Executive Outlook – April 2021

Increasing activity for Q1 2021 for Executive Openings and Executive Appointments

Lead5 tracks executive openings and executive appointments for leading US based companies. Analysis for Lead5 Q1 data for 2021 shows a 17% increase quarter-over-quarter in executive openings and a 28% increase quarter-over-quarter in executive appointments. Year-over-year Lead5 shows executive openings still down 27% from Q1 2020 data, but we are seeing a steady climb back up from the low point of Q3 2020 off of Covid shutdowns where executive openings were down over 40%.

What does this all mean for executives actively or passively seeking new opportunities? The market has upward momentum and looks to continue climbing in terms of openings and appointments. Now is the time to stay connected and pro-active on what is happening in the market for executive opportunities. Familiarize yourself with the Indicators of Management Changes and join the Lead5 community to share insights and gain market intel from fellow members.

Lead5 Community Analytics – Indicators of Management Changes

After 20 plus years in executive recruiting you start to see a pattern of reasons for leadership changes. Here are a few of the most common indicators:

New PE Deal – A public company is looking to shed a non-core division and sells the “carve-out” business to a private equity firm. These deals always seem to work out very well for the new financial sponsors and this deal announcement is an almost certain trigger to build a new leadership team.

Newly Appointed CEO – A new CEO is announced and within 12 to 18 months on average more than half of the leadership team will be replaced. This concept works one-level down as well. A new CFO will have a new financial officer team within 12 to 18 months, etc.

Late-Stage VC Investment – A start-up company receives a late-stage VC investment of $50 million. At this point, the company starts to fully build out the infrastructure and regulatory framework needed to achieve its growth and strategic goals. Think of roles like Chief Accounting Officer, Chief Risk Officer, General Counsel, and Chief People Officer as roles that are often upgraded or established post a large late-stage VC funding round.

Company Emerging from Chapter 11 – The team that takes a company through chapter 11, the turn-around group, is not the same leadership team that focuses on growth post emergence.

Company Caught Flat-Footed – Julie is a star Chief Marketing Officer for BlueVision Tech Corp. She is identified and recruited away to become the CEO of a well-funded VC backed start-up. BlueVision Tech is caught flat-footed and quickly commences a search for Julie’s replacement as the internal team is not yet ready for promotion.

New Stage of Growth – Building a company from idea stage/pre-revenue to $1 to $5 million in revenue is a unique skill, as is scaling a company from $5 million to $20 million + in revenue. Here are the most common revenue hurdles where a new type of leadership is needed for the scale involved:

  • Pre-revenue to $5 million
  • $5 million to $20 million
  • $20 million to $50 million
  • $50 million to $300 million
  • $300 million to $1 billion
  • $1 billion to $10 billion
  • $10 billion +

Did you know the Lead5 Platform identifies these types of scenarios combined with the crowd-sourcing power of the Lead5 community to uncover hidden opportunities and companies you should be pro-actively networking with?

Join today and discover the power of the Lead5 Community to help advance your executive career!

Want to learn more? Join the market discussion on Lead5 here:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

Introducing the New Lead5 Corporate Executive Recruiter Database

One major trend of the executive search industry over the last two decades is the increased flow of consultants from the major firms (Korn/Ferry, Heidrick, Spencer Stuart, & Russell Reynolds) to in-house executive recruiting roles within companies, PE firms, and VC firms. The takeaway for the candidate is more senior level leadership positions are being actively sourced and placed directly by the company or financial sponsor. Add the Covid-19 lockdowns and an increased corporate view on cost cutting and you have a scenario entering 2021 where, more than ever, companies are directly recruiting executives and bypassing the retained search firms.

With this trend in mind, Lead5 has built and launched a corporate executive recruiter database that our members have access to and the Lead5 community continues to enhance. Log in to Lead5, click on Community, then People, scroll down and select the Corporate Recruiters tab and use the Lead5 filters to identify the gatekeepers to leadership hiring for thousands of companies including contact details.

Remember, you have a green light to send your resume directly to these in-house executive recruiting professionals and the goal is ensuring your information is updated in the company or PE firms’ executive ATS (Applicant Tracking System). In addition, you want to make the networking connection with the in-house team to keep you informed of current and future leadership openings.

One Lead5 member built a targeted list of companies specific to his industry sector and experienced a 70% response rate to direct outreach to in-house recruiters. This method yields a much higher response than contacting retained recruiters or C-level execs – why? Because the in-house recruiters number one priority is to evaluate external talent and build a bench of current and future available talent for the organization. Remember, retained recruiters number one priority is the hiring company, not the candidate!

Want to learn more? Join the market discussion on Lead5 here:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

Review sample emails for direct outreach here:

https://blog.lead5.com/how-to-best-approach-executive-recruiters/

https://blog.lead5.com/how-to-send-a-strong-intro-email-to-a-ceo/

 

 

Executive Outlook – January 2021

 

The results are in for 2020, and much like all aspects of last year, the executive hiring market has everyone ready to move on to 2021. The total number of executive opportunity leads shared and tracked by Lead5 in 2020 was down 34% year over year from 2019.

 

 

The good news is that the market stabilized in Q3 2020 with a slight uptick for Q4. As we shared in our October Executive Outlook analysis, after discussions with corporate executive recruiters and talent partners from PE firms, we anticipate the traditional Labor Day through Thanksgiving seasonal executive hiring cycle is being pushed back to Q1 2021 due to the global pandemic and the US election cycle.

What this means for you is that executive hiring for Q1 and Q2 in 2021 will bring increased activity and you should be taking steps now to craft a pro-active career strategy. Lead5 will continue to monitor, analyze, and report on these executive hiring trends.

Lead5 is the fastest growing executive community that allows our members to share and exchange hidden exec openings, intel, and career advice. The Lead5 executive platform provides expert methodology and tools, allowing our members to transform data into career advancing results. Learn more at www.lead5.com.

Executive Hiring Doubled from Q2 to Q4 Based on Lead5 Member Analysis

Lead5 analysis of executive members who indicated they landed a new position has increased 98% from Q2 to Q4 in 2020. The increase from Q2 to Q3 was 40%. This is consistent with the pent-up demand from the predominate lockdown months of April through June and is a good signal for a continued uptick in executive hiring to carry through Q1 2021 and beyond. We will continue to monitor these leading indicators from Lead5 data.

Lead5 is the fastest growing executive community for exchanging hidden opportunities, intel, and career advice.

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

How to Best Approach Executive Recruiters

One of the most frequently asked questions from members of Lead5 is how to approach executive recruiters. We have put together a sample email at the end of this blog that we hope is helpful, but let’s also highlight five key points to remember when connecting with search firms:

1. Understand the retained search business model. Lack of understanding of how retained executive search firms operate is the first clue you are not an experienced executive. Retained firms only work for companies – the hiring company is the client. The candidates are a commodity. We as search professionals try not to treat the candidates like a commodity, but the business model is structured in a way that, more often than not, leaves the candidate sensing this dynamic

2. You have a green light to send your resume directly to executive search firm consultants, but make sure you are doing your research. Every firm has partners and principals who recruit for specific industry sectors and functional roles. Determine the best contact by reviewing bios to ensure there is a match between your experience and the partner’s coverage area. The Lead5 recruiter database is a go-to resource for this research. There, you can quickly pinpoint the right targets using your My5 filters.

3. Most executives conducting an active job search connect with 5 to 7 retained search firms, typically with recruiters that have approached them in the past. This is fruitful, but candidates should send their resume to 25 to 30 plus search firms, given the executive search industry is highly fragmented beyond the top 4 to 5 firms. Take the time to complete the research necessary to make sure you are in the “flow” of available opportunities for your industry/function.

4. If you do not hear back from a retained executive recruiter to whom you have sent your resume, do not worry. The first priority is having your resume updated and marked in the proprietary database of the search firm as interested in opportunities. All search firms have a process to update resumes in the database and mark you interested for a 6-to-12-month time frame. In some cases your name is actually highlighted within the system. The baseline is to market yourself to 25 to 30 search firms by having your profile activated in the database. If the particular search consultant you reach out to has an active search that is a fit, they will reach out to you. Otherwise, you are a “seeker candidate” and the best path for a seeker candidate is to get tagged in the system so the entire firm can query and have access to your resume.

5. Personalization is key. If I recruit Chief Marketing Officers and a Chief Technology Officer reaches out, it is not a good look. Do your homework, as 15 to 25 highly targeted, thoughtful notes to search consultants who cover your areas of expertise by industry and function is much more effective than the spam blanket email sent to 100 recruiters. Start with the recruiters/firms you know and expand out with direct outreach to the firms who need to know you.

 

Sample Email to Retained Executive Recruiters

Hi Susan,

Good afternoon. I am a senior HR executive with over 20 years of experience in the consumer products and industrial services sectors. I am aware that you specialize in the HR center of expertise for SmithThompson Search and I’m currently actively seeking out my next role. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my background further at your convenience and I would also appreciate getting marked as active/interested in your firm’s database.

I’ve attached my resume, but my work experience includes the last four years as CHRO of Virtue Products, a PE backed, middle market global consumer company based in Phoenix, AZ.  I previously spent 8 years with Danson Corp, the publicly traded large cap environmental services firm where I served in a variety of divisional and corporate HR leadership positions. I have an undergrad in management from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA from Notre Dame. Given the right opportunity and location, we would be open to relocation from our current home base in Arizona.

Please let me know if there is any additional information I can provide and thanks in advance for your time.

Best Regards,

Joe Sample

 

 

Executive Outlook – October 2020

With analysis of Lead5 data through Q3, the executive hiring market has stabilized in September with a slight uptick in executive opportunities tracked by Lead5 of +6% MOM from August to September. Moreover, executive appointments are up +31% MOM August to September.

At Lead5, we track appointment and departures of executive teams for leading US based companies and we have been monitoring the data closely to determine if the overall executive hiring market is stabilizing and trending upward.

The September gains match discussions we’ve had with corporate executive recruiters and PE firm talent partners that, after a lull in August, activity is starting to pick up. The prevailing sentiment is that the normal Labor Day through Thanksgiving cycle will likely be replaced by an election day through Q1 2021 activity cycle.

Lead5 will continue to monitor and report on executive hiring data trends.

Executive Outlook – September 2020

On September 4, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment has continually declined since the jobless peak spurred by the covid-19 lock down measures in March.  Lead5’s recent analysis of executive appointments shows a gradual improvement in the c-level job market, and we will continue to monitor and report on these trends as executive hiring is historically an early indicator of overall employment.

A discussion point in the Lead5 Executive Community is what executives should be doing now to increase their marketability.   The good news is that there are proactive measures that executives can deploy that are proven to be effective in any market.   The key is developing an action plan and sticking to it.

Executives: Be Proactive and Discover New Opportunities

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

Executive Outlook – August 2020

Executive hiring is historically a significant leading indicator of the overall health of the US economy.

Lead5 analysis of the start of Q3 data (July through mid-August) shows a continued downward trend in executive appointments (see chart below).  This trend is troubling, but Lead5 forecasts that the decline from Q2 to Q3 will be slightly less severe than the decline from Q1 to Q2.

Executive opportunities tracked by Lead5 are also trending downward by 45% from Q1 to Mid-August.

Here at Lead5 we have been in constant discussions with executives through our member consults along with corporate talent partners and PE investors. The general view is June started with good momentum, but July and August from an executive hiring/decision making standpoint has stalled out. Our data supports this view. The historical “check with me after Labor Day” mantra seems to be more heightened this year with the effects of the pandemic and social unrest.

Lead5 will continue to monitor the full Q3 data through September with an eye on a possible uptick after Labor Day to finish Q3 on stronger footing.

See what Lead5 members are saying about the market and join the conversation:

https://lead5.com/community/forums/posts/241182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Job Outlook – July 2020

Executive hiring has long foretold the overall health of the U.S. economy which has been severely impacted by covid-19 and global socio-political factors.

Analysis of Lead5 data from Q1 to Q2 for 2020 shows a quarter over quarter 30% decrease in executive opportunities, a 35% decrease in PE deals, and a 43% decrease in executive appointments.  This decline was expected as executive searches which typically take 90 to 120 days were canceled or put on hold during the lockdown.  Industries with the largest decrease in executive appointments from Q1 to Q2 were consumer followed by business services and industrial. Technology, healthcare and financial services also had declines, but not to the extent of the other sectors.

For executive opportunities, July is trending above June through July 10.  Some economists predict that the economy will begin a resurgence in Q3 and if that occurs, US companies will respond by appointing new executive leadership teams.  Lead5 will continue to monitor these data trends going forward.