been a resource for our clients permanent searches, contract needs and contract-to-hire needs.

Through this experience, we have run into several mistakes that we have observed and thought would be worth pointing out

• The first mistake we have seen some clients make, has to do with contract-to hire positions. If at all possible, we suggest opening up your contract-to-hire searches to a direct hire search as well. While contract-to-hire searches have plenty of positive attributes, most notably being able to observe a candidates work product and efforts before making a full time hiring decision, it does limit the audience of job seekers to those that are unemployed or currently contracting. It typically excludes those candidates that are working full time and happy in their jobs, unaware of other opportunities and unwilling to leave their position for a contract to hire position even if they are interested in the opportunity. Opening up the search is a sure-fire way to increase the number of quality candidates to choose from.

• Secondly, if you do hire a position on a contract to hire basis, make sure to discuss with your recruiter, what the full time salary will be once they convert over to your payroll. Don’t make the mistake of ending up having your new employee making less money once they convert to your payroll. This can be a de-motivator and not the ideal way to have them begin full time employment.

• Lastly, don’t make the mistake of overpaying for a new hire. A good recruiter should know the minimal salary that a candidate will accept for an offer even before the offer is extended. Work with your recruiter so that if you do extend an offer, it is one that works for everyone. You shouldn’t have to overpay for a candidate, but also don’t want to underpay. Utilize your recruiter to find out what the right number is to accomplish this goal. Salary negotiation is an emotional issue for both sides; use your recruiter to take the emotion out of the equation and to increase the odds of a successful hire.