Two Reasons Hiring May Be Up This Season

HiredThere are several factors to take into account when entering into the job market. These include internal considerations that require introspection, things like whether you are being challenged at work; whether there is room for growth in the future; and how your organization is performing.

There are also external elements that come into play. One significant factor, especially in recent years, is the economy. So far, the economic news has been improving: the stock market has been surging, the housing market is also on the rise, and unemployment figures are on the decline, so too are gas prices. An improved economy generally means more movement on the hiring front.

But another significant trend to take into consideration is the season. Traditionally hiring increases in the spring of each year. Companies flush with their new budgets and ready to grow, particularly after stagnating during our recent tumultuous times, are looking to bring on new talent to make a fresh start or to jump start their performance.

Now that you’ve had time to relax, refresh and revitalize over the holiday season, this could be the perfect time for you to resolve to take on that new challenge and pursue a more prosperous 2014.


Leaving Money on the Table? 5 Negotiating Tips to Ensure You Don’t

Money On The TableYou’ve gone the distance, made it through multiple rounds of interviews, met with peer level executives, perhaps people who will be reporting to you and, depending on your level in the organization, sat down with some board members. This is the time where the rubber meets the road . . . the negotiation.

I’ve worked with hundreds of seasoned executives, many of whom are hardball negotiators when it comes to negotiating on behalf of their companies, but when the deal is about their own compensation, that’s when things really get personal. Surprisingly, I’ve had to encourage some of my clients to counter the offer instead of accepting the initial package, which brings me to the number one rule in negotiation:

1. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Many of the decision makers I’ve spoken with say they expect an executive to counter the offer, especially if that executive will be representing the company in future deals. The thing to remember is that asking is very different from demanding. It doesn’t hurt to ask for an increased base, incentive or performance bonus, or more vacation time; but when you demand these things, the tone of the negotiation changes. If you ask and the company can’t comply with your requests, the worst case scenario is they say “this is the best we can do, take it or leave it.” However, if you make demands you risk having the offer pulled.

2. Negotiating a compensation package should be an amicable discussion. Remember you’re going down the road with these people. In the future you will be working side by side toward a common goal. The last thing you want to do is to alienate your prospective employer. Again, that doesn’t mean just rolling over and accepting the initial offer. You should always express your enthusiasm for the position and then take some time to study the offer.

3. Get the offer in writing. It’s best to get the offer in writing, especially as they get more complicated with items like bonuses and equity stakes. For most companies, a written offer is standard operating procedure, however, there are companies that prefer to get some sort of verbal commitment before they memorialize the deal. In that case, it’s a good idea to jot down your own notes, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks.

4. Combination verbal and written negotiation. Whether you’re working from an offer memorandum or your own notes, it’s a great technique to develop your own written talking points, email them to the decision maker with whom you’re negotiating and then discuss your requests, either in person or on the phone. Having something in writing gives both parties a foundation from which to work, keeping the negotiation focused and professional.

5. One wish list. Your compensation is a total package. When analyzing the strengths of the offer you need to focus on all of the elements. Your response should be comprehensive, listing each of the items you’d like to improve. This gives the decision maker, who may have more flexibility in some areas than others, room to operate. For instance, if they can’t come up with a higher base, perhaps they can enhance the bonus or equity. Say you ask for and receive some concessions but neglected other items you’d like to improve, going back to the well multiple times could make it appear that you’re not that enthusiastic about the offer and potentially poison the budding relationship.

A successful negotiation can be incredibly enriching with rewards reflected not only in your compensation package but also in intangibles such as the earned esteem and respect of your future employers.





Does BMI Trump IQ and ROI in an Executive Job Search? It Can.

ExerciseI recently read a Wall Street Journal Blog, Want to Be CEO? What’s Your BMI? The blog cites new research suggesting “that a few extra pounds or a slightly larger waistline affects an executive’s perceived leadership ability as well as stamina on the job.”  Which begs the question, if your body-mass-index is having an impact on your perceived ability when you already hold the position, what kind of impact is it having when you’re looking to make a move?

According to Ana Dutra, the CEO of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, there is a new fitness imperative for executives. It used to be expected that they spend every waking hour on business, but now being fit and exercising is factoring into the executive equation.

Right or wrong, your appearance does play a significant role in the job search process. Because it takes only a matter of seconds to make a first impression, you’re expected to “suit up” and look your best for job interviews. What does that mean if you’re overweight? According to Amanda Sanders, a New York-based image consultant, excess weight can convey weakness or a “lack of control.”

This means an executive who is looking for a new challenge needs not only to demonstrate their ability to achieve significant ROI and to be thought leaders with superior IQs, they also have to go the extra mile (so to speak) to achieve a low BMI.

Now if you’re approaching a job search, in addition to shaping up your resume and executive biography, you might also consider approaching a gym. While content is king in your marketing materials, perception is reality when meeting someone in person.