Market Signals (Week 15)

Because of how we work when supporting our clients, we have a very uniqueglimpseinto how over 5000 Executive Search companies and almost 20 000 decision makers react – the majority of which being located in Europe; and we collect and analyze how they respond; and we observe if and what kind of trends there are to leverage our clients into better career management & more effective job search methods.

Before there are trends, there are signals which we usually keep to ourselves. But these are not usual times, so we decided to share these signals by the end of each week. If the country / context is important, we’ll add them. Otherwise, we’ll keep it general for confidentiality.

This is not a full version of this week’s report. View the complete report here.

We reached out to board members, CEOs and HR Directors, that we know personally, to take the temperature. Below you’ll find their shortened quotes in no particular order.

However, we’ll start with a KPI that gives a quite good feel of the overall trend on the job market:

Number of published job ads on LinkedIn

Note: some job ads might have been taken off LinkedIn, not because the recruitment process was put on hold or canceled, but because they are costly, especially if you have dozens of them. A company might have wanted to simply cut costs and move to more cost effective alternatives. Some local job portals are offering substantial discounts.

Note: the numbers are collected each Monday afternoon – so at the beginning of each week. As of next week, you’ll find them clustered into regions: CEE / Iberia / BENELUX / DACH.

Collected Quotes from CEOs and HR Directors

The vast majority of executives are with market leaders in their respective industries. By default, the board members are members of local boards; if not, well indicate the exception.

Power tools manufacturing: We don’t plan any lay-offs, but are closely observing the situation on the market.

Capital markets: We switched 95% to remote work. No lay-offs at the moment.

Machinery manufacturing: We’re not hiring, but also no lay-offs.

Investment management: Overall, we’re working normally. Salaries have been slightly reduced which gives us financial stability for 6 months. Then we’ll see.

International trade: No lay-offs.

IT: We’re thriving.

Consumer goods: We’re working normally, but client visits have – for obvious reasons – been put on hold.

Agriculture: The situation is really bad. We will have to take some steps in the nearest future.

Management consulting: Huge workload with no lay-offs.

Construction materials: Huge workload with no lay-offs.

Window equipment manufacturing: No lay-offs planned at the moment.

IT: The situation is rather stable and we are planning to avoid lay-offs. However, the government actions can be harmful to some of our clients and many things can happen.

Danone: Has raised over 5 m EUR for a fund to help its suppliers.

Tesco CEE Region: Had to immediately employ an additional 4 000 people in the region.

And a quote from the candidate side:

Marketing Director: I was fired after 21 years in the same company. However, I am preparing for new challenges despite these unfavorable times.

Our recommendations for experienced managers and executives:

  • Keep engaging in recruitment processes. You don’t know if your job is indeed safe. Better to have a Plan B. It’s always better to be able to choose from a couple of options while you have a job rather than wake up with no job and have no options.
  • If you have restructuring / change management / interim experience, prepare your project list or list of business cases.
  • Prepare and practice interviewing online:
    • from a technical perspective
    • from a light & background perspective
    • from a communication perspective
  • Work on your communication skills: on paper (CV) and orally (strategic interviewing). Charisma alone will not get you shortlisted against hundreds of candidates; especially now that companies will look for low-risk candidates who can demonstrate very specific skill sets and leadership competencies.

If you want to discuss your professional situation confidentially or if you considering hiring Career Angels for support, contact who will personally match you with the most appropriate consultant. For efficiency, add your CV and availability for a Skype call.

If you want to contribute, email your signals to Sandra (everything will be kept confidential).

Market Signals published thus far:
Week 13
Week 14
Week 15
Week 16
Week 17
Week 18
Week 19
Week 20
Week 21
Week 22