Market Signals (Week 17)

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 them 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 presentation here:

We’ve continued reaching out to CEOs, HR Directors, investors, board members, 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.
Initial list of 18 countriesSorted
Extended list to 36 countriesSorted
Note: to view details of each region, visit the full report. The regions are divided into: Visegrad, Baltics, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Iberia, SEE, BENELUX, DACH, Western Europe.

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.

Media company: We are trying to prevent lay-offs by negotiating government aid.

TV / Telecommunications: No lay-offs planned. All good. Big digitalization / restructuring project.

Construction: No lay-offs. We are actually recruiting massively.

Engineering group: We are managing and not laying off anybody.

Cosmetics: Depending on the category we either see increases or decreases in sales. Overall, we are doing well and we are not planning any lay-offs and we didn’t have to reduce any salaries.

IT: We can’t complain. We’ve kept the turnover at the same level and are busy.

Travel retail (Australia): It’s definitely not easy, but we are managing.

Real estate: We’re actively looking for savings.

Big hospitality chain: No lay-offs.

Paper products: No lay-offs.

E-commerce: Recruitment processes are still taking place.

Industry: Ongoing recruitment processes for CEO positions where restructuring experience is needed.

Pharma: Many internal and external recruitment processes.

And candidate quotes:

Key Account Director, Media: I was laid off because clients are cutting budgets.

SVP Eastern Europe, Plastics: Many projects have been frozen but I have a few interviews planned.

Deputy Director, Telecom: I have a face-to-face interview coming up, but projects regarding 5G technology are frozen.

CFO: I’m currently in two recruitment processes for CFO position.

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