29 January 2013
The flu season is off to an early and severely swift start. According to the CDC’s Weekly FluView Summary for the first week of January, 47 states reported widespread incidence of the flu, while 24 states and densely populated New York City have reported high levels of influenza-like illness (ILI) activity. In fact, during the same week, 4.3% of the population who visited their healthcare providers went to seek treatment for flu-like symptoms. In a recent Politico article, Jeffrey Shaman, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, warned, “It’s a very intense transmission season — probably the most intense we’ve seen in a decade.” With approximately over 2,250 people already hospitalized thus far, it is clear that even the smallest flu-like symptom should be taken seriously. Think about your daily routine. You see a friend at the train station, and he shakes your hand after coughing into it. You buy your morning latte, and the barista securing the lid onto the cup has a cold. The person on the subway sneezes on you. In a few days, if you find yourself feeling under the weather, this isn’t a coincidence. Though this scenario may be a bit dramatic, it does paint a realistic picture of how easy it is to catch a cold or the flu, and pass it on. If you feel achy, feverish, and unusually tired and cold, you should really think about calling in sick. While it may seem commendable to “take one for the team” and go to work, the flu is primarily transmitted through touch, so there’s a good chance you will pass the virus on to your coworkers. If your coworkers get sick, they sure won’t be thanking you for making the extra effort to come in. Furthermore, if you feel coming to work sick will mitigate your anxiety about all the work you need to get done, reconsider. Yes, it may be stressful to think about putting your work responsibilities on hold for a bit, but think about it; can you really perform at your best when you’re not feeling 100%? The answer is probably no. If it’s productivity you’re concerned about, coming in may not be the answer. You could possibly spread the virus to the rest of your office, which just makes an office full of sick, unproductive employees. If you’re up to it, you can do some light tasks from home and check up with coworkers via email. However, other than sending the occasional email, you should be focused on resting up and getting better. For those of you who don’t have the flu, and want to avoid contracting it, here are some preventative measures you can take: Wash your hands and keep hand sanitizer handy at all times. Limit contact with coworkers. Avoid directly touching doors by turning doorknobs with a tissue or paper towel. Sanitize your desk, keyboard, and mouse with antibacterial wipes. Visit your local doctor or pharmacy to get the flu vaccine; it’s not too late! To receive future flu updates, visit the CDC’s website, here.
24 January 2013
From the interview, to the anticipation of waiting on an offer, to the financial pressure of needing a job, there is no doubt that job hunting can be a stressful and nerve-wracking process for everyone. “We start to experience stress when the demands of the situation and the circumstances are beyond our perceived ability to control or cope with them,” Dr. Sharon Melnick, business psychologist and executive coach, explains. To help mitigate stress in relation to the job search process, Melnick suggests focusing on the things you can control. In the following video, she gives some helpful tips and techniques that will help job seekers reach a level of tranquility in their quest for a job.
22 January 2013
According to market research conducted by The Execu|Search Group, the accounting and finance sector is expected to make positive strides for hiring in 2013. Our recruiting specialists are seeing a tremendous uptick in demand for mid-level accounting professionals within the Real Estate, Healthcare, Retail, Service, Pharmaceutical, Technology and Digital Media industries. Specifically, CPAs with 3-10 years of experience who began their careers in public accounting firms and moved into private industry are in highest demand. From our clients at The Execu|Search Group, the demand for these mid-level accounting professionals has increased 22% year over year, with corresponding salary growth as well. Gary Grossman, Partner at The Execu|Search Group, explains, “Another area in particular where we have seen a significant hiring increase from early 2012 is the Alternative Investment space. Data indicates that for Alternative Investments – Hedge Funds, Private Equity, and Asset Management Firms – 2013 is going to be a strong year for the marketable candidate.” When looking for more experienced hires, Randy Borkenstein, Managing Partner and Chief Financial Officer of Perry Capital, a major alternative investment firm, expects to see evidence of performance and dedication that goes above and beyond the basic requirements of their previous position. He further explains, “Technical skills are critical, but confidence is valuable to me as well. I particularly value those employees who not only do quality work as assigned, but also have the confidence and judgment to know which decisions are OK to make on their own.” To take advantage of our many accounting/finance opportunities, check out our job search page, here.
22 January 2013
Over the past decade, in the aftermath of many corporate governance failures, tightened regulations associated with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and the Dodd-Frank Act have raised the importance of, and need for, Compliance Officers. Stephanie Tancredi, an Executive Recruiter at The Execu|Search Group who works within our Financial Services division and specializes in compliance, explains, “With the re-election of President Obama and his new term beginning, most financial services firms understand that Dodd-Frank and other new regulatory initiatives are here to stay, so compliance has been a hot area. We are seeing a lot of hiring, and even a return to guarantees and sign-on bonuses which have been rare the past few years.” The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a compliance officer growth rate of 15% between 2010 and 2020. This translates to 32,400 new jobs and 26,200 replacement jobs! “Perception is incredibly important in the investment advisory space,” Tancredi explains. “Many of our clients realize that allocating ample resources to their compliance program is not only important to the SEC, but also to their potential investors, who have been bombarded recently with news about alleged insider trading activity and other regulatory investigations at hedge funds.” As the position of the compliance professional has evolved into a well-respected, high-level, and necessary role, a surge of certification and continuing education courses have been developed in response. These programs enable both compliance professionals and those aspiring to move into a compliance career to network with likeminded professionals, while developing their skills, increasing their expertise and understanding of specific regulations in their industries, and expanding their knowledge on how to spot risk and compliance issues. The following list includes a small sample of the available certification programs that can help you position yourself as an expert in compliance. The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) The SCCE is a nonprofit, member-based organization for compliance professionals that offers an exam-optional “Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Program”. The SCCE offers a variety of these 4 day programs across the country throughout the year. This seminar, taught by experienced compliance professionals developed its curriculum around the parameters of the seven elements of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. These elements have been designed to “provide the actions, policies and incentives for organizations to design and maintain the mechanisms for preventing, detecting and reporting criminal conduct at their firms”. This means that an SCCE Compliance Education course is an excellent choice for a professional looking for a general course on how to identify and report compliance issues. The SCCE attracts compliance professionals from a broad range of industries including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and utilities. Those who pass the optional exam at the end of the 4 day program are awarded the Certified Compliance Ethics Professional (CCEP) designation. National Regulatory Services (NRS) The National Regulatory Services developed a certification program in 2005 as a response to the SEC’s Compliance Program Rule that mandates all investment advisory firms need a Chief Compliance Officer that communicates regularly with firm leadership. Sponsored by the Investment Advisor Association, the NRS helps compliance professionals at investment advisory firms become prepared for this high-level role by offering them the opportunity to attend conferences and participate in e-learning, core coursework, and a certification program. Through these programs, the NRS aims to give professionals the tools they need to find the rule, when to apply it and how to keep up with changes that affect their business. The Ethics and Compliance Officer Association (ECOA) The ECOA is another organization that aims to train compliance officers across different industries. The ECOA offers its “Advanced Practitioner in Ethics & Compliance,” or “APEX” program through New York University’s continuing education and professional studies department. This rigorous 18 month program teaches students from various industries about how they can establish the internal controls and code of ethics necessary to maintain best practices. This is an excellent program for compliance professionals who are interested in taking their compliance training across industries. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Wharton Program The FINRA Institute is a 6-day intensive industry specific class offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority through the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. These classes, taught by industry professionals as well as UPENN law school and business professors, are focused on educating financial service professionals about the regulations and laws that impact broker-dealers or broker-dealer/investment adviser hybrid firms. Upon the completion of the final examination, students are officially designated a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP). The FINRA Institute at Wharton is a prestigious program that can help financial service professionals competitively position themselves as an industry expert.
21 January 2013
Think about your favorite company. What about them makes you choose their products and/or services over a different company’s? Whatever your answer may be, the fact of the matter is, the company has been able to create a reputation that you are able to identify and connect with. It’s all about branding! For instance, both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are known for their coffee and array of treats, but they choose to brand themselves in different ways, and therefore attract a different loyal customer base. Companies put a lot of effort and time into their brand, so why shouldn’t you? In order to differentiate yourself in an economy flooded with job seekers, you must focus on what makes you unique, and be able sell it! Here are some helpful tips to get you started on building your personal brand. Discover your brand: Discovering your brand by learning about yourself is the most important part of this process. To do this, you must take some time to really think about what you want to accomplish in your career, and how you can achieve those goals. It’s important to understand your values, and it may be helpful to construct mission statements for yourself. Next, map out a plan of action. To start, you can ask yourself these questions: What do I do? How do I want to be identified? How am I already perceived? What industry do I want to be a part of? What do I want to be known for? Position yourself: Once you have a detailed understanding of what makes you unique and what you want your brand to represent, you can define yourself in a short message that captures who you are and what you can offer. For example, you can say you are a “Career Coach, Author and Speaker”. Highlight your brand: Now that you have defined what you want to be known for and how you want to be perceived, it is time to let others know. To do this, Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Toolkit may be an excellent resource to use. Your toolkit may consist of a blog, website, business card, reference, resume, and an array of social media sites (LinkedIn profile, Facebook profile, Twitter handle, etc.). Be social savvy: If you use it correctly, social media can be a very useful branding tool. LinkedIn, for example, is excellent for connecting with professionals, but a personal blog may give people a glimpse of your personality and help you establish yourself as a relevant voice in your field. There are a lot of other sites out there, so only choose to build your brand on the few you can really “own” and update consistently. To gain more followers on each site, you can link your content from one page to another. The more active you are, the more people will see your content and consider you an “expert”. This is how you will get noticed by hiring managers that scour the internet for recruits. Be consistent: To successfully highlight your brand, you must be consistent in how you spread your message. This means that when people look across your personal branding content, though your techniques may be different, they should be able to identify the same message. Craft your elevator pitch: Once you have mastered your personal brand, you shouldn’t have any trouble articulating to anyone who you are and what you can professionally bring to the table. Every elevator pitch should include: Your name Your most recent employer Your role Your value/specialty Something that makes you seem unique from others A call to action (be ready to exchange information at any time by carrying a few business cards with you!) Network: Attending networking events is a great way to meet and connect with relevant professionals in your industry. However, never discount the importance of meeting people outside of your industry. You never know where their connections may lead! To do this, reach out to your community/local organizations and take the initiative to volunteer your skills and unique expertise. This is an excellent way to expand your audience and get in front of people you may have not been able to meet otherwise. Update your knowledge: It’s important to recognize that as time passes, industries evolve. Keeping abreast of trends in your industry is important, both to find and keep a job. To do this, you can subscribe to a specialized magazine/newspaper, get another certification, or take a couple classes just to refresh your memory. Although personal brands take a lot of thought and self-evaluation, once you can define who you are and what sets you apart, your career and job prospects will benefit. Just remember to be professional, consistent, clear, and most importantly, yourself.
18 January 2013
According to a recently released salary survey from the Institute of Management Accountants, accountants that hold 1 or more professional certifications (CMA, CPA, etc.) have significantly higher earning potentials than those who don’t. The organization’s research found that the average total compensation for those with a certification is 32% or $33,411 more. The survey also found that certification especially impacts the salaries of younger professionals. In fact, those in the 19-29 age group with certifications earned $15,696 more in salary and $20,612 more in total compensation than their non-certified peers. Whether you’re looking to launch yourself into a long lasting accounting career, or are interested in dramatically increasing your earning power, it’s a good idea to attain a professional certification. Jeff Thomson, IMA President and CEO, explains, “Now more than ever, properly trained and certified accounting professionals working in business are in demand. Certification helps organizations ensure they have highly qualified talent, and provides accountants with greater career opportunities and earning potential.”
18 January 2013
Video interviews are becoming the new normal, whether they are live interviews conducted via Skype or taped interviews. With a video interview, the interviewer can get a better feel of a candidate than they would with a phone interview. Taped interviews let the employer review your application at their own leisure, cutting out the problem of scheduling entirely. Here are some things to keep in mind for when you’re asked to have a video interview: It’s perfectly okay to let the interviewer know if this is your first video interview. It can be a great way to ease into the interview, and the interviewer will probably factor that into any nervous tendencies that you might exhibit, like fidgeting or losing eye contact. Look into the webcam, not at the image of yourself. I know it’s tempting to check and make sure your hair still looks good, but you want to be making eye contact with your interviewer. If you have to, place a sticky note over the image of yourself to minimize temptation. Try to have an uncluttered background that won’t showcase too many of your personal items in the room. You want to keep the focus on you. If you can crop your video feed so that it centers on your face and shoulders, do that to make your presentation stronger. Do some practice runs before the actual interview. Make sure your mic picks up your voice and that there aren’t any technological issues on your end. Fiddle with the settings on your video feed to modify your image. You can edit out some of the shine and even out the color if necessary. If this is a taped interview that you are sending to the interviewer, shoot several takes. You have the opportunity to make your video as close to perfect as you can get. Memorize your responses to questions, because just like with a Skype interview, you want to maintain eye contact as much as possible. Minimize or close all other programs that you don’t need for the duration of your interview, so that nothing accidentally makes extra background noise. Don’t forget to silence your cell phone, just in case. As with all interviews, preparation is essential. With the added potential complication of technology, it’s important to make sure you have several practice runs with friends to work out any kinks and to listen to any advice regarding your performance.
16 January 2013
The outlook for hedge fund hiring in 2013 looks promising! Financial Services Executive Recruiter, Paul Herman, explains, “Financial Services recruiters are expecting a big 1st and 2nd quarter after multiple conversations with hiring managers and human resource professionals. While sell side investment banks and broker dealers are outsourcing to cities outside of the New York area to save costs, our buy side clients, such as hedge funds, private equity, and asset managers are building out their presence in the New York City area; creating new and exciting opportunities.” A recent Hedge Fund Alert article expands upon this concept. The publication’s experts predict that the industry is expected to, “expand assets under management by another 10%” in the coming year. Here are some highlights from the article: According to Hedge Fund Alert’s annual industry-outlook survey, institutional investors continue to believe that hedge funds offer the, “best opportunity to achieve uncorrelated returns.” Joe Holman, founder and fund administrator of Orangefield-Columbus, explains, “with interest rates at zero, there are very few choices that will provide any kind of rate of return.” Holman believes that hedge funds are soon going to be, “the only game in town.” Experts believe that due to the Volcker Rule, star traders will decide to launch their own firms, and thus contribute to the growth of the industry. According to Jay Gould, head of investment-management practice at the law firm Pillsbury, the more successful fund managers will “continue to return money to investors and run their businesses as family offices in larger numbers.” Some professionals believe that hedge funds will even outperform in 2013. Roderick Wong of RTW Investments claims, “hedge funds should be better able to preserve capital in declining markets.”
14 January 2013
On Thursday January, 10th, The Execu|Search Group had the privilege of partnering with Fordham University as a sponsor of their HRE Master’s Reunion. The event, which was held at Interpublic Group’s New York City location, was attended by over 100 professionals in the Human Resources industry. “It was a terrific event; one that I was proud to be a part of,” says Samantha Parris, Senior Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “It was great to see the success of the graduate program and the tight-knit relationships that have been formed as a result of it.” The event served as a forum for all graduates and potential graduates of the master’s program to exchange information to explore future business and networking opportunities. We are honored that Kevin Zhang, Director of Interpublic’s Corporate HR Programs as well as a graduate of Fordham’s HR Master’s Program, extended the invitation for us to participate. Samantha has worked extensively with Interpublic, a long-standing client of The Execu|Search Group, to make placements for their accounting/finance staffing needs. Through Samantha’s commitment to excellence, Interpublic and The Execu|Search Group have developed a strong relationship based on trust, respect, and mutual understanding. When introducing us as the exclusive event sponsor, Kevin had nothing but kind words to say. Once again, we are thrilled that we were able to take part in such a successful night and associate ourselves with this remarkable group of professionals. We wish everyone in attendance a bright and successful future.