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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Age old Hiring Problem.......Age!

How Old is Too Old for Corporate Employment?

“What age is too old?’ As a Recruiter who specializes in the placement of Corporate Executives for private and public companies I get asked this question quite a bit from candidates who are in between jobs or equally concerning, worried about the future of their current employer and their continued employment.
While there are laws in place that prohibit employers making employment decisions on the basis of age, it is and remains a concern for individuals approaching the ‘grey hair years’; professionals who have spent the greater half of their lives in a corporate career and are approaching the traditional retirement age of 65-years of age. And, let’s face it, employers are fearful of hiring a person they think will retire soon after they are hired even if it is more than just a couple or several years away.
One of the biggest fears of a professional executive as they grow older is reaching a point of obsolescence -  meaning they no longer have skill sets that are deemed valuable, or worse, they weren’t able to keep up with new technologies that their younger counterparts seem to have mastered.
I watched a complete change in my own company as I hired young workers in the early 2010’s who quickly adapted to the latest search technologies that were becoming available at that time while the older recruiters for the most part stuck to their old tried and true ways of recruiting. It wasn’t long before the younger recruiters were taking over the business as they were able to react more quickly and significantly to our clients’ needs, essentially beating out the older recruiters who eventually left my company to pursue other careers.
However, here’s how you can avoid becoming obsolete in your discipline. First, if you produce revenue for your employer as a sales professional is supposed to do, you will never lose your worth assuming you are a top sales producer/rainmaker. I would counsel you to stay up with technology such as any CRM software your company is using, and certainly if you are in sales, you should be actively engaging in social media, especially LinkedIn. Note: studies show that 70% of today’s Influencers, the people in companies that make purchasing decisions for their employers, are between 25-and 45-years of age – an age group that is social media savvy and is more likely to text than to make a phone call. So, it would only make sense to be up to date in social media and texting.
Plus, engaging in the Social Media venues like Facebook or Instagram is a great way to stay top of mind with your clients and prospective clients.
If you are not in sales and in a position that doesn’t directly affect your employer’s revenue like Accounting, Operations, Logistics or Human Resources I suggest you do several things like getting involved in your industries associations or your disciplines associations. Think outside of your industry or discipline as well at ideas such as your school’s Alumni local chapter, your children’s school groups, charities you have an interest in, church groups, sports communities like Masters Swimming, fishing clubs or Cycle groups – essentially anything that will gain you exposure in your community.
Being involved in outside communities and organizations is something you can control. What is out of your control are things like your company closing or being sold off to a larger entity that sees your position as a redundancy. When this happens, having spent time building and cultivating a network within your industry and local business community can and will pay off in finding employment.
The worst thing you can do during your career is what I call, ‘Cocooning’. In-other-words, secluding yourself in your office of employment and not being involved with any resources outside of your employment. As a Recruiter, I continually meet with senior executives like a CFO or an Operations VP who has found themselves out of work. During the interview and through questions of their activity I can see they have “cocooned” themselves and have not spent much or any time maintaining or cultivating a network outside of their workplace.
Don’t let this happen! By becoming involved with your industries associations such activity will allow you to create and cultivate a network that might prove valuable when you find yourself out of work. The same goes for associations specific to your discipline – you never know who you might meet and need later.
By being involved in local charities or even your children’s sports and school boards where you will get exposure and gain recognition is a good thing, and again, has the potential for future employment. Even better strive for a leadership role in any of these activities.
Also look to create additional value for yourself and become your employer’s external asset by being “out and about”. Imagine if through such associations and external efforts that you were able to create or uncover a business opportunity for your employer thereby creating a source of revenue for your company? Your employer’s competition or similarly structured businesses should know who you are and want you on their team.
The better you work at face and name recognition through exposure will better ensure you plenty of avenues to explore if ever you find yourself out of work or as we recruiters euphemistically say, “in between careers”.
So, staying relevant in your skill sets, keeping up with technology, creating additional sources of revenue for your company and being involved in the community will keep you from being “too old”.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

March - State of Florida Employment

The State of Florida Employment – March 2018

As of this month of March 2018, in the last 12 months, Florida added 150,900 jobs. That’s one of every 13 jobs that currently exists. Overall unemployment is at 3.9%, the lowest percentage over the decade. However, here is what is interesting. Keeping in mind there are 21 million people living in Florida, there are 397,000 people looking for jobs and there are 261,619 jobs looking for people.

Assuming the reader of this article is in the Private Sector of employment as opposed to Public Sector of government employment, 23,494 Private Sector jobs were added over the last 12-months. Even at a record low of 3.8% unemployment in the Private Sector there are still 39,469 Private Sector workers unemployed and 20,892 Private Sector jobs looking for people.
Clearly, the persons looking for work are not matching up with the skill sets that these 21,000 Private Sector jobs are looking for.

So here is the conundrum, if unemployment is at a record low and there are fewer jobs looking for people than there are people looking for work, why aren’t these jobs just filling up? As a Recruiter and street wise expert on employment my educated guess is the persons looking for work either don’t have the technical skills that are required by todays employment market or just as likely their past compensation is considerably higher than what is being offered. In-other-words, there are more lighter level jobs available that typically hire younger workers as opposed to higher level higher paying jobs that require more job experience and maturity. This is magnified even more when todays current demographic shows there are older workers than there are younger workers.

Ok, I said it. Older workers are not being hired by employers. The law requires that employers do not discriminate against age but the reality is older more experienced workers that are used to making more money than the lighter level jobs pay are just not going to accept lower payment terms and will typically hold out for better paying work.

So, how does an employer wade through this? We know a number of our clients who have posted job openings in their companies online or on their websites are getting anywhere from 200 to 300 responses. This would seem to be great response for them except maybe only 2 or 3 candidates out of that 300 applicants actually qualify for the job opening. Two to three hundred responses is  a lot of responses to go through to find 2 to 3 qualified candidates and I am willing to bet once all of those resumes and applications have been reviewed those candidates that did qualify are either already hired or are entertaining several other offers.

This is why our clients continue to use MSi Consulting for their hiring needs.
MSi on a daily basis is combing through hundreds of candidates and continually conducting pinpoint recruiting efforts for a multitude of search assignments they have been assigned to MSi by their client.  Many of those jobs of which are similar in job title, industry specialty, compensation range and an acceptable location in terms of commuting time and distance. So, MSi can react quickly to our client’s needs essentially saving their clients the considerable time that it takes to conduct a search for a qualified employee. MSi will also expedite the hiring process so that good candidates aren’t hired by your competition before you can make an offer and MSi makes our clients’ needs our number one priority.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Salaries on the rise - Part 2

Salaries are on the Rise!

      After 9-years of a stagnant salary market salaries are finally on the rise.
For the last decade salaries and compensation have seen little to no growth. Since the great economic downturn of 2008 salaries, wages and compensation saw little to no movement upward. That trend started to change in 2016 when construction started taking off again and the demand for skilled construction workers and project managers embarked on a sharp upward climb.

       One of our construction clients shared with us that every time he had an employee ask to have a private meeting he knew it was going to cost him $5,000-to $7,000-dollars since he could accurately assume his employee was announcing their resignation.  Our client would typically match or exceed the offer so as to keep that worker in his employment. $7,000-dollars amortized over a year was a whole lot cheaper than searching for a replacement on the employee market when you consider the costs of search and recruitment, not to mention the time that it takes for the downtime of on-boarding and training a new hire. Cost estimates to find and train a skilled employee can range and exceed $10,000-to $15,000-dollars, not including any search fees paid to a placement agency (25% of the employee’s salary). If the position is paying $60,000, for example, add another $15,000 placement fee to the previous estimated search and training cost – now you are looking at a $25,000 setback at the very least. And, this is assuming the new hire works out.

     Hiring for construction specialists got so competitive for skilled workers such as plumbers, electricians, welders and dry wall installers that construction companies had to post security guards at their construction site gates to keep project managers from competing companies from walking onto a site and hiring away their workers by offering money to come work for them.
Construction aside, we are seeing all industries experiencing a shortage of good employees as unemployment numbers drop to record lows.  All of this happening while demand for employees keeps rising. Nationwide unemployment is currently at 4.1%, matching the lowest unemployment numbers since 2000. And, in South Florida unemployment is at 3.2%, also matching record historical lows.

     During the last decade when MSi Consulting recruited employed candidates we counseled employed workers not to expect any more than a 3%-to 5%- raise if they moved from one job to the next. Sometimes we saw a 7% raise from one job to another and once in a great while we witnessed a 10% bump in pay, but that was the max. Recently, we have seen offer letters indicating raises of 20% and higher.

     Recently, I placed an Executive Assistant that had been earning a base of 75K plus a 10% performance bonus. Her new employer offered her a base of $90 plus and a minimum of 10% as a bonus. They went so far as to offer to pay 100% of her health insurance for her and her family. In base alone that was a 21.4% raise, not to mention the $5k she was going to save on her new insurance plan.
One of our clients, a very well-funded start-up company, needed to hire 9-persons for their new operation with positions ranging from a Receptionist, to an Operations Managers, Sales Persons, Marketing Manager and a Controller. The Controller they hired was earning $65K at the employer we found him working for. Our client made him an offer of $95,000 plus bonus. That’s a 33% raise in base alone!!! The rest of the hires also saw raises of 25%-and 39%. Plus, the company offered the best health insurance plan they could buy on the market. Their reasoning for the company’s decision to increase compensation at such high levels was they wanted committed and inspired employees and employees that couldn’t be easily recruited away by their competitors.
Granted, the two examples I highlighted are on the extreme but it is happening whereas it wasn’t before. Having said that, we are seeing compensation offers that are now over 10%.

     Just last month, January 2018, hiring was reported to be up 25.2% in the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area. Nationwide 200,000 jobs were created in the month of January. In that number construction jobs rose by 36,000! That’s over 1,000 new jobs a day for January even if you include Saturdays and Sundays. Manufacturing added 500 workers a day to reach 15,000 new manufacturing jobs. Service Providers added 139,000 new employees and Retailers increased headcounts by 15,400 new employees.

     Wages have risen recently at its fastest pace since the recession ended in 2010. Add to this that there were 18-states that began the new year with higher minimum wages and it’s been all over the news that some companies have offered bonuses and salary increases following the passage of the recent tax-cut legislation. Economists predict these developments will continue to boost workers’ pay throughout 2018.

     Even this recent stock correction that happened at the beginning of February where 1500 points were lost in two days, it is not likely to have any effect on the trend of new hires and increases in wages. Company earnings are still up and the economy is still accelerating. Even if interest rates rise it is still predicted there is less than a 12% chance of a recession for 2018.

    So, employers have to be prepared to offer current employees that they value an increase in pay just to keep them from being recruited or tempted go elsewhere. Additionally, if an employer is recruiting employed workers they should be prepared to incentivize their offers well above the 3%-to 5%, the norm of the past decade, to 10% or more.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Why Salaries Are On The Rise

Why Salaries on Are On the Rise

It should be no surprise that salaries are on the rise in 2017. After nearly a decade of little to no salary appreciation, compensation is on the upswing for several reasons.
The GDP has been on a rapid rise ever since the Presidential Election. Whereas the Nation suffered nearly a decade of anemic growth never exceeding 2.6%, keeping in mind that historically the US economy has expanded 3% or more, on average. The GDP was at 3.3% for Q3 of 2017 and is about to hit 4% with the latest prediction at 3.98%.
With growth and expansions comes jobs and that is clear in the yearlong drop in unemployment. Nationally unemployment stands at 4.1%, the lowest since 1973, and South Florida being at 17-year low of 3.3% and a 3.6% for Florida overall. This is most important because 2.5% of the workforce that are job seekers are considered unemployable. That said, for South Florida that leaves only .8% of the unemployed for employers to choose from if those employers rely on solely hiring unemployed workers.
Proof of rising employment is demonstrated by the US Economy having gained 228,000 jobs in November of 2017. Newly created Manufacturing jobs are at a pace of 1,000 new jobs per day currently. Construction added 24,000 jobs in November and construction has been at a peak high for a consistent period now.
To add to this, Business Investment is picking up, and with financial conditions worldwide appearing to be good, plus the low volatility of the growing stock market, (the DOW currently at 24,800) only increases the confidence and optimism of business owners to grow and hire as they anticipate increased demand for products and services in their businesses. Additionally, the tax plan is a going to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% a 14% reduction – 14%!! This alone has experts predicting the DOW will easily climb above 25,000 now that is has been enacted into law.
Therefore, with a growing GDP, Stock Market record highs, and Corporate Tax reductions in the future all contributing to Business Owner optimism, the supply of employable candidates among the unemployed is not meeting demand for open positions.
When supply doesn’t meet demand we know the price for supply goes up. This is no different for the employment market where there are very few unemployed workers for businesses to hire. So, if businesses expect to grow and meet the demand of their customers, those businesses will look to hire qualified candidates from their competitors. To do this they must offer some sort of incentive(s) for such candidates to inspire them to leave their current employment.
Incentives can take many forms, as in expanded duties, promotion in title, greater responsibilities, but certainly the one incentive that gets the most attention and has the best chance of luring a worker away from their current employer is MONEY. So, incentivized offers can include a raise in salary, the clear potential for a better bonus and in the current market conditions, even “sign on” bonuses.
Given all the variables discussed above, it’s undeniable we are in the market of salary increases and have been for most of this year. Any employer wishing to lure a worker away from a company that most likely has provided good employment and a decent wage will have to “up the ante” if they expect to hire that person.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Why a Counter Offer is a Bad Idea.....For Everyone

Why it’s detrimental to both offer and accept a counteroffer

Disclaimer: There is no agenda to this blog post whatsoever.  This is simply an expert opinion from a firm that has been operating in the recruiting industry for 20 years.

To understand why a counter offer is a bad idea, it’s necessary to separate the client and the candidate sides of the perspective.

Let’s address the obvious statement right out of the box. When a candidate comes to present their resignation notice to a hiring manager, there’s a reason for it.  This should resonate because for whatever the reason, that particular candidate no longer feels that the employer is the right fit for them anymore. The first inclination may be to be so scared of losing an employee whose work you rely upon that you throw the kitchen sink at them to get them to stay. Money does talk, however, you may have just blown your budget for the position with a counteroffer. Once the initial feeling of relief that the employee is staying passes by, resentment that they tried to leave will set in.  That, combined with the fact that you are now way over budget on that role, will set in motion the need to replace that same employee with someone less expensive.
Therefore, you’ve compounded the problem by not letting go of an employee who originally wanted to be elsewhere, spent too much money to keep them, and now have to spend more time and money to find a new employee.

Stick to your gut!  9 times out 10, within 3 months of accepting a counter offer, we receive a call from that same candidate informing us that they have been let go.  It starts with the age old saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
       There’s a reason you started your job search in the first place, and provided you have received what you sought after from a new employer, you only have your word as your reputation in the marketplace.  Once you go back on that and accept a counter offer, it’s impossible to regain that trust with everyone involved, including your current employer. They now understand you were looking to leave and will never trust you again, whether they admit or not.  Money is a short term fix, not a long one.  Why accept a promotion now, only offered when pressed against the wall that you thought was deserved already?
      The emotional tie is a real human trait, but don’t let an employer pray on that. It’s not the right or ethical thing to do, and anyone who does is simply holding you back. If you start a job search, have your parameters clear and outlined, communicate those to anyone involved, and follow through on doing what you say you’re going to do.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Current State of the Employment Market

Job creation in the professional and business services surged in May according to Moody’s Analytics. The growth in that area is three times the rate of the underlying labor force. Layoffs declined in May by 12%. We have seen demand increase substantially since the end of the presidential election.

Currently, the unemployment rate, which is at record low of 3.8% in South Florida, could reach an unprecedented 3.4%.(National unemployment is at 4.4% and is predicated to fall to 4%.) Note, that 2.5% of the labor market is virtually unemployable. That leaves 1.2% of the whole labor market in Broward as unemployed. We have never experienced such a low inventory of “employable” candidates. While most (70%) of the candidates MSi does place are employed, such low unemployment numbers will significantly impact our cost and our timely effectiveness in doing business.  Especially, in our temp and temp-to-perm divisions because unemployed candidates are typically the ones who fill those roles.

The good news for MSi is the demand is up for our services – the challenge is we are making twice, nearly three times the outbound recruiting calls just to get same number of candidates per assignment. Typically, we have to find 5-qualified candidates per assignment to insure a complete search and placement. We know this because we track all outbound calls to the number of recruits we generate to the amount of interviews with clients that generates to final number of placed candidates.

The purpose of the message is to let you know in case you were wondering why it might seem like it takes longer for us to find qualified candidates. We won’t compromise quality over quantity so whereas you might be experiencing less candidates and more spread out searches you won’t see a drop in the quality.

Higher demand and record low unemployment will cause MSi to focus on recruiting employed and most likely job/career satisfied candidates who will have to be” incentivized” to make a career move. Incentives can include offers of higher salary, larger bonus potential, sign-on bonuses, job titles and, combinations thereof. So, we tell you this mainly because if you want the top talent the market has to offer you are not going to find it in the ranks of the unemployed. We counsel so that you can plan accordingly in your recruitment efforts.

We look forward to continued dialogue and servicing your potential talent needs.

Monday, May 18, 2015

MSi attends Mid-Year Alliance Luncheon - Enterprise FL CEO Bill Johnson speaks

Everything's coming up job in Broward County.

In a Kaufman Rossin survey of 200 local businesses, 60 percent said they plan to increase staff this year. Seventy-six percent said their businesses are healthier this year than last, according to the survey released Thursday at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance's mid-year meeting in Fort Lauderdale.

"Our new job announcements, in addition to the strong employment increases we saw in 2014, are confirmation that our economy is one of the strongest in the nation," said Bob Swindell, president and chief executive of the alliance. The alliance said that during its first two quarters, ending in March, the economic development agency helped Broward attract more than $29 million in capital investment for company relocations and expansions. The county added 390 jobs and retained 406.

Still, there's more to be done, said Bill Johnson, Florida Commerce secretary and Enterprise Florida CEO. He urged alliance members to lobby their state legislators for a marketing budget for Enterprise Florida, the public-private partnership that works to attract new business.

"I need your support," he said. "The economy is back, but this is not the time to sit back. We can do better."

"New York will spend $140 million to market their state as a business destination," Johnson said. Florida also is going head to head for jobs with Texas and California.Johnson, who began his new job in March, has committed to creating 1 million jobs over the next four years. He said Florida has to compete for business and the state legislature has earmarked "zero dollars" for Enterprise Florida's marketing budget.

He said he will focus on bringing in high-wage jobs and on rural and low-income areas that need jobs.

South Florida has done well in its recovery from the recession, Johnson said, but there's additional potential in attracting new businesses, such as port-related companies.

In 2014, Broward was second only to the fast-growing market of Dallas and tied for No. 2 with San Francisco, favored as a business location for its proximity to Silicon Valley.