Market Signals (Week 24)

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 those market 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 and candidates 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: the numbers are collected at the beginning of each week, on Monday afternoon. In the full version of the report you can find separate data for regions such as: Visegrad, Baltics, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, Iberia, SEE, BENELUX, DACH, Western Europe and EU.

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.

Health & Wellness: Our industry and company have been heavily damaged by COVID-19. After opening new centers in Czechia, Bulgaria and Slovakia, we were planning to develop further this year, but were forced to freeze everything instead. All investments have been put on hold for a minimum of 2 years.

Telecommunications: COVID-19 has had little influence on our industry. Our company is stable and most of our employees are working remotely.

Real Estate: Commercial properties have been hit hard by the restrictions.

Food industry: We haven’t been negatively affected by the situation, we can even see an increase in sales30% higher than predicted.

Automotive: We’ve experienced a significant decrease in sales. Dealer stores have cut salaries by 30%. We took government aid and implemented all solutions that allow us to avoid lay-offs.

Real Estate: We’ve been working quite as normal, the only thing is that banks limit crediting in fear of borrowers’ potential job loss.

Private Medical Care: We had our salaries reduced significantly which resulted in 3 people resigning. Now that things are going back to normal only 20% of appointments will take place in the offices – our staff is hesitant to work as usual.

And candidate quotes:

Portfolio Marketing Manager / Commercial Property Manager: Recruitment processes are frozen or conservative. I have been training intensively for the past few years to switch career paths from marketing to property management but during internal interviews and conversations with headhunters I keep hearing that despite my obvious qualifications, they are looking for plug and play candidates.

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 lowrisk candidates who can demonstrate very specific skill sets and leadership competencies.

If you want to discuss your professional situation confidentially or if you are 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
Week 23