Market Signals (Week 25)

The art of interpreting signals (precursors of trends) is – and always has been – important in navigating financial markets and economies. If you are an experienced manager or executive who wants to manage their career and/or job search processes wisely, look at the signals of the job market which are inseparably embedded in the VUCA landscape of today’s world.

We usually keep the collected data to ourselves. But these are not usual times, so we decided to share our insights at 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.

Worth mentioning

First an overview of the indices:

Index18: Only two countries have published more job ads in Week 25 than in Week 13: Poland & Slovenia.

Index36: 38.89% of countries see an increase, while the remaining countries are still trying to catch up.

Regions: All regions still have a lower job ad level than 13 weeks before with Southern Europe having the worst decrease of -29.56% and Western Europe having the least decline of -6.90%. On the other hand, the EU countries altogether have seen an increase in the number of jobs ads of +4.13%.

Biggest Loser: Between Week 15 and 25, Italy has been the country with the biggest loss of job ads with a difference reaching -38.66%.

And the winner is”: Since Week 15, the number of job ads in Bosnia and Herzegovina has more than doubled – the difference between Week 15 (33 job ads) and Week 25 (69 job ads) is 109.09% :)

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.

Logistics: COVID-19 hasn’t affected our company negatively, quite the opposite – we’ve seen an increased need for our services.

International Banking: In order to react faster to the pandemic’s consequences, we changed our company’s KPI and froze the bonus system.

Industry / CH: We had to introduce many changes and, because of negative cash flow, we might be forced to close the HQ in Switzerland. On top of that, our R&D is frozen for this year – abruptly.

Healthcare: Our management board sent out a letter with a big thank you for everyone’s discipline and endurance. All employees except for medical doctors had received a salary cut in March, which lead to some resigning. Our full salaries will be brought back in July.

IT Start-up: Our projects have been sped up so we’ve been working 12 hours a day. The projects are small and not very lucrative, yet the workload is the same as with big ones.

Insurance: We’ve been working from home intensively. Surprisingly, against the initial prognosis, our results are not dropping.

And candidate quotes:

Fraud Specialist / Insurance: We’ve been working remotely from early March with an insurance premium of 30% lower. The whole situation was an excuse for the management to eliminate positions – me and 4 other members of old staff were laid off.

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 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13