Despite the fact that the past couple of years have been tough ones for the recruiting industry, there are still a significant number of recruiting and search pros reporting that 2002 was much better than 2000 and 2001. Reports from some sources have claimed that the industry’s revenues have dropped by a billion dollars which is a drop of about 15% over previously reported highs.By our estimation, approximately 30% of the firms we tracked in the last two years have disappeared or become home-based solo practitioners. Others have restructuring and downsized, many by as much as 80% of previous headcount. Whether business is picking up because of a surging economy or because there are fewer recruiters to chase existing business is anyone’s guess.We are continually asked about which specialties are the best (and worst). It is almost impossible to answer questions like this because your ability to perform well in a particular specialty depends so much on things like (1) your ability to analyze the market (2) your personal knowledge of a specialty, (3) your personality and persuasive skills, (4) your competition, (5) geographical considerations, (6) vertical vs. horizontal considerations, (7) your internet literacy, (8) your networking ability and much more.We see superstars earning the big bucks servicing ailing industries. We also see folks working in hot specialties who struggle to make the rent. Determining the correct specialty for yourself or your firm is a marketing problem and we highly recommend that you buy the $20 Special Report #16 through our website (www.fordyceletter.com).We are always amused to see general circulation magazines tell their readers “where the action is” every year. While we don’t question the veracity of their picks and pans, they rarely have any validity for our business . . . finding people for a fee. The fact that there will be a growing need for truck drivers, corrections officers and tour guides is meaningless to searchers and placers.What follows is not necessarily meant to convince anyone working in one specialty to switch to another but is done, instead, to provide a snapshot for practitioners which might be useful in steering new consultants in the right direction or in assisting veterans to recalibrate their specialty areas.The information presented is not complete by any means but is meant as a starting point for further research. Want to know how many firms are looking for auditors? Check a few of the job boards. Want to research a particular specialty or niche? Do a simple Google or Yahoo search. This is a Reader’s Digest version of the information we have recently collected from a wide variety of sources. We emailed over 4,000 of our readers and over 1,800 of them responded. We thank them for their insights and participation.Categorizing niches can be challenging since some may specialize in specific industries (e.g., banking) and others may specialize by discipline (e.g., accountants). More narrow specialists may, for example, specialize in accountants for banks. What follows is a template, much of which remains the same from year to year. Practitioner comments may vary, where provided, and TFL commentary is updated in most cases but not much has changed since our previous survey.No specialty area will guarantee success and we have found the following truisms to be reliable:
- Some of the top producers work specialties which are narrow in scope and which are in declining areas of activity.
- If you’re no good at search and placement, it doesn’t matter how hot your specialty may be.
- Today’s hot specialty may be tomorrow’s loser.
- Big billers tend to gravitate toward industry specialties rather than occupational disciplines because their market niche is more identifiable.
- A hot specialty may not be so hot for the placement and search professional if it is an overcrowded field.
- Overcrowded specialties tend to create situations where lower fee structures are acceptable.
- Generalists are a rare breed since they try to be all things to all people and end up being nothing special for anybody. The exception to this is the silk-stocking retained recruiter.
- Big billers normally make their marks in very narrow areas, and their client base is usually small, but loyal, with firms which have continuing similar needs; e.g., major firms which are always looking for exceptionally talented electronic design engineers, etc.
- Specialties are often geographically based. Silicon chip specialists do better in Silicon Valley than they do from Keokuk. Conversely, agri-business specialists are often better equipped for success if they work in the Farm Belt rather than New York City.
- Specialists earn higher net profits for their efforts since they normally have less repetitive research and sourcing to do and they have a better handle on what’s going on within their specialty.
While it is almost impossible to categorize every recruiter’s specialty area, there is most certainly a correlation between the number of recruiters engaged in a specialty and its targetability as a promising area for business. Too many recruiters chasing a specialty generally causes companies in that niche to offer lower fees.Kennedy Publication’s annually produced Directory of Executive Recruiters has been a credible source for this type of information in the past and is an excellent source for your bookshelf (603-585-6544 or www.kennedyinfo.com). We recommend it, not only to find out how many recruiters work in your specialty but also as a source of networking partners. Another credible source for recruiter specialties and the number of recruiters who work within them is Ken Cole of The Recruiting & Search Report. RSR sells mailing lists of recruiters by specialty to job-seekers and others. His lists are based upon the primary specialty serviced and they are listed on his website (www.rsronline.com). While not every firm is represented, it is a valid cross-section and percentage-wise it is typical of the industry as a whole.As these lists show, there are far too many specialty areas to address here. Instead we have chosen those for which we received the most response from our recent inquiries. We apologize for the small font size but there was a lot of information to cover in a limited number of pages.The following results revisit, reinforce or rephrase some of the findings from our previous specialty supplements.We are again offering our views, observations and commentary on the specialty niches shown herein as well as some applicable commentary from others (practitioners, employers, industry authorities, etc.).It would be less than candid to indicate that there have been any dramatic breakthroughs since our review of 2000. Even though the alternative methods of hiring are still making loud noises about themselves, successful practitioners have chosen not to care and have continued to serve those enlightened hirers who know the value of the search/placement firm.The observations in this issue attempt to focus on those occupational levels which are the most important for the majority of practitioners; i.e. middle and upper management and professional/technical persons for whom employers are typically willing to pay fees.This information has been produced with the contingency search and placement firm in mind rather than the top-tier retained recruiting firms for whom the rules don’t generally apply, since many top-level search assignments are for troubled companies seeking turnaround specialists. It has been compiled with the middle of the pyramid in mind . . . the area where most recruiters and placers perform their function.We have addressed both industry groups and disciplines and each is treated as a separate entity, however you must realize that many disciplines cut across industry lines; e.g., almost all industries utilize data processing personnel, accountants, salespeople, etc. Even though the telecommunications industry is in the dumper, there are more than a few practitioners earning a good living placing sales talent with telecom firms.The purpose behind adopting a specialty is to become an expert in a specific and clear-cut segment of the placement marketplace . . . to carve out a niche as an authority to be respected and sought after or recognized by clients and candidates alike.Constructing a strategic blueprint to enter or change a specialty is your task. Every time we offer this litany of specialties, we receive an inordinate number of unnecessary calls from people wanting the “quick and dirty” version . . . the instant answer . . . without taking the time and thought necessary to read and digest the contents. While we are happy to answer questions from subscribers and are more than willing to clarify areas where the following information may not be totally clear to you, we ask that you make your queries in writing, by fax (314) 965-8177 or by Email at TheFordyceLetter@aol.com. Our research staff is extraordinarily busy and we can react to the written question more accurately and with greater speed.Many of the following specialty areas contain limited written observations because to cover more within the confines of this report would be an inadequate attempt to cover all the bases. Your local library’s research department has a number of books, pamphlets or reports on each of these if you wish to do a special in-depth inquiry. Also, the Internet contains a wealth of information. We recommend that you purchase Weddle’s Guide to Employment Sites (http://www.weddles.com/).In addition, the trade associations and specialized trade publications serving each of these specialties can provide the most comprehensive and detailed source of up-to-date information. The information in this report is designed to provide you with a road map to the information. There are directories of associations and publications in your local library’s research room and through many of the Internet search engines. We recommend you take the time to find them in whichever venue you choose.There are thousands of associations and they are reservoirs of information about the groups they represent and are almost always willing to share it.Many also publish magazines, newsletters, membership directories and special reports that contain useful information for recruiters and placers, but you may have to be somewhat creative to access some of the information.Other sources of information exist for all the specialties through information brokers and they have formed an association. For information on the members and their services, contact: The Association of Independent Information Professionals – http://www.aiip.org.Another source is The Burwell World Directory of Information Brokers available in most libraries. (972) 732-0160 or http://www.burwellinc.com.We asked our survey participants to rank their current specialties in 2002 and how they anticipated them performing in the future (2003). We asked them to rank their specialties from 1 (great) to 5 (awful). 3 is average, 4 is above average and 2 is below average. The percentage shown immediately after the specialty designation is the percentage of the survey participants who specialize in that niche. Because some people work more than one specialty, these will add up to more than 100%.1 (Great) 2 (Above average) 3 (Average) 4 (Below average) 5 (Awful)SPECIALTY 2002 2003ACCOUNTING/FINANCE (10.8%) 2.67 2.32ADVERTISING/GRAPHIC ARTS/PUBLISHING (3.0%) 3.66 2.66AEROSPACE/DEFENSE (1.4%) 2.50 2.34BANKING/FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS (6.8%) 2.45 1.88CLERICAL/OFFICE SUPPORT (1.7%) 2.60 2.00DATA PROCESSING/MIS/IT (10.1%) 3.61 2.78ENGINEERING/TECHNICAL/DESIGN/R&D (11.8%) 3.19 2.43ENVIRONMENTAL 4.40 4.00GENERAL/ADMN./MGMT./HR (4.7%) 3.39 2.66HEALTHCARE/MEDICAL/BIOTECH/RELATED (12.5%) 2.45 2.03HOSPITALITY (1.4%) 3.25 1.88INSURANCE (3.7%) 2.09 2.05LEGAL/PARALEGAL (4.4%) 2.62 2.33MANUFACTURING/QC/PRODUCTION (12.2%) 2.91 2.50REAL ESTATE/CONSTRUCTION (3.0%) 1.88 1.88RETAIL (1.4%) 2.75 2.20SALES/MARKETING (9.1%) 2.91/3.25 2.16/2.33TELECOMMUNICATIONS (1.7%) 4.40 4.00TRANSPORTATION/DISTRIBUTION (.3%) 4.00 3.00WALL STREET (.3%) 4.80 4.50How do we gather information for this issue?Some areas or disciplines in the following have been lumped together because of their synergy. An example of this is Advertising / Promotion / Public Relations / Media / Communications / Publishing. While each is a separate function, they tend to often be clustered under similar firms.In previous years, we had rated specialties from Poor to Excellent. It was not particularly useful to readers and, since many of the ratings were subjective in nature, we have deleted this information and replaced it with the chart immediately above. Also, Public Relations recruiters in New York City, for example, will have a different perspective on that specialty’s success suitability than someone viewing the PR specialty from Cedar Rapids. Different prisms produce different evaluations.
Typical titles within the Accounting fieldAccounting ManagersAnalysis/PlanningAnalysts (all types)Business ValuationCFOsControllersCost Accountants/AnalystsCPAsExecutive Level (CFO, VP Finance)Executive Level TempsExternal AuditFinancial AnalystsFinancial Systems AnalystsGeneral AccountantsHealthcare AccountingInternal AuditInternationalIT AuditLitigation/Turnaround ConsultantsManufacturing industry & “contract” (not temp) accounting & finance peopleMergers/AcquisitionsPC Technology typesPublic accountingSEC ReportingSenior AccountantsSystem liaisonTax Accountants/ManagersVP-FinanceTFL CommentaryEvery firm uses bean counters and number crunchers to some extent although many of the functions are being outsourced or handled by temps or contract workers. Despite all the hoopla about simplifying the tax code, it continues to get more burdensome. So do the SEC reporting standards and M&A activity. CPA’s will continue to have a leg up on non-CPA’s. In fact, look for a new “super-CPA” designation of some type by the certification grantors. Computer literacy is a must and those with SAP or Oracle experience with a strong analysis background is a definite plus. Experience in strategic planning, IPO’s, international issues and systems conversions make candidates premium players.CFOs (and Treasurers and Controllers) have been a fairly strong category, especially for troubled firms, and we expect this trend to continue, despite the economic instability.The major accounting and management consulting firms continue to seek strong multifaceted accountant-types, often to do selling as well as sums and consulting as well as counting but this has slowed since the Arthur Andersen meltdown which forced accounting firms to disgorge their consulting businesses. The ability to look beyond the numbers and understand core business strategies is essential at mid- and senior-levels. While a background in public accounting is preferred by many hirers, the nature of the talent pool requires that that background ingredient be overlooked at times. Many are trying to hire ahead of the curve, creating positions for those they will need for future openings.Companies, in addition to looking for technical expertise, are also looking for candidates with softer skills – good communicators with leadership attributes.Firms specializing in the field are optimistic about the future and predict steady growth. More than average growth is predicted in finance, business & professional services, manufacturing and healthcare.Here’s how some recruiters group the various job categories within their specialty niche:PUBLIC ACCOUNTINGPublic AccountingManagement ConsultingPartnerPRIVATE ACCOUNTINGCost AccountingInformation Systems AuditorGeneral AccountingAssistant ControllerControllerInternal AuditTax AccountingParaprofessionalsFINANCECredit AnalystFinancial AnalystCash ManagementLending OfficerAssistant TreasurerTreasurerChief Financial Officer
This is considered to be a sub-section of finance but not at all active as anyone with a share of stock can attest. During the glory days of the nineties, scores of recruiters made mountains of money servicing this industry. These days, there are very few. Will it come back? Yes it will but it will be greatly transformed. The four segments that are normally serviced by recruiters are: Investment Banking; Sales & Training; Technology; and Retail & Research. Even though there are occasional jobs open, there are just too many unemployed freebies out there. Just like E-recruiting has affected our business and E-travel has decimated the travel agent industry, E-trading is their hurdle to overcome.Practitioner comments“Lower level accounting and financial positions are generally easy to fill with the help of an internet job posting, senior level positions still require the care and screening of a recruiter who works specifically in the field. Hottest jobs are for auditors and accounting managers. When the economy starts to head upward, the accounting and finance specialty will be like musical chairs. Over the past several years employees have not been promoted, raises have been lean and employees are just keeping their heads down. Replacement positions have disappeared, new adds to staff are very difficult to get approved.” Dennis Moran, Moran & Associates – Tax, Accounting & Finance Specialists“We work accounting and finance, primarily along the Colorado front range. Placing higher level consultants on short-term contracts, (historically, we placed few candidates in contract positions). On the direct hire side, clients are typically asking for candidates with unique accounting skill sets. For example, a senior accountant who specializes in statutory reporting for the insurance industry, or a candidate with agricultural leasing experience. Most searches are not growth related, but replacement of key personnel, either who are under performing or have left the organization. Accounting and finance has been impacted somewhat by the economic downturn, although not to the degree of other disciplines. The subsequent rebound will be similar in nature.” Warren Nadolsky, Adam James Co.“We work Direct Hire and Flexible Solutions in the area of Accounting and Finance. We also have a recruiter that does some work in Customer Service/Call Centers. Hottest jobs are people with 2-6 years of experience. Senior Accountant, Public Accounting, Internal Audit and Financial Analysis. Very little opportunity at the higher level positions in the MN marketplace. We are prepared to continue status quo through 2003. We have no indications that the market will improve in the next 12 months. Most of our clients are running bare bones with thin staffs. In addition, they have lost all their consulting and temporary budgets. The days of easy job orders are long gone and it is very difficult for new hire recruiters to carve out a niche. Relationships and networks are worth their weight in gold.” Don Halterman – Ambrion, Inc.“We work Accounting & Finance; Healthcare with both being very good. Hottest jobs are Financial Reporting, Tax, Financial Analysis; Executive & Regional Directors. My prediction for the future – Hey, I’m an optimist! We are enjoying a very steady business, and our clients are stating expectations of moderate growth in 2003.” Anonymous“Our specialty is Accounting and Finance. We do direct hire and project (temp) placement. We would rank our market’s current viability as average – (it is not horrible, it is not great . . . . it is steady and we’re all making a living) although we have noticed a definite increase in the fourth quarter – especially for direct hire. Project placement has been fairly consistent all year. While we have direct hire orders of all description in our specialty ranging from 35K to 125K, the most prevalent is Senior Accountant in the 65K-75K range. We would rate the future of our specialty as a 2 . . . . . every company needs accounting and finance professionals.” Franchise Principal – Accountants Inc.“Our specialty is in senior finance and accounting position as well as some related IT positions, (i.e., implementations of Oracle, JD Edwards, Peoplesoft, SAP, Lawson, etc. enterprise accounting packages) Within our specialty, we are full service and offer consulting, contract staffing, and direct hire placement options plus directorships where we build boards and committees (audit, compensation, etc). We recruit over 25 positions in treasury, financial reporting, financial planning & analysis, financial systems, accounting, internal audit, tax, and other compliance areas. It’s a tough market however our full service approach keeps us pretty viable as companies can find a value proposition from our offering under most (I used to say all!) market conditions. 9/11 froze our already cold market for a couple of quarters however we have seen activity build since the summer. Undoubtedly, many companies are “bottoming out” and are seeing some predictability in revenue levels however low that might be. Also, we have transitioned to more traditional industries from our high tech focus of the past several years. Our mix of clients as always included startups to 1.0B plus companies however the larger companies represent a larger percentage of the mix. All this amounts to less profits and more hard work…but we are viable. The hottest (might be too strong a word) positions have been financial analysis as companies rethink product positions, customer segments, pricing, and ability to pay in arriving at a sustainable business model. Lots of number crunching and quality research.” Anonymous“Our current specialty is Accounting/Finance – Current viability is 2. Hottest jobs in specialty: audit. Prediction for future is 2. Please, please, please stop cutting fees out there!!!!! You are only hurting the industry as a whole and indicating to our customers that we are desperate, not professionals and rip them off in good times. Perhaps if you need to cut fees in this market, you should take a look as to whether or not you’re in the right profession!” Anonymous“Our search specialty is Accounting and Finance. Although we service all industries we do more work in the Healthcare/Medical/Biotech industry. The hottest jobs are Cost Accountants and Financial Analysts. As the baby boomers begin to retire in 2003 and beyond, we are anticipating the Accounting and Finance. specialty to ramp up significantly. Beyond 2005 it could easily be a great specialty when baby boomers will see some recovery from the last two recessionary years, and retirements happen more frequently.” Suzanne Roberts, CPC Owner/Executive Recruiter, Accountant Profile, Inc.“Hottest jobs within our specialty are in Internal Audit and public accounting. Prediction for next year within our specialty is 2.5-3.0. I think conditions will improve slowly as the overall economy comes around and as the survivors in our industry continue to hone their newly acquired survival skills.” Kim Scoggins, Sr. Partner – ARC Associates“During the boom years, I only did OK. This year, I’m breaking records. (Guess why I’m not impressed by trends?) Most of this year’s success is with totally new clients who I had not even called before. The rest is repeat business where the employer called me with the new job order.” Mary Sue Short, Owner, Placement Solutions“Our area of specialty is accounting and finance. I’d rank it’s viability at 2 … it’s been a slow year & we’ve seen some downsizing, but ultimately, companies will always need accountants & financial analysts. Hottest areas are Internal audit / external (SEC) reporting. With the Enron and Worldcom, etc. mess, companies are becoming more aware of compliance, regulatory issues, etc. Those without an internal audit function are being forced to add to “comfort” the board of directors / shareholders. I’d still give accounting/finance a “1” for long term future. As I mentioned above, companies are tightening controls with the corporate corruption that has occurred this year & many accounting.” Liz Rowland – Accounting Resources, Inc.“Accounting & Finance (permanent only). It’s slowly but surely coming around. We are seeing more job openings now than we did for Q1, Q2 & Q3 of this year. Hottest jobs are staff level in corporate accounting, Staff and Sr. Staff in financial analysis, all levels in Tax, Very little at the Controller and CFO level.” Anonymous“Eight percent of CFO’s plan to expand their accounting and finance departments, 4% plan to reduce staff and 86% plan on maintaining the status quo in 1Q03.” Robert Half Intl.
ADVERTISINGPROMOTIONPUBLIC RELATIONSMEDIACOMMUNICATIONSPUBLISHINGTypical titles/skill sets within the fieldAdvertising Account ServiceCategory ManagementCirculation ManagementDigital PrintingFinancial CommunicationsHigh Tech/BioTech PRHispanic/BilingualInteractive/Account PlanningInteractive/New MediaMedia & PRMedia PlannersMulti-Media expertiseTechnical writersWeb DesignersWriters/EditorsTFL CommentaryFor years, when you thought about advertising agencies, the image of two types of people popped up . . . the overly slick front man with a pin-striped suit or the mop-headed creative genius who came up with the actual campaigns. Advertising consisted of print, radio, TV and billboards. Most traditional ad agencies didn’t even get involved in Internet, direct mail or the sales promotional areas.That all changed somewhere during the last recession (early 90’s) when corporate belts tightened and it became necessary to broaden the services being offered. Some of the big ad business went in-house and that which was given to the advertising agencies came with a lot of strings attached.Traditionally, there were very few recruiters able to make a living in the advertising game. It was a “good old boys” business but even though it has always been an extremely high turnover business, a few phone calls to compatriots could usually fill any slot that needed filling. Recruiters who survived in this specialty were almost always located in the major cities.The great economic boom of the late 90’s increased demand for advertising. Coupled with the Internet boom, there were many more opportunities for recruiters within this specialty than ever before. The “good old boy” network just doesn’t cut it and the major players (and many smaller ones) decided that they’re now willing to pay our fees.The profile of the industry has changed dramatically and the number of clients has shrunk along with the dot-com fizzle.Rainmakers are still key to bringing in the business. Then someone has to meet with the clients to tell them how to effectively spend their ad budgets. People with backgrounds in integrated marketing are still rare and sought-after birds. It is often said that advertising is more art than science and that those who are truly successful – the legends – have an “advertising gene.”Just as in recruiting’s “What have you done for me lately” business, the ad game suffers from the “You’re only as good as your last campaign” syndrome. Burnout is epidemic and, although ad pros can often leave the business to join a client company, the road from in-house to agency is often tough to navigate.Corporate advertising clients are becoming more knowledgeable about tracking results from their advertising expenditures and are more interested in increasing sales than having their ad agency win awards for non-effective output.The ad industry is often thought of as a leading economic indicator for the economy as a whole. If this is true, things should be looking up slightly. Increased corporate advertising budgets for 2003 bode well for recruiters servicing both corporate and agency clients as long as they can supply people whose efforts increase market penetration.While some of the bigger corporations are beefing up their in-house advertising functions, the trend towards outsourcing continues.Ad Agencies downsized during the past couple of years and some are finding a need to re-staff as business increases. Of course, loss of a large client makes long tenure in this business unlikely, however salaries are on the high side as a trade-off.The superstars of the business are well-known and are frequently “stolen” without the help of our industry. As always, advertising is a charisma business and those without it should look elsewhere for career fulfillment.Mid-level execs with moxie in corporate branding campaigns are in demand. Demand for senior execs is gaining.Demand is also booming for those with international advertising experience as well as those who are able to tap the new technology opportunities, such as the Internet which, all by itself, is a huge advertising medium requiring different skills and mindsets to tap.As for hot industries, one must only watch TV or read the major media to find out what they are, but healthcare, financial services, consumer products and technology firms lead the pack.Typical search firm breakdowns for the activities within this sphere are: Creative, Account Management, Account Planning, Media, Interactive, Public Relations and Special. To see a sample group of openings within each of these areas, we suggest you visit the website of The Vinyard Group at http://www.adagencyjobs.com/main.htm or log on to the websites of other recruiters or ad agencies. Just go to your favorite search engine and search for: “careers” and “advertising.”Direct marketing is another growing sub-specialty. How many catalogs did you receive for the few months before Christmas? How many Emails do you get from folks trying to sell you something? How many unsolicited phone calls do you get? Several recruiters have this niche as their bread and butter. We’re deluged with direct marketing at home and at work and this growing field has attracted a number of specialists to service their talent needs.The major function categories under the Direct Marketing heading are:Account Executives & StaffAnalystsCirculation ManagersCreativesDatabase MarketersFulfillment/Operations StaffList ProfessionalsProduction/TrafficSales StaffTelemarketersOn the Public Relations side of the equation, one need only look at the stack of news releases and contacts we get every day from these people to know that their numbers are on the increase in their quest to snag buyer and media attention. Whether a part of a corporate communications department, a PR firm, or the PR arm of an ad agency, some shortages of professional PR folks are making this a specialty worth watching.The more “information-oriented” our society becomes, the tougher it is to be heard over the din and the more important Public Relations efforts become. They are also the “spin-doctors” whose responsibility includes putting their clients in the most positive light, whether the client is a company (e. g., investor/media/consumer/employee relations), an industry (e. g., eat beef, get milk, drink more Florida orange juice, the other white meat, etc.), a non-profit organization (e. g., fund-raising, member development) or a politician (e.g., getting in office or staying there).By industry, the hottest demand almost always seems to be in high technology, healthcare, financial services, energy and professional services.Corporate openings outstrip agency openings and non-profits are a strong third.A word of caution, however. Most search firms succeeding in this field tend to be in the traditional centers of influence and have been in the field for a long time. It’s a tough field to crack and, as in advertising, much of this function is being outsourced. The biggies, while still wielding more than average influence, are often being aced out by the small to mid-sized firms who may be more reactive to the clients’ needs with less “big-firm” bureaucracy. These are generally harder to convince to pay a fee than the bigger firms, but that picture is slowly changing.While direct experience is a definite plus, a periodic shortage of PR pros allows those with peripheral experience (such as journalism) to be considered. A key skill, aside from the necessary communications skills (Internet literacy), is the ability to interact with the top management whose bidding they do. PR departments are often the designers and maintainers of the corporate Web Pages.A sub-group growing at an above average rate is that of Media Buyer/Planner. These are the folks who decide what and where to buy, then do it. Those with intimate knowledge of buying ad space on the Internet are particularly valuable.The Publishing niche is hard to get a handle on because there are so few practitioners who work this specialty even though large numbers of openings exist in all areas of editorial, circulation, marketing, sales and production. A search of openings shows everything from publishers to proofreaders.The number of major book publishers is shrinking through merger and acquisition. Most mass market publishers are headquartered in New York and publish under a broad variety of imprints. The other book publisher types can be categorized as academic or technical publishers.Unlike book publishers, newspaper and magazine publishers depend upon advertising for their survival and this places them in a different place as potential recruiter clients.Online publishing was making gains but seems to have stagnated during the economic downturn.Another area of average growth is Market Research or Market Research Analysts. Why does Minute Maid orange juice outsell Tropicana in Louisville? These analysts can design a survey, questionnaire or focus group effort to make this determination so that the information can be acted upon by those responsible for increasing market penetration. (See Sales/Marketing section)Practitioner comments“Our areas of specialization are Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations. The hottest jobs right now are marketing communications, interactive creative people (art directors, copywriters). Things seem to be picking up.” Shelley Miller, CPC, President – Kay Henry Associates“My area of specialty is Advertising/Graphic Arts/Publishing along with Trade Shows and Special Events. Most creative firms are not hiring at the moment, and many have continued laying people off, through the end of the third quarter. The perception is that, even if Employers were hiring, recruiters aren’t needed, because of the glut of candidates available. At the same time, many of these same companies are at or below what would be considered “normal” staffing levels for the amount of business in house. The employees in some cases are overworked and unhappy. There are simply no employment alternatives at the moment, so employees endure the stress and lack of professional or personal satisfaction. I anticipate some additional employment needs, in creative entities during the first two quarters of 2003. The hottest job functions in my specialty continue to be “New Business Developers” or “Account Executives.” Employers continue to be on the lookout for “proven” senior level sales people . . . across my areas of specialty. Over the past year, my success has largely been in the trade show and special events industry. In spite of September 11th, the trade show industry continues to fight to remain viable and stable. There is a willingness for additional investment (and staffing), and a desire to get back to “growing the business” in 2003. There is no question that the uncertainty of the “War/Terrorist” activities in the future is restraining investment. As long as the stock market continues crawling forward, and the US is not attacked and Saddam is not attacked, I believe we’ll see improvement in the staffing industry, in the first half of 2003.” Bob Bishop, Bishop Partners, LLC“My specialty is the printing and packaging industry (graphic arts). The printing industry is slow to recover.” Jeff Goro, CPC – Graphic Resources“We specialize in Graphic Arts Industry (all functions). The hottest jobs now are Sales and Technical Supervisors. This industry is very dependent on advertising dollars. Right now most industries are being very careful about spending money. Therefore the Graphic Arts Industry can’t bounce back until advertising dollars start to flow.” Roger W. Linde, President, Graphic Search Associates.
BankingFinancial InstitutionsTypical titles/skills soughtClient Relationship ManagementCommercial Loan OfficerConsumer Loan OfficerCredit Analysts401K Recordkeeping/AdministrationInvestment BankersLeasingPortfolio ManagerPrivate BankersSalesTrust Business AnalystsWealth Management SpecialistsWorkout SpecialistsTFL CommentaryBanks are fast becoming full-service providers of financial services and consolidation and deregulation continue to change the landscape of this business. Add to this, the dot com banks and cyber-financial services and, despite groans from some practitioners, this specialty is still one of the stronger ones.Banks are promoting more fee-based products even as their profits climb by paying such miserable rates to savers.Mergers and acquisitions are frequently happening to increase efficiencies (and profits) by consolidating duplicate tasks and this has caused some well-publicized layoffs, but experienced bankers aren’t on the beach for long.Many of the bigger banks seek Internet and technology pros to keep up with e-commerce and other online specialty area needs. Others are being sought with backgrounds in global securities, credit card operations and investment, trust and private banking.The more traditional areas of commercial lending still support a lot of recruiters.Even though some prophets have predicted the ultimate fatality of the small community bank, we doubt that it will happen in the near future.And these smaller banks have created senior-level opportunities for the supernationals’ castoffs.The larger banks are seeking executives (relationship managers) who can sell new investment/commercial banking products and make better-than-average customers feel good about being tied to an institution that really doesn’t much care about them, no matter how much they try to make you believe that they do. These “money-centers” are also interested in wooing the smaller business accounts . . . previously ignored by them.And where do you place those ex-bankers who come to you for help? Most go with related financial service firms, brokerages, mortgage firms, insurance companies, leasing outfits, financial planning organizations, accounting firms, credit unions and, of course, the cyberbanks.Other alternatives are those firms which sell products or services to banks.Practitioner commentary“We are industry specific, dealing primarily with the US-based credit card and payments industries. Our functional specialties are decision management, operations, marketing, and finance. Hottest jobs are Decision management related — i.e. Director of Risk Management or Credit Policy. I think that my specialty will continue to sit at a ‘3’ for another year or so before slowly climbing up to ‘2’. It has never been a ‘1’, and I don’t expect that now.” Daina Di Veto, Managing Director – Card Resource Group Inc.“Banking/Financial Institutions is a weak specialty but due to improve in 2003 when most clients expect to hire. Hottest jobs are Trust Sales & Private Bankers .” Phil Andersen, Director – Blackhawk Executive Search, Inc.“The staff positions that are usually available are lacking this year. However, an abundance of sales type roles have provided some help. Hottest jobs within the specialty are Asset based lending and private banking roles. The consolidations have led to new banks coming into the market and outsourcing companies that need people. In addition, thrifts are redirecting their businesses to compete more effectively with commercial banks.” Anonymous“The Mortgage Banking industry is one of fluctuation and constant change due to the ever evolving technology race and interest rates rising and falling. When rates are high companies will often ‘pull in their horns’ by closing non-profitable branches and eliminating unnecessary staff while continuing to expand in a slower and more frugal manner. For example, if a company has strong technology they might ask Loan Officers to work from home instead of incurring extra overhead expenses. They might also consolidate branches that are in near proximity to each other. One thing to remember, however, is that there will always be a need for producers that have a book of business. Why? The largest mortgage companies have more than likely built a formidable multi-billion dollar servicing operation. This servicing operation requires hundreds of employees. Paying these employees requires income from these loans. Loans are paid off and charged off everyday so this servicing operation requires a constant flow of new loans coming into it so the need is for Loan Officers that can add value by bringing their book of business with them. When rates are low (like right now) it is a free for all! Clients take advantage of this time to expand, gain market share, etc. and they will hire anything that resembles a mortgage banker but the emphasis during these times shouldn’t be to just send invoices. This is where we build our long term business relationships. It is during these times that we protect our clients from making lots of bad hires. Hottest jobs are: Branch Managers, Loan Officers, Account Executives, Underwriters, Regional Managers.” James G. Boghos, President – Corporate Search America, Inc.“We work in the Banking/Financial field working investment-oriented sales jobs, not technology. Current state of the niche is grim. Jobs aren’t “hot,” people are hot: Sales professionals with personally cultivated management traits, especially in non-‘lifestyle’ markets requiring difficult relocations. My predictions of this specialty is Blah at very best – continued Grim more likely: This market will NEVER recover to anything like the excesses of the past two decades and most current recruiters in this market will leave it forever , one way or another, before Q2/03. I will not leave it, but I’m 59, kids are grown, and I’m in a position to enjoy the challenge of a stinky specialty. Like Willie Loman said, ‘I know the territory.'” Anonymous“Current Viability: 2 – Hottest Jobs: Commercial Banking Officers, Wealth Management positions. Prediction: As the economy picks up, the Commercial Banking and Wealth management areas of financial services firms should be in a state of talent shortage. There will continue to be a demand for more sales oriented people and an even stronger emphasis on incentive compensation components.” Tom Fogec of Fogec Consultants Inc.“Our specialty is Financial Services – Employee Benefits and Retirement Services. Current Viability 2 – it is not that great right now – in fact for the last year, it has been pretty bad. However, I feel it turning and when it does it will be great. Now it is still day to day – so it gets a 2 for potential. No particular jobs stand out as hot. Future opportunity – 1. You have to make your own “1,” but you also need some firms who are hiring. I have almost a whole new list of clients from 2 years ago – not because my old ones did not like me anymore, but they have been sold, downsized, frozen, merged, laid off and more so I had to find new people to work with. Someone is always hiring and somewhere in that group are people who need a recruiter. It has been harder by far because it used to be that everyone was hiring so there was not as much “looking for business” involved. If there are no more major disasters like 9/11 – the financial services market will come back. There has been such a lean and mean approach for so long that it is going to have to open up – just to have enough people to get the work done. Those will be the days!!” Katherine Bredemeier – Career Consulting Services, Inc.“My specialty area is Banking/Financial Institutions and I rate it as above average, especially for commercial and ag loan officers.” Anonymous“We specialize in banking, systems and marketing. We have a more quantitative business analysis emphasis, typically. Don’t tend to work on “softer” jobs-emphasis is on quantitative/analytical jobs. The market seems to be picking up and the prediction is for a 2. Currently it is a 3. Hottest jobs deal with statistical modeling.” Rita Raz, Analytic Recruiting Inc.“We at ABL Recruiting Group specialize in the commercial finance arena. We specialize in positions such as underwriters, account executives, business development officers, audit/examiner professionals and operational people. I would rate our specialty viability at around a 3. I would consider our hottest jobs in the market a combination of audit/examiners and account executives. Our specialty is hybrid of the banking industry concentrating mostly within stand alone finance companies and subsidiaries of major U.S. Banks. I would predict my specialty with a growth rate of 10% – 15% per year and classify this as a “2”.” Marc Shear – ABL Recruiting Group, Inc.“Hottest jobs are Business Development Officers in Asset Based Lending, SBA, and Commercial Mortgage. Portfolio Management in commercial lending. Support candidates in SBA. We are seeing a hiring surge in the banking arena with some slowdown within commercial finance companies. Banking opportunities have been very limited for us in the past five or six years.” Wayne Wedderien, CEO – National Bank & Finance Executive Search.
DISTRIBUTION/LOGISTICSSUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENTTRANSPORTATIONMost mentioned position categoriesB2B/B2CConsumer Package GoodsDistribution ManagersEcommerceFleet ManagersFulfillmentLogistics ManagementSales Executives3PL OperatorsSupply Chain ManagementTransportation AnalystsWarehouse ManagersTFL CommentaryWhat happens to products after they’re manufactured? Are they warehoused, shipped to redistribution locations or sent directly to the buyer, retailer or end-user? How about inbound raw materials, etc. These are some of the purviews of this growing specialty area.Different products require different distribution methods. It’s a much different problem to ship toasters than it is to ship meat, for instance. A logistics executive experienced in toaster distribution may not have the basic knowledge required to move frozen dough or other refrigerated products. There may be a big difference between durables and nondurables.How important is this? The 2002 Christmas season was bad news for dozens of firms who spent millions of dollars promoting products they sold but were unable to ship in time (who needs a Xmas gift delivered in February?).We’re surprised at how few practitioners work this area as a stand-alone specialty but predict it will soon become more popular.Basic backgrounds required are facilities management, traffic, materials management, inventory control, maintenance, computer competence and customer service.A William Mercer, Inc. survey of the typical jobs within this specialty area are as follows:Top supply chain executiveTop logistics management executiveTop production & inventory mgmt. executiveTop distribution executiveTop purchasing executiveTop quality control executiveImport coordination managerProduction planning and control managerTransportation managerFleet managerField warehousing managerContract administration managerCapacity planning managerInventory planning managerStockroom manager/supervisorMaterials handling supervisorMaster scheduling managerOutbound operations managerInbound operations managerWarehouse managerCustomer order managerQuality control supervisorDistribution opns. systems coordinatorSenior material plannerMaster schedulerFreight rate specialistBuyerContract administratorSenior quality control specialistQuality control specialistTrucking companies, especially the smaller ones, may be an unwise specialty. The number of trucking company bankruptcies has reached an all time high, attributable to higher fuel costs, insurance rates and driver wages.Practitioner commentary”We work the Transportation/Distribution industry and I would categorize the niche as a 4 (not too hot). Lots of consolidation has left lots of candidates out of work, or fearing such will happen. Candidates are pretty easy pickin’s for HR people. Hottest jobs are Ops Managers, Terminal Managers, and, of course, Sales and Sales Managers. Future Prediction . . . a steady “3” in 12 months. Lots of pending government regulation should be settled by then. Also, consolidation fever may be down a little. High liability rates are driving many small truck and air carriers near the brink of disaster. This is not an industry known for its foresight. Many small and mid-size players are failing to recognize recent growth trends which could help their business. Typically, they will react when it’s time to play catch up.” Jim Cargill, President – MRI of Lake Tahoe, NV, Inc.ENGINEERINGTECHNICALMANUFACTURINGQC/QAPRODUCTIONTFL CommentaryWhat kind of a degree does an electro-mechanical design engineer have? Anyone who has been in the technical recruiting business for long has seen degreed Mechanical Engineers designing electronic circuitry and degreed Electrical Engineers designing pneumatic devices.A college major, for many, often tells something about what was in the mind of the graduate when they worked towards and received the degree but, more often than not, the real world intercedes and they end up functioning within an unanticipated occupational tributary. That’s why degrees are the basic foundation and price of admission to become a player in the world of engineering and technical pursuits. After the rookie years in whatever that first job happens to be, the die is usually cast, then specific skills and experience will determine the career path from then on, and whether the degree-holder will continue on the technical track, work in manufacturing or move over to the management channel.Often called the “meat and potatoes” of the placement industry, technical openings lead the pack among recruiters. Whether it’s the tool and die shop down the street or the Fortune 100 firm, they are often more responsive to our industry’s efforts to help them. With few exceptions, these are “slots to be filled” and “matches to be made.” They, unfortunately, as also the fodder for the job boards.Although there is some differentiation between pure engineering and the manufacturing side of the equation, because of the fact that both areas usually seek people with engineering degrees, we have combined them into one category.Because of the breadth and depth involved and the number of practitioners who work this multifaceted niche, we will let our reader comments replace any generic commentary we might render.The typical areas in which engineers function during their intermediate years have been categorized as follows:Electronics/softwareElectronics/hardwareElectrical/designElectrical/plantMechanical/designMechanical/plantManufacturing/projectManufacturing/industrialCivil/designCivil/constructionEnvironmentalChemical/project/processSystems programmer/analystSales supportTechnical writerNo abstract look at this “bread and butter” specialty area would be complete without an overview of the job titles and duties of those who perform them. Source Engineering (before it was bought out) presented it in a comprehensive, but concise, manner and their analysis follows:ENGINEERINGDirector/Vice President of Engineering – Only a select few can expect to reach this level. This is a highly visible management position which often completely replaces any direct technical work. Individuals in this position generally oversee major short and long-term projects, manage groups of people and have overall bottom-line responsibility.Engineering Manager – Interfaces with top engineering professionals at all levels of management within the company. Demonstrates tactical and strategic decision-making abilities that influence the success of the organization. Depending on staff size, managers are referred to as small-group or large-group managers.Group Leader/Section Head – Responsible for the design and development of one or more prominent systems or product lines and oversees the people working on the project. Provides technical guidance and motivates subordinates.Principal Engineer/Project Leader – Typically leads one to five engineers in the design and development of a product or one or more of its components. Coordinates the talents of people in groups to complete breadboard designs and introduce prototypes. Provides final release of designs to production and presents reports to management on the team’s progress.Engineer/Senior Engineer – Completes the development and documentation of design from initial breadboard concept to final debugging. Assists in overall product specification and participates in the final approval and release of designs to production.Junior Engineer – Assigned as part of a team, usually with engineers or senior engineers, to support the development of new products or enhancement of existing ones. Helps with breadboard concepts, develops prototypes and completes designs as assigned. Troubleshoots and debugs designs.PRODUCT SUPPORTDesigner/Detailer/CAD – Meets organization’s documentation standards in converting verbal sketch concepts into drawings for release to manufacturing vendors and user manuals.Product Support Engineer – First-line, second-line, and, in some cases, third-line product support is essential. Responsible for problem-solving and trouble-shooting. Identifies and evaluates product problems, replicates the problems in a laboratory setting and fixes them.MARKETINGDirector/Vice President of Sales/Product Management – Identifies new opportunities for profit and creates strategic plans to help attain goals. Supervises and plans the implementation of programs and monitors their success or failure. Develops promotional and sales opportunities and directs the efforts of others in the organization.Sales/Marketing Manager – Formulates business goals. Develops new business and sells new products and product enhancements to existing client base. Creates effective tools utilized by the sales staff to market and sell the product. Provides training for the sales staff to keep them up-to-date on the product and any product enhancements. Compensation is usually as base salary plus an incentive program which is tied directly to the goals attained by the sales and marketing team.Product Manager – Responsible for the success of an assigned product or product line. Develops product descriptions and marketing literature. Also helps create promotional campaigns to the target (channel) market. Individuals in this position often have direct profit and loss responsibility.Sales Engineer – Qualifies prospective clients, identifies their needs and presents product configurations that will achieve the client’s goals. Compensation is frequently based on performance.Applications Engineer – Supports the sales effort and participates at product demonstrations and trade shows. Writes product application data sheets and discusses technical application details with potential customers and users. Interfaces daily with customers and sales engineers.PRODUCTION MANAGEMENTDirector/Vice President of Manufacturing – This position is the top-level authority responsible for manufacturing, materials, quality control and testing. Responsible for optimizing the use of all production resources within the company. Spearheads major projects involving the largest group of employees in the organization.General Manager – Responsible for profit and loss (P & L) of all divisions or company operations. Manages all aspects of the business, including sales/marketing, administration, production and quality.Plant Manager – Oversees all plant operations, including production, maintenance and warehousing of materials.Manufacturing Leader – Manages a small (8-10) group of engineers involved in production control, manufacturing, engineering, quality control and/or test. Interfaces with top management and multiple levels of engineering, manufacturing and non-engineering departments.Quality Manager – Responsible for all aspects of quality control, including administration documentation and incoming, in-process and final inspection. Oversees management of all department personnel.Production Coach – Reports to the manufacturing manager on all aspects of production operations, including scheduling of projects and personnel issues.Production Supervisor – Usually responsible for all operations on a shift or in a particular department.DESIGN DEVELOPMENTMechanical Engineer – Works in a manufacturing environment on typical mechanical issues dealing with mechanical processes, maintenance of equipment and products.Design Engineer – Designs and develops new software and hardware products. Redesigns current products for increased efficiency/productivity in manufacturing and improved quality and reduced costs.Electrical Engineer – Designs and works with circuits, controls and automation of equipment and processes or products. Works with programming and systems for machine or equipment control and automation.Industrial Engineer – Responsibilities involve general evaluation and hands-on work with processes and products to increase efficiency of process and workflow analysis. Evaluation of products, facilities, tooling and shop layouts for improvement to production processes.Manufacturing Engineer – Very similar to Industrial Engineer, depending upon the company’s needs. Evaluates procedures and specific manufacturing issues to improve products, quality, tooling and process efficiencies. Conducts workflow analyses and process simplifications.Quality Engineer – Works on specific issues, usually related to educational background (i.e., ME, EE, CHEM), to improve quality and implement QA programs. Evaluates processes and creation of policies and procedures for manufacturing. Implements programs to improve awareness and quality such as SPC, TQM and compliance programs for large customers, including ISO9000 and QS9000.MISCELLANEOUSTechnical Writer – Works directly with systems analysts and programmers to write and edit program and system documentation, user manuals, training courses and procedures. Also prepares proposals and technical reports.Practitioner comments”Our current specialty area is Engineering/Technical/Design/R&D/Manufacturing/QC/Production ranked a 3. Hottest jobs are Project Engineers. I expect it to improve in 2Q03.” Anonymous”Our specialty (25 years) is primarily the Engineering and the Geosciences field for the Exploration and Production companies, i.e. Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, British Petroleum, etc. Activity ranking at this time would be 3.5. Hottest jobs at this time would be Geophysicists. Short term, relatively slow, with activity level of 3.5. Long term, fair. Until the world finds an alternative energy source there will be a need for oil and gas. But it is a very cyclical business, dependent upon on the prices of oil and gas.” Mike Denson”Current viability is a 2. Hottest jobs are: Electrical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers” Anonymous”Current specialty is Batteries and Fuel Cells ranked 4+. Hottest jobs are Engineers and we expect slow improvement over next 18 months.” Anonymous”Current specialty areas: Environmental, Health & Safety; Human Resources; Chemical/Mechanical/Electrical Engineers. Hottest jobs: Safety Managers, Environmental Engineers; all facets of HR, except for Training & Development; Chemical & Mechanical Project & Reliability Engineers. We’ve been keeping our nose to the grindstone and plan to weather out this topsy-turvy economic storm!!” Anonymous”We specialize in engineering/technical/design/R&D. The market as we see it is really bad. I would have to say it’s probably 4 1/2. It seems like the last couple of months were better than the ones before that, but it’s still re-e-e-e-aly lousy. I don’t see things picking up for quite a while.” Anonymous”Specialty: power generation (power plants – utility, cogeneration, merchant power, IPP, etc.). Rating: 4 – Hottest jobs: I&C Technicians Future predictions: >6 months – 3, 12-18 months – 2. Industry in a funk primarily due to the Enron fallout. Secondary reasons; low electricity prices and overall soft economy.” David Wood, CPC The David Wood Co.”Our specialty area is Engineering/Technical/Design/R&D. Current Viability would be a 5+. Hottest jobs within our area has not changed too much. It is still Analog and RF IC Designers. Only now they must walk on water, change water to wine and be willing to pay their own relocation. The future is brighter (like changing from darkness to a small candle seen at a 1000 yards through the darkness). Many discussions with Presidents and CEOs in our area tell the same story. Engineering departments are running so lean that the loss of one or two key people would seriously injure the company. In addition, they are getting design wins that will swamp the engineering departments should the customer decide to fund them. Everyone is just waiting on the first domino to fall. We’ve been here before. One day the call will come, “We need a senior engineer to lead. Help!” Then all hell should break loose. Until then, we are rebuilding our recruiting skills, developing relationships within our specialty area, and remembering how much fun this job used to be.” Ken MacFarlane – EEJob.net”Engineering/Technical/Design/R&D ranked a 5. Hottest jobs: Manufacturing, Finance, soon sales also. Future viability a 2 — Economies work like stomachs. Pent up demand requires a feeding frenzy afterwards. Although it is true that certain items will stay off the menu for a while due to market indigestion from overconsumption i..e., wireless communication, personal computing, consumer electronics and the like. But necessary things, such as automobiles, electricity generation, wire and cable (not fiber, power and tv), building products, water treatment, alarm systems, refrigerators, and all the businesses that feed them will be just fine.” Steve Kohn, President, Affinity Executive SearchThe following are comments from practitioners involved mainly in Manufacturing/QC/Production”Current viability = 2. Hottest jobs = Quality Engineering and Management, Operations Mgt., Materials Mgt., Controllers. I predict a stable 5% increase in the overall market for another 8 months, then a 15% for the next 2 years, then a robust 20 to 30% increase for the 5 years following.” Ken Payne”Manufacturing/QC/Production. Current = 4. Future = 4″ Anonymous”Desk Specialty: Manufacturing/QC/Production. Current Viability Rating 2. Hottest jobs Engineering, Quality Engineering, Materials and Purchasing. Predictions for the future 2″ Anonymous”Current specialty areas: Manufacturing / QC / Production (basically anything related to a manufacturing facility: HR, Accounting, Design, Materials, Logistics, Customs, Maintenance, IT). Current viability: A “head above water 3” which beats the heck out of the “drowning 5- ” of a year ago. From the perspective of a search firm focused on manufacturing and working in the U.S. and Mexico, with occasional assignments in South America and Asia, we see a continuing but slow improvement in our market. Hottest jobs: Working in general manufacturing – with an international flavor – requires us to get involved with a wide variety of jobs. However, an interesting phenomenon in the present economic slowdown has been the proliferation of Plant Manager and General Manager positions. It appears that with all the sell offs, consolidations, reorganizations, decreasing market shares, etc., etc., corporate managers are looking for those divisional and plant managers who can manage in tough times. They want the proverbial “movers and shakers” and not the good old boy “maintainers” who do well in good times but can’t cut the mustard, or make the widget, in tough times. The future? Hey, I’m a recruiter. I have to be optimistic. Continuing improvement in the economy will get us back to a comfortable 2, but not to the 1 we were at a few years ago. There are just too many unknowns: Ross Perot talked several years ago about the “…giant sucking sound…” of U.S. manufacturing moving into Mexico. We now hear that same sound again but it has a Chinese accent. Our large corporations and banks sleeping with each other. Corporations not being penalized for setting up their headquarters off-shore simply to avoid taxes. The USS Economy without a captain. Possible war. Probable terrorist attacks. Politicians in the pockets of big lobbyists. Ouch!!!! Maybe I’m not the optimist that I thought I was.” Fred W. Smithson, CPC, Executive Vice President – R. A. Rodriguez and Associates, Inc.”My specialty is “the store fixture industry” which is probably classified as part of “manufacturing/QC/production.” The store fixture industry has various segments: store fixtures for retail chains, casework/cabinetry for the hospitality industry, ditto for the health care industry, ditto for the gaming industry, ditto for any multiple unit chain operator retail or otherwise — example car rental offices or muffler repair locations — who use modular or “cookie cutter” casework. Another segment of the store fixture industry is POP. Same manufacturing processes but a different market. Store fixture manufacturers usually specialize in wood, metal, wire, acrylic or two or more of these processes. Most are wood. Business on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being high is 2 now and what I see for the next couple of years. Most frequent job orders are for salesmen and project managers with manufacturing managers, engineers, engineering managers, purchasing managers, estimators also often needed.” Anonymous”Area of specialty: I guess we’d fit in the Manufacturing/QC/Production area, since you don’t have a separate area for food and beverage and consumer products. For more specificity, in the past we’ve done a lot of business in Foodservice Distribution, and in Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Distribution. However, Foodservice Distribution has had multiple mergers and acquisitions, and has some inherent problems which have yet to shake out. Since 9/11/01, our business has been majorly affected, and we’ve done more in the Manufacturing side, as well as (some) retail. The reason for my long answer is to give the background to tell you I’m considering a permanent switch to the Real Estate and Construction area. Manufacturing/QC/Production overall is probably a “3”, with food and beverage manufacturing a solid 3 or 3 1/2, and foodservice distribution specifically a 1 or 1 1/2 at best, and I am hoping that Real Estate/Construction hovers between a 3 and a 5 depending upon market conditions. Right now it should be a strong 4+. There are other considerations about the differences between the two (manufacturing and RE) areas besides simply the current and future outlooks. Working in the two areas feels completely different, and has a completely different clientele. Hottest jobs in Food and Beverage Manufacturing . . . Maintenance and Engineering, and in Foodservice Distribution . . . Sales Management (Quality, proven Mgt, not just anyone given the title). Future for Food and Beverage Mfg, very stable 3+, but industry trends and life cycles regarding recruiting make that effectively lower (where people and companies are taking more of a ‘commodity’ type approach). For Foodservice Distribution, probably a 1 to 2 for some time, same trends and ‘commodity’ philosophies becoming more rampant. For RE/Construction, see comment above.” Gary Gibson – Executive Recruiting Alliance”We specialize in engineering, maintenance and production management talent for the food, pharmaceutical and consumer chemical industries. Overall ranking is a 3. Hottest jobs: Technically degreed supervisory talent from first line supervisors to middle management. Even in this difficult hiring market we have more jobs orders than we can find the “top talent” to fill. The best people are still employed and difficult to move for a variety of reasons (too safe where they are, well taken care of at present company, afraid if they move that the job will disappear soon after hire and leave them hanging, etc., etc.).” Anonymous”Engineering 2 to 3 > R&D 4 to 5 > Manufacturing & Production 1 especially for technically degreed, career oriented supervisory and management talent.” Anonymous”Our specialty area is food manufacturing. Current viability would be 2.5. Hottest job within our specialty is Production Supervisors. Our industry is a steady industry and we expect it to stay about 2.5.” Charlie Davis – Dunhill of Fort Wayne”Current specialty area: 24X7 Glass Manufacturing Plants including float and automotive glass, glass container, fiberglass, and pressed glass. Ranked very good in some glass sectors and awful in other glass sectors. Since I recruit in whichever sector is hiring, I would rank the overall viability as 3 – good. Hottest jobs are anything having to do with Melting or the Furnace requiring degreed engineers. Future is great as long as I stay on the phone and keep “smiling and dialing.” The overall quality of the candidates you get from direct recruiting on the telephone is far superior to the quality of the candidates you get from the internet. I think that applies to any specialty.” Cynthia Simpson Recruiter – J.T. Nelson & Associates”I have specialized in different areas over the past 7 years. My main specialty has been electronic contract manufacturing services (ECM). ECM has evolved over the past ten years or so into a very large dollar volume and a couple of the players have even made it into the Fortune 500. However, with the recession, the entire industry has gone south and stock prices are a fraction of where they were. Needless to say, they have laid off great numbers of people, including executives, and are running at something like 50% of capacity. The environment has not been conducive to recruiters as many of the companies now have in-house recruiters who use outside help as a last, desperate step. I branched out into the general category of high tech about a year and a half ago and usually work at the high end including CEOs, VPs, etc. Current viability of ECM is 5. Current viability of high tech is probably 4. There are no “hot jobs” that I can see in either of these specialties. Prediction for the future: ECM is probably 3. High tech might be a 1.” Anonymous”My specialty is the minerals business and it ranks a 1. Mining, processing, cement manufacturing. Hottest jobs are in Operations Management. I’m busier than ever.” Anonymous”We specialize in filling positions which require professionals with a good deal of expertise in Six Sigma and/or Lean Manufacturing. Most often, these positions fall within the Manufacturing/QC/Production area. I would rank its current viability at approximately 2 or 3. “Hot” jobs involve leadership roles: Lean Manufacturing Leaders or Six Sigma Leaders to implement company-wide Lean or Six Sigma programs from the ground up. Prediction for the future would rank at 1 or 2, as more and more companies are implementing Lean and Six Sigma programs and methodologies.” Anonymous”Specialty: 1. Manufacturing 2. Engineering – Rank: 2. Hottest: Civil Engineering” Anonymous”Manufacturing/QC/Production Rank 3. Hottest jobs: Process Improvement Engineers/Managers. Expectation 2. I think we are close (6 months) to a breakout period for Mfg. Employment and for Agencies in this market. Mainly due to a variety of factors; the U.S. is leading the soon to be stabilized world into Free Trade and liberalized marketsbode well for highly technical and sophisticated mfg. in the US, other factors are demographics, lack of skilled engineering talent, and the increasing importance for each hire to be successful.” Kerry Anderson – EOSC – IOP, SC.ENVIRONMENTALTFL CommentaryMuch of this business goes to consulting engineering firms . . . a traditionally stingy group on fees.No one wants dirty air and water, but there is a point past which regulations become purely punitive.Those trained in engineering geology, hydrology and geochemistry may wait awhile before their star rises and the mass cleanup begins.We suspect that once the politics of environment are ironed out, there will be an upsurge in activity as it impacts the recruiting industry. Larger employers are increasingly adding in-house environmental teams to wade through the 12,000 pages of EPA laws and regulations. Schools are finally beginning to graduate people with degrees in environmental engineering.This specialty should probably be a sub-specialty under Engineering/Technical because we don’t see it as a stand-alone for some time even though there are a few recruiters who make a living in it.Typical segments serviced by recruitersAir PollutionAir QualityAuditingCivil EngineeringComplianceIndustrial HygieneRemediationTitle VWastewaterPractitioner Comments”There’s a balancing act between industries who don’t want to spend billions to achieve marginally insignificant results and some governmental monomaniacs who don’t care how badly they affect the overall economy in their quest for the super-pristine. I have not found this specialty to be particularly profitable compared to others. But there’s enough business there to keep my oar in the water and when someone needs a particular person in the environmental field, I’ll certainly accommodate them.” AnonymousFOOD/BEVERAGEMANUFACTURING/PROCESSINGMost mentioned segmentsJuice/Soft DrinksManufacturingMarketingNew Product DevelopmentNutritional ResearchOperations ManagementProcess EngineeringPurchasing SpecialistsQuality ControlRegulatory AffairsTechnologyTFL CommentaryEverybody eats and this universally used product line has enjoying stability over the past two years. Many companies within this specialty are growing through product development, clever and improved packaging, acquisitions and by moving into the international marketplace.Long a bastion of stability and employee longevity, many of the larger firms have downsized – firms like Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Quaker Oats, Vlasic Foods and others have closed plants and reorganizing dramatically. This trend makes recruiting a whole lot easier from this industry segment and redundant executives are readily movable to smaller firms.Despite a number of practitioners who told us that sales openings are lagging, conversations with several employers have confirmed that many are seeking sales and marketing managers with turnaround or new product experience. As always, there are some food/beverage companies that are outsourcing the sales function to food brokers (not a very good target for recruiters) and those who are taking their product away from brokers and going to a captive sales force (a very good prospect for recruiters).We were also told by several that they can’t find enough food scientists, technology specialists and plant managers and that they are always looking for innovative packaging designers. With the growing trend towards ‘eating out’ many are shifting focus to provide restaurants and other institutional feeder with products.Growing at a better than average rate are health food companies which are providing an attractive target for recruiters.Manufacturing/processing professionals are also in fairly strong demand and hirers will look at candidates outside the food industry, i.e., consumer packaged goods, chemical process industries, etc.Typical job openings within the food manufacturing industry are:EngineeringProcess EngineersProject EngineersPlant EngineersMaintenance EngineersEnvironmental EngineersOperations/ManagementPlant ManagerProduction ManagersShift ManagersSupervisorsTechnicalR&D Project LeadersTechnical Services ManagersQA/QC Managers/EngineersLab SupervisorsFood TechnologistsMicrobiologistsChemistsDistribution/WarehousingD & W Managers, SupervisorsMaterials ManagerTraffic/Transportation ManagerShipping/Receiving ManagerSalesVP SalesNational Sales ManagerZoneDivisionRegionalDistrictUnitNational Accounts ManagerPrivate Label Sales ManagerBroker ManagersSUPERMARKETS as a specialty is hard to place so we’ve put it under food, even though a good portion of supermarket sales are in non-food products and it could reasonably be classified as a retailer (covered later).As a stand-alone specialty, it’s certainly hasn’t been a barnburner, several recruiters make a healthy living from it. Roth Young and Cella Associates are the two firms which initially carved out this specialty and we know of a couple of recruiters with one client each who outearn many of their counterparts in more traditional specialties. It is a bit precarious, however, to be tied to one company in one specialty area. According to one recruiter who dabbled in this area, “All I heard from my HR contact was about the fact that they couldn’t pay full fees because they worked on such a small profit margin. This, of course, is nonsense. He knows it, I know it and he knows I know it. Constant quibbling about chump change just wasn’t worth it to me.”There are still anecdotal stories about the bag boy who rose to the upper management level of his grocery chain, but since most of the consumer contact jobs nowadays are held by unionized workers, there is a Berlin Wall of sorts between workers and managers within most large chains. Even so, most try to promote from within whenever possible which restricts the number of senior level openings available for the recruiter.There are almost 30,000 supermarkets doing $325 billion in sales . . . a seemingly hefty target. Many of the top positions were eliminated during the late 80s – early 90s merger activity but there are a significant number of middle management jobs open today, according to several of our sources – store managers, experienced retail executives, category managers, merchandisers and distribution execs.Scanner technology gives store executives an almost instant tally on what’s selling where. Many issue frequent shopper cards to further intrude into shopper habits and preferences. This naturally increases the need for information systems people and supply chain professionals.Special sections such as delis, in-store restaurants, bakeries, floral departments, gourmet take-out departments, etc. make it necessary for grocers to staff differently than in days of yore. Who would have thought a few years ago that supermarket chains would be in the market for an executive chef or a horticulturist?In addition to the standard brand supermarkets, Wal-Mart (Wal-Mart Supercenters) and Target (SuperTarget) are aggressively moving into this marketplace. So are the wholesalers such as SUPERVALU and Fleming who are buying stores to which they used to just distribute products.Most major chains also maintain their own real estate departments, a sometime opportunity for recruiters.A major drawback in recruiting is the workweek itself. Many stores are 24 hour 7 day operations. No one considers the industry to be a glamorous one.But for the supermarket upper crust, salaries can be worth the built-in aggravations. And supermarkets can be pickier.Supermarkets are still competing against the convenience stores and the giant discount/warehouse outlets, and they often hire from them to fill their openings.We all know about the folks who work in the supermarkets but the best opportunities for recruiters to ply their profession is for those people we don’t see on our shopping trips. There are frequent openings in merchandising, buying and category management. Many supermarket chains will occasionally hire a store manager or special section managers through us but, on the whole, it is best considered as a sub-niche.Practitioner comment”Area of specialty: I guess we’d fit in the Manufacturing/QC/Production area, since you don’t have a separate area for food and beverage and consumer products. For more specificity, in the past we’ve done a lot of business in Foodservice Distribution, and in Food and Beverage Manufacturing and Distribution. However, Foodservice Distribution has had multiple mergers and acquisitions, and has some inherent problems which have yet to shake out. Since 9/11/01, our business has been majorly affected, and we’ve done more in the Manufacturing side, as well as (some) retail. The reason for my long answer is to give the background to tell you I’m considering a permanent switch to the Real Estate and Construction area. Manufacturing/QC/Production overall is probably a “3”, with food and beverage manufacturing a solid 3 or 3 1/2, and foodservice distribution specifically a 1 or 1 1/2 at best, and I am hoping that Real Estate/Construction hovers between a 3 and a 5 depending upon market conditions. Right now it should be a strong 4+. There are other considerations about the differences between the two (manufacturing and RE) areas besides simply the current and future outlooks. Working in the two areas feels completely different, and has a completely different clientele.Hottest jobs in Food and Beverage Manufacturing . . . Maintenance and Engineering, and in Foodservice Distribution . . . Sales Management (Quality, proven Mgt, not just anyone given the title).Future for Food and Beverage Mfg, very stable 3+, but industry trends and life cycles regarding recruiting make that effectively lower (where people and companies are taking more of a ‘commodity’ type approach). For Foodservice Distribution, probably a 1 to 2 for some time, same trends and ‘commodity’ philosophies becoming more rampant. For RE/Construction, see comment above.” Gary Gibson – Executive Recruiting Alliance
HEALTHCAREMEDICALPHARMACEUTICALMEDICAL DEVICESMost mentioned specialty segmentsAdministratorsCompliance OfficersFinancial Reimbursement ProsHealth EconomistsHMOsInformation SystemsInsurance BillersLong Term/EldercareManaged CareMedical Record ProsNursing ManagementOccupational TherapistsPhysiciansRegulatory ManagementSalesUtilization ProfessionalsTFL CommentaryThis is such a large and multidimensional specialty, it’s hard to knock it. Not only does it encompass millions of ‘medical’ jobs, there are many recruiters who service the medical industry’s need for non-medical personnel. Those who succeed seem to be those who have developed a nucleus of stable, hiring clients who have them on a preferred provider list or those who have a more narrow niche within this specialty.Unfortunately, the industry itself has developed some ‘clearinghouse’ type networks to bypass the need for recruiter involvement, often run through each discipline’s trade association.Also, the trend towards consolidation of medical groups has created some provocative methodologies among the centralized hiring locations. One such scheme was chronicled a few years ago concerning an in-house hiring unit which set itself up as a ‘recruitment firm.’ They welcomed recruiter referrals but as a ‘recruitment firm’ they required that the real referring recruiter split the fee with the in-house ‘recruitment firm.’ Their lawyer was very upset with us for bringing this to everyone’s attention and threatened all sorts of legal nastiness. Evidently someone told him about the First Amendment. We hear the firm has mended its errant ways.Another trend has been for hospitals or hospital groups to develop new specialized product/treatment areas which are heavily advertised to the community in an effort to attract new patients. This trend has created a need for marketing pros. Who hasn’t seen a TV ad for everything from cardiac care to wart removal to an MRI right down the street? Any day now we expect to see an ad saying that Hospital A’s mortality rate is lower than Hospital B’s. As separate businesses, each of these operating units must be staffed with other (usually non-medical) business managers in various disciplines such as budgeting, financial performance, staffing, advertising, etc.The future of this industry group will depend heavily on whatever the politicians decide to do – and that won’t be much except a little nibbling on the margins.Healthcare costs rise about three times inflation every year. Services diminish except for those able to afford those super plans offered by employers. And even they are being trimmed back as they eat into corporate profits.While many practitioners are still working successfully within healthcare sub-niches, it is not the goldmine it was a few years ago unless you have a loyal group of clients left over from yesteryear.Physician recruiting continues to be semi-strong for those who have a track record and stable client list, but fee pressure continues to be exerted and flat fees are the rule rather than the exception. The old days of the caring family doctor are about over. Most doctors are now on some else’s payroll and as ’employees’ they are thinking differently about their careers than a few years ago.Real median income for doctors has been slowly dropping since 1992 because of the new healthcare economics. Medicare is diminishing reimbursement rates and insurance companies are following suit. Formerly independent-minded doctors are now being told by some twerp at an HMO what and how they can test for and treat and what they can prescribe for patients. And it may become illegal for them to accept anything more than is mandated by patients who may want additional service or something other than cookie-cutter treatment. Couple these factors with outrageous malpractice insurance rates and it ain’t the glory job it used to be.Merrit, Hawkins & Associates is a major player in physician recruitment and they maintain a good handle on this segment in general. We recommend that you visit their website (and their library) at www.merritthawkins.com. For those who missed their recent survey (TFL, 12/02), here is a reprise:SURVEY: 85% OF HOSPITALS ARERECRUITING PHYSICIANSRadiologists Most Difficult to Recruit, Family Physicians EasiestAlmost 90 percent of the nation’s hospitals are actively recruiting physicians, according to a new survey by Dallas-based physician search firm Merritt, Hawkins & Associates. The survey of 280 hospital administrators indicates that radiologists are the most difficult type of physician to recruit, while family practitioners are the easiest.”There are simply not enough radiologists and other specialists to go around,” notes Merritt, Hawkins’ president, James Merritt. “By contrast, the supply of primary care physicians such as family practitioners seems to be in balance with demand.”The survey shows that 85% of hospitals of all sizes currently are recruiting physicians, while 56% of those not actively recruiting plan to do so in the next six months.Of those hospitals that are actively recruiting, more are seeking family physicians (45%) than any other specialty. Other specialties being recruited by a significant number of hospitals of all sizes include internists (32%), orthopedic surgeons (31%), general surgeons (27%), cardiologists (23%), and anesthesiologists (20%).However, a significant number of larger hospitals of 201 beds or more also are recruiting physicians in a variety of other specialties, including gastroenterologists (41%), neurologists (35%), hospitalists (33%), obstetrician/gynecologists (31%), urologists (31%), hematologists/oncologists (29%), rheumatologists (27%), dermatologists (25%), and radiologists (22%).When asked to rate how difficult various types of physicians are to recruit, more hospitals of all sizes rated radiologists as “very difficult” to recruit than any other type of physician. Other specialists rated as “very difficult” to recruit included orthopedic surgeons (58%), anesthesiologists (49%), cardiologists (47%), rheumatologists (46%), pediatric sub-specialists (43%), urologists (42%), hematologists/oncologists (41%), dermatologists (41%), and obstetrician/gynecologists (37%).According to Merritt, a variety of elements have come together to create a “perfect storm” in physician staffing. An aging population, early physician retirement, rising malpractice rates, changes in physician practice styles, an increasing number of female physicians, increased paperwork, and an emphasis on training primary care physicians rather than specialists have contributed to a physician shortage.”The doctor dearth used to be confined to mostly rural areas,” Merritt states. “Now, hospitals in cities from Boston to Boise are looking for physicians.”The majority of hospital administrators surveyed (53%) indicated that physician recruiting has become more difficult and time consuming in the last 12 months, while 39% indicated no change in the difficulty of recruiting. Only 4 percent indicated that recruiting physicians has become less difficult and time consuming in the last year.Sixty-percent of administrators surveyed indicated that physician recruitment is one of their top two priorities, while 30% rated physician recruitment as important, but not a top priority. Only 4 percent of administrators rated physician recruiting as unimportant relative to other concerns.Therapists of some types are still in demand. So are paraprofessionals such as Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Surgical Technicians, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, Radiologic Technologists, etc. in some marketsHere’s a list of typical healthcare executive positions:CEO/AdministratorChief Operating/Administrative OfficerChief Financial OfficerTop Professional ServicesTop Support ServicesTop MarketingTop PlanningControllerTop Information SystemsTop Human ResourcesGroup Practice AdministratorMedical DirectorTop NursingDirector, NursingTop Administrator, OutpatientTop Administrator, Ambulatory CareTop Administrator, RadiologyNurse PractitionerPhysician’s AssistantDirector, Social or Medical Day CareCare or Case ManagerDirector, Managed CareDirector, Home Healthcare ServicesDirector, Psychiatric ServicesDirector, Long-Term CareDirector, Quality AssuranceDirector, Social ServicesDirector, Volunteer ServicesDirector, Rehabilitation ServicesDirector, PharmacyDirector, Engineering/Physical PlantDirector, Public RelationsDirector, DevelopmentDirector, SecurityDirector, AdmissionsDirector, Food ServicesDirector, HousekeepingDirector, Materials ManagementDirector, Patient AccountsDirector, Utilization ReviewWith a list this long at most healthcare facilities, it’s hard to imagine that some of these functions (or a notch or two below them) don’t need filling. In fact, some recruiters have isolated just one or two of these titles as their specialty. And that’s why recruiters will always be successfully knocking at the healthcare doors until the ultimate (and inevitable) socialization of the healthcare business occurs.The niches which immediately follow are considered by some to be sub-specialties of healthcare.PHARMACEUTICAL/BIOTECHNOLOGYMEDICAL DEVICES/DIAGNOSTICSTFL CommentaryWhile there are many differences in the categories clumped together here, fact is, they are close enough to have attracted many practitioners who view them as a sub-set niche.Consolidation among the pharmaceutical giants has caused some turmoil among redundant employees.Contract Research Organizations (CROs) are picking up some of the R&D types these days and are hiring many of those pharmaceutical downsized executives and scientists. But the companies themselves aren’t getting rid of those proven scientists who can get them that blockbuster drug (like Viagra).R&D has always been the bedrock upon which drug companies succeed or fail and this will always be a hot area to keep the potential product pipeline full. Research chemists (developmental and lab), scientists and M.D.s, especially with specific disease or therapy specialties, are in demand.Major demand areas in pharmaceutical and biotech firms are for mid to senior-level people in the clinical development, research, technical, medical, business development and marketing disciplines.Many are looking for regulatory affairs professionals to guide new products through the FDA submission (NDA – New Drug Applications) and approval phases.Also sought are a new breed of pharmacoeconomists called Outcome Managers whose focus is on therapy outcomes from a cost-effectiveness perspective. These are often M.D.s or Ph.D.s.Another need for many drug firms are business developers with a track record of forging alliances with other firms, either as a merger/acquisition potential or to arrange for licensing agreements to get products to market faster.The managed care model continues (for now) to supplant the traditional fee-for-service market and has caused many firms to switch to a team selling approach. Many HMOs and similar organizations limit the number of offered drugs which makes it even more important to have your products in the managed care medicine chests. Since most also limit time with (or prohibit altogether) doctors meeting with drug reps, the industry is rapidly changing the way they market and sell their products. This will often create the need to hire higher-level sales types to replace the traditional “detail” person who trots from doctor office to doctor office giving out samples and advertising doo-dads to encourage them to prescribe their products to patients.Visionary marketers with international experience are at a premium to access the emerging markets marketplace.”The medical device/diagnostics field works well with our pharmaceutical practice and is almost nearly as active. Often the larger pharmaceutical and medical device companies have gobbled up the device firms, many of which are smaller in size and iffier on fees.”Both the pharmaceutical industry and the medical device industry won big time a few years ago when President Clinton signed legislation hastening public access to new drugs and medical devices. Unfortunately, the Bush regime has slowed that process.The medical device manufacturing field is a $45 billion business . . . large enough to attract recruiters. But it is only growing at a 5-6% rate per year.An industry insider told us, “The demographics of an aging population, combined with the global emphasis on providing quality healthcare, will sustain growth in this market for several years.” He also said that there are multiple influences affecting the industry, including burgeoning offshore markets, consolidation in the healthcare provider sector, the transition of health technology from the laboratory to the clinic to the home, and continued conservative regulatory influences [despite the legislation].One of the biggest problems in the device industry is the new emphasis on cost-containment. New device technologies tend to be very expensive and are cautiously accepted only upon proof that they can provide better care at a cheaper cost by reducing staff and shortening patient stays than existing therapies.While there will always be recruiter opportunities with these companies, we know of very few recruiters who have this area as a stand-alone specialty.Editor’s Note: We recommend “The Health Professionals Job Resource Guide” by Val Harper & Deanna Wood. This $16.95 paperback is published by John Wiley & Sons and should be available at your local library, bookstore or through www.amazon.com. It is filled with useful information about the healthcare field.Practitioner comments”The Healthcare/Medical/Biotech is a strong industry with excellent growth. I would rate this at least a 3. There is heavy employment activity in this industry however, much of that activity is filled by sources other than search firms.” Suzanne Roberts, CPC – Owner/Executive Recruiter, Accountant Profile, Inc.”I’m still getting mixed signals from various employers, but am working to adapt. The biggest thing I notice in health care is that there is a great deal of new pressure from hospitals and other employers to come down to 25% or less and to offer 90 day guarantees. An influx of recruiters into the health care industry who are offering steep discounts is one of the reasons for the pressure. I’m resisting the fee and guarantee pressures, and am striving to build new business on favorable terms. Tying into the above, I’m also seeing physician practices getting very skittish due to impending Medicare cuts which have followed painful reimbursement cuts last year. The AMA is lobbying Congress heavily, and the House responded with a bill that would restore Medicare funding, but the Senate dropped the ball in the lame duck session. Wait until a bevy of doctors drop Medicare patients in vital electoral states like Florida and Pennsylvania and you may see the Bush administration scramble into high gear with this, which will hopefully favorably impact a large segment of the health care industry.” Anonymous”Main specialty is managed care and hospital systems ranked a 2. Our hottest job categories are Director of Finance, CFO, Actuary.” Aaron Wandtke, CPC – Senior Partner – Executive Staffing Solutions”Pharmaceutical R&D is generally slower than in my prior 22 years in recruiting. No particularly hot job categories.” Anonymous”We perform only permanent physician, retained search. Our rank right now is definitely a one (and will stay that way) especially for Cardiology, Orthopedic Surgery.” Jeffrey M. Bowling, Managing Partner – Delta Medical Consulting”Specialty: Pharmacy (Viabilty 2). Hottest jobs: Hospital pharmacists for remote geographies. Long-term: 2. Lots of recruiting competition. Some pharmacists get multiple calls per day!” Anonymous”We do retained and contingent searches in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries for R&D, Business Development, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs. RANK 4.” Anonymous”Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and sales. Current Viability. 4 (Barely hanging on). Not a lot of hot jobs. Just an occasional replacement. IT recruiting firms are trying to jump in and prostitute the market with 15% fees. 3 or 4 at best for the future.” Anonymous”My specialty areas: Healthcare/Medical/Biotech/Related. Currently I would rank it a 2 but it seems to be improving. I had a number of clients ask me to contact them during the 4th quarter of last year to help them fill some of the jobs that they have put on hold earlier in the year. It also sounds like a number of my clients are budgeting for growth early next year. Hottest jobs? I specialize in finding Regulatory, Clinical Research, and Quality professionals. All of these areas are hot right now. These people are difficult to find even in the best of times. The demand for these people remains high, even if the budget doesn’t allow bringing them on. As the budgets loosen up, these are usually some of the first positions to be filled. My prediction is that this will continue to be a strong area, and demand will be high. I would give it a 2 again for 2003. I would rank it higher, but with the recent influx of struggling Recruiters (especially ex IT Recruiters) jumping into this area, the competition is tight, and the hiring managers are getting tired of the constant barrage of calls from recruiters every week. Even so, I still have some very good clients that keep requesting my help in their searches.” Jeff King – Professional Placement Specialists, Inc.”Our office deals in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sales, marketing, and clinical positions. I rank it a 3 for the year 2002 and probably the same for next year (it was a 1 in 2000-2001). Nothing is hot at the moment. The area that will become hot will be the merger of pharmaceutical companies buying back into the medical device field or vice versa. This will be due to the new “biotech” products that will enhance the device area. These will be products that speed up healing or bridge the healing process.” Anonymous”We focus on the pharmaceutical industry, and specialize in the recruitment of top quality professionals in all functional areas, including Research and Development, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance, Manufacturing and Operations, Engineering, Validation, Quality Assurance and Quality Control. Currently, I would rate viable opportunities in our industry at a 3, not so great, but better than other industries I hear/read about. Hottest jobs within our specialty are Validation, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance. I do feel (and hope) that our industry will rebound in late 1st quarter and early 2nd quarter of 2003.” Greg Everhart, Managing Partner – MRI The Everhart Group, LLC”We specialize in Pharmaceutical Industry/Companies, primarily medium to large. We specialize within these companies in Clinical Trials Niches. We rank current viability as #5 awful. Prediction: Unknown. Future: Could be #3-4 poor to bad. Too many mergers & acquisitions, FDA regulatory problems, drugs going off patent with weak pipelines, prices too high on the drugs, shortage of candidates and jobs due to the above and smaller universe as companies have merged! Also, fears of Terriorism, Iraq,etc., have created lack of confidence by companies to invest, spend. This is very grave.” Anonymous”Specialty emphasis on Biotech and Medical Devices. Viability: 3. Hottest jobs: sales/marketing. Prediction: 2.” Bob Dudley, CPC, President – Sanford Rose Associates”My specialty is biotech. I recruit scientists and VP/Director level candidates in the industry. I would rank it as a 3- because the industry is going through a bit of a transition right now. Many companies in this sector are smaller companies that are starting to run out of money. A biotech company’s hiring needs often depend on FDA approval for a drug that is in clinical trials. If the FDA rejects, the company could be in financial trouble. It’s also a tough industry, because many of the clients are scientists and doctors – who make decisions very slowly, so the hiring process can drag on for a long time. I also rank it as a 3, because the positions can be so difficult to recruit for, there isn’t as much competition from other recruiters who are trying to enter the field. Also because most positions take 4-6 months to fill, if you find the right candidates sooner the clients will have greater appreciation for you. A hot group of positions would be medicinal chemists and computational chemists. I can’t predict the future – but I don’t recommend the industry for recruiters who have seen their business drop and are looking for a new industry. It’s an industry that requires a lot of research to come up with candidates and for contingency searches especially, the efforts may be more profitable elsewhere.” Pearl Freier Capital Resources”Within these industries, we specialize in the Engineering/Scientific, Quality, Clinical, Regulatory, Supply Chain and Technical Marketing disciplines. I rate current viability as a 2-3 (our major focus is in the Medical Device Industry). R&D/Engineering/Manufacturing jobs are at the lowest demand I’ve seen in 10 years. Clinical and Regulatory and perhaps Quality have been more active. Qualified candidates still remain very difficult to find. Personnel Service Agreements are killing a lot of business, and are becoming rampant within the industry. HR has reached unheralded levels of power and lunacy. Would appreciate some help in this area from you as to the possibility of establishing some sort of strategy amongst the major Executive Firms to form some sort of a lobby to advise Executive Management as to the implications of these so called agreements. My prediction is nothing revolutionary. There is a need to develop new technologies and products, and as the general economy improves, business in this industry will follow suit. ” Jan L. Dorfman,P.E., President, FPC Denver”We specialize in healthcare nationwide. All hospitals and managed care organizations. Business is great  — Hottest jobs: finance; nursing; any type of physician, example: cardiac, ortho, intensivist, etc. Future looks great.” Anonymous”We specialize in the senior housing and care industry, including home health, independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing. We are surviving, and the industry is growing. New entrants are coming in because the industry is growing. Hottest jobs: Corporate ops and marketing, corporate clinical, and CEOs/Executive Directors of not for profits. The future is very bright (1), our database is extensive and our reputation superb. Of course, another major war/terrorist act could send everyone back into the caves. As all the fly-by-night recruiters go back to being technical recruiters on their own, companies will have difficulty filling positions.” Bob Fetter, Managing Partner – Health Care DimensionsHOSPITALITY/LEISUREFOODSERVICE/TRAVELMost mentioned activity areasAll Restaurant disciplinesEntertainment Type RestaurantsFast Food RestaurantsFinancial ManagementFood & BeverageHotels (2)HourliesLimited Service & Extended Stay Hotels (2)ManagersMISMulti-Unit Operations ManagementOperationsRestaurant – Casual/Theme (2)Restaurant – Dinner HousesRestaurantsSales/MarketingSpecialty Food StoresTrainingUpscale RestaurantsTFL CommentaryThe broad definition of the hospitality industry includes hotels, restaurants, resorts, clubs, casinos and theme parks.The economy, 9-11 and growing unemployment statistics have taken its toll on this industry. Hotel rooms are easier to find and restaurants aren’t nearly as crowded as before. New hotel construction is down and restaurant chains are stagnant in their growth. Tourism, the largest industry in the world, is also hurting. The gaming (gambling) industry is on a faster growth track. There are 5 times as many practitioners specializing or serving the gaming industry as a year ago.All of this bodes ill for the RESTAURANT industry, and for recruiters involved in the mid to upper level talent acquisition loop.Jobs are available sporadically in operations, finance, dp, food and beverage as well as general management. Those recruiters with strong relationships are doing OK but the industry is not particularly robust these days. This is, however, a high turnover business which creates more opportunities for the musical chairs game than more stable industry groups.The HOTEL sector has been cooling down as well with many proposed new properties off the drawing board for a while. Some major resort, commercial and luxury hotel chains are hiring at the corporate level as well as at non-franchised individual operations but acivity is definitely down for recruiters.Practitioners tell us that many non-brand name hotels are often slow/no pay so the prudent placers lock them up with a signed contract and/or some sort of advance retainer. The biggies are generally no problem.The hotel restaurant and food service problems mirror those of the restaurant segment (see above).COUNTRY CLUBS offer limited opportunities for recruiters unless they have already climbed that business development mountain. There are a few recruiters who work this area but the universe is small and it’s tough to crack a club that’s been someone else’s client for awhile.CONTRACT FEEDING is a more active area for recruiters. These are firms which run food service operations in companies, office buildings, schools, prisons, hospitals, universities, sports arenas, convention facilities, etc.The GAMING (GAMBLING) industry continues to grow around the country. A few years ago we suggested that it might be a decent target for recruiters and several took us up on it with mixed results. This is changing for the better. Casinos build hotels, have multiple restaurants and the casinos themselves are very labor intensive, 24-hour a day operations. They also have very technical computer operations requiring IT personnel. Corporately, they have sophisticated marketing, legal, regulatory affairs, legal and human resource staffs. Sounds like a natural for recruiters.While there are several dozen recruiters who semi-specialize in the gaming industry, the movers and shakers in gaming management are “different” and, while it is a fun specialty, we still don’t recommend that you drop your other niches to pursue it on a full time basis, especially for those “gaming floor” openings. A restaurant is a restaurant and a hotel is a hotel, whether attached to a casino or not and that’s where a lot of the recruiting action is.Practitioner commentary”Our Specialty is Hospitality/retail (this encompasses Corporate restaurant positions, Hotels, resorts,and Gaming. We are retained search company. Viability is very strong, a lot of our work has been in the area of the second tier, concept, and Quick Service restaurants, the public is shying away from the three to five star restaurant and hotels. The segment that we work has had double digit increases this last two years. Hottest Jobs: Franchise Sales, Marketing, R/D,CEO and COO. The future of our specialty is strong in various segments. I would say about 2.5. We have been through five to six recessions over the thirty plus years I have been in this business and we are still here.” Dick Wray & Consultants Inc. (since 1972)”My current specialty area is the global hotel industry exclusively. We are hotel recruiters. The viability of TFL to me would be a 4. The hottest job in the hotel industry is General Manager. My prediction for the future of the hotel industry is a 1 (great).” Bernd K. Wosgien, President – Executive Search International
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGYINFORMATION SYSTEMSMIS/DATA PROCESSINGCOMPUTER TECHNOLOGYSOFTWARETypical openings within the specialty:Application DevelopersAS/400ASP developersB2B/B2CBusiness AnalystC++ DevelopersClient/Server ProgrammersC/S DevelopersConnectivity SpecialistDatabase AdministratorDatabase DevelopersData AnalystsData CommunicationsData WarehouseDesktop SupportDevelopment Managerse-Commerce DevelopersEngineersERP/MRPField Tech EngineersGUI/OOP DevelopmentHelp DeskInternet DevelopersIT ArchitectsIT ManagementJava ProgrammersLotus Notes DevelopersMIS ManagementNetwork ArchitectNetwork AdministratorsNetwork EngineerOODOpen LinkOraclePre-SalesProduct ManagersProject ManagersProgrammer/AnalystsProject ManagementQuality AssuranceSales/MarketingSoftware EngineerSoftware SalesSQL DatabasesSysadmSystems AdministratorsSystems AnalystSystem ArchitectsSystems EngineersTechnology ArchitectTech SupportTelecommunications AnalystUnix AdministratorsVisual Basic ProgrammersWeb Application DevelopersWeb DevelopmentWindows DevelopersTFL CommentaryAccording to one respondent, IT stands for “It’s terrible.” While we realize that the five headers at the beginning of this section could all be separate specialties, they are synergistic enough to be lumped together. Telecommunications is another affinity specialty with much crossover in talent needs. Nevertheless, we have separated it into a separate niche discussed later.Practitioner comments were almost all the same in their concern over the evaporation of this business from its super high point a couple of short years ago.Job orders are scarce. Candidates are plentiful and available in droves through the Internet. Full fees are history for all but the proverbial needle in the haystack. The biggest problems encountered by IT practitioners are increased and intense competition from in-house recruiters and the MonsterBoard type operations which purport to be the light, the truth and the way.Major IT projects on the drawing board around Y2K have been back-burnered and candidate supply greatly exceeds demand.Credible estimates put the failure rate of purely IT practitioners at around 50%. Even so, there are some recruiters still surviving in the IT niche and at some point in the future this specialty will prosper again. The pendulum will swing back.When it does come back, one of the major problems in getting into this specialty is a lack of understanding about what the players do and how to adequately interview them. Rather than reinvent the wheel, we turned to the 1998 publication from Source EDP. While there are new generations of software, the typical job titles and functional areas within this specialty are the same:SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENTMainframe – Codes and maintains business applications. Develops and supports large-scale batch or high volume transaction environments that require IBM/MVS mainframe processing power. Programs in business-oriented languages such as COBOL and CICS, or fourth generation languages.Midrange – Develops and supports enterprise-oriented applications or general business applications. Programs in business-oriented languages such as COBOL and RPG/400 or fourth generation languages on IBM AS/400 computers.Client/Server/GUI – Analyzes and designs programming applications for a client/server architecture. Knowledgeable of ODBC, Windows NT. Macintosh, NOVELL, OS/2, UNIX, APIs and RPCs.Systems Engineer – Responsible for the design, development and implementation of computer software in Windows or UNIX using C/C++, Assembly and other low-level operating system software. Develops GUI-based applications, systems software and embedded software. Analyzes business engineering and scientific problems; develops well-defined procedures in the delivery of practical systems solutions. Typically holds a degree in Computer Science or Computer Engineering.BUSINESS SYSTEMSBusiness Analyst – Works with management and users to analyze, specify and design business applications. Develops detailed functional, system and program specifications using structured design methodologies and computer-aided software engineering (CASE) tools. Must have business sense and communications skills. Works with both IS and strategic planning business teams.Consultant – Facilitates organizational change while providing subject matter expertise on technical, functional and business topics during the development or implementation of automated systems. Performs business requirements analysis, recommends selection of software, develops proposals for consulting services and manages implementation of projects at client sites.EDI Analyst – Introduces EDI standards and technology. Makes decisions for information construction and selects resources of EDI processing and application expansion. Coordinates processing and transmission schedules plus mapping of standard data formats. Generally serves as a key contact for trading partners and value-added network consultants.Systems Analyst – Devises and designs computer system requirements for the solution of moderately difficult business problems, or for segments of more complex problems, and formulates procedures for their solutions. Plays a major role in the development and implementation of major systems.SPECIALISTSDatabase Analyst – Uses data modeling techniques to analyze and specify data usages within an application area. Defines both logical views and physical data structures. In the client/server environments, defines the back end.Database Administrator – Administers and controls an organization’s data resources. Uses data dictionary software packages to ensure data integrity and security, recover corrupted data and eliminate data redundancy; and uses tuning tools to improve database performance.LAN Administrator – Installs and maintains local area networks’ hardware and software. Troubleshoots network usages and computer peripherals. Installs new users. Performs system backups and data recovery. Resolves LAN communications problems.Network Engineer – High-level LAN/WAN technician. Plans, implements and supports network solutions between multiple platforms. Installs and maintains local area network hardware and software. Troubleshoots network usage and computer peripherals. CNE certification is a plus.PC Software Specialist – Works with microcomputer applications such as word processors, spreadsheets, database management systems and electronic mail. Also, evaluates, installs and supports PCs and various printer, graphics and storage peripherals. Adds and trains new users. Performs backups and data recovery. Often works in a Help Desk environment fielding calls from users.PC Technician – Responsible for the overall coordination, control and maintenance of personal computers within a company to ensure compatibility and integration with company strategies.Systems Administrator/Manager – Install operating systems, database management systems, compilers and utilities. Monitors and tunes systems software, peripherals and networks. Installs new users, creates batch administration scripts and runs systems backups. Resolves systems problems.Voice Analyst – Designs voice networks integrating telephony hardware and network services. Supports systems development in telephony intensive applications such as Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Call Centers. Experience in traffic engineering and carrier management. Understands network hardware and is familiar with PBX and ACD systems planning.Data Communications Analyst – Installs, maintains and troubleshoots data networks. Utilizes one or more of the following: T-Is, TCP/IP, Fiber Optics, SNA or Frame Relay for communications. Assists users with problems related to connectivity. Analyzes data flow. Configures modems, DSUs, multiplexers and routers. Utilizes network tools such as Netview and Netspy.WAN Administrators – Evaluates, selects, installs and maintains wide area networks. Provides WAN transport services. Performs analysis and diagnostics. Works with network hardware like routers, hubs and multiplexers. Familiar with WAN routing protocols such as SLIP and X.25.Systems Programmer – Installs and maintains mainframe operating systems, communications software, database management software, compilers and utility programs. Provides technical support to applications programmers, hardware/software evaluation and planning. Creates and modifies special-purpose utility programs. Ensures systems’ efficiency and integrity.Edp Auditor – Analyzes the system function and operations to determine adequate security and controls. Evaluates systems and operational procedures and reports findings to senior management. Writes ad hoc report programs using fourth generation languages and specialized audit software. Senior Edp Auditors have from 4 to 6 years experience in the field.Technical Writer – Works directly with systems analysts and programmers to write and edit program and systems documentation, user manuals, training courses and procedures. Also prepares proposals and technical reports.Systems Architect – Designs and develops all aspects of major information systems. May also determine the tools, languages and databases to be used. Typically becomes involved in major new development or re-engineering efforts.QA/Test Analyst – Ensures software development processes and procedures are in place and are used. Can and should include but not be limited to some of the following: SEI Software Development Maturity modeling, ISO9000, Design review, testingMANAGEMENTMIS Director/CIO – The Chief Information Officer (CIO) is accountable for directing the information and data integrity of the enterprise and its groups and for all information service functions, including all data centers, technical service centers, production scheduling functions, help desks, communication networks (voice and data), computer program development and computer systems operations. He or she is responsible for maintaining the integrity of all electronic and optical books, including review of computerized and manual systems; information processing equipment and software for acquisition, storage and retrieval; and definition of the strategic direction of all information processing and communication systems and operations. He or she provides overall management and definition of all computer and communication activities within the company, including responsibility for providing a leadership role in the day-to-day operations of the Information Services functions as well as providing direction as the enterprise expands through internal growth and external acquisition.Manager of Business Applications – Plans and oversees multiple projects and project managers. Works with CIO and senior management to determine systems’ development strategy and standards. Administers department budget and reviews project managers.Applications Development – Works on programs that support the administrative or operational functions of the company. Programmers who work on payroll or accounts payable systems are Applications Programmers.Technical Services Director – Plans and oversees the research, evaluation and integration of new technology, systems development, methodologies, data administration, capacity planning, training and technical support.VP/Manager of Customer Services – Oversees the development of systems within Information Systems on both mainframes and PCs. Systems development includes configuration data, security, resource monitoring and reporting and the development of specialized programs.VP/Manager of Customer Services – In a software vendor environment, manages pre-sales and post-sales support, the help line and documentation. For large packages, manages development of customization of the core product for specific customers.Project Manager – Plans and oversees the development and support of a specific application or functional area. Administers performance appraisals, salaries, hiring and budgets.Project Leader – Has managerial skills as well as technical skills. Responsible for coordinating resources, schedules and communications for systems development projects. Develops project schedules and assigns tasks. Occasionally performs both systems analysis and programming, but is usually there to provide technical assistance and leadership. Serves as contact with user groups and systems management.TECHNICAL SALESAccount Representative – Identifies and contacts sales prospects, analyzes customers’ needs, proposes business solutions and negotiates. Oversees implementation of new products.Pre/Post Sales Support Representative – Supports the sales effort by analyzing customer requirements, proposing and demonstrating technical solutions, ensuring acceptable product installations, training users and providing technical support and problem resolutions.Management – Manages a team of sales and support representatives that provide customer service to end-users of a company’s products or services.COMPUTER OPERATIONS/DATA CENTERData Center Manager – Plans and directs all computer and peripheral machine operations, data entry, data control scheduling and quality control.Operations Support – Analyzes and supports computer operations by controlling production applications monitoring system resources and response time, and providing first-line support for operational problems.Communications Operator – Monitors and maintains communications network operations. Troubleshoots communications hardware and software and transmission problems.Help Desk Analyst/Customer Service Support – Provides user/customer telephone support for computer systems. This could include software, hardware or telecommunications systems. Duties may include troubleshooting hardware and software problems, assisting users with applications software and providing limited user training.INTERNETInternet Project Manager – Oversees the ongoing development, implementation, coordination, maintenance and overall strategy of a company’s website. Increases awareness of products and services offered by coordinating them with placement of information on the site. Requires specialized knowledge of Web technologies, HTML, graphics design and layout.Internet Engineer – Maintains link between the Internet provider and the website. May also maintain connectivity between Internet and LAN/WAN sites within the company. Keeps abreast of new technologies to provide more services. May be responsible for e-mail and intranet operations, firewalls and security administration.Web Programmer – Responsible for program design, coding, testing, debugging and documentation. Devises or modifies procedures to solve complex problems concerning equipment capacity and limitations.Web Graphic Designer – Responsible for all graphical content, creations and development of websites and other integrative on-line environments.Webmaster – Proficient in HTML design and experienced in the installation and configuration of a variety of HTTP servers. Working knowledge of PERL/C/Pythom scripting. Strong design background with advanced database interface experience. Strong object-oriented programming and JAVA applet authoring background.Practitioner comments”My current specialty areas are Information Technology and High Tech for Executives, Management, Sales and Technical professionals. Current viability is 5 – Plain awful and the forecast looks bleak. Hottest jobs are: Software applications sales appears to be holding a bit, but real soft with few open job orders to work on. I rate the future (2003) a 4 at best, but closer to a 5! I am real nervous about 2003 in the High Tech/IT market quite frankly. It is not improving at all and the “So Called Experts” are saying the layoffs will continue through 2003. I talk to high end sales folks every day that are still gainfully employed and they all say; “We are not selling anything to anyone right now” and that is a real problem. Until that turns around, hiring will not get better any time soon. I am an Eternal Optimist and hope for a miracle every day to be able to continue in the business.” C. Douglas Warner, President-C. D. Warner & Associates”Data Processing/MIS/IT – Current viability is a 3 – will not see significant growth in sector compared to late 1990’s however will be good as it was in early 90’s. Have pockets of hard to find skills. I predict a 3 – overall IT has been hit harder than other industries but this was based on tremendous growth in the late 90’s. We are seeing more cleansing, eliminating those who were not qualified to be in the industry in the first place. There are those positions that have moved into the commodity mode where entry point is low and profits have been driven out. For those positions, the demand will not return ever. For higher skilled position – good people are still hard to find and recruiters are needed to identify and motivate them. What a great time to be in our business – building in the lulls to take advantage of the upswing.” Anonymous”Specialty – Data Processing/MIS/IT – Viability 3. Hottest jobs: Developers – Future of specialty 2. Comment: Cyclical industry, this is the bottom of the cycle, things will improve.” Anonymous”Specialty—MIS/IT – Rank—-4 pretty bad. Hottest jobs—Networking, E-Commerce, Windows Developer. Predict—3. Comments—IT people are still getting laid off and the ones that are out have been for a long time. Education is now a very strict requirement. Candidates without degrees and /or certifications will not be considered for most positions.” Anonymous”Data Processing/MIS/IT, Telecommunication. Currently 5-Awful. Hottest jobs: SAP System Analyst, Unix System Administrators, Internet System Specialists. Prediction = 2, but I think it’s going to take a while (well into 2003)” Anonymous”Our specialty areas of recruitment – Information Technology – Rank on current viability of my specialty 4. Hottest jobs within my specialty – Analyst Development. Prediction for the future of my specialty 1″ Anonymous”MIS/IT Rank = 3. Hottest jobs: Data Warehouse, InfoSec, C++, BSA’s, Micosoft’s .Net, XML, and related Web Technologies (Java etc.,despite the dot com bust people still see the Internet as the commerce for the future.(They are now calling it “Web Services”. ) Prediction: 2-3 for the first part of 2003 and a big movement upwards. This business still belongs to the recruiters who understand and “use” the basics. And know how to “recruit” not surf the net looking for candidates.” Paul J. Kennedy, Sr. IT Services Manager – SURREX SOLUTIONS”Data Processing/MIS/IT – Current viability: from (1) great to (5) awful.2002 – 4, 2003 – 2 I hope. Hottest jobs: IT jobs relating to Biomedics, AS400 jobs, and Infrastructure Support (networks, desktops, databases). There is an incredible pent up demand for IT projects and products as companies realize that competitive edge can only be maintained by embracing technology. Fear of spending money has ruled the two years since the millennium. That fear will evaporate in the next 18 months, and we will see demand return to an impressive level. Our contract business has begun to grow, and that is usually a bellwether of the future demand for full time, regular employment. I can’t predict a boom such as we saw in the late 90’s, but I really don’t want to see the craziness of that time. 40% of our competitors are out of business, so the opportunities for us old timers who have weathered the storm are great. George F. Black, CPC – RSA/Robert Shields and Associates, Friendswood, TX 77546″Data Processing/MIS/IT, Telecommunication, Sales/Marketing – Current viability = 3. Hottest jobs: Sales. Finding open job orders that are worth working over the past two years has been difficult. We have found that the star sales candidate can still create an opening even in Telecom!” Gene Salvadore, President, Convergent Search Group”DP/MIS/IT – Very Viable!! 1. Hottest jobs: Business Development and IT Strategists/CTO’s. Prediction? This is a tough one: immediate future, like tomorrow, I’ll give it a 5. Going into the ‘real’ future, like 2-5 years out, I’d give it a 1+.” Heinz H. Bartesch, Managing Director – Professional Consulting Network, Inc.”Data Processing/MIS/IT – Rank = 5 AWFUL!! Hottest jobs: Technical skills with Top Secret clearance or Top Secret with polygraph. Prediction – For the foreseeable future it is going to be 5 AWFULthere are way too many people out of work.” Anonymous”Specialties: Computer specialists of every ilk, computer and software sales, accounting, banking, financial analysts. Viability of specialties: 1. Excellent. In the computer field there is no market for COBOL, our old bread and butter. People who used to get 120K or $100/hr in Java are now taking half that or less. The dollar chasers left the field. It’s getting back to normal. Sales: always good. Accounting, banking, financial continues pretty strong. Hottest jobs: none. My partner and I made 7 placements last month. 3 were accountants, but that was a fluke, not a demand. Every job was hunted out one at a time. No casting of nets. Just fishing with bait on a single hook. Future for our specialty: 1. Outstanding, or I would change. We’re in our 10th year. We are in a small metropolitan area market. Well under a million people in each of the 3 metro areas we serve from this 2 person office. In the first 7 years we saw a lot of our local competitors try to expand to the big cities of Boston or Atlanta, or open offices in Florida (for obvious reasons). You could charge more and turn deals faster. It was going to be easy! All those expansions failed and cost them a lot of money. They went from a connections based, comfort and respect market to fast dealing, high pressure centers. Our local boys weren’t used to the competition. They lost a fortune and returned to the local area chastened. The big boys have repeatedly assaulted our market. First they tried opening offices just like they had in major metro areas across the country. High pressure, aggressive, winner-take-all sales and recruiting. They all failed within 6 months. No sales. The local yokels couldn’t be pressured. Clients had good suppliers and adequate supplies of people. Candidates had moved to the area BECAUSE of the slow pace and wouldn’t be pressured. They can move 100 miles south or east and get a 50% raise. They’re here for lifestyle, not career pace. Then the big boys started buying out the locals. That worked a little better. But soon they felt they had to replace the guys who had built the business with their hotshots. Business started to shrink. Some of the branches have been sold annually because they don’t fit the corporate patterns of the new owners. We are reaping the rewards of getting out of dead niches when the market died, surveying our old and potential customers, finding clients who we like, working only the tough job orders, and demanding our base fee or turning away. We’ve invested a fortune in training tapes and videos, online research services (not job boards) and publications. Best money we’ve ever spent, especially the training. Our competitors fail or flail around looking for a plan that works. We just keep plugging. Some good quarters, some bad. We are working the markets we know, getting out of unprofitable niches and finding new ones within our market and specialty. We didn’t make a fortune this year, but we didn’t go broke. We have more clients than ever. When the market booms, we’ll do very well. Bryan Dilts, CPC, President – AGI Consulting and Recruiting”Current Specialty – The IBM AS400 and the boxes that surround it – PC’s/Client/ Servers etc. Programmer/Analysts etc. Data Processing/MIS/IT. Full time placement activity = 3. I’ve been in this niche since 1987, starting out with the Sys.38. If it wasn’t for a handful of key companies with individuals that I’ve developed strong relationships with over the years – it would be very dark indeed. My overhead is low (I’ve been on my own, working out of my house since 1992), work schedule very flexible and I wouldn’t change it for anything – but, this has been the most stressful year of all. Up one month. Dry the next. Contractor placement activity = 5. I have some really good friends who are contractors within the AS400 arena who haven’t worked for over a year. Companies looking for full time individuals rarely consider these people as their dollars “have” been high and they fear that once the market improves – they’ll be gone. Hottest jobs? Nothing is HOT. When the needs have come, it’s been from key relationships who have decided to have their company focus on their business needs and not in sorting through 100 resumes received over the internet or through advertising. They pay me to do the pre-screen/qualifying/presenting/prepping of three to four key people for them to interview. In one case H.R. had received the candidate’s resume from the Internet – but, had lost or didn’t make the connection that the person could/should be considered. When I discussed with the HR person that I had a person who was qualified and that they were probably languishing in the HR files somewhere – they agreed to review the person, would pay the fee if hired etc. Person did interview. Did not get an offer – but, I did eventually fill with another person. Prediction – Next 6 months 3 – 4. One year from now 2 – 3. Two years from now, 1 – 2.” Mark Gagnon, Owner, MAR-TRA Enterprises, LLC. Lancaster, PA”Data Processing/ MIS/ IT. Hottest jobs: Web developers, .Net developers, Oracle developers. As we move into 2003 we are anticipating a large increase in demand for permanent and contract IT professionals. This demand is a result of a lack of hiring during the last 18 months for economic reasons and an increase in workload that has resulted as the economy has begun its rebound. We are also seeing a huge demand for experience in the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance arena, which is nearing its first set of deadlines.” Sam Mandolfo, President – Mandolfo & Associates, Inc.INSURANCETFL CommentaryThe insurance company of today bears little resemblance to the insurance company of ten years ago. Insurance companies are reinventing themselves to be financial megafirms.In an era where more sophisticated consumers understand the differences in investment opportunities and in maximizing the returns on their money, insurance companies have had to become more consumer-friendly and far more creative in their offerings.The past several years have seen an unprecedented number of acquisitions and mergers.Nowadays, of course, you can buy policies direct through the Internet, bypassing the agent sales force and saving considerable dollars. The brick and mortar companies are concerned since this assault on their product line cuts out the middleman. What happens to their vast army of agents if they allow consumer to buy direct?Consolidations are still taking place as companies try to buy market share through acquisition and there are still over 2,300 property-casualty companies out there. But 9-11 has cost many of them a pretty penny and the certainty of further terrorist attacks has caused growing uncertainty which is being addressed by the Feds.But the industry still looks bright in many areas and despite the consolidation, the overall employment has not dipped or declined much. There are still over 600,000 people employed in the insurance industry – too good target for recruiters to ignore. Not the fastest growing business, but still stable enough to qualify as a reasonable specialty.The biggest demand is for anyone with 3 – 5 years of claims or underwriting experience. Unfortunately, few exist since most companies cut way back on new hires during the early to mid-90s.Corporate offices seek IT and finance professionals. The larger brokerage firms are always trying to steal competitors’ high-powered sales pros who will bring their clientele with them. We recently wrote about a $300,000 fee paid to a recruiter for moving a $12 million producer.Underwriters, in general, with the ability to step out of the envelope while maintaining profitability . . . and with the marketing skills to deal with brokers and agents to sell the product are hot commodities.As more large companies consider the benefits of self-insuring, carriers have had to reexamine their product line and develop new product lines. Creative casualty-oriented underwriters who are dealmakers at heart and willing to go that extra step beyond the prepackaged programs to make something happen are eagerly sought.Association or program specialists who can customize products for their members are in high demand as are underwriters in highly protected risk insurance.Companies are also seeking group underwriters in life, health and special-risk sectors, especially those with experience in large groups.Demand is up for loss control specialists, marketing managers, claims specialists, actuaries, investment professionals and employee-benefit specialists.We expect this specialty to remain stable unless the Feds gum up the works with more “entitlements.”Typical areas of activityActuarialAlternative Risk ProgramsClaims SpecialistsCommercial Lines UnderwritersDP/MISEmployment Practices LiabilityExcess & Surplus LinesFinancial ProfessionalsForced Placed InsuranceHealth/Welfare/RetirementHealthcare-related PositionsInformation TechnologyInternational Casualty InsuranceLife & HealthManaged Care ProfessionalsNon-traditional SpecialtiesPension SalesProperty/CasualtyReinsuranceRisk ManagementUnderwritingWorkers Comp Claims & UnderwritingWrap-up insurance”Insurance Current viability = 3. Hottest jobs: Claims Representatives. The insurance industry is going through a great number of mergers and therefore the client pool is somewhat decreasing. The companies are aggressively focusing on narrowing their list of search firms and developing preferred vendor contracts and relationships. The advantage CE Insurance Services has is our individual focus on each insurance discipline and more importantly the 14 year tenure we have within this niche. I see our clients becoming more knowledgeable of our industry’s services and therefore demanding class “A” service without the cutting of corners. On a final note, I have also witnessed a decrease in the utilization of the major job boards by our clients as they are no longer the flavor of the day and their effectiveness has decreased . The cream will rise to the top during this economic downturn and I welcome the challenge.” Jeff Carter, President & CEO of CE Insurance Services”My specialty area is Insurance. Current viability = 4 not good. Hottest jobs: Support personnel & Sales people. I believe that the insurance industry is notoriously cyclical. This down cycle has been longer that most, I believe, due the the unique events of the past year and the unknown claims distribution yet to be charged against the industry. It is causing very slow and cautious decision making towards new business until all the losses shake out.” Sal Bevivino -Questor Consultants”Current specialty area is the insurance industry, property & casualty specific. Viability is good to very good. Hottest jobs: Claims Mold exposure and Fraud specialization. Prediction(s) for future: Increasing demand for refunds by clients will cause further problems, pressures and issues affecting performance. The solution is not demanding refund guarantees but reducing placement fee averages with an equity position trade off for portions of the fee (private and publicly held companies) thus decreasing average fees AND adding influence of the search firm on the client side of the table.” Michael S. Evdemon, President – E INSURANCE GROUP,Inc.”Our current specialty is Insurance. Viability is a 1. The hottest jobs are in Claims. The future of the specialty is the same as it has been for the 39 years we have been in business – very good a 1. This may end up being the best year ever for us despite the gloom and doom stories still emanating regarding the employment industry. If you work smart you can do very well right now.” Barry S. Davis, CPC – Martin Grant Associates, Inc.”Property and Casualty Insurance Industry. Current viability = 3. Hottest: Underwriting, Claims and Brokerage/Agency positions. Outlook is about 3.5 — There will be plenty of job orders, but filling them will be another story. We are dealing with an industry that has consolidated and stopped training people almost entirely. Clients expect recruiters to be magicians and find candidates with 3 to 5 years experience. When almost everyone stopped training in the last ten years, where do we find these candidates? The few that are out there are well taken care of, and they are constantly receiving headhunter calls. Their current employers go extra far to take care of these few up and comers. Counter-offers are common for these folks as well. Bottom line — I hear over and over from clients that the same candidates are being submitted to them year after year, and they don’t understand why, and they don’t like it.” Bruce Marx, Insurance Staffing Consultants in San Francisco, CA”Health Insurance and Managed Care . . . sales, operations, and underwriting. Current viability = 2. Hottest jobs: Sales and Marketing. There will always be a need for healthcare and someone to pay for it.” Jim Carow, President – Management
Most mentioned activity/skillsBenefitsCommunication LawCommunicationsComputer/Internet LawContract AdministratorsCorporateCorporate (Mergers & Acquisitions)Corporate/SecuritiesEmploymentHigh TechIn-House (2)Intellectual PropertyInternationalLabor & EmploymentMutual Funds/DerivativesPartners & Practice Groups – Law FirmsPartners with Books – Any SpecialtyPatentReal Estate (4)TaxTemp (Contract) AttorneysTransactionalTFL CommentaryThose search pros who have spent their careers recruiting for law firms have seen ups and downs. It’s an run of the mill time for them these days, but most have spent long years watering and fertilizing these relationships. The newcomer will find a tough time breaking into their bailiwick even though the private law firms are prospering because their corporate clients are still outsourcing much of the legal work.Profits may be down somewhat from this corporate work because corporations negotiate down from the standard billing rates and often hire monitors to make sure they aren’t being bamboozled, but there can be no doubt that it is a growing field.On the corporate side, there is a slight resurgence in hiring legal talent, especially in high-tech, energy, medical, real estate, securities and some manufacturing firms.One practitioner told us, “Find a patent attorney and you’ve found a high-fee placement.”Lawyers are becoming increasingly specialized, so companies are hiring only those with direct experience in their troublesome areas. Often they are the ones responsible for determining what work needs to be outsourced and for coordinating with the company’s outside law firm.Many legal recruiters have discovered that contract lawyers are a decent profit-producer and have found a willing audience for their wares. Worth considering.”Attorneys. Current viability = 3, Fair, difficult but there is business out there to be gotten. Hottest jobs: Bankruptcy, Litigation. Legal will recover as the economy recovers.The recession tests the mettle of recruiters. Harder work, more creativity is the solution. E.g., Look for more opportunities with existing clients, off the beaten track companies, ideas from candidates as to places they might be interested in. Read The Fordyce Letter because it is like getting a low cost, high value MBA in Recruiting with a minor in Technology courtesy of Mark Berger & Wade Haught. Peruse back issues for ideas that may be currently applicable.” Joel Berger, Meridian Legal Search”ATTORNEYS. Current viability = 3. Hottest jobs: BANKRUPTCY, WORKOUTS, REAL ESTATE, HEALTHCARE. Future = 2″ Anonymous”Legal/Paralegal. Current viability = 4. Future viability = 5″ Anonymous”Legal – I work primarily with Patent Attorneys and Litigation Attorneys throughout the United States. Current viability = Average (3) – Attorneys in general are poor right now. However, Patent Attorneys is an area that is still good (3), even in the poor economy we are experiencing. Hottest jobs: Patent Attorneys – Electrical, Computer Software and Biotech. Prediction: Very Good (2). When the economy turns around, as we know it will eventually, I think attorney search is a better than average specialty. I enjoy working with attorney candidates. They are intelligent and open about their current situations and their career ambitions. Clients, on the other hand, can be very difficult to work with. They do not like to pay fees anymore than anyone else; in most cases a lot less. They do not return phone calls promptly, if at all. What is urgent one day can be anything but urgent two days later. Having the tenacity and personal self-respect to decline working with those law firms that display all the warning signs of a bad client is a must. Lawyers being lawyers, many firms will want you to sign their recruiting agreement. I don’t. They sign mine or they become a source. Search assignments are much harder to find than candidates.” Michael Bloch, President – Michael Bloch Associates, Inc”Legal recruiting exclusively in a major metropolitan area – attorneys only (associates and partners). Current viability is 3. Hiring is slow and decision makers are being even more selective (i.e., perfect candidate-itis). But there are searches to be done and placements being made. Hottest jobs for associates are in litigation and bankruptcy (though most of the hiring in bankruptcy took place in the first half of the year. Firms, especially a number expanding into this market, are also always looking for partners in all areas with portable books of business of at least $500,000 – $750,000. I fully expect business to continue to improve, but a broad based recovery in all specialty areas will correspond to overall improvements within the economy. The best part of the downturn has been the opportunity to develop closer relationships with key accounts and getting rid of some of the less professional competition.” Anonymous
NON-PROFITS/ASSOCIATIONSTFL CommentaryNon-profit organizations are sprouting like weeds, yet it is a segment of our economy that has been largely ignored by recruiters. Just because these organizations are set up under a different set of tax rules and regulations does not mean that they have no money for fees or that their talent needs are any less important than their for-profit counterparts. In fact, they pay fees with about the same frequency as their for-profit brethren.The proliferation of new non-profit groups means more talent needs at all levels, but fund-raising, membership development and marketing pros are the hottest requirements according to recruiters.Since the non-profit organization Board members are usually executives from the private business for-profit sector, they have goaded most of these groups to trim the fat, dump the dead wood, become more cost-conscious and install performance-based compensation systems.Associations serving growth industries are the best bet for search business.The major drawback in servicing non-profits is the need to deal with search “committees” and their tendency to take forever to make a decision.Here is a short list of potential clients. Place the word “some” in front of these categories:AssociationsBusiness & Trade OrganizationsCharitiesChurch GroupsCivic, Social, Fraternal OrganizationsConsumer OrganizationsHandicapped OrganizationsHospitalsLegal Aid OrganizationsMuseumsPolitical Action OrganizationsProfessional Membership GroupsSchoolsSocial Service OrganizationsThere are over 150,000 non-profits with annual incomes exceeding $100,000 and there are more than 23,000 national associations and over 140,000 local, state and regional organizations or chapters. These groups employ hundreds of thousands of people with salaries which often rival private companies. A few of the more recognizable job titles within these groups are:President/CEOChief Financial OfficerChief Legal OfficerDirector of Engineering/ResearchDirector of Governmental RelationsFoundation DirectorDirector of Conventions/MeetingsDirector of Fund RaisingDirector of Information SystemsDirector of MarketingEditor (Books/Periodicals/Newsletters)Director of EducationDirector of Public RelationsPlanned (Deferred) Giving ManagersDirector of StatisticsDirector of Chapter RelationsDirector of Human Resources
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Despite the annual proclamations that we are evolving into a paperless society, fact is it’s not happening – and probably never will. That’s why the printing industry will always be around. There’s a lot of merger and acquisition activity going on within the industry but it’s a steady industry which has begun to recognize the worth of recruiters over the recent talent shortage. Recent U.S. Labor Department estimates indicate that there are over 1,500,000 workers employed in the printing and publishing industry. Biggest gains were in firms printing books, periodicals and newspapers. The industry has been impacted by the increasing Emailability of things previously printed.Most frequently recruiter categoriesBindery SupervisorsCustomer ServiceDP ManagersElectronic PrePressEstimating/CSRsPress SupervisorsProduction CoordinatorsSales/MarketingTechnical ManagersWeb Design”My specialty is the printing and packaging industry (graphic arts). The printing industry is slow to recover.” Jeff Goro, CPC – Graphic Resources
Most mentioned job growth areasBusiness DevelopmentConstruction ManagersEstimatorsFinanceLease ManagementProject EngineersProject ManagersProperty ManagersQA ManagersReal Estate AdministratorsReal Estate Appraisal ManagersSupply Chain ManagersTFL CommentaryConstruction is vigorous and has been for several years, even during the economic downturn. It appears that it will continue, unless interest and mortgage rates taking an upward turn. Talent shortages in both professional and craft areas are acute and most firms have work backlogs that will keep this a viable industry for recruiters.This is a specialty where experience often trumps sheepskins.There is a softening demand for some aspects of the commercial real estate market, especially for property managers, site selectors, asset management pros and bank liaison managers. Office and apartment building activity is somewhat more active than retail and industrial, but some openings exist in all areas.There is also a trend towards more hiring in corporate environments who, until recently, outsourced many real estate related activities.Practitioner comments”We specialize in Real Estate, Relocation and Mortgage Industry’s they all are currently riding a high wave of business. Most are experiencing some of their record years. Relocation however is down 30-40%. Many companies consolidating and excellent people are in the market place.” Harvey J. Auger”We changed our direction this year to focus in an industry that we have been involved with in the past but not as a primary specialty. We are heavily involved right now in recruiting for the following two industries. 1. Building Products Industry (Independent Retail/Wholesale Dealers/Distributors & some building material manufacturing companies). 2. Kitchen/Bath Industry (Retail/Wholesale). We still handle recruiting for positions for our old established clients outside of these industries (when they give us a search assignment!) and do not expect to cut off those ties but we are not pursuing new business in these areas right now. Our traditional area of specialty has been more of a general range of disciplines rather than in industries. We started out as a “be all, do all” agency back in 1975 and it has always been hard to drop some areas of business in order to specialize in a niche market. These disciplines are: 1) Inside/Outside Sales & Customer Service. 2) Administrative Support & Management. 3) Marketing. 4) Accounting/Bookkeeping. I would rank the Building Products and Kitchen/Bath industries a #1 right now. I would rate the business with our original specialties as a #5. Hottest jobs within our specialty: 1)Inside & Outside Sales for Retail/Wholesale Building Material, Lumber & Millwork Dealers. 2) Kitchen Designer/Sales Reps. 3) Sales & Marketing personnel across all other industries we work with. The construction industry is always uncertain. This obviously affects the Building Products business. Usually in this type of economy it is the first area to feel a downturn. Because of the unusual circumstances with low interest rates and the depressed stock market. People are investing in their homes and buying new ones. It can turn as easily the other way with a small change in conditions. There is no way to predict whether 2003 will be as vigorous as 2002. Since we are experiencing a slight upturn in our other areas we hope to fill in the slow periods doing what we have always done with clients in other industries ranging from food importers to electronics companies. Our client base is 90% small companies (100 employees and under) This applies to all industries that we work with.” Anonymous”Real Estate/Construction – I am a solo operator specializing in residential homebuilding, and land development in California and the Western States. We work a vertical market within the home building industry. The current market is excellent and shows no signs of slowing down al least for the first part of next year. Hot jobs are cyclical, currently financial and forward planning/entitlement, next year sales and construction. If interest rates rise or there is a war things could change.” Lee Terry”Real Estate/Construction Current viability = 2. Future viability = 2″ Anonymous
Most commonly sought openingsAccounting/FinanceBuyersCategory Killer RetailersField ManagementHR ProfessionalsInformation SystemsInventory ControlMarketingMass MerchandisersMerchandise PlannersMerchandisingMISStore Managers/AssistantStore Planning & DesignSuperstoresTFL CommentaryRetailing is like the weather . . . from bright and sunny to partly cloudy to stormy. If you don’t like it, just wait awhile and it will change. Volatile, unstable and uncertain, the sheer size of the industry keeps it humming for recruiters even though many have called it a “tedious” specialty.According to the National Retail Federation, retailing in a $3 trillion business and 1 out of every 5 people works within the 1.4 million retail establishment. A brief rundown of the traditional types of outlets are: department stores, discount/mass merchandisers, specialty stores, warehouse clubs/superstores, wholesale clubs, catalog outlets. Then, of course, there is Etailing which accounts for an increasing percentage of retail sales revenue.Long viewed as a humdrum specialty except at the ivory tower level, the blitz of Ecommerce has injected this specialty with a bit of sizzle by expanding its reach beyond the store door and creating a whole new hierarchy of opportunities for the search and placement industry.It is still an industry that often survives or fails because of the Christmas season so by the time you read this, we’ll all know how the industry did in 12/02.There is bound to be some realignment within the industry as Internet buying increases even though as many new Internet ventures bit the dust as survived.While the majority of jobs are at the middle management tier (multi-unit, risk management/security/shrinkage control/loss prevention, etc.), there is some activity in MIS and finance openings. Typical management positions/categories within the retail realm are:AdministrationAdvertisingConstructionDistribution/WarehousingFinanceHuman ResourcesInformation SystemsLegalMerchandisingOperationsPublic RelationsPurchasingReal EstateSales/MarketingSecurity/Loss PreventionStore OperationsStore Planning/FixturingTraffic/TransportationVisual MerchandisingFor a more complete breakdown of the retailing industry, we suggest that you log on to www.nrf.com/services/info/careers.Practitioner comments”RETAILING. Current viability = 2. Hottest jobs: Finance, Logistics and IS. I can not predict the future.” JOEL H.WILENSKY ASSOCIATES, INC. and I’m Joel Wilensky, in my 33rd year in Placement, making over 840 placements since I started in October 1969.”The Retail industry and Advertising Industry. Retail Industry is a 3 and Advertising is a 5. Hottest jobs within the specialty? In Retail the hottest jobs are Store Managers for large Big Box National retailers as well as Regional and District Managers for National Specialty Store Retailers. In Advertising, nothing is even lukewarm. In retail, the number of viable companies is dwindling rapidly but the remaining companies are large and turnover continues to run at a relatively high rate. The end result is there are always openings that need to be filled but one has to work much harder to maintain a client base. Rate Retail a 3. In Advertising, the future is very cloudy. Consolidation, poor business, high cost of advertising will continue to make this field a very difficult one in which to maintain a business. Rate a 4.” Mark Suss, President, Retail/Executive Placement Associates and The Maryland Association of Professional Recruitment Consultants
SALES / MARKETING
TFL CommentaryIt is an accepted economic theorem that “nothing happens until someone sells something.” That is true in good times and bad and there will always be a deficiency of good salespeople. That’s why this specialty is often called the “youbetcha” niche.Ask any sales manager to rank the performance of his or her sales staff. Then ask them if they would like to replace the bottom three performers with people as competent as their top three and the answer will always be a resounding “Youbetcha.” That’s why the sales specialty will always be a better than average niche.Without an adequate sales force, companies can neither expand their market share nor introduce new product lines.Ask any salesperson if they’d be interested in exploring an opportunity with a better company, a better product, a better territory or more money and 4 out of 5 will say “Youbetcha!”Although much has been written by the sales gurus about how the selling field has undergone a sea change, fact is, the job has one focal point . . . convincing someone to buy your product or service and walking away with a check or a signed purchase order or contract.The more technical the field, the more technical the background required. Some require degrees and some don’t. Some require direct product experience while others may be happy to find someone who has called on the same types of customer. Some are order takers and others require a great deal of missionary work to convince the customer that they need the product or service, but the bottom line in sales is not effort, it’s results.Sales is one field where age doesn’t seem to be a knockout factor. In fact, it’s often a plus. And cross-over from one industry category to another is commonplace.The biggest problem, even though most sales pros will take a look at an opportunity, is that the exceptional ones who are the most sought after are very well compensated by their companies as a precautionary measure against the Lookie Loo syndrome.The hot industries seem to change from year to year. Recruiters tend to adopt sub-specialties within the sales field based upon their own backgrounds, comfort and knowledge, fee levels (some are low flat fee-ers across the board), and their ability to attract viable candidates (job orders are not as big a problem in sales as in other specialties).The upside of this specialty is that you usually get to deal with Sales Managers rather than HR or line management.Good salespeople will almost always look into a better opportunity. They are optimists at heart so recruiting them is a bit easier – but “looking” and “moving” depends upon the opportunity offered.To give you an idea of the multiplicity of sales specialty areas, here’s a sample breakdown of the sales placement function from Sales Consultants. Although it’s many years old, it still defines the areas in which sales recruiters function:I. INDUSTRIAL DEPARTMENTA. Chemical Division1. Chemicals – Agricultural chemicals – Fertilizer, insecticides, fumigants, explosives, chemicals, odorants – masking & aromatic.2. Paint & Finishes – Industrial Gases – Argon, carbonic gases, helium, hydrogen, oxygen, ammonia, solvents, coatings-protective, rust preventatives, waterproofing material, paint-wholesale & mfg., color & pigments, dyes and dyestuffs, cleaning compounds, metal finishes, metallic finishes.3. Plastics – Glues, starches, plastic sheets, molded & resins; Petroleum – petro-chemicals, water treatment compoundsB. Construction Products Division1. Building Products – Stone, clay, glass, lumber, concrete, gypsum, plaster, plumbing supplies, hardware.2. Construction Equipment – Gas/diesel engines, mining equipment, farm machinery, structural steel.C. Capital Equipment Division1. Capital Machinery – Transportation equipment, machinery & machine tools2. Metals & alloys – Forgings, castings, extrusions.3. Plant & Process Equipment – Material handling (in plant)D. Electrical/Electronic Division1. Electrical – Motors, generators, batteries, power transfer equipment, transformers, power packs, wire & cable.2. Controls, Instruments – X-Ray equipment, complete systems.3. Electronics – Tubes, semiconductors, transistors, switches, relays, solenoids, capacitors, resistors, rheostats, TV & radio, communicationsE. Mechanical Devices Division1. Hydraulics, Pneumaticsa. Valvesb. Pumps, Compressorsc. Fans & Blowers – Air conditioning for industrial uses.2. Power Transmission – Engines, bearings, couplings, tubing, gaskets, seals, gears, chains & sprockets3. a. Power Tools – Perishable tools, industrial hardwareb. Fasteners & Abrasives – Material handling devicesF. Fabricated Industrial Products Division (Sold to O.E.M.)1. Rubber, Plastic, Metal, Ceramics, Glass, Fabrics, Felts, Fibers, Leather2. Ordnance & AccessoriesG. Packaging Division – Drums, cartons, bags, films, cans & plastic containers.II. CONSUMER PRODUCTS DEPARTMENTA. Soft Goods Division – Textiles, apparel, sundriesB. Hard Goods Division – Furniture & appliances; Automotive Products, TBA; HousewaresC. Medical Division1. Drugs – Health & Beauty Aids2. Medical Equipment and Supplies – Dental equipment & supplies.D. Food Division1. Meat, fish, tobacco, beverages, dairy products, frozen foods2. Canned products, bakery products, confectionery, food preparations, groceriesE. Intangibles Division – Stockbrokers, Insurance, Investments, Real EstateF. Services Division – Leasing, creditG. Business Products Division – Office Computers, machines, supplies, copiers, etc.H. Graphic Arts Division1. Paper, Printing – Printing Equipment, Business Forms2. Publishing & AdvertisingAlthough the terms “sales” and “marketing” are used interchangeably by many, they are very different. Marketing is an administrative function to determine the products and strategies to be used by the sales staff.The major demand for marketing professionals is for people who can adapt and modify their company’s offerings for sale internationally or through other than face-to-face meetings. Also referred to as Product Managers or Brand Managers, they are responsible for identifying the most likely potential buyer groups and devising a strategy to reach them. No longer are potential buyers viewed as a homogeneous lump of people. The successful marketing managers are able to “salami-slice” larger groups into smaller ones, then determine what might attract them to buy the product or service (advertising, web pages, direct mail, face-to-face selling).If you’ve noticed newspaper, magazine and TV ads for pharmaceuticals that require a prescription, you’ve witnessed that industry’s attempt to get sick people to ask their doctors for specific products by name in the hopes that they’ll write the prescription for that brand. Whether it’s more effective than seeing a drug company rep with a fistful of samples is hard to tell, but as a part of an overall strategy, it seems pretty solid or they wouldn’t keep doing it.Certain industries, such as high technology, telecommunications, entertainment, financial and professional services are more frequent utilizers of marketing techniques than others, and sometimes the marketing function is outsourced to professional consultants in the field or to ad agencies who help create the image. But there can be no doubt that the marketing job is become infinitely more complicated as the salami slices get thinner and thinner. The key ingredient is focus.The problem becomes more than just segmenting the old from the young, the thin from the fat, the hair-endowed from the bald. Within each of those categories are several sub-categories that must be addressed in a successful marketing program and the demand for people who have mastered these subtle nuances are in great demand from recruiters. Those who are computer-literate and familiar with all the new technologies and the myriad methods of distribution are premium players in the game of career musical chairs.While most hirers want someone from the same industry, they are willing to look at someone from the same general market. If someone has a good track record selling one product to oldsters, they are usually able to translate that segment skill to another product for the same age group, e.g., prearranged funeral plans and retirement homes.While many marketing professionals have utilized DIRECT MARKETING as an arrow in their quiver, this has become a specialty in its own right which has attracted a number of recruiters. A directory of executive recruiters who specialize (to some extent) in direct marketing contains almost 60 firms. Direct marketing translates into: direct mail, response advertising, Internet ads or telemarketing.It works for some companies/products and doesn’t for others, but it is generally thought to be less expensive than a traditional sales force for some product lines.One need only look in their home or business mailboxes to see what kinds of companies utilize direct marketing, ergo, may need help in that area.We covered this segment under Advertising.The following practitioner comments are broad-ranging and cover a number of areas.”Sales/Marketing Current viability = 1. Future viability = 1. Hottest jobs: Sales (VP, Director, Regional, Business Development) – Marketing (VP, Director, Product Manager, Brand Manager)” Donald A. Mattran, General Manager – Sales Consultants of Sarasota”Sales. More specifically, only medical and pharmaceutical sales. Current viability = 2. Future = 2. Hottest jobs: Biotech, Neurosurgical, Spinal Implant.” Anonymous”Sales and marketing in the healthcare industry. Current viability = 2. Future = 2.Hottest jobs: All we do is healthcare. It therefore is our hottest and coldest.” Anonymous”Sales/Marketing in Agriculture Current viability = 2. 2 is a great ranking for ag, never red hot but always steady. Hottest jobs: Sales positions in ($40,000-$80,000) range. 3 recruiters in my firm including myself. Average yearly collections are in the $500,000 – $600,000 range. I usually do $250,000 and the other 2 recruiters do from $125,000 – $150,000. Anonymous”Sales And Marketing in Medical and Pharmaceutical. Viability = 1. Hottest jobs: Sales Representatives. Future = 1. Medical sales areas we hope are recession resistant.” Kenn Edwards Edwards Search Group”Telecommunication Sales/Marketing. Current viability = 3. Hottest jobs: Sales. Finding open job orders that are worth working over the past two years has been difficult. We have found that the star sales candidate can still create an opening even in Telecom!” Gene Salvadore, President, Convergent Search GroupSales and Marketing. Viability = 3. Hottest jobs: Pharm/Medical sales, consumer, and industrial. Sales people are critical for companies’ growth.” Henry Glickel, – Sales Recruiters, Inc.”Current Specialty-Plastics. Rank-4. Hottest jobs Sales. Prediction-3″ Anonymous”Sales/Marketing in high tech (Breakdown – Sales – Marketing – Tech Support – Software – Datacom / Telecomm – e-Commerce). Viability = 2-Very Good. Hottest jobs: Experienced senior level Sales Reps and Tech Support professionals with accent on software. Recent Sales success; New accounts; Business Development; Solutions software, Consulting services – ERP, CRM etc – End user & channel sales.” Charles Nicolosi CN Associates”Sales, Sales Support, Customer Service and Marketing for the VENDORS of I.T. hardware, software, and services. We do not work sales or marketing slots outside the I.T. industry. Viability = 4. Hottest Jobs this year —- Sr. Account Manager slots for software vendors. Prediction for the future – Things will improve to about a “3” level in Q1 & Q2 of 2003. By the end of Q3 2003 I think we will be at a “2” and in 2004 we will actually see a shortage of qualified candidates again.” Anonymous, my mom always said it was better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, rather than open it and remove all doubt.”Sales/Marketing – Viabilty = 3. Hottest jobs: Sales Representatives – Must have product & territory knowledge. I am cautiously optimistic about an improvement next year, but there is so much uncertainty between war in Iraq, another major terrorist attack and future corporate scandals. If any other events occur that cause both consumers and businesses to put purchases on hold, we will probably go back to a recession. Since I work in a very specific niche of high technology sales, it all comes down to business investment. I have done more deals in 2002 than my prior 2 years in business . . . but my revenue is down due to doing more splits. Clients want the absolute “best & ideal” candidate and I have found that being open to splits allows me to uncover the better candidates. But my advice to those recruiters that want to do splits with me or other recruiters . . . treat us like your clients. In these desperate times in the recruiting business, recruiters are throwing resumes in hopes of having one stick. I tend to turn off recruiters submissions for my JO’s when they clearly are passing every person that has a keyword hit. My time is too valuable trying to push candidates through the pipeline and I need partners, not leaches. Curtis D. Kuttnauer Kuttnauer Search Group”Sales and marketing. Sales is a 2.5/Marketing is a 5. Hottest jobs: Entry level to mid level sales – senior sales jobs are “on hold.” We recruit for emerging, smaller companies in the technology and professional services arena. These have been hardest hit in the current economic downturn. I think sales recruiting will pick up in Q1 of next year and continue well into ’03. Companies have held off too long on their sales restaffing. Good companies are always culling their non-performers and replacing them with performers. I do not see any activity in marketing on the horizon, unfortunately. Betsy Harper, Managing Partner – Sales and Marketing Search”Consumer Product Industry, Sales & Marketing positions Current viability = 2. Future = 1. Hottest jobs: National Account Managers, All National Account Support positions (analysts, category managers, trade marketing managers, sales planning managers). It’s the 80/20 rule, find the “best and brightest,” have them handle your most important customers and let the rest follow. This is always the “cutting/bleeding edge” for innovation and future business development in any industry. If a client’s National Account Program isn’t growing they might as well turn out the lights and put out the ‘for sale’ sign.” Steve Swan, Senior Partner-DAVID FOCKLER & ASSOCIATES, INC.”Sales/Marketing – Consumer Packaged Goods Industry (items sold in Drug, Grocery and Mass Merchandisers) Current viability = 3. Hottest jobs: Category Management, Marketing, New Product Development, National Account Sales. Future viability = 2. CPG Companies have been merging and acquiring over the last three years, the economy is starting to show signs of growth and need for top-talent. Areas of increased growth are in Nutritional/Nutriceuticals, OTC Medical/Pharmaceuticals and General Merchandise.” Jeff Nalley, CPC – Executive Search International, Inc.
TFL CommentaryWhat a difference a couple of years makes. In the late 90’s, this specialty was categorized as a ‘Wild West Show’ and it was exceptionally easy pickin’s for recruiters. Nowadays, it’s dead stopped in its tracks. That doesn’t mean that it will be dead forever but because we don’t see this becoming a viable specialty for a year or two, we won’t take the space here to explore it since it would be tantamount to an autopsy.Practitioner comments”Telecommunication – Engineering/Technical/Design/R&D Current viability = 5 Hottest jobs: Analog IC Design Engineers. This is just a bump in the road, albeit a very painful one. We keep hearing from hiring managers who are desperate to hire, but whose hands are tied due to headcount concerns. At some point the cost benefit will tip in favor of investing in new technology vs. fixing old equipment. Productivity is at record levels and expenses have been reduced to a minimum. This points to healthy profits with even a gradual uptick in tech spending. We will stick to the prediction we made in November 2001, that we will see a rebound in the tech sector from the middle to end of 2003.” Vince Quiros (CPC), President of CV Associates Technical Search”I specialize in Telecom and am multi-disciplined from mid management up. So, I handle sales, mktg., ops, finance, engineering, call center/customer service basically. I have been at this 15 years. I have been in Telecom 8 years. I am a sole practitioner and my market in awful. I see it flat for a few years.” Anonymous”Telecommunications Current viability = 4. Hottest jobs: Senior account management. I predict the industry will move to a 3 next year. Will continue to be difficult for a while, but competition has lessened measurably, only the strongest (or stupidest) still standing.” Anonymous”Telecommunications. Current viability = 4. I may be the only recruiter left! Hottest jobs: Tough, demand is hit and miss. Last 12 months I have been retained for the following positions: Current search is for CIO; EVP Engineering; (2)SVP Sales searches, SVP Marketing. Not a lot of fees, but big ones. Two years from now, a 2. Next twelve months, 5. Telecom is devastated right now for many very obvious reasons. However, I have conducted several retained searches this year, all with the same client. Just when I think I’m ready to move to another specialty (considered pharmacy and biotech) I get another telco search. My current search came from a very intense marketing effort and it was effective with my ONE existing client who is hiring. If you don’t ask for the business…” Guy Chaffin, President – Elite Executive Search