Job Market Fear? (I think not)


“We have usually made our best purchases when apprehensions about some macro event were at a peak. Fear is the foe of the faddist, but the friend of the fundamentalist.”


While he was referring to the investment markets specifically, this often repeated quote by Warren Buffet from 1994 is so applicable to various other areas of life, specifically the hiring climate.  Whether you are a hiring manager or a prospective candidate seeking your next opportunity, it is often so critical to be crystal clear on what your exact goal is and to not let fear interfere with your target.  


I have been reminded of this several times over these past weeks with the frequent disheartening news in the financial services realm, including the recent updates  regarding Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, etc…   


Typically, late Q1 & Q2 is the among the busiest times for recruiters as year-end issues are resolved and bonuses are paid out.  Our phones have been quite busy with hiring managers and prospective candidates trying to figure out how to navigate the hiring landscape in early 2023 in light of the recent events. 


The financial services sector is in fact undergoing some minor shifts, including scattered layoffs announced by several large tier firms, a few banks closing / being taken over, and some jobs being eliminated as a result of automation and digitization. These changes can be quite daunting for people who depend on this industry for their livelihoods–and they certainly don’t help those who are looking for work in the financial services field. 


There are several reasons why people rush into the wrong job, including not having a realistic plan, following the herd mentality, or needing to get out of a bad situation quickly. This last situation is what you may be thinking now, especially since you might perceive the financial services market to be shrinking (at least temporarily). 


Years of experience have taught us that the “I better take this position, because it is better than nothing” mentality never works.  I am sure that as you are reading this you can recall either your own circumstances (or those of colleagues) when you rushed into a job situation out of fear, rather than for all the right reasons, often to detrimental results. It is a situation that you can recover from, but certainly avoidable.  I am not advocating giving up a steady paycheck for a promise, but rather try to always take the short, medium, and longer term view of each situation.  


Similarly, we see all too frequently how Hiring Managers, fall into the trap of hiring the wrong candidate because they see a perceived “bargain”, by hiring a candidate that might be “down on his luck”, recently separated, and willing to settle for a lesser position or less money.


It is so important to view this current hiring market with a little (or a lot of) perspective.  The past couple of years have been incredibly strong from a hiring perspective as the markets corrected significantly from early Covid. That is data driven, empirical information! Compensation data suggests that we have continued to see increases within our sector as well.  Overall hiring numbers are still way up in our sector compared to pre-Covid.  A quick glance at any market indicator bears this out as well. As such, the financial services sector is still having an incredibly challenging time hiring appropriately skilled, qualified, and experienced candidates.  


As the “Oracle of Omaha,” would advise, we need to continue to focus on the fundamentals of our search initiatives, and NOT let Fear-based motivation get in the way of our proper motivation. 


Feel free to reach out directly to discuss this topic further as well as any other questions or concerns regarding the current hiring climate. I guarantee that in our call together you will leave with 2 or 3 ideas that will greatly impact your ability to find, attract, and procure the top 10-15% of the candidate pool on a consistent basis.


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