Recently we enjoyed the Super Bowl, but it was also Groundhog Day, an event that was doomed to be overshadowed by the hype of the big game. If one stops to think about it, getting "lost in the shadows" seems so appropriate for Groundhog Day. By now, we all know the groundhog saw his shadow, and we will be subjected to six more weeks of winter. But does that mean your job search or career advancement endeavors will also be subjected to frosty results? Not necessarily… if you mind your shadow.
Think of your online reputation as the shadow you cast: If the light is shining right, it goes ahead of you, preceding you in every encounter. However, if the light is not right, it looms behind you as a dark specter.
World-renowned Harvard Business School professor, consultant and best-selling author Clayton Christensen knows the power and potential of what he calls "disruptive innovation."
In fact, he argued at the 2013 World Business Forum in New York City, that the lack of investment in "disruptive technologies" explains why we are not adding jobs in this economy — even though the economy has rebounded and companies are investing. It also explains why companies fail. In many ways, he attributes the lack of investment in "disruptive technologies" to the prevalent theories of measuring business success and what we teach about business in business school that are wrong in today’s marketplace.
For over three years, the monthly US Government Jobs Report has felt like the mythological story of Sisyphus. About every time, it seems we have "pushed the bolder up the hill and over the top, it rolls back down" — over us. December's and January's average overall growth in jobs frames that story and disappointment accurately: 94,000 jobs added, versus the previous 10 months which averaged around 180,000 per month.
Fortunately, in 2014, though overall job growth may be up and down, executive recruiters are starting to report a different story at the executive level — at least in the surveys we just completed that help us fulfill our mission to keep you informed about the executive employment market.
The Super Bowl, a day Americans gather in front of TV screens all across the country and watch modern day gladiators compete for one of the greatest titles in sports. As executives, we do the same. Sure, the stage is different, but every day we are competing for our next title, project, acquisition, sale, etc. The elements that allow us to achieve our goals are eerily similar to those that the two Super Bowl participants display.
I have recently spoken with several members who are thinking about starting a job search or are looking to accelerate their current efforts in the new year. This is a common theme at this time of year, so I have put together four tips that I've gleaned from some of our top career strategists and recruiters who counsel members every day as to what makes sense in today's unforgiving job market.
Last Friday's Jobs Report of 74K was disappointing. Disappointing as it surprised the markets and surprised economists who were looking for over 180K growth in jobs.
For the media, it was disappointing because they thought we were on the verge of a breakout to the upside and this did not happen. Remarkably, the unemployment rate declined from 7 percent to 6.7 percent as a large number of workers were discouraged and left the workforce — doubly disappointing for sure.
With Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday being honored next week, we took a moment to reflect upon the man and his contributions to our country. I came away with a renewed appreciation of his leadership skills. In a horribly challenging environment, he motivated people, bridged seemingly insurmountable divides, built alliances, and navigated necessary lasting change on a national level. Top tier leader material for sure, one truly worthy of being named "King."
Marveling at the appropriateness of his name, I drew a connection to The Three Questions, a short story by the great Russian author Leo Tolstoy. In the story, there is a king who sought the answers to three questions. He believed that they were the most important questions in life and that knowing the correct answers would make him a better king. He asked many wise and educated people in his kingdom but was unable to determine a consensus, so, finally, he sought the opinion of an old hermit and received sage advice.
This company makes you take your vacation time, and you're forbidden from being in contact with the office when you do! Additionally, they will shuttle you to the gym, pay your membership and give you 90 minutes a day to work out. Read Want to Succeed? Don't Check Your Email — and Work Out at Lunch to find out what this company believes about the importance of work-life balance.
The Pope has a good head for business. Mission, publicity, context, personnel, confronting issues should shape the way you lead in 2014. That's what the Pope is doing; read Five Lessons for CEOs from Pope Francis I to find out how he's transforming the church and see how it can work in your business.
We adults have lost the simple power of words. Words shape people and the company's culture. To change attitudes in your office start with the words that are commonly spoken. Change the words and you change the attitudes and behaviors that are not propelling your business to the heights you desire. Read Use Language to Shape a Creative Culture to find out more.
There is a disconnect between what employees say causes them stress and what employers focus on to alleviate stress. A recent survey says workload, interpersonal issues, job security and work/life balance are the main causes of stress. Read Life is Stressful: 10 Things to Stop Tolerating to and examine what you can do to help lower your stress levels.
How conscience of your own body language are you? Chances are, you're not as tuned in to yourself as you think. When the going gets tough, start smiling and turn your shoulders to an angle, supermodel style. Check out 8 Powerful Ways to Improve Your Body Language for ways to improve your wordless communication.
Read Make Yourself a "To Become" List. The article provides five areas to become better in if you want to improve your leadership skills. If you're not curious what they are… Well, that's one of the five areas the article says to work on.
We've given it our coveted Sirius Award — The Best Business and Career Book for 2013. The Sirius Award is a members' choice honor bestowed upon great new books that enlightened business executives in leadership and their careers during the past year. The award is intended to bring increased recognition to insightful business books and their creators.
The strategic question that drives business today is not "What else can we make?" but "What else can we do for our customers?" Companies are increasingly finding success not by being responsive to customers' stated preferences but by defining what customers are looking for and shaping their "criteria of purchase." Find out more in When Marketing is Strategy..
Wrong people have the ability to "destroy the social fabric of the organization” by creating friction, drama, tension, and hostility among employees. Check out four ways hurricane employees can wreak havoc in your company and learn The Real Costs of Keeping a Toxic Employee.
There are invisible barriers to strategy execution. Business-as-usual objectives getting substituted for strategic objectives is a common problem preventing companies from making real progress. Read How to Make Sure Strategy Doesn't Kill Your Business and learn three rules to improve your strategy execution.
The vast majority of poor business decisions arise from one of five types of mistakes. If you aren't on the lookout for them, you'll fall prey too. No matter what type of business you run, you'll want to read The Five Traps of High-Stakes Decision-Making.
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index dipped slightly to +7 in October from +13 in September. This continues to be a pattern of up and down slow growth expectations by executive recruiters toward the executive employment section for the next six months. Recruiters still believe just one in five companies will add executive staff in the next six months and that has been basically true for the last 10 months.
The most recent US Jobs Report was a very good one, indicating over 200K+ jobs were added to the economy in October. This job creation was a surprise to economists, as they were only expecting a little over 100,000 jobs to be added. The day before, the US government indicated that in the third quarter US GDP grew at 2.8 percent, again above economists' expectations.
What does it mean to executives in a job search or leaders looking to add to their teams?
I was listening to Jack Welch the other day, and he gave good advice on how to hire the best person for the job and what to look for. It wasn't too surprising at first... but then he added a final thought on what's really important that changed my view.
Jack started with "smarts" and "integrity" — which are almost a given for all the good candidates. "Smarts" is not just IQ but common sense as well. If a candidate's integrity and values don't match your organization's values — let them succeed elsewhere.
Jack then outlined what he uses to distinguish the "best" candidates from the "good" candidates. He calls it "The four Es and one P." Qualities of the best leaders:
No matter how much we have achieved in our careers and in life, there is always more to learn, more to share and more to experience. Being unable to manage multiple demands on time has been many an executive's downfall; we're involved with so much, personally and professionally. Sifting through the distractions and focusing on what's important is what challenges us no matter what road we're walking.
Curious how an objective observer would say I do in this area, I took Peter Bregman's quiz on How Well Do You Master Distraction? I hate to admit it, but I scored a 51 out of possible 100! I guess I am still a work in progress! I hope you will do better.
There are thousands of books on leadership, all with relevant and insightful theories on improving leadership skills. Yet, when you boil it all down you are left with one four-letter word. If you focus on it you can change your success equation. Read The Cornerstone of Great Leadership (Boiled Down to a Single Word) and find out what that word is.
Exploring how to creatively and cost-effectively externalize core competencies is now as much an insurance policy as invitation to innovate. If you’re not making more customers more core to your competencies, you are defaulting to enterprise drift. Give your customers the tools and the opportunity to make your core competencies more valuable to the both of you. Read more in Do Customers Even Care about Your Core Competence?
Conflicts can be healthy. The key is to know how to phrase your arguments so people will actually listen and to know what you are "for" and what you are "against." Read more in The Key to Healthy Conflict.
The executive jobs picture has not changed much as we march into the fourth quarter.
Despite, or as a result of, the uncertainty in Washington, there is no major robust change in the slow growth trend we have seen for employment in 2013. Forty-plus percent of executive recruiters think the executive job market is going to improve in the next six months (our exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index is at 42 percent in September and has been in the low 40 percent area for most of the year). History tells us that if our RCI gets above 50 percent, we'll see real growth in executive hiring.
Big data enables you to consider and act upon everything you know about your individual customers. It leverages the rich, transactional data that today is aggregated and then discarded. You can see what is normal for an individual and what isn't. These are the types of details about your customers that don't present themselves in an aggregated view. Changes in behavior take too long to show up in an average but often represent a critical opportunity to engage a customer. Read more in Why Big Data is Your Key to Beefing Up Customer Engagement.
At the World Innovation Forum in NYC, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, Luke Williams, an expert in innovative and disruptive thinking who specializes in the development of new brands, compared the current business climate to the weather, "where it's getting exponentially harder to get an accurate view of what even the near-term future will look like."
Williams noted how businesses rise and fall faster than ever before. He cited how just five years ago, the global smartphone market was dominated by three players, none of which are today's market leaders – Samsung and Apple. "The speed of this change is unprecedented," Williams said. "It's getting harder to get an accurate view of what the future's about."
With the turning of the seasons, fall becomes a popular time to accelerate a job search: the leaves are changing; there's a slight bite in the air; kids have gone back to school. Since we were kids, fall has always been associated with new beginnings, so it's no surprise that while wandering the pumpkin patches, searching for the perfect pumpkin, thoughts turn to another much more important search. Members have been wondering, "What else is out there for me?"
Increasingly, members say they are considering career alternatives to a normal job as a part of thinking about what’s the right next step. They want more freedom, flexibility and control over their lives and time and the financial rewards that can go with it.
Our monthly executive Job Creation Index ticked up slightly in September from +7 to +14 as recruiters felt that fewer companies would be delaying the filling of open positions over the next six months. You could say the good news is that recruiters are a bit more positive about company intentions to hire, despite the uncertainty coming out of Washington.
The tone of the executive hiring market turned less optimistic in August. After hovering for five months in the mid-40s, our Recruiter Confidence Index dropped to 39 percent. Importantly, the number of recruiters not confident that executive hiring would increase over the next 12 months climbed to 18 percent, the highest it has been since the end of last year.
After a positive move upward in July to +21, our exclusive Executive Job Creation Index moved lower to +7 as recruiters reported that more companies were putting hiring plans on hold and slightly fewer companies were expected to add executive jobs in the next six months. We are back to where we were one year ago in terms of expected job creation at the executive level.
ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index continued to hover at 44 percent in July and in the low 40 percent range for the fifth month in a row. This continues to indicate that recruiters are not expecting, over the next six months, a major change in the modest level of executive job growth we have seen over the past year. If the RCI were to move above the 50 percent level, we would expect a more broad-based growth in executive hiring vs. the pockets of hiring we have seen recently.
Here are three more great reads for the week, featuring articles I believe will help you achieve more and lead a better executive life.
7 Ways To Boost Your Creativity(Fast Company) Woody Allen said 90 percent of life is about "showing up." With creativity, it is really about "being out there" – expanding your circle of people, places and ideas and breaking down barriers that keep us from doing that.
11 Steps to Happiness at Work(Forbes) Happiness is not about money, your boss; it's about your frame of mind – abandon the if/then model and focus on your vision for the outcome.
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index moved higher in July to +21, as recruiters reported that one in four companies were intending to add executive jobs in the next six months. This is the highest level of expected job creation we have seen since February of 2012, and it up from +13 in June, when recruiters said one in five companies would add jobs in the next six months.
If you were an executive entering the job market in 2003, your goal might have been to wind up in a recruiter's résumé database. Not so in 2013. Now it's all about meeting people and making new friends who will get you in the door.
ExecuNet's 2013 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report (EJMIR) reveals that one in four executives placed into companies by search firms in 2012 were originally identified or contacted through a social network. Social executives in 2013 are even bigger winners, not just in terms of attracting job offers, but in building their leadership brands and relationships that can help them throughout their executive lives.
The June US Jobs Report showed solid job creation at 195,000 jobs. With upward revisions to April's and May's numbers the last three months have been solid at 196,000 jobs added. With the average over the last 12 months of 182,000 jobs added each month, this doesn't represent a breakthrough rather than a continued positive direction. To put it in perspective, most recoveries generate over 250,000 jobs per month so we are not at those levels. The biggest increases in jobs came in hospitality, business services and retail.
In June, ExecuNet's exclusive monthly Executive Job Creation Index (JCI) confirmed signs of a mixed view of jobs creation. Though the JCI remained fairly constant at +13 in June, the number of companies expecting to eliminate jobs in the next six months dipped almost 2 percent, while the number expected to add jobs dropped the same 2 percent.
For the job seeker, the news is positive overall but not a change in trend. For recruiters, it means that companies continue to manage their senior talent closely with only pockets of opportunity.
At 43 percent, ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index continues to show recruiter confidence for the next six months will improve. It has remained at this level for the third month in a row, which confirms no change in overall executive hiring. If the RCI were above 50 percent, we would be looking for a more broad-based expansion.
When you are used to being on a bit of a roller coaster, stability feels like good news, and certainly the solid and more consistent tone and remarks from the Federal Reserve about ending quantitative easing is a hopeful sign that the economy is becoming stronger.
There are pockets of growth in the executive job market. ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index rose slightly to +14. That is up from +7 in April, but showing no signs of a breakout. It rose because the number of companies expected to add executive level jobs in the next six months rose from 16 percent to 20 percent, and the number of companies expecting to eliminate executive jobs in the next six months declined from 4 percent to 1 percent.
However, this +14 level does not suggest a breakout in demand for talent — though there is hiring.
The "tea leaves" for the next six months continue to point neither to an expansion of the executive job market, or to a further slowdown.
Our exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index continues to show that about 45 percent of recruiters think the executive job market is going to improve in the next six months. This has been constant for the last three months. Importantly, 43 percent are in the "middle" and only "somewhat confident" it will improve, and 12 percent are not confident at all that it is going to improve — clearly in industry sectors that are not showing signs of growth. The May US Job Market Report just came in and points to job creation at about 175,000 jobs per month — no breakthroughs seen there either.
Here are three more great reads for the week, featuring articles I believe will help you achieve more and lead a better executive life.
2 Sentences that Engage Customers (Inc.) Customers today have a myriad of choices to meet their needs. Frequently, businesses compete for attention by telling their story and what they make/do. However, it is amazingly simple to engage customers if you think of them first!
Three Ways to Add Value as a Leader (Leaders Beacon) Learn why BP (best practices) + DE (daily execution) = VBO (value based outcomes) and what recognition, respect and reinforcement have to do with it.
7 Social Media Tips for CEOs (Mashable) "Thought leadership" marketing and communication has become a key strategy for CEOs to differentiate themselves, their brands and their companies. There are a plethora of benefits when senior executives are socially active. Discover what successful social CEOs are doing.
Here is the second installment of my great reads for the week series, featuring articles I found that I believe will help you achieve more and lead a better executive life.
This week, I was thrilled to discover I am more innovative than I ever expected and eight easy ways to jumpstart the process. I learned that good price is only the tenth thing customers want and that when people are upset, it matters less what you tell them than what you enable them to tell you.
Keeping up with all the business-related articles of value is hard.
As part of ExecuNet's commitment to you, and to help you stay informed, I am going to regularly share with you the three to five "great" reads that I found that I believe will help you achieve more and lead a better executive life.
This week, I was surprised to discover what my signature says about my leadership; I was fascinated to learn what separates six "exceptional" leaders from just "good" leaders; and I was reminded that using humor is a vital and often overlooked key to success in life and in business.
The April jobs report showed a rebound in new jobs added back to the average we have seen for months — 165,000 jobs — and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 7.5 percent. Economists only expected 140,000 jobs to be added, and they thought the unemployment rate would remain steady. The good news is that the very negative initial estimate of jobs added in March of 88,000 was revised to 138,000 jobs added and February's strong showing of 268,000 jobs was revised up to 332,000 jobs added.
The government also recently released GDP growth for the first quarter at 2.5 percent up which was a rebound from +.4 percent from the fourth quarter and back to more consistent levels of the last year.
At 42 percent in April, ExecuNet's Recruiter Confidence Index, languished just below the 50 percent mark which indicates a major advance. Solid, but not breakout, job creation and economic growth is likely to continue into the second quarter, unlike last year when it did not follow through and dipped back after a fairly strong first quarter, averaging just 100,000 jobs added per month.
ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index strengthen a bit in March. One in five companies continue to indicate that they will be adding executive jobs in the next six months. The good news is that companies previously suggesting that they were putting jobs on hold declined to just over 3 percent. If there is good news, retained recruiters are more bullish than their contingency counterparts. This suggests companies are having trouble finding the right talent and turning to retained recruiters as a result.
ExecuNet's exclusive index of recruiter confidence remained in the mid-forties — below the important 50 percent level that would signal a major advance — and well above 30 percent where it languished last year. Since this measure of confidence is forward looking, it may suggest the dip in job creation is not a new trend. Given the up and down of the market the last several years, we see this weakening as just more ebb and flow in slow upwardly trending market.
There was some good news from February's US Jobs Report. The Labor Department reported that 236,000 jobs were added in February, which is well above the average of 195,000 jobs added over the last three months and the average of about 150,000 added over the last year. Further good news was the unemployment level fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent.
ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index dipped from +15 to +8 in January, 2013. Recruiters still expect about one in five companies will add executive level jobs in the next six months but they also saw an increase on the number of jobs placed on hold and a slight uptick in the number of companies saying they would eliminate jobs.
Companies expecting to eliminate jobs moved from 2 percent to 4 percent, and those saying they would put jobs on hold increased from 6 percent to 7 percent. Recruiters did see that 55 percent of companies indicated that they were interested in upgrading executive talent, though they may not be actively searching for talent at the current time.
Recruiter confidence in the executive market rebounded in January. Forty-six percent think the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, up from 32 percent two months ago.
Recruiter optimism extends to the expected increase in search assignments as recruiters predict a 20 percent increase in 2013. This came after a year where recruiters reported an 11 percent increase in assignments.
ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index increased from +11 to +15 in December as recruiters indicated that one in five companies would be adding executive level jobs in the next six months. This was up from one in six last month. The number of companies expected to upgrade their talent climbed from 44 percent to 51 percent. This positive shift suggests a firmer environment as we begin 2013, but still does not indicate a major breakout we would all like to see as Recruiter Confidence continues to languish below 50 percent.
Recruiter confidence for the next six months improved a bit, moving to 36 percent at the end of December 2012, but remained below 50 percent for the eighth month in row, Being above the 50 percent mark is a critical overall indicator of an expanding executive employment market.
Attitudes captured before the fiscal cliff negotiations completed on January 1, continued to show the overall lack of recruiter confidence that this market trend will change over the next six months. Recruiters still tend to believe, as they expressed last year, that lack of leadership in Washington to create a national climate for business growth was the problem.
ExecuNet's Job Creation Index dipped in November from +17 to +11. Recruiters lost some of the confidence they had seen prior to the election, as the number of companies expected to add positions in the next six months, declined from 27 percent to 17 percent.
The increasing confidence that executive recruiters showed in October prior to the election reversed in November. Recruiter confidence plunged from 46 percent to just over 30 percent, dipping to the lowest level of confidence registered this year. Meanwhile, the number of executive recruiters who are not confident the executive job market will improve increased to the highest levels seen in the last four years.
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index jumped from +9 in September to +17 in October. This change was driven by the almost doubling in the number of companies expecting to add executive level positions in the next six months. In October, the number of companies expecting to add positions jumped from 13 percent to 27 percent.
Even before the November election, recruiters were growing more confident that the executive job market would improve over the next six months. ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index jumped to 46 percent in October, just below the important 50 percent level that would signal a more expansive and broad based recovery of the executive job market over the next six months.
ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index continued at low levels in September and remained below 40 percent. It says that while there are pockets of opportunity, recruiters are not seeing a broad-based improvement in the overall executive employment market for the next six months.
ExecuNet's exclusive Executive Job Creation Index ticked down five points in August to plus five. This is the lowest it has been since last October. This drop reflects the fact that recruiters report only 13 percent of companies will be adding jobs over the next six months, versus 20 percent in our July survey.
ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index (RCI) dipped lower in August and continued for the third consecutive month below 40 percent. Recruiters continue to say that there is no broad-based expansion in hiring in this slow growth economy. An RCI above 50 percent would signal a broad-based expansion.
Every year for the last two decades, ExecuNet has surveyed executives, search firm professionals and human resource leaders to get their perspectives on the marketplace, and, as a result, we produce our annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report.
Companion to the report, is a special webinar for ExecuNet members conducted by President Mark Anderson, where he dissects and provides deeper storylines around some of the data, helping executives sharpen their next career moves.
Of course we think the insight is great, but we always survey attendees about the value of our content, so weâ€™ll let them tell you what you can expect from the webinar:
ExecuNet's exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index was flat from June to July and still below 40 percent. What this means to you is recruiters are not seeing a broad based improvement in the overall executive employment market for the near-term. Since 40 percent are confident or very confident — it seems there are pockets for opportunity, but not across the board. When the index climbs over 50 percent is an indicator or a more broad-based improvement in the executive hiring market.
Nearly half (49%) of the executive recruiters surveyed by ExecuNet revealed that executives with proven innovation skills were hard to find, compared to other skills, and 31 percent said companies were willing to pay a premium for innovative talent — even in today's job market.
With product lifecycles declining rapidly, increased global competition and pressure from changing customer needs, executives who have demonstrated they can challenge business assumptions and find the areas of opportunities in current business models are in demand. We counsel executives every day that they have to do more than claim they were "innovative" on their résumés. They need to show a quantifiable history of innovating and its impact on their previous organizations.
ExecuNet's exclusive Job Creation Index ticked up slightly in July to +10 from +8 in June, showing slightly higher expected growth in executive job creation for the next six months.
Executive recruiters continued to report that there are pockets of opportunity in the current marketplace with 20 percent companies looking to add executive jobs in the next six months and another 25 percent of companies who are likely to freezing hiring for the next six months.
June was the 30th consecutive month with a positive Executive Job Creation Index since the recession of 2008-2009. However, in June, we saw Executive Job Creation Index dip to +8, down from +24 in February, 2012.
The good news is that executive recruiters continue to see almost one in five companies planning to add executive level positions in the next six months. They also only see about 3 percent of companies planning to eliminate executive jobs over the next six months. The major dip in the index in June came about by more companies placing current searches on hold.
In the last 12 months, recruiter confidence rose from 28 percent last September to peak in March 2012 at 58 percent. It has now retrenched to 39 percent in June. Being below 50 percent indicates recruiters are not very confident that the overall executive job market will expand over the next six months — just like the middle of last year.
The US Jobs report continued to show signs of slowing growth generating only the addition of 69,000 jobs in May as the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent. But, executive job creation was promising, according to ExecuNet's May survey of search firm consultants.
Last month, we reported the significant upswing in our exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index, a trajectory that began in October. For the last nine years, this index has been a leading indicator for the economy and for executive hiring, and Friday's job report reinforced how strongly this indicator has led.
Consistent with what recruiters pointed to in September, and in a big way in our December survey, the employment picture continues to brighten.
Many economic releases last week supported the notion of continued growth for the US economy. The Purchasing Managers' Report (an indicator of a rebounding manufacturing sector) crossed into expansionary areas. The monthly jobs report showed the private sector added 140,000 new jobs and revisions from prior months continued to show strength.
But, the most important economic releases last week were the retail sales figures from Black Friday and the first holiday sales weekend. They indicated that the consumer was starting to spend — which for the economy has been the missing link for faster growth. Consumer spending makes up 70 percent of the US economy. Over the last three years, they have been deleveraging themselves. The Black Friday reports were the first sign that may be easing.
The Labor Department reported last Friday that employers added 103,000 jobs in September. Hiring was stronger than expected and well above consensus and upper range estimates. With 34,000 jobs lost in federal and state governments, private sector hiring increased jobs by a solid +137,000.
With positive revisions to the previous July release (going from +85,000 to +127,000 jobs) and the August release (going from 0 to +57,000 jobs added), there was further good news and strength in the employment situation — though unemployment remained unchanged at 9.1%.
Friday's jobs report showed an uptick in job creation and the lower unemployment claim numbers released on Thursday were another indicator that the jobs market is not on a downward spiral. This trend may be lost with all the other economic news that surrounded these releases and were clearly disturbing the financial markets over the last week.
The June jobs report, released last Friday, was clearly disappointing in its aggregate picture. The total economy gained just 18,000 jobs in June, sharply missing most expectations and coming in even weaker than the 25,000 jobs added in May and significantly down from the three months prior, which had averaged over 200,000 jobs created monthly.
If there was any good news, it was that private sector businesses continued to add jobs in June (+57,000) — but again at levels slightly lower than May (+73,000) and significantly lower than the average in February through April. Currently, the private sector continues to show job growth, while the public sector is a clear drag to the overall economic numbers.
At only 54,000 jobs created, the US jobs report on Friday was disappointing. Private sector jobs increased 83,000 but were still below the average of the first four months of 2011. Economists were expecting approximately 170,000 jobs to be added in May and similar numbers for the private sector.
One month does not make a trend, but the lower number of jobs created certainly shows a loss of momentum. It does continue to reinforce the unevenness of the recovery and shows the economy's continued slow advance against earlier hopeful expectations for a fuller rebound.
In case you hadn't noticed, an economic recovery is underway. Albeit, it's slow, but business and hiring growth is occurring. For the 16th consecutive month, ExecuNet's Executive Job Creation Index posted gains, and again, recruiter confidence is high.
On Friday, the US government released its job report for April, and it was good news. They showed growth in overall job creation in the economy of 244,000 jobs and even stronger private sector job growth of 268,000 jobs. Unemployment increased slightly to 9 percent as more people came back to the job market with the continuing improvement in the jobs market.
It was Mother's Day yesterday, and in deference to this holiday you may have missed some news; here are seven things you might not have heard about that are important:
Recently, I attended a breakfast of the Greenwich Leadership Forum, an organization of professionals and business leaders who are striving to be ethical leaders, combining business excellence with wisdom and faith-based and ethical principles. The speaker was Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci, who gained recent fame as part of the bidding group for the New York Mets and for the famous Jon Stewart segment last September, which went over 5,000,000 views on YouTube, answering the question Anthony asked President Obama in a town hall meeting: "When will you [President Obama] stop treating Wall Street as a ‘piñata?'" Stewart answered the question: "...until the candy comes out."
I recently went to a reception announcing the release of Breaking Away, a new book on "how great leaders create innovation that drives sustainable growth — and why others fail." There are many books on innovation, but this one is a keeper. It was written by the Jane Stevenson, Chairman, Board and CEO Services at Korn/Ferry International and Bilal Kaafarani, who has been a "serial" innovator at P&G, Kraft, Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
Stevenson's and Kaafarani's main purpose is to clarify what innovation is and how companies can consistently succeed in making the breakthroughs in innovation that lead to transformational change, revolutionizing an industry, a market or a company itself — the payoff being activating profitable and sustainable growth.
The "job market gained momentum" is the way the media is portraying the positive increase in jobs in March. They were at 216,000 jobs added in March, up from 192,000 in February. The government also reported that unemployment decreased from 8.9 percent to 8.8 percent — its lowest level in two years. These numbers were slightly above market expectations of 195,000 jobs added and unemployment holding steady at 8.9 percent.
The good news is that private sector employment increased even more, adding 236,000 jobs last month. They also raised their estimate of the number of jobs added in February by about 30,000 jobs, from 212,000 to 240,000.
The aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami is a tragedy, and the global economic implications at this point are not clear. The ever-increasing human and economic toll on the Japanese people is overwhelming. Our hearts go out to a nation which is dealing with conditions that are almost unfathomable. Homes have been destroyed, communities swept away, loved ones lost, jobs no longer there. This is a disaster of the highest order, and now, despite a cloud of uncertainty around the nuclear plant, attention moves from rescue to recovery and rebuilding.
President Obama's declaration in his State of the Union address: "This is our generation's Sputnik moment," sent me rushing to Wikipedia, where I learned it was his call to action for innovation. Just as NASA mobilized resources and energy to intensify efforts and be first in the race to space, he said so should Americans take on the challenge to out-innovate the rest of the world.
In this short video interview with ExecuNet's President and Chief Economist Mark Anderson, he explains how our "Sputnik moments" can be tied to individual BHAGS, and three ways to innovate in this job market.
Since 2010 didn't produce an exuberant recovery, many are already pinning high hopes that the economy and job market will strengthen in 2011, and while it's still early, there are positive signals. Executive recruiters are at their highest registered confidence level since the second quarter of 2008 and fewer companies are expected to eliminate jobs, which bodes well for at least the first half of this year.
On ExecuNet TV, ExecuNet President and Chief Economist Mark Anderson revealed the story behind the stats, where to find opportunities, and how to maximize success in this new business climate. Find out what he says are the things you can do right now to start your career off right in the new year.
So far, October baseball has been filled with excitement and controversy, from Roy Halladay's no-hitter to several blown calls by the umpires. This time of year always seems to bring out the best in ball players. The defense is crisper, the fundamentals are executed more consistently, and the intensity is far greater than the regular season.
Regardless of who ultimately wins the 2010 World Series, many of the players participating in this year's playoffs have another goal in mind — free agency, which begins almost immediately after the last ball has been caught. This post-season's prime free agent to be is Cliff Lee of the Texas Rangers, who has a great opportunity to impress his potential employers on the strength of his performance over the coming days and weeks.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the September job numbers and though the total non-farm employment (-95K) disappointed many, unemployment remained steady as a percentage (9.6 %) and there was private sector employment growth (+64K) with some revisions upward for prior months.
The environment remains "wait and see" until the election or beyond in many respects as companies stay on the side lines with plenty of cash and strong balance sheets and income statements to make a move. It remains all about business confidence.
Despite the media noise about the broader job market, there continues to be an undercurrent of executive recruiting activity that most people will never read about.
Consider the latest ExecuNet data that reveals 92 percent of executive recruiters believe there is a hidden job market, and the majority of them don't routinely advertise their new and ongoing search assignments on their website or a job board. On ExecuNet TV, ExecuNet President and Chief Economist Mark Anderson breaks the hidden job market down into three components and suggests some tactics for uncovering those opportunities.
Executive-level hiring forecast by US recruiters remained positive for the seventh consecutive month, with companies expected to add more management jobs than they plan to eliminate in the next six months, according to ExecuNet's July Executive Job Creation Index.
"As job creation continues at a slow and steady pace, the real story is in the amount of quiet hiring going on," noted ExecuNet President and Chief Economist Mark Anderson. "The hidden job market is growing. Half of the hiring reflected in the survey is to replace or upgrade existing roles to fit new corporate growth strategies and talent needs."
Last week, Liam Denning wrote a very cogent article for the Wall Street Journal "Heard on the Street" column that explained year-on-year comparisons, as the usual measure of progress, are not as relevant today as in the past — particularly when the year in comparison was a real "downer."
"Up 16 percent in housing prices from last year" does not tell the story when prices have flat-lined since May 2009.
Every two weeks at ExecuNet, we have a company-wide staff meeting to review what's going on. Besides the bonding it creates among team members, it is a good opportunity to hear member feedback and get the viewpoints from these executives on their marketplace experiences.
Recently, an ExecuNet member wrote in to our Member Services group with what he learned in his job search. He said he started with a belief that it wouldn't take longer than 90 days (at most) to make a change. After all, he was an "A-Player" and never had to look for a job before.
Listening to the media's analysis of the job reports last Friday, where 125,000 jobs were lost in the economy, reminded me of the old story about the pessimist and the optimist and the glass filled only to the mid-point. Is it "half-empty" as the pessimist would call it or "half-full" as the optimist would?
Pessimists read into the employment numbers, as one Wall Street Journal headline did, that the number just passed "the crash test" — meaning that the numbers were barely encouraging except for those looking for a "double dip" in the economy.
Optimists saw "steady but slow" growth in private sector employment over the past six to nine months, and the wow for them was how much better things were than last year, even as recently as last fall.
In Toronto, the G-20 summit just ended with the developing countries challenged to stimulate their economies while controlling government expenditures, focus on creating jobs and preserving a sustainable future.
With many cross currents, an executive job search, or managing one's career, parallels those challenges the G-20 faces in terms of complexity and uncertainty.
Business is changing rapidly, and monitoring market trends and managing a career or a job change in this uncertain environment requires a plan, constant feedback and interim course corrections to continue to move forward toward achieving your goals. You can't be an ostrich today and hope all the bad news will pass you by while you remain unscathed. Nor, can you sit and wait for the perfect job to appear on some job board.
We talk with executive and corporate recruiters every day, and they tell us the market is improving. We see it in our increased privately posted job listings and also in the increased number of searches that are done through our network using the profiles our members create for themselves. These searches are often for positions that will never be posted.
We saw a great deal in the media about the threat of a "double dip" in our economy.
Bernanke's remarks before Congress this week, expecting 3 percent growth for the rest of this year into 2011, shows we continue to be in a slow growth environment with lots of "noise" but probably not a "double dip."
Anecdotal evidence we received this week also suggests a positive outlook. A team of ExecuNetters covered the HSM's World Innovation Forum that was held in NYC this week. They reported that the world actually was alive and well and returning to basics. With over 900 attendees, the attendance was at an all-time high — more than doubling the prior year. The vibrancy of the discussions and this increased attendance really speak volumes about how business has refocused on innovation and growth — after a hiatus.
The release of the US employment numbers last Friday (6/4) disappointed the stock market and media pundits but should not be seen as totally disappointing in terms of long-term trends.
Executive jobs are being created (over 30 percent of companies we survey say they are adding jobs). And, if you average the US job creation over the past several months, it continues to tell a positive story for the economy and employment market — though this remains slow and steady growth.
Our own surveys say recruiters are expecting an 18 percent increase in assignments in the next 12 months.
Companies are hiring now and executive job creation is increasing: ExecuNet's 3-month Recruiter Confidence Index increased to 49 percent in May (a 20 percent increase since February and is now at the highest level since June, 2008). This tells us that search firms are now getting searches in earnest and companies are consistently starting to hire. Jobs in our network are up over 70 percent from last summer.
Take some time to explore the boundaries of innovation, as presented by some of the of the world's foremost authorities, authors, consultants and creative pioneers. Learn what they have to say are the keys that will help you get ahead in business and your career. Think in ways you haven't yet considered.