31 October 2017
In today’s candidate-driven job market, a company’s ability to retain top performers is key to long-term success. From offering more professional development opportunities to expanding benefits, there are many steps that an employer can take to improve their employee experience. To be successful, however, cultivating a positive work environment is one area you can’t skip out on. While this is applicable to all generations, this is especially critical for managing millennials—a generation that is placing a greater emphasis on work-life balance when making career decisions. Due to technology, the “traditional” 9-5 work-day is quickly disappearing. With employees checking emails and doing work after hours, they are looking for ways to better manage their personal time and relationships. Believing that productivity shouldn’t be measured by hours in the office, but rather by results, they want to utilize technology to achieve greater flexibility in the workplace. This is a trend that will only grow stronger as more millennials enter the workforce and begin having families. As a result, offering some element of flexible scheduling is a great strategy for better managing millennials and motivating them to stay with your organization in the long run. After all, this doesn’t just benefit the employee. Professionals who feel less stressed at home are often more productive at work and less likely to leave for an employer that is more willing to meet their needs. While the flexibility you offer will differ depending on your organization’s needs and the level of trust you have built with the employee, here are some arrangements to consider: Alternative scheduling: This type of schedule can either require an employee to be present for “core hours” (i.e. 10am-3pm) but adjust their start and stop times, or work outside of “core hours” as long as they fulfill all of their responsibilities. Compressed work week: If an employee needs an additional day off a week to devote to personal responsibilities, this schedule allows them to work four ten-hour days. Telecommuting: This allows employees to work from home (or wherever they feel most productive), as needed. Considerate time off policies: Employees shouldn’t worry about missing out on a promotion or raise if they need to take a vacation or sick day for their overall well-being. On + off-peak schedules: If employees put in longer hours during a peak period, giving them a reduced schedule during a slower time of year is an excellent way to reward them. This works well for companies in industries that have busy seasons. Freelance work: An increasing number of millennials are participating in the gig economy to advance their skills. Offering freelance or project-based work is a great way to engage with millennial talent, while offering them the flexibility they need for professional development. Learn more about managing millennials with our eBook: The Millennial Workforce: 23 Tips For Motivating + Challenging Emerging Leaders Check out our companion eBook on hiring millennials: The Millennial Workforce: 21 Tips for Identifying + Attracting A New Generation Of Talent
30 October 2017
When you are rejected for a job you really wanted, it can be very demoralizing. While it may seem easier to forget the role and move on, it’s important to understand your mistakes and correct them for the next interview. When you know why you didn’t get the job, you’ll know how you can improve for next time. However, when there are so many elements to the hiring process, it can be difficult to figure out what went wrong. Learn some common mistakes that are made during the hiring process that can turn off a hiring manager in the video below:
26 October 2017
With the new year on the horizon, many of you will resolve to do a lot of things in 2018. While some will pledge to save money or hit the gym more often, others will be determined to find a new job. However, some professionals in the accounting and financial services sectors will delay their search until they can collect their year-end bonus. “If you are one of these professionals, you may want to reconsider your strategy,” says Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “While it may be tempting to sit back and count down the days until you receive your year-end bonus, those who start their job search before quarter one can find themselves at a competitive advantage.” Why? For one reason, with many professionals waiting to start applying to jobs, competition is lower than it will be during those months. This means that the earlier you start educating yourself on accounting or financial services market trends and checking out new opportunities, the higher your chances are of landing the job you want. “Being proactive doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to make a move if you aren’t ready to,” advises Samantha Parris, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “It does, however, help you build connections and understand your market value—two elements that can make it easier to find success when you are ready to change jobs.” If you are still apprehensive about starting your job search without collecting your year-end bonus, Paul has observed that this is a concern that many employers recognize. “To get candidates in the door before quarter one, employers are coming up with creative ways to make top talent whole on their bonuses,” he says. To do this, many organizations will extend sign-on bonuses to compensate for any potential losses, or even offer delayed start dates, so new hires can start after they collect their year-end bonus. With this in mind, the risk of looking for a new job at the start of the new year is relatively minimal. Not kick-starting your job search—or at least not taking the steps to ensure you are prepared— can, in fact, do more harm than good. “If you are serious about finding a new job in 2018, don’t let your bonus get in the way of your professional development,” warns Paul. “Those who get a head start will be in a better position to secure an opportunity that sets them up for long-term career success.”
25 October 2017
With New York City’s new Employee Protection laws set to go into effect next week, you may be thinking about how this will change future salary negotiations during interviews. Since a potential employer can’t use your past salary to determine your new one (unless you disclose it), you’ll need to go into each interview prepared with knowledge of your worth in the market! As a financial services professional, it’s important to do your homework on how to approach discussing your prospective salary. “Even though an employer can’t use your salary history to determine how much they will compensate you, they will still want to know what your salary expectations look like,” says Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “Researching where your qualifications put you in this competitive field will serve as a huge asset in getting you a salary that is competitive with market trends.” Before your next interview, here are four ways to prepare for future salary negotiations: Provide a range With the new employee laws, potential employers can no longer ask for your past salary. However, they can ask what you expect to make with your next opportunity. When you get asked “what does your target salary range look like” by an interviewer, Paul recommends providing a range that aligns with what you would be willing to accept based on your research. “When doing so, it’s important to provide a range that doesn’t exceed market trends but also doesn’t undersell your work,” he says. “If you don’t do your research and give an employer a number that is too high, they may think you’re unrealistic. However, aim too low and you risk selling yourself short.” Keep company size in mind There are plenty of variables to keep in mind when thinking over salary negotiations, such as whether you have acquired in-demand certifications or a proficiency with specific financial services systems. However, one thing for you to also consider when deciding on a new target salary is the size of the company you’re interviewing for. While you may be exclusively interviewing for VP roles, for example, Paul says it’s important to remember that a VP at a smaller firm can be compensated much differently than a VP at a larger firm. “At a larger firm, a VP could have a more specific area of expertise to oversee as opposed to one at a smaller firm, where a VP’s oversight could be much more expansive,” says Paul. “When you take this into account, it’s important to judge how the company’s size could determine your compensation.” Talk with your peers Discussing salaries with your peers in the industry (but not at your current company) can sometimes be seen as a faux pas, but it’s a great place to start when you’re trying to determine what your next salary should look like. “If you aren’t sure of your market value, talk to someone who has a comparative role and background to yours,” says Paul. “You can get a better grasp on what your salary should look like if you get a second, third, and even fourth opinion from people with similar qualifications to yours.” Consult with an expert If you’re stumped on how to decide what the best salary range for you looks like after talking with your peers, reaching out to an industry expert can help you make a more definite decision. “If you’re working with a recruiter, place trust in them when it comes to determining your targeted salary,” advises Paul. “They have an expansive set of knowledge when it comes to what salaries look like across the industry, so they can advise you on what to realistically expect to make with the positions you’re interviewing for.” The Execu|Search Group has made every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in this article. If you have any questions about these laws, please reach out to your legal counsel.
24 October 2017
Last week, members of The Execu|Search Group’s Women’s Network participated in Story by Story, a unique stair climbing fundraiser to end domestic violence. This event directly benefits Her Justice, a nonprofit that provides free legal help for women who have experienced intimate partner violence. The participants climbed 34 flights of stairs of the historic Hemsley Building. “We always looking forward to participating in Story by Story’s annual stair climb event, and this year, we raised over $2,300 for Her Justice,” says Daniela D’Alessandro, a Managing Director at The Execu|Search Group who organized our participation in the event. “On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This event allows us to come together to spread awareness about this violence impacting our communities, while showing our support for the survivors and individuals currently experiencing domestic violence.” The Women’s Network meets twice annually and participates in a number of community initiatives throughout the year. To learn more about our Women’s Network and read about our past events, click here.
23 October 2017
As you prepare for an interview, you know there are several questions you can anticipate being asked. For example, questions about your major career accomplishments and how you deal with challenges are always fair game. While these inquiries are pretty straight-forward, some are trickier to answer. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” is definitely one of the most common ones. Being asked about your future goals can be intimidating, but there’s good reason for hiring managers to ask! For them, it’s a way of gauging how ambitious you are, whether or not the position you’re interviewing for is something you want for the long-term, and if you understand and meet the demands of the position. At first, you may feel like there is almost no good way to answer this question, but there are several ways to use this type of question to your advantage: Keep the company in mind Part of the reason why employers ask this question is to assess whether the candidate intends to stay with the company in the long-term. While you may not necessarily know the answer yourself, it’s important to show you are committed to the organization and its values. As a result, you’ll want to do your research! Being able to explain how you can help make their goals a reality as you grow in your career can help you stand out as a top candidate. Conversely, making it seem like this job is a stepping stone to something better can land your application in the “no” pile. Understand the position When an interviewer asks “where do you see yourself in five years,” they’re trying to assess a couple of things, including whether or not you have a complete understanding of the position and where it could lead you. To help them see this, talk about how the responsibilities of the role you are interviewing for can help you reach your major career goals. For example, if the position requires you to take on more leadership responsibilities, discuss how you think the demands of the position will help you achieve your goals of transitioning into a management role. Show desire for career growth If you’re asked “where do you see yourself in five years,” be prepared to give a clear response as to how you see yourself succeeding in your line of work. One of the best ways to answer this question is by talking to them about how your industry is also set to evolve over that five-year period. It’s impressive to talk about how you can jump into a role and succeed immediately, but it’s even more impressive to show how you plan to sustain that success as the industry transforms. By talking about how you anticipate your field to evolve over a five-year period, it will demonstrate to an interviewer that you’re truly invested in your industry and its future!
20 October 2017
Today’s financial services industry would certainly be unrecognizable to financial services professionals 15 or 20 years ago. As technology enters every facet of our lives, it has entered the stock market as well. “The innovation and precision that has come about on Wall Street has truly changed the game,” says Mitchell Peskin, Partner, Executive Vice President within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “And with it, the makeup of the work force in the industry has changed as well.” With the rise of quantitative trading, the financial services industry has turned to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) professionals to continue innovating in the field. These professionals have one goal: develop algorithms that maximize the return for the client. These new strategies have manipulated data in order to predict trends in the stock market more accurately. As a result, the guesswork and the emotion have been taken out of the equation when making trading decisions. “Because we can be armed with these data sets, we can constantly find new and better ways to trade,” says Mitchell. When thinking about how technology professionals have shifted the field of financial services, it’s important to consider how this has affected the talent pool in the industry. “Finance professionals aren’t necessarily competing with each other for a front office role anymore,” says Mitchell. “They’re now competing with top talent at Google or Facebook—that’s the kind of experience employers are looking for now.” Because trading is shifting further toward data and algorithms, the makeup of front office roles have changed significantly. “These days, firms want someone who understands these complicated algorithms sitting at the trading desk,” says Mitchell. “While many professionals wanting to enter these front office roles would opt for a degree in Finance, this no longer provides the skill set that employers are looking for.” For years, the typical path for a financial services professional has been completing a Finance degree, but Mitchell recommends opting for a STEM program if you want to stay competitive in the changing market. “A Finance degree is still acceptable for operations roles, but even a Master’s in Finance may not help you move into a mid-office or front office position,” he says. Employers are now hiring Quantitative Analysts, Data Scientists, and Machine Learning Scientists who understand the algorithms at play on the trading floor. “That kind of systems understanding and experience is crucial to the front office,” says Mitchell. For finance professionals without a STEM background, Mitchell recommends looking into Master’s programs in this realm, if that’s a possibility for you. “An engineering major is dealing with that combination of high level mathematics and programming languages that are now at play on the trading floor,” says Mitchell. “Choosing a STEM path like this over a Finance degree can change your career entirely.” However, it may not be in everyone’s reach to complete a difficult Master’s program. If you are looking to gain in-demand skills without such a commitment, learning the most common system skills used in trading is still incredibly valuable. “Taking courses to learn MATLAB, R, or Python can still open several doors for you, and you’ll gain a significant edge up on your competition,” recommends Mitchell. Additionally, STEM professionals who are looking for a lucrative career change may find what they’re looking for in financial services, and these firms are hungry for talent in this field. “If you have the STEM background and are tired of Silicon Valley, a hedge fund or financial services firm could be a valuable career move,” Mitchell says. “Additionally, women in the STEM field are in high demand as these organizations look to correct a gender imbalance, and women who are looking for their next career opportunity in technology may find several doors open to them on Wall Street.”
19 October 2017
As we approach the holidays and the end of the year, it’s time for public accountants to start thinking about busy season. Are you prepared for the long hours and heavy workload with your current firm? Or are you considering making the move to a new employer? If you’re anything but content at your company, now is the time to start considering a job search—and time is running short. The fourth quarter is underway, and in a matter of weeks, busy season will be on the horizon. So, should you find yourself contemplating a job search, it’s time to act. If you try to squeeze in a search last minute, you could make a snap decision on your next job or not perform as well as you otherwise would in interviews. However, wait too long to make a decision, and you may wind up roped into this busy season—and leaving during the most vital months of your employer’s busy season could make you seem noncommittal and unreliable to future hiring managers. It’s a tough decision, but it’s one that needs to be made quickly. What would be enough to drive you from your current firm during such a pressing time? That depends upon your current situation, and only you know what you’ll be able to handle. There are many aspects to consider. As you know, there is typically a 20-30% increase in weekly hours during busy season, lasting from January to March. In some extreme cases, accountants—whether audit or tax—can expect to see up to a 50% increase in hours. That’s a lot of time to spend somewhere where you’re feeling anything less than content and challenged. According to Elisa A. Dammacco, a Senior Managing Director of The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division who is a CPA herself, the longer you stay in a public accounting capacity with the same responsibilities and a stagnant client base, the less marketable you may become. “Switching to a new firm could open you to more clients and new responsibilities,” Elisa says. “In addition, you can choose to try on a smaller or larger firm for size; for example, if you feel the small firm you work for doesn’t offer you enough aid during busy season, switching to a larger firm may be an alternative option.” You may also consider looking for a new job in which you will be working within a different industry. This will expose you to an entirely new client base and different accounting practices and software. This is a great way to stay in public accounting and greatly broaden your versatility in the field, and this exposure will offer you unique diversification that can look enticing to employers in the future and enrich your professional skillset. Of course, you could hold out for one more busy season and get started on your job search after it’s over, but that will most likely be the plan for many accountants. By waiting it out, you also risk the possibility of getting caught in another busy season with not enough support. Some firms have high turnover rates, and if yours doesn’t have enough backfill that’s already trained to pick up slack for you, you could be working more toward that 50% increase in hours. Getting a start on your job search today can give you a leg up against your competition and help you avoid working through a tough situation that you aren’t committed to.
19 October 2017
The Execu|Search Group is excited to announce that we have earned a spot in the Top 25 of LinkedIn’s Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies for the second consecutive year! As a North American firm, we ranked #3 in the Medium Enterprise category. “LinkedIn plays a major role in both the hiring process and the candidate experience, so we put a lot of effort into creating and curating our educational resources on the platform,” says Hannah DeGiovanni, Chief Marketing Officer at The Execu|Search Group. “Whether we’re sharing our latest video on interview tips or an eBook for employers about hiring trends, cultivating an engaging environment with our network is always top of mind.” To determine this ranking, LinkedIn evaluated the social reach, employee engagement, employment brand, and content marketing power of the 60,000 “Search and Staffing” companies listed on the site. They did this by investigating thousands of data points over the past year, primarily focusing on: Content marketing Social recruiting Social Reach and Social Engagement You can check out more details, here: https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/events/17/10/most-socially-engaged/methodology