Market Signals (Week 29)

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.

Worth mentioning

First an overview of the indices:

Index18: This week, 5 countries published more job ads on LinkedIn than in Week 13: Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Denmark & Estonia.

Index36: 68% of the countries published more job ads in Week 29 than in Week 15. Compared to last Week 28 (44%), it’s a significant +24% increase!

The European Union: For the third week in a row, the European Union has experienced a positive difference between Week 17 & 29 (+2.62%). Despite maintaining the level above zero, the number of published job ads has been falling for the past 2 weeks.

Winners of the week: The Baltic region, just as last week, noted a positive difference in the number of job ads between Week 15 & 29 in every country (+22.30% in total). In Week 29, it was joined by Visegrad which experienced the same phenomenon (+11.03% in total). The winning country of Week 15 & 29 comparison was Slovenia, with a significant +43.32% increase in the number of published job ads. The country with the biggest % increase since last week was Montenegro (+36.36%).

Losers of the week: Between Week 15 & 29, Northern Europe noted the biggest decrease in the number of published job ads on LinkedIn out of all the regions (-23.10%). All the countries, except for Denmark, experienced negative changes. The country that noted one of the biggest negative changes between Week 15 & 29 was Romania (-27.14%). It placed forth to last after the main losers of this & last week (Italy, Spain, Sweden). The biggest negative weekly difference was noted in Luxembourg (-14.22%).

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.

Finance: We were forced to reduce the team by 20% in 8 countries and cut the budget for group level projects.

Industrial Engineering: Our recruitment processes were frozen. Also, we were forced to take leaves. Our marketing budget was reduced as well.

IT: There has been an increase of workload in the cyber security department, as well as in marketing. We managed to run a big online event for potential clients in April, as we didn’t want to wait for a more convenient time. It involved 600 people, which is about 400 more than normally.

Investment Management: Surprisingly, it was quite easy to shift to remote work, even though we couldn’t do it before, due to compliance issues.

Automotive: We were heavily affected by the restrictions – everything was frozen for 2 months. Even though we were able to continue the production, we couldn’t deliver the products as Italy is our main customer. Fortunately, we didn’t have to lay anyone off – we went through a restructuring process just before the pandemic.

Printing Business: Sales were temporarily down, but we are slowly back to business as usual.

Management Consulting: I usually have several projects, on-going and in the pipeline. All clients & consulting firms that I cooperate with have put their projects on hold until September at least. I’ve been proactively trying to obtain other assignments – so far, without success.

Useful observations & tips for candidates from one of our contacts:

Head of Talent Acquisition / International public organization

Before CV-19, sometimes we’d have only 20 applicants for a post. Now, there’s a massive increase. For some roles it’s double the amount of candidates – for HR roles, even more! A recent posting received 50 applicants within 12 hours! I can see that online interviews are more stressful for candidates because of all the technical challenges. Consequently, their performance is different. The overall candidate experience is also different – not worse, just different.

I still see two struggles for now and beyond CV-19: to formulate proper remote working policies, and to design appropriate digital onboarding processes.

About the future: everything will depend on the success of developing a vaccine. However, there are definitely elements that are here to stay: remote work if physical presence is not required (it currently saves me 5 hours per week, 20 hours per month on commuting – why would I voluntarily want to go back?) and online interviews!

Tips for candidates:

  • Cover the basics: our ATS “enforces” as complete applications as possible. Having said that, it still surprises me that approximately 30% of the candidates still don’t get the absolute basics right!
  • Don’t apply to everything. Constant rejection affects your motivation. Keep applying to the job ads where you see a fit and don’t give up!

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 28
Week 27
Week 26
Week 25
Week 24
Week 23
Week 22
Week 21
Week 20
Week 19
Week 18
Week 17
Week 16
Week 15
Week 14
Week 13