New Year, New Job Market

Moving into 2023, as every year, we are faced with an interesting and ever evolving financial and recruiting landscape. Hear from two of our Partners who have been in the staffing industry for over a decade and have seen various job markets, such as the 2008-2009 financial crisis as well as during Covid in 2020.  Also, get to know a little bit more about them!

Q: Where do you see the job market in the new year?

A: Unemployment rates are currently at the lowest levels we have seen in the past 50 years. As companies created jobs due to growth in 2022, firms had to pay 15-20% more in wages to attract top talent. In 2023, I believe the Federal Reserve has elevated rates at an historic speed and companies will be more cost-conscious. Firms will be more selective on who they want to hire, and the unemployment rate will elevate to a 4.5%-6% level. While some firms have had layoffs, they have predominately been in the Technology sector. Our current client base here at Arrow continues to be hiring and in droves. The job market may not be as hot as 2022, but it will still be one of the better markets we have seen, especially for professionals in Financial Services!

Q: What drew you to recruiting?

A: To this very day, I am so thankful I fell into this profession by accident, out of college. I always wanted to do something where I felt like I could actually help someone in some way. Where clients can *truly* feel we made an impact in their lives. Growing up, both my parents were in sales selling products – but they never felt that sort of fulfillment. Recruitment is truly a win/win/win scenario.

The candidate wins because they are getting a new great job, the client wins because they are finding a new employee that will impact their business in a positive way and the recruiter wins because the firm pays a fee to the recruiter with nothing coming out of the candidate’s pocket. Our recruiters are in the business of helping people. On top of that, my wife and I have built lifelong friendships with clients and candidates we have worked with throughout our journey. Your profession is one of the most important things you have in life, to have an impact in a positive way for people is one of the most rewarding things in the world!  

Fast Facts

  1. Hometown? Katonah, NY
  2. Favorite sports team? Indiana Hoosiers!
  3. Favorite hobby? Playing pickup Basketball
  4. Favorite office snack? Banana with Crunchy Peanut Butter

-Blaine Braunstein, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Arrow Search Partners

Q: Where do you see the job market in the new year?

A: The job market has been red hot since Q2 of 2021. Coming into Q1 of 2023 the market is still very busy. I anticipate a pullback within Big Tech, Real Estate and the Banking sector but foresee industries like private equity, credit, public accounting, and consulting to be very active.

Q: What drew you to recruiting?

A: Growing up, I knew I wanted to pursue a career that was people focused. After starting my career in a corporate job within the banking sector, I realized quickly that wasn’t for me. I found my way into recruitment and never looked back. I love recruiting because I’ve been able to build long term relationships and give candidates and clients advice that helps them achieve their long-term goals. Every day is different, which makes coming to work exciting and rewarding.

Fast Facts

  1. Hometown? Suffern NY, currently reside in Manhasset NY
  2. Favorite sports team? Las Vegas Raiders
  3. Favorite hobby? Exercise, watching the NFL and College Lacrosse and anything that gets the competitive juices flowing
  4. Favorite office snack? Iced coffee and an RX Bar

-David Gaber, Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Arrow Search Partners

Overall, we are still seeing a hot job market and plenty of opportunities out there to advance your career. Our recruiters are always happy to speak to people who want to get educated on the current job market.

More Than a Resume

What are intangibles and why do they matter?

Intangible: /inˈtanjəb(ə)l/ (noun) – abstract quality or attribute

Intangibles set you apart, they make you unique. They are your “special sauce”. Some examples of intangibles include: personality, first impressions, etiquette, and energy.

Humans are simply hiring humans they want to work with. Intangibles are often the deciding factor in who sits at the desk. Think about your own intangibles as part of your interview preparation. Jot down a few before an interview. There are other attributes off the page that stand out to interviewers. Remember what makes you, you and go into the interview confident in who you are.

We asked our recruiters, “Why do intangibles matter?”

“When it comes to landing your dream job, there is so much more to the interview process than just your skillset, education, and general background. As simplistic as it may seem, who you are, your personal brand, and your interpersonal skills matter to make the lasting impression you need to land the job you want.

  • Show intellectual curiosity – You want the interviewer to feel like you have a genuine interest in the job and come across as passionate about the position and company. An employer wants to hire someone whom they feel will never stop learning and plans to stay and grow with the company.  Don’t be afraid to give an example of a time when you took the initiative and asked to get involved in something outside of your “job description.” Make sure the interviewer knows you are someone who can be taught new skills.
  • Show strong work ethic – This one might be the most important. Employers want to hire someone who is willing to go the extra mile and takes pride in their work. Emphasize your experiences, give specific examples of a time you did something you were happy with, and the impact it had on the project you were working on.   
  • Interview etiquette – First impressions are everything – dress to impress, show up polished and presentable, be there early, stand up when shaking the interviewer’s hand, and keep consistent eye contact when answering and asking questions. 
  • Be engaging –Your energy and the way you exude it makes a lasting impression on any interviewer.  Be excited, engaged, and enthusiastic; ask good questions, and show an understanding of what the interviewer just said by expressing an opinion. 
  • Have good follow-up skills – Some job seekers have a hard time with this.  They assume for whatever reason the interview didn’t go as well as they thought, or the interviewer just didn’t seem interested.  Following up, believe it or not, can be an attractive quality to a prospective employer.  A short thank you note goes a long way.” Alexis Ackerman, Executive Director and Kaitlin Feaster, Associate Director

“There are many ways to excel in an interview, and conveying meaningful intangibles is one of them. A strong resume will land you an interview but displaying these “soft skills” will help you get the job and beat the competition.  Employers are hiring you for your potential, so it’s important to express intangibles such as optimism, confidence, eagerness to learn, and intellectual curiosity during your interview process and throughout each round. Asking thoughtful questions and then patiently listening to your interviewer’s response may impress them more than reading every bullet point on your resume that they reviewed beforehand. Sharpening these “soft skills” takes time but is pivotal to crushing an interview.” – Adam Ellner, Senior Associate

“Intangibles are a crucial element of interviewing because your resume can get your foot in the door, but the intangible qualities are what ultimately lend to success. If you can demonstrate qualities like attitude, initiative, diligence, organizational skills, and industriousness throughout the interview process, an employer is much more likely to see you as an asset to the team than if you have everything on paper but lack the intangibles. The best candidates have the skillset necessary to succeed in the job to start with and the intangibles to succeed in the job long term.” Sam McKeon, Associate

How to Interview on Camera

Many first-round interviews are taken via video on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or another online platform. Interviewing well, technologically speaking, can be the deciding factor in whether you continue on in the interview process. 

  • Always use a laptop camera for interviews. If you must use a phone, prop it against something so it doesn’t move. Nothing is worse than a shaky screen.
    • Your laptop should be centered to your face, think chest up with some small space above your head
    • Make sure your surrounding area and your face are well lit (not backlit, this will create shadows)
    • Place your camera lens eye level
    • Do not be too close or too far from your laptop
    • Consider putting your laptop on a box or purchase a laptop stand, so you can ensure good posture
  • Make sure there is no background noise
    • If you are using headphones, do an audio check beforehand
    • ALWAYS keep your laptop plugged into power if possible, during the interview
  • Eye contact
    • In order to present an engaging, open attitude, look at the interviewer directly on your screen
    • Do not stare at the camera lens
  • Find a neutral background
    • A plain wall or background works, nothing distracting
    • Make sure you are seated upright in a chair….not on your couch or bed!
    • Rent out an office space if you are unable to take the interview from your home or office
  • Dress to always impress…wear what you would normally wear for an in-person interview. Hint, hint: professional, appropriate, and no distracting patterns (especially on camera!)

From the Recruiter’s Perspective 

I. What sets Arrow Search Partners apart from other recruiting agencies?

1. “Relationships- Our partners have built lasting relationships with clients throughout their careers. The organic growth of our client base sets us apart.

2. Different Recruiting Methods – There is a successful balance among everyone that is on the team. It creates a great learning experience for the more junior recruiters.

3. The Culture- The healthy competition and collaborative culture in the organization has enabled us to attract and retain the best recruiters in New York City.

4. The Passion- Everyone in the firm has a desire for each other to be successful. The willingness to assist and guide the younger recruiters on the team makes Arrow, Arrow.”

-Patrick Lupfer, Director

II. What do you look for in a candidate?

“The qualities I find to be most impactful are transparency and communication when working with a candidate. Someone who is not afraid to open up and share their excitement, hesitations and ultimate goals are always the candidates that have the most success in landing their best next step. I also believe curiosity and excitement are great motivators to have when you are going into an interview, as there is always an ability to network, learn and discover more throughout a job search process. I have found that balancing an open mind with the ability to be transparent with your recruiter is the best combination for success in the process.”

-Whitney Johnson, Director

III. What’s your favorite part about being a recruiter?

“My favorite part about being a recruiter is creating strong relationships with my candidates and clients. I meet so many great people and have the privilege of educating them on the market, allowing them to make hiring and career decisions. I take pride in impacting someone’s career in a positive direction and receiving appreciation in return for doing so. I also love working together with my team who brings passion and energy to our day to day. Everyone at Arrow is excited to come to work, help people, and make an impact in the industry.”

-Jeff Killian, Director

IV. What do you tell your candidates to help with nerves before an interview?

“Make sure you are prepared – do your research on the company, get a good night sleep and fuel up before the interview.

According to Alison Doyle at The Balance Careers published on June 22, 2022, the STAR Method will enhance your interviews. STAR is an acronym that describes how to structure interview answers.

  • S stands for the situation. This is where you provide a very high-level overview of your role and what was going on.
  • T stands for the task you were assigned or took the initiative to solve. In other words, describe in one sentence what made the situation a challenge.
  • A stands for the actions you took. Step by step, walk through what you did.
  • R stands for results. These are the outcomes of the actions you took to resolve the situation and challenge.

-If you are feeling anxious, go for a walk to clear your head, listen to music, or meditate prior to the interview.

-Pick your outfit out ahead of time. A good ensemble can make you feel confident and ready to conquer the world.

-Sit up straight, put a smile on, and walk with confidence. Keep your shoulders back and keep your head high. Positive body language sends off a good message to others.”

-Chelsea Kim, Director

V. What is your favorite part about the recruiting process?

“My favorite part of the recruiting process is making huge, positive impacts on my candidates’ careers and lives. As a recruiter, you assist professionals make career decisions which is a life changing moment for everybody. It is extremely rewarding when you see the entire recruiting process come to fruition from beginning to end. Whether you get your candidate a huge increase in compensation or their dream job, it feels good to know that you had such a positive influence in facilitating their job search. I also enjoy getting to know my candidates which makes the relationship that much more meaningful. This slice of recruiting is a ‘feel good’ piece that makes what I do so rewarding!”

-Jenna Vasilakopoulos, Associate Director

A Recruiter’s Eye View of the market during COVID-19

Entering 2020 the US economy and job market was arguably in the best position it had ever been. Unemployment was at 3.6% and it was a candidate’s market with many receiving multiple job offers from competing clients. This drove up compensation rates and had companies bidding against each other to land top talent.

At Arrow Search Partners our primary focus are placements within Accounting, Finance, Operations and Corporate Services. As an organization we had a great 2019, working with a large array of clients to help them fill their most immediate and sometimes incredibly difficult needs. Moving into 2020 we were extremely well positioned to push our business forward externally by assisting all of our clients as they grew their teams and internally with launching new verticals and divisions so we can be even more all-encompassing for our clients.

However, this was all before COVID-19 struck. As the virus gathered momentum, in what seemed like the space of one week the entire world and its economy was shut down to fight the pandemic.

Of course, as a recruiter this has presented unique challenges to the normally very busy and bustling daily cycle of our lives. It’s been no different for Arrow Search. However, with any tough times there are certain things that can be done to continue success in your career and in your life, and the current pandemic is no different. Recruiting has always been a marathon, not a sprint and the same rules apply.

To help stay the course, here are some key pieces of advice for everyone trying to get through this challenging job market and run their marathon.

Warm up

For any recruiter, organization is key. Consider spending at least 30 minutes at the end of the day planning the next one. You should know:

  1. What meetings you have (both internal and external)
  2. What calls you need to make to candidates and clients
  3. Which companies you want to approach
  4. What jobs you’re going to work on

If you’re not organized before you start work, then you risk losing time procrastinating. Set yourself up for the day before it’s even begun and you can hit the ground running. Of course, don’t forget to plan in your breaks and exercise—it’s important to wind down also. 

Set your Goals

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t hit your usual goals. You can work with your manager to set obtainable, daily goals that will keep you moving and ready to hit the ground running when the pandemic lifts and you can even set some for yourself.

Whether it’s new conversations, video meetings, building out the company database or networking you should hold yourself accountable at the end of the day to see if you hit your goals and, more importantly, to keep developing as a recruiter.

Making placements and hitting deals is always the ultimate goal and that will never change but don’t get disheartened if that doesn’t happen during this time. It’s a marathon not a sprint.

Be Positive

There will be highs and lows. But there would also be highs and lows in the office. It’s important to navigate them in the same ways. You might not make a placement every day when you’re working from home, but you probably don’t every day at the office either.

If you bring the same positive energy to every virtual meeting that you do to an in-person meeting you’ll get better results and make better connections. You wouldn’t mope around someone’s office in a meeting, don’t do it to their Zoom.

Things haven’t changed at these times, we’re just running a slightly different path than expected. However, there’s lots we can be doing to prepare for the next phase and not lose any ground, both with clients and candidates and our own careers. The results will come, even if things are on pause for now.

Hopefully everybody will be able to get back to our new normal soon and we will be stronger for this whole experience as recruiters and as people. We are just on a detour on our marathon at the moment—we’ll be back on track and heading for the tape soon enough.  

3 Tips for Newbies in the Real World

You just graduated college and you are on your way to beginning a new career. You have internship experience in your pocket, but you always knew these jobs had an end date and you would be back to living the college life. Now it is time to start a real job with a real salary and real expectations. Life is about to change, what can you do to start off on the right foot in the workplace.

 

  1. Take initiative- do not wait for work to be delegated to you. Of course, when you start a new job, there is a training process and it may be slow until your boss sees what you can handle. However, do not be afraid to ask for more work. Everyone loves a proactive employee; ask what you can do in times where work is not handed to you.
  2. Proofread your work- This is one of the most important things to focus on when starting a new job. No one likes getting an email addressed to a different name, an email with spelling errors or reading work from an employee with grammar mistakes. Proofreading carefully will show your work ethic and the detail that you put into your work.
  3. Build healthy relationships with your colleagues- It is important to show your team that you care about them and their success. Building a good dynamic with your boss, building trust and credibility should be a priority your first few months in a new job. It will lead to more opportunities and eventually a promotion.
  4. Do not get discouraged by the learning curve- College is very different from the real world. There will be a lot to learn but try not to be intimidated by this new chapter. Let each day add value to your personal and professional growth.

What millennials look for in the work place

Millennials make up about 50% of the workforce. And this number will continue to increase for years to come. So, what exactly do Millennials look for in the workplace and how can companies meet these needs?

The short answer is that millennials have most of the same career goals as older workers. Millennials are driven by making a positive impact at a Company, helping solve social challenges and doing work that they are passionate about.  However, there are a few things millennials look for in a job that firms should be aware of.

Millennials are always ready to learn. Most are always on the look-out for an opportunity to learn something new. In fact, one of the reasons millennials are leaving their jobs is a lack of training. To avoid this, Companies can add training for both new employees and first/ second year employees who are looking to increase their value.

Millennials are competitive and used to being in the public eye. They are used to everyone knowing everyone’s business and appreciate being recognized. Reward millennials for exceptional performance and celebrate their accomplishments. This will motivate other employees and will bring the millennials “friendly competition” mindset into the work place.

Millennials hate being called millennials. Many millennials feel they are judged based on stereotypes rather than their actual work. When criticizing an individual employee, make sure not to use the word millennial. Individuals want to feel they are being judged on their performance and work, not categorized into their generation.

What do your social media accounts look like right now?

If you were an employer, what would you think about your social media profiles? Are you posting appropriate pictures with friends and family on Facebook? Are you posting your last meal on Instagram? Are you posting relevant newsworthy articles on LinkedIn?  Are you posting controversial political posts to Twitter?

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates. In fact, social recruiting is now a huge part of the hiring process. Many employers have people working solely to comb through candidates social media.

So, what exactly are employers looking for on your social media?

Employers are looking for insight on your character and personal life.  Do you have an online following? Are you posting appropriate pictures? Are you up to date on modern social platforms? Is there anything about you on the internet that can damage a Company’s reputation? What are other people posting about you?

Now, let’s not be afraid of social media and instead use it to our advantage to seal the deal on your job process. When posting to Facebook and Instagram, use it as an opportunity to show your personality. Show things that make you original, use it as a place to make you stand out and show what you can add to a Company’s culture. When posting to LinkedIn, try to stay conservative. Post only work-related content and make sure your experiences line up with your resume you are applying with.

Going forward, pretend your future employer is going to see everything you put up. It will make you rethink what you post.

Benefits of outsourcing recruitment

Some Companies do not understand the benefits of outsourcing recruitment. Hiring the right candidate is a long process with many steps and is one of the most essential parts of running a successful business. It is difficult to find a talented individual who is the right culture fit and has the required experience. Outsourcing recruitment takes a huge burden off a Company and its hiring managers allowing employees to focus their energy elsewhere. Here are a few other benefits of outsourcing recruitment.

  1. Quality Candidates
    1. Outsourcing recruitment allows you to meet many people who you would not be able to find yourself. Recruiting agencies understand that a good candidate combines experience, education and personality. Outsourced candidates will have been sorted through, most likely interviewed before they are sent to you. This results in only top tier quality candidates being sent to companies to interview.
  2. Time saver
    1. Interviewing people takes a lot of time and energy. Period
  3. Scalable recruiting capacity
    1. If you are recruiting yourself, you are responsible for the entire process. Creating job specs, posting jobs, finding candidates, going through resumes, interviewing hundreds of people etc.
  4. Company culture and employee satisfaction
    1. Everyone wants a smooth interviewing process. If you start on the right foot, it is much better then joining a Company after a negative hiring experience.
  5. Lower Employee Turnover
    1. Many times companies do not spend enough time weeding out unqualified candidates. It is frustrating for hiring managers to train a new employee and then realize they are not qualified or capable of the job.

Surrounding yourself with the right people is the key to success. Consider outsourcing your recruitment process to ensure the best fit candidates for your Company.