Compensation In The Great Recession


An important question my clients are currently asking me involves compensation. They want to know if they have to accept a lower salary now because of the current economic downturn.

Companies are still looking for talent and according to the HR professionals I speak to, they’re willing to pay for it. As much as you don’t enjoy looking for a job, companies don’t like conducting searches for good employees. It’s time and resources away from the lifeblood of an organization, revenue generation.

Companies want talented professionals and they realize if they don’t pay the fair market value for that talent, those people will not remain with them long. As soon as the market improves or the professional gets a better offer, the company will be back at square one: conducting another search, doing more interviews and taking more time to get the new hire up to speed.

I have clients currently negotiating and accepting positions at the same or greater compensation than they were previously making. However, as is often the case, there is a caveat; they are in a position to take the time necessary to find the right position at their current level or a step up.

The professionals that are accepting less pay are accepting lesser positions. For example, a company is not going to pay a Vice President’s or Director’s salary to someone entering the company as a Manager.

Unfortunately life sometimes gets in the way, there are mortgages to be paid and families to support. Some people don’t have the luxury of taking the time necessary to find the right position. Those people are the so-called underemployed.

The bottom line, if you’re a talented professional companies are willing to pay for that talent, in good times and bad.


Quick Tip: Don’t Sidestep Recruiters

The Imagemakers, Ink! LLC

When a recruiter finds a qualified candidate, they’ll generally interview them over the phone. If the candidate passes muster, the recruiter will present the candidate to their client company. Sometimes the recruiter will even tell the candidate who that company is.

That’s all great and exactly what you want to happen in your job search. But sometimes the recruiter doesn’t get back in touch with you.

What now? That’s a question that I’m often asked by my clients. The answer is, don’t go behind the recruiter’s back directly to their client company. You need to work through the recruiter. However, if at some point the recruiter has informed you that they will absolutely not be presenting you to the company, what have you got to lose?

Well, the relationship with the recruiter and they can be incredibly helpful in a job search. You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons including your chances of success landing the position on your own versus the likelihood of not being able to work with that recruiter again.


Recruiters, Headhunters and Agents

Understanding Recruiters, Headhunters and Agents

Linda Lupatkin, Career Counselor, Coach and Consultant

Unless you’re actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez or maybe The Donald, chances are you’ll be making your next career move without the aid of an agent. But recruiters (also known as headhunters) may be helpful.

Here’s the difference. Agents do all of the work for you. Typically they represent high priced talent and earn their pay when that talent inks a deal, usually a percent of  the compensation package the agent has negotiated.

Recruiters on the other hand are hired by companies to locate talent. Since recruiters are paid by the company, the recruiter is looking out for the company’s best interest. What that means is, recruiters are looking for the perfect candidate for their client, not a close match, but an exact fit.

Oftentimes recruiters will target their client company’s competitor. Why? Because a recruiter is being paid to find a prospect the company would not be able to find on its own, which is why recruiters prefer prospects who are employed, over those who are actively seeking a job. If you’re a perfect fit for one of their client companies, the recruiter will be your best friend.

But what happens when you’re not an exact fit,  if you want to change industries or even roles, in those cases a recruiter is not the place to turn. That’s when you need to be more active and aggressive in your job search, employing different strategies including networking and finding creative ways to target and approach companies in which you’re interested.

Although recruiters do prefer their candidates to be employed, they can be helpful if you’re unemployed, so don’t discount them completely. But you shouldn’t rely solely on recruiters to help you get your next position. They are just one avenue on a successful career search road map.

Working with a career coach can help you navigate that road map, by learning your goals and helping direct you so you can meet them.  In addition to search strategies, coaching will make you the best that you can be so you can ace those interviews with recruiters, headhunters and future employers.

Since most of us will never be in the position to have an agent that means running a robust job search campaign using all of the tools available to you, including recruiters or headhunters and of course, an expert career coach.