It appears that this year has definitely been one of transitions for many people throughout our industry; with firms opening offices and at the same time closing offices. Certain firms, as you are aware, have completely vacated the space, like Lebenthal. While others, such as Stifel, continue to acquire firms as if they were playing a monopoly game. The problem is that they are playing with real people’s lives. Hiring practices seem to be different now. While they have acquired firms, they have also jettisoned employees from both their previous firm and their new firm, due to account conflicts and over coverage of issuers.
But that does not answer our question: why it is taking so long to get hired? What are these new hiring practices? I believe, in a nutshell, firms are doing much more due diligence. They are talking to more candidates than ever before, and are being very cautious in their hiring practices. What used to take about 90 days from first interview to hire date is now taking an average of six months. My most recent hire took almost nine months from start to finish, and I actually started working with the key individual almost three years ago. See William Blair announces new hires. Of course there are the exceptions. I share this information with you because so many of the clients and candidates that I have the privilege of working with are wondering if it is them that are causing the prolonged process. I tell them it is not, it is just the new hiring practices and way of getting employed in 2014.
For traditional Public Finance Bankers, the first half of the year was very slow because of figuring out the Municipal Advisory rule and what it really means to doing business. Most of the firms have figured this out and are again in a hiring mode. Possibly with similar hiring practices.
About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, FinOps & Bond Counsels. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-477-1284.