Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Employment Market Update

The ADP employment report is out. I referenced this report in a previous blog and refer to it to each time it comes out try to understand what is going on. Here is the link -

It appears that most industry segments are growing slowly. The only real big loser is Construction jobs.

If you are looking for a Finance/Accoutning role then all industry segments are selectively hiring, I would avoid construction companies unless that is all you know. Most industries are doing well for the most part, we just need the capital markets to become less volitile so companies ready to go IPO can.

The occupy movements across the country are unhappy about the state of our national economy, many are not happy with Wall Street. I have to join in and say that the Wall Street folks need to stop using every excuse to sell and remain positive about the future. That way we will not have big down and up days and can get a number of companies off the ground by going public and create more jobs.

Happy hunting!

Bryon McDougall

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Employment Market Commentary

This last May we saw a decline in search work, reading this article from seemed to hit the nail on the head. We are optimistic that the Bay Area Market will continue to grow slowly and that new employment will take place but we will not see a big upswing anytime soon. The numbers in this report are not specific to the Bay Area which is doing better than most of the US.

CFO Optimism Is Down, and So Is Hiring
Finance chiefs say the economy will continue to grow, but slowly, according to the latest Duke/CFO Global Business Outlook Survey.
Kate O'Sullivan - US
June 8, 2011

Like so many economic indicators lately, finance chiefs' expectations have taken a turn for the worse, as the unease that has dogged the recovery since it began has deepened in recent months. From the ongoing European debt crisis to the disaster in Japan to rising oil prices and bouts of severe weather in the United States, a host of factors are dampening CFOs' spirits. Add to that poor employment and housing numbers, and it's little wonder finance executives are getting skittish.

Just 27% of U.S. CFOs say they are more optimistic about the economy this quarter than they were last quarter, while 36% say they are less optimistic, according to the Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey released today. When finance chiefs rate their optimism on a scale from 1 to 100, the results are less dramatic, though still down — 57 out of 100, down from 61 last quarter and roughly even with a year ago.

"Three to six months ago, I definitely had a more positive outlook on the economy," says Greg Gould, finance chief at SeraCare Life Sciences, a small publicly traded biotech company. "Now I'm a bit more worried that there could be some kind of a double-dip [recession]." SeraCare, which counts the National Institutes of Health as a customer, benefited from stimulus spending included in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. Now, says Gould, that impact appears to be fading.

Finance execs do plan to spend money in the coming 12 months, however. Capital expenditures, research and development spending, and advertising and marketing budgets will all grow, but by smaller amounts than CFOs reported last quarter. Tech outlays, however, are expected to increase by 6% on average, up from 5.5% three months ago.

Full-time domestic hiring will continue to be anemic, with finance chiefs saying they will increase staffs by less than 1% in the next 12 months. That number, also down from last quarter, means that unemployment will likely linger at its current rate of just over 9%. Twenty-one percent of CFOs say they are actively hiring, while another 16% say they are short-staffed but lack the resources to hire. Nine percent say they are short-staffed and would like to hire but are having trouble finding the types of employees they need.

For those workers who are currently employed, the outlook is brightening somewhat. A majority of companies that reduced employees' hours during the recession have restored those hours or plan to restore them in the next 12 months, and nearly half plan to return training and development efforts to their prerecession levels in that time. CFOs say wages will rise by 3% on average.

Still, many are holding off on hiring as they continue to wait for the economy to improve. "People are hesitant to make a long-term bet," says Gould. "I think with housing continuing to be unstable and with the continued high unemployment rate, people are going to continue to be nervous."

If you have questions about the Bay Area maket please feel free to reach me.

Bryon McDougall

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Employment Increases for Smaller Companies

The ADP payroll report which covers non-government and non-farming hiring is one of the resources I look at on a monthly basis. I thought sharing last months report/activities would be good for job seekers and employers to see. Use this link to view the report:

What may help job seekers is to focus on smaller business's who are creating more than half of the new jobs.

"Employment among large businesses, defined as those with 500 or more workers, increased by 17,000 while employment among medium-size businesses, defined as those with between 50 and 499 workers, increased by 82,000. Employment for small businesses, defined as those with fewer than 50 workers, rose 102,000 in March.
In March, construction employment dropped 5,000. The total decline in construction employment since its peak in January 2007 is 2,126,000. Employment in the financial services sector increased 4,000 in March. "

The report also stated the largest increase in new hires for the year (could be longer).

This could be a good sign that the slow recovery maybe picking up a little momentum.

Happy Hunting!

Bryon McDougall

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bay Area Job Growth Expected

I saw an article on job growth in the Bay Area. In case you have not seen it, there is a link below. What struck me about it is the Bay Area accounted for 80% of the new jobs created in the State of California. The area will lead the economic turnaround, it is better to be here than anywhere else!

Happy Hunting!

Bryon McDougall

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sell Yourself in the Job Interview

I read an article on the HotJobs/Monster site today on how to sell yourself in the job interivew - I believe all the points are accurate and very helpful, but I'd like to make two additional points.

1.) Show enthusiasm for the company/role and prepare questions for interviewers.

Not only do interviewees need to be positive, but they need to show strong interest in the role for which they are interviewing. If all things are equal between competing candidates, the hiring manager/company will gravitate towards the candidate who expresses the strongest interest in the role and company.

Examples of what can be said in an interview -

For the Position:
" This is exactly what I am looking to do next in my career" OR "I love doing this type of work and can really help your business/department in this area".

For the Company:
"I am truly interested in what this company does. I love the service/product and can get behind a company that has this service/product" OR "I use this product/service and would love to be a part of it".

2.) Prepare questions to ask during the interview.

You must ask questions during your interview to show you have done some research on the business or show you make decisions with relevant information. Some questions can be asked numerous times with each person who interviews you, others can be very specific to the person with whom you are meeting.

Expamples of questions that can be asked to anyone in the interview process:

-What characteristics do I need to have in order to be successful in this role/company?
-Where do you see the company/department in 6 months, 1 year, or 3 years from now?
-What do you like most about working for ____ Company?

If you want to know if Alchemy has an opportunity for you, please feel free to contact me.

Happy Hunting!

Bryon McDougall

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Is the market picking up?

One of the most common questions posed to any search professional is "is the market picking up?". Each person is hoping to hear positive news and to get the feeling that help is on the way. For last 12 months we know the job market has not been good but we all have a feeling that it is better than it was. The feeling I have is that we are still a long way away before the employment market is healthy.

Am I off base? I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistic ( and searched for unemployment rates for professional workers with 4 year degrees in the Bay Area and found the following:

SF/San Mateo/Redwood City
July 2010 - 9.4%
Nov 2010 - 9.1 %

July 2010 - 11.7%
Nov 2010 - 11.2%

SJ/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara
July 2010 - 11.5%
Nov 2010 - 11 %

There is evidence the market had improved in the second half of last year and we feel that the market has improved since November. But until the unemployment rate reaches 7 to 8 percent we feel the market is an employer's market, unhealthy for many if not most job seekers.

Although the market is tough we do have very good roles available with many different employers. For the most part all companies need to hire but will do so selectively. To find out what we have to offer please contact me.

Happy Hunting!

Bryon McDougall

Thursday, December 16, 2010

If you get in the pool, good things may happen.

I use the term “getting in the pool” as a metaphor for entering into an environment that on the surface feels uncomfortable and unsatisfying. But, once one gets used to it, the experience may end up satisfying.
In a work context, that uncomfortable new environment could be represented by accepting a position that deviates from your preferred career path; it could mean considering temporary, contract, or consulting work; it could mean taking a salary less than you are accustomed; or it could mean doing work, you thought you’d never do again.
As a career professional, my role is to support forward movement, and to help people realize their goals. I don’t advocate anyone accepting unhappiness at work. However, in this job market, I believe it’s important to try and be part of the workforce whenever possible: get in the pool, and good things may happen. It beats waiting on the sideline.
I realize there are many folks on the sideline, who would love to be back in the workforce, but are having difficulty making that happen. If one has been out of work for over a year that in itself creates a major hurtle for employment. Thus, it’s important to consider finding a way back in, even if it’s not in an optimal situation.
This point goes back to the old saying that “it’s easier to find a job, when you have one.” One would think that given the high unemployment numbers in the US, unemployed job seekers would be given the benefit of the doubt. That is true for short periods of unemployment--six months or less. However, when one has been unemployed for a year or more, with very little to no work exposure during that timeframe, that job seeker is at an even greater disadvantage. Even in this job market, potential employers worry about why someone who has been out of work for a long time is not getting hired. Resumes with long periods of unemployment, cause potential employers to pause. If they are comparing two candidates with similar stills, they will usually feel more comfortable with the employed candidate, versus the one who isn’t.
In my years of recruiting I’ve seen first hand that activity leads to opportunity. It’s a given that a job seeker should be sending out resumes, networking, interviewing, and talking to people everyday. In the current job market, as many have found, that still may not be enough to land the right position. If job search activity is not doing the trick, perhaps getting back into the workforce in some other capacity could help. Even if a job is not ideal, there is value in leaving the house everyday to go to work. Meeting new people, making new contacts, learning new skills, learning new software, getting exposed to a new industry, or career function, all can potentially open new doors that you hadn’t even thought of. Your overall job search doesn’t need to stop, but now when you make new contacts, you can say you’ve been working. Working on a contract basis, part-time, volunteering, or even in a different type of position, is an easier sell to a potential employer, than saying, you’ve been looking for work for the last 18 months and haven’t found the right position.
There are of course drawbacks and pitfalls to accepting just any type of job, or working too long as a temporary worker or consultant. But, jumping into the workforce in some capacity may end up creating new opportunities that sitting on the sideline may not turn up.