28 February 2018
Have you ever used social media during a job search? You aren’t alone! In fact, using social media in your job search is becoming an increasingly popular strategy for job seekers to view the corporate social media profiles of a potential employer. However, there are other ways to leverage these powerful tools in your job search. As the workforce becomes increasingly digitized, finding your next career opportunity through sites like LinkedIn or Twitter is becoming more of a best practice than previously considered. In fact, these tools can provide you with a variety of positions you would be interested in taking on, but may not have found somewhere else. If you’re thinking of using social media to help you find your next career opportunity, here are several best practices that are sure to find you success: Create professional profiles for yourself While you should already have a LinkedIn account, you should consider creating a professional Twitter and/or Facebook profile as well. Once you’ve done that, treat your profile as if it’s an interactive version of your resume. For example, posting about professional milestones and achievements, projects you’re currently working on, and industry-specific articles are great ways to present your personal brand. These things give a hiring manager a more in-depth look at you and your professional capabilities, and could make them more inclined to call you in for an interview. Follow industry experts One of the most important things to remember about using social media in your job search is that being active is a major key to success. After you’ve created a professional profile for yourself, be sure to follow industry experts whose insight you regularly refer to and value. By sharing content from industry experts, you’re showing a potential employer that you’re up-to-date on the latest news and trends in your field. Use and browse hashtags So how do you find jobs using social media as if you were trying to find them as if you were on a job board? Hashtags. While a company you would love to work for may occasionally send out a tweet or Facebook post saying “we’re hiring,” browsing relevant hashtags is a great way to find more opportunities on social media. For example, going through a hashtag like #ITjobs could turn up multiple opportunities you are interested in that you may not have found elsewhere. While this can be an effective way to find jobs, exercise caution if you decide to look this way. Be sure to check the date of the original post to make sure that you aren’t applying to an old job that could already be filled. Use social profiles in your company research Another way to decide whether or not you’ll mesh with a company’s culture is to view their corporate social media accounts. For many companies, social media profiles are used as a means to highlight charitable causes they support and the people who work for their firm. By doing this, companies are trying to promote a good company culture and, if you find yourself drawn to those posts, it could be a sign that the company is one you would want to work for!
27 February 2018
In today’s competitive job market, employers are struggling to be an attractive company for talented job seekers. Additionally, a candidate-driven job market adds to an employer’s inability to keep employees satisfied and reduce turnover. When considering what you can do as an employer to become a more attractive and satisfactory place to work, implementing more flexibility into the culture is key. Whether through new scheduling policies, or simply understanding more about your employees’ work life balance, you can take steps to change your company culture for the better. Learn more in the video below:
27 February 2018
In recent years, big banks have faced a lot of pressure to properly calculate and lower their risk, which not only includes evaluating the risk their borrowers pose to the bank, but also the bank’s risk to the public in the event of another economic downturn. “From evaluating credit risks when lending to organizations to complying with Federal Reserve stress testing, risk management roles are increasingly in-demand,” says Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. Among the roles that have seen the most growth in risk management, professionals who specialize in credit risk, regulatory risk, and CCAR (Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review) stress testing may find great opportunities at large banks. “Especially for professionals who have a technical or quantitative background, these skills are highly sought as banks look to calculate risk and test their stability under pressure,” explains Paul. “There is a lot on the line for banks regarding CCAR stress testing, so getting the best mathematical minds on the case is critical to their success.” The CCAR exercise can have significant impacts on a bank if the stress testing goes poorly. In addition to receiving fines and federal restrictions on their activities, the test results are made public—meaning that public confidence can change quickly and affect the stock prices as well. In addition to having advanced skills in mathematics or programming, Paul notes that having experience at other banks is key to landing a more lucrative role. “You can see how much is on the line when evaluating risk, which is why banks are looking for professionals who have the experience to hit the ground running,” notes Paul. “If you’ve held a regulatory or stress testing role at another bank, your skills are in high demand.” While the technical skills are critical to landing these risk management roles, emphasizing your soft skills can make you an even more competitive candidate. “In a risk management position, you’re often calculating the risk and advising other teams within the bank on how they can adjust their practices to minimize that risk,” explains Paul. “As a result, your communication skills will be critical to your success.” This not only includes your ability to distill and present your findings, but also your ability to clearly state the impact of those findings and recommend a path forward. Your ability to showcase those skills during the hiring process can help you stand out amongst the competition. For risk management professionals who are interested in pursuing these roles, there are a number of opportunities both in-house or at third party firms. “Because independent review is a critical component of accurately assessing risk, the positions available aren’t just limited to in-house roles at a bank,” says Paul. “This gives professionals in the field more freedom to find the right role for them when they’re not just limited to working within the big banks.”
26 February 2018
As a public accountant, this is the time of year you likely look forward to the least — busy season. Now that we’re at the midway point, you’re probably getting tired of the long hours, endless amount of work, and struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. While surviving busy season may be a concern right now, you may be inclined to seek less demanding opportunities in the future. Before you decide to leave public accounting and work you enjoy doing, however, be aware that there are a number of new initiatives these firms are implementing in order to retain top talent. “Many accounting firms realize just how much they ask of their employees during busy season, and because of this, are looking for ways to be more accommodating to them during the less demanding times of the year,” says Irv Myones, a Senior Managing Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting & Finance division. “With the demand for CPAs so high, this is a great way for these firms to show their gratitude toward their employees and attract new talent in the future.” In order to do this, here are several options that are becoming more common in the workplace: Telecommuting – Since technology makes it easier to access work from any location, accounting firms have started to allow employees to work from home as long as they can easily be reached by phone or email. “Firms know that spending time with family and managing what can be a difficult commute are top priorities for their employees,” says Irv. “As a result, many employers will let their employees work from home for one or two days per week during non-peak seasons.” Summer hours – Summer hours differ between accounting firms, but many companies are adopting policies where employees are allowed to work half days on Fridays or four-day weeks. Since the workload tends to be lighter during these months, employers view summer hours as a show of appreciation for the work that’s done over the course of the year. Casual work attire – At many firms, staff are allowed to come in jeans and other comfortable clothes in the office and for clients with similar dress codes. If a company you want to work for doesn’t necessarily offer a particular perk you want right now, there could be room for it in the future once certain factors are taken into consideration. “Depending on the relationship you form with your employer, you may be able to reach a compromise that grants you greater flexibility,” says Irv. “For example, if you have a longer commute, your employer may give you a more flexible work-from-home schedule once you demonstrate your commitment to them.” As you look for future career opportunities, you may want to consider how some of these flexible work policies would positively impact both your personal and professional life. If work-life balance is important to you, now is an excellent time to take advantage of these new benefits!
22 February 2018
This is part of a series of testimonials from candidates who have successfully been placed by The Execu|Search Group. This testimonial comes from Damaris Torres; you can find our past testimonials here. When Damaris, an accounting professional, was let go from her job of nine years, she knew she wanted to find a role that made her as happy as her previous one. After connecting with Taylor McCormack, a Staffing Manager within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division, Damaris was able to find an opportunity that met her needs. Excited to see where this new role takes her, Damaris was happy to speak with us about her experience with Execu|Search: On her background… Unsure of what career path I wanted to take, I started working for a law firm in 2001 as a billing clerk because I always had a knack for numbers. I decided to go back to school while I was working to attain both my Bachelor’s and Master’s in Business Administration. These experiences led me to a career in accounting, which I love because there are always new challenges. On what she was looking for… When I first connected with Execu|Search, I had recently been laid off from an advertising firm where I had been for the past nine years. I loved the work, the interactions I had with the teams, and the impact I was able to make during my time there. Finding a job that could offer me a similar experience was a top priority for me. On how TESG worked to meet her needs… Taylor and I connected right away! She was very attentive to my interests and concerns, including my salary expectations and the kind of work I was looking for. She was very transparent with me throughout the process, so I always knew I was in good hands. Having regular communication with Taylor made me feel like she was completely invested in my job search. On preparing for the interview… Taylor took the time to make sure I was completely prepared for each interview. She always reviewed the company background, the culture of the team, and the skills I should highlight to make a strong impression. This interview prep helped me go into my interviews with confidence. On her overall experience… I’m so appreciative of everything Taylor and her team did for me during this process. They worked tirelessly to ensure I found a job that suited my needs and strengths. As I get ready to start my new position this month, I am so thankful for the two of them and am excited to see how this role will help me grow in my career! “Damaris has a wide range of skills, but her positive personality stood out the most to me,” says Taylor. “I knew right when I met her that she was going to leave an excellent impression on anyone who interviewed her. She is going to find success in this new role, and look forward to seeing her future accomplishments!”
20 February 2018
Salary negotiations have changed drastically in New York City since last November. In an effort to promote pay equity, Bill 1253-A bans companies in the city from asking job applicants about their salary history. As a result, now is the time to re-strategize the way you approach discussions about your accounting salary with prospective employers. “There’s a common misconception amongst job seekers that discussions about salary are completely off the table,” says Ryan Mastro, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting/Finance division. “While it is true that you cannot be prompted to disclose your accounting salary history, questions about your expectations are fair game. With the conversation shifting, this is something you must be prepared to discuss in all of your interviews.” While this specific pay equity law only applies to New York City, other cities and states have also passed similar legislation. Following this trend, several companies such as Amazon and Bank of America are proactively banning questions about salary history from their hiring process. “Although pay equity legislation has not yet been passed on a national level, various local laws are having wide-spread effects,” says Ryan. “As a result, it never hurts to be too prepared.” Here are 4 ways to set your accounting salary expectations with prospective employers: Do your research: While this law does present an opportunity to leverage a higher accounting salary, it’s important to be realistic about what you’re asking for. “Compensation will vary by industry and experience level, so do some research prior to your interviews to know what is competitive with market trends,” advises Ryan. “Other factors such as hours, bonus structure, and company size can also dictate the salary.” To establish a realistic baseline, you should be educated on all these variables for every company you meet with. Know your range: When asked about your salary expectations, it’s essential to have a range in mind. “Use your pre-interview research to determine what you are willing to accept for the role,” says Ryan. “Then, you can use this range to guide the conversation about your salary expectations.” Just be sure to be strategic in your approach. If you aim too high, the employer may think you are being unrealistic. But, aim too low, and you risk selling yourself short. Be able to justify your worth: Whether you are first setting your expectations with a prospective employer or you are going to negotiate for a higher accounting salary, you must be able to justify your worth. “Approach this process with a business mentality and leave emotion out of it,” advises Ryan. “This is a sensitive conversation since you are negotiating for what you think you are worth. However, you need to look at it from a factual perspective if you want to be successful. Speak confidentially about your accomplishments and have the context and concrete examples to back them up.” If you already earn a salary that is higher than what your prospective employer is offering, it may make sense to volunteer this information. “If you do this, however, know that everything else is fair game,” warns Ryan. “Now that the floodgates are open, the hiring manager can ask you about everything related to salary history, ranging from your benefits to your PTO.” Meet with an expert: If you’re not sure of where to start, a recruiter can be an excellent resource to turn to. As industry specialists, they have unique insight into what accounting salaries look like across a wide variety of employers. “Whether you are actively looking or just want to explore your options, having a relationship with a recruiter can benefit your career in a number of ways,” says Ryan. “From setting salary expectations to learning about market trends, they’re there to help you find career success.” 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.
16 February 2018
With the current unemployment rate at the lowest it’s been in 17 years, employers are constantly looking to bring on new talent! In fact, 69% of employers plan on hiring new staff in 2018, according to hiring decision makers surveyed for our 2018 Hiring Outlook. As a result, now is the perfect time for professionals to take advantage of the new wave of hiring needs. You should be looking beyond the job description when determining whether an opportunity is the right fit for you. Since work is where you typically spend the majority of your day, it’s important to consider the factors that would make a prospective employer a great place to work. After all, the happier you are in the workplace, the more engaged you will be with your job. If you’re serious about accepting a job offer, pay close attention to these three areas: The company culture Be sure to do your due diligence by researching different aspects of the company. To identify a great place to work, first check out their online presence, which gives the public a glimpse into who they are as an organization, what they do, and what differentiates them from the competition. To do this, look at their social media profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) and third-party review sites (e.g., Glassdoor, Great Place To Work, Indeed, etc.) to see how they promote their brand and what people have to say. When doing this, evaluate whether the company uses authentic photos that highlight company-wide events, fundraising initiatives, or new content. You’ll also want to see if the company has been featured in the news, experienced any major accomplishments, or won any prestigious awards. If a company has won a “Great Place to Work” award, for example, this is a good indication that your prospective employer is doing something right! Professional development opportunities Companies that hire for potential and make the effort to nurture talent from within are the type of employers you want to work for. Therefore, identifying opportunities for professional development should be a major focus for you when interviewing. To determine whether a company is a great place to work in order to advance your skills, be sure to ask questions about their initial and ongoing training efforts, continuing education policies (i.e., tuition reimbursement, webinars, etc.), and leadership development initiatives. At the end of the day, you want to work for an employer where you can easily stay up to date with your skillset. Wellness in the workplace As mental and physical health becomes increasingly important to working professionals, a great place to work will show that they value their employees’ work-life balance. From offering flexible work schedules, summer hours, or work from home policies, the best places to work encourage their employees to take care of themselves both physical and mentally. You should also pay attention to companies that promote physical and mental wellness through company-wide fitness initiatives as well as workshops on wellness and mindfulness. If a company doesn’t regularly practice ways for their employees to remain sharp, both physically and psychologically, you might want to find an employer that does. For more information on what to look for in a new role, check out our 2018 Career Outlook infographic: http://learn.execu-search.com/2018-career-outlook
15 February 2018
Going through the hiring process for a job can be nerve racking, but few things can make a job seeker as nervous as the interview itself. While a resume and cover letter may be considered the first impression you leave on a potential employer, the interview is considered by many to be the ‘make or break’ moment, where one flub can make you feel like you’ve already lost out. While having one or two slips ups may feel like they’ll cost you the position, there are multiple ways to turn it around! Doing this takes strategy and skill, but there are several ways for you to get a shaky interview back on track: Anticipate difficult questions ahead of time A question such as “why should I hire you” can be tricky and, unfortunately, not uncommon. Not being prepared, however, can quickly throw you off your game. To avoid this, draft a list of your most dreaded interview questions and decide how you’ll answer them. While it isn’t a guarantee you’ll be asked questions like this, you’ll feel much more confident if you go into the interview prepared. Be aware of your body language When you get caught off-guard during an interview, you may not realize how this can negatively affect your body language. For example, crossing your arms after a tough question can signal to an interviewer that you’re nervous and/or defensive regarding the topic they’re bringing up. To combat this, have moments during the interview where you make sure your shoulders are relaxed, your hands are in your lap, and you’re making eye contact with the interviewer. It’s easy to let these small things slip through the cracks, but displaying poor body language can cost you the job. Be conversational Many job seekers think a good interview is solely a direct question-and-answer session, but that isn’t always the case. While some interviewers are more formal and direct than others, finding a balance between that and a conversational flow is key. In order to initiate a more conversational tone, be sure to ask questions throughout the interview. Not only will this help to make the discussion flow more naturally, but it will also demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re interested in the position. Send a thank you note Regardless of how well you think the interview went, you should always send the hiring manager a thank you note within 24 hours. Not only does it show your respect for the hiring manager’s time, but it is your final opportunity to position yourself as the best candidate for the role. While your note should be brief and to-the-point, you can certainly expand on something from the interview to spark further conversation or address any lasting concerns.
13 February 2018
In today’s economy, professionals need to keep their skills sharp. While employers are struggling with a skills shortage, this means that professionals who have the right skill sets will find many opportunities in the job market. However, the practice of actually keeping your skills up-to-date is often easier said than done. Between full-time work and personal responsibilities, many professionals wonder how one finds the time to continue working toward their next career goal. As a result, finding new ways to continue learning on the job is crucial to not just staying up-to-date with current industry trends, but also keeping yourself marketable for future opportunities. To continue working to develop your skills on the job, start with these 6 steps: Think about your career goals As you consider how you can expand your skill set at work, start by thinking about your career goals. What kind of position do you want to have in the long-term? Once you answer that question, you can better determine where your current skill set is lacking. To do so, start by searching for relevant jobs that match your career goals. Once you see a job description of a role that interests you, you can begin to piece together where you need to improve. For example, perhaps you would like to manage a team of your own in the future, but you lack the leadership experience. As a result, you would want to find opportunities to lead a project or initiative in your current role. Find natural expansions of your role Once you decide which skills you’d like to develop, think about how you can gain that experience by expanding your current role. For example, if you’re looking for more project management experience, you might propose a new project that isn’t too far outside the realm of your current responsibilities. You’ll want to be sure that your supervisor will see your request as a natural extension of your responsibilities, as well as something you can easily learn. Look for more problems to solve While it’s easy to get stuck in day-to-day operations, looking for ways to improve your (or your team’s) workflow or goals can give you more opportunities to learn new skills. This could mean that you identify and research how you can simplify a process, or help a colleague work through an issue. When you find a problem to solve, you could end up learning a new software or even a new technique that improves everyone’s performance. Ask for more In addition to finding new projects or expanded responsibilities on your own, it is important to ask your supervisor for assistance. Even if you’re unsure of how you can gain new skills, your supervisor may be able to guide you into learning new skills you didn’t even anticipate. When you keep an open mind in regards to building your skill set, your manager can often identify new areas that make sense for your career growth. Find a mentor One of the most effective—yet underutilized—strategies to continue to develop your skills on the job is consulting a professional mentor at work. When you’re aiming for a future career goal, there is no one better to ask than someone who has already done it successfully. Your mentor can help guide you in the right direction and suggest new and effective ways that you can approach your job to further your career goals. Inquire about what else you want to learn If you are interested in learning a specific skill and you’re unsure of how you can gain this experience on the job, consider consulting your manager or HR department about how they can help you gain this skill outside of the office. Many organizations will invest in keeping their employees’ skills up-to-date, so long as they see a clear benefit to the company as well. As a result, if you can find a way to make it worthwhile for the company, you may just get the assistance you need.