Blog

Concern For Candidates Considering Making A Move: Part 2

What factors can become a concern for candidates considering making a move? As a continuation of the previous blog, I am going to jump into more concerns for candidates that have been shared with me, or I have heard about these from other recruiters in the industry (non-public finance). A...

Concerns Of A Candidate Considering Making A Move

When I'm working with a candidate that considers making any sort of change in their career, I try to put myself in their position. This is different from empathizing with somebody. This is allowing me to see what I am suggesting through their eyes. I believe this is one of...

I Made A Move, Did I Just Make A Mistake?

Today's blog is going to be a little bit more difficult to write. Why? It’s because of my experience with candidates that have made a mistake by their selection of a new firm being greatly limited. I know it happens. However, what I want to share are thoughts that if...

The 3 Major Bonus Structures You Need To Know

It is time to discuss the bonus structure that firms are offering. This is a continuation from last week where we discussed the differences between bulge brackets and regionals.  I did not want to convey that bulge brackets have only one type of bonus structure that they offer, or on...

Competing Offers 101: Bulge Bracket Vs. Regional Firm

I want to address how you choose between two competing offers for public finance bankers.  Similar questions can be raised by our bond counsel candidates as well.  For example, the differences between a bulge bracket type firm or a regional based firm.  In a candidate driven market, which does exist...

Don’t Be Too Busy Working To Think About Making A Move

Last week we looked at the junior banker and analyst and how they went about communicating with a recruiter about their current circumstances. The essence of the article was that for one reason or another they did not want to be honest with the recruiter and/or themselves. As we look...

To The Young Public Finance Professionals: Be Honest With Yourself

Recently I have seen a new trend with junior bankers and analysts that may be surprising to you.  They are not admitting to themselves, or least of all to a recruiter, their true feelings about their current situation.  I am not sure what is causing this; whether it’s the lack...

What A Recruiter Really Does: Part 3

An Experienced Recruiter Offers Insight Regarding Compensation, Onboarding & Resignation Last week we briefly touched upon the topic of “the offer”. I want to continue with the offer discussion and conclude today with the on-boarding process.  With an experienced recruiter, an offer should never be presented unless it is known...

What A Recruiter Really Does: Part 2

The Candidate And The Company: What To Expect After The Initial Interview Process In this three-part series, last week we covered the initial contact, the resume, first call and the debrief.  We ended with the prospective employer asking for a business plan for those revenue producing bankers or bond counsels....

What A Recruiter Really Does: Part 1

What does a qualified recruiter really do? The simple answer to that question is we get people hired.  Let us delve more into what that entails.  Most hiring managers think all we do is present a resume, sit back, and collect “fat checks”. Recently I was being interviewed for a...

“No” Does Not Always Mean No: It Could Simply Mean “Not Now”

When looking at trends recently, I have noticed one regarding what a “no” really means. Previously, a “no” meant that it is over, move on, or anything else that your mind may hear.  I grappled when choosing this as a message for a blog, but I felt as though it...

Questions For Reference Checks & First Time Interviews

Last week I promised that I would continue with the questions that we use when we are doing reference checks. I got such great feedback that I am going to expand this blog to not only include the questions that we ask and referrals; but we are also going to...

The Reference Check: How They Are Different

One of the trends that has changed drastically over the last three to five years is the reference check.  When I was first in the industry, it was the responsibility of myself as the recruiter of record to do all reference checking before a final offer would even be contemplated....

Re-Entering The Public Finance Industry: The Right Executive Summary

As many of my readers are aware, I look at trends that are occurring in the field of public finance and bond counsel recruiting. This current trend that I am seeing is not as applicable to the bond counsel world but is most definitely applicable to the world of public...

The Importance Of The Story Vs. The Name Of The Firm

Continuing with the theme of new firms reaching out to us, I must share an observation that will shed some light on what opportunities really exist. When I talk to a potential candidate about a firm, I try hard not to share the name of the firm until I have...

The Demand For Traders And Salespeople: What To Know

As I started reviewing my previous blogs, I realized that all I frequently talk about are bankers and attorneys. The reason being that these are the professionals we are consistently representing. However, this week I saw a new trend occur. I saw firms reaching out to me looking for not...

Does A Record-Breaking Year Affect My Bonus?

As I am continuing to recuperate from my emergency surgery, I started getting phone calls since people knew they could now reach out. A good amount of phone calls was for well wishes; but, there were many exploratory conversations about where they stood financially. Public finance bankers as well as...

Life’s Twists & Unexpected Turns

Our Weekly Blogs There is a saying that goes around, “Man makes plans, but God laughs.” If you have not heard that, then I can tell you it is 100% true.  Last week as I was sitting, writing my blog for the week, and reviewing my thoughts that I wanted...

How Much The Mentor Relationship Matters For Your Future

In a continuance with the theme of the junior banker/associate counsel, let us now examine what they should be looking for in their next opportunity. As we all know, most people will say immediately that more compensation is what they are looking for in their next opportunity; however, I do...

The Need For Support Bankers & Associate Attorneys In 2021

Lately we have been focusing on the “top gun” candidate, the individual who would make a move and receive exceptional compensation for bringing their existing clients to a new firm. However, today is going to look at the junior banker, analyst, and/or associate bond counsel. Typically speaking, the above positions...

What To Know About The Signing Bonus And/Or Guarantee

Last week I discussed the concept of compensation, which I got a lot of comments on. The last few blogs have been specifically related to the “top guns” in our industry. These top guns can either be public finance bankers, municipal financial advisors, or bond counsels. To be a “top...

2021 & Compensation Packages: Your Salary & Bonus Potential

The biggest question I am getting now from potential candidates is: What does a good offer look like?  It is a general question, but it depends on the type of firm that you would be going to. For instance, I am not as knowledgeable about the compensation packages for bulge...

A Firm Providing Opportunistic Hiring Creates Benefits For All

We discussed opportunistic hiring as it relates to the candidate last week. We are going to continue this week to discuss opportunistic hiring as it relates to the client. As you will see the benefits to the client are just as meaningful and important as they are to the candidate....

The True Meaning Of Opportunistic Hiring Situations

Every conversation that I have with a prospective candidate or client I discuss the elements that make us are different from other recruiting firms.  During those daily conversations, I always reference the term opportunistic hiring. I also reference opportunistic hiring situations in many of my blogs.  Over the next two...

Now Is The Time To Make The Move: Strike While The Iron Is Hot

Last week we discussed the last 365 days and how the hiring within the field of public finance has grown exponentially over this last year.  A question that continues to be raised is, “When, if any time, should I seriously consider making the move? I am having such a good...

Your Leg Up In Getting Hired: Revenue Producing Or Expense Protecting

It is time to address the types of people getting hired, generally speaking. It does not matter if you are a public finance professional, underwriter, trader, or even bond counsel; this categorization will apply across the board. There are two types of individuals that are prime to be hired. You...

Which Job Board Is Right For You – If Any?

It’s time for me to address job boards. There are numerous types of job boards that a candidate can look at. There are the paid job boards and the free job boards. There are job boards on specific firms’ websites, then there are job boards on many recruiters’ sites. Depending...

This Unique Resume Format Grabs The Hiring Manager’s Attention

Before diving into what a traditional or functional resume says about you, I want to share a quick story. A friend of mine convinced me to set up a ring doorbell camera for our house. After the doorbell was set up, he suggested we add an additional camera to our...

Where Did This Boom In Public Finance Hiring Come From?

As I was sitting at my desk looking over my current clients with their specific needs nationwide, I was absolutely amazed at how many firms were looking to hire. I had a total of 45 potential positions with firms nationwide in both the public finance banking and the bond counsel...

You Have An Offer, Now Read Your Covenant

Congratulations, all your hard work has paid off! You have finally received your offer letter. At first glance your compensation looks exactly as they stated it would, so no concerns there.  You can feel yourself taking that deep, uninhibited breath - a sigh of relief because YOU’RE DONE! The reality,...

Bonus Season Brings Up One Major Concern: To Stay Or To Go

As bonus season looms around the corner, everyone’s expectations arise.  Employees are expecting to receive one amount, and employers are generally expecting to pay out another. When the two are not equal, then there is usually a degree of conflict and a differential that must be addressed.  Today addresses the...

Opportunistic Hiring Creates Your Ideal Future

I believe I have done my readers a disservice by not distinguishing job orders from opportunistic hiring, which is an area we specialize in.  First of all, let me clarify that 95% of all the recruiters work are job orders - we do not.  Why is that important to you?...

Do You Have What A Good Candidate To Be Hired Needs?

As the first month of the year slowly rolls to a conclusion, I think about the people that have already reached out to me this year.  Similar to last year when the calls were coming in on a regular basis, 2021 is demonstrating that it is going to be similar...

Is Your Mind Fooling You To Stay At Your Current Firm?

As we begin the new year, I started thinking about what advice I could give my readers that would shed some insight on the process of making a move to a new firm. Throughout the year so many people call us and want to pick my brain about what is...

Experience On Your Resume Isn’t Enough – Here’s What Is

It is time to look at the word “experience”, and what it means as it relates to getting hired from both perspectives of the candidate and hiring managers in public finance. This should be a simple topic as if you are experienced, you would be in demand; however, that may...

How To Compare Compensation Models Wisely

As I pondered what to start the 2021 blogs with, I thought about some conversations that I have had over the last month or so regarding compensation issues. I also thought of a specific conversation that recently occurred with Jennifer and a potential bond counsel candidate. Jennifer, as you may...

The Hiring Demands Of Public Finance In 2020 & 2021

As 2020 slowly (and I mean slowly) comes to an end, to say this is a year like no other year is an understatement.  So many negative things to discuss, but not here.  I want to end the year with a look back at the recruiting needs of our public...

Should You Be Concerned When Hiring Managers “Go Dark”?

I want to share a lesson that took me over three years to truly understand. "Going Dark" by both client companies and your hiring managers is the worst situation for a recruiter to help manage with his/her candidates. On the converse, for their clients too. We all tend to, as...

The Blueprint Of A Successful Recruiting Process

Last night as I was reading one of my books, I came across an interesting quote from Tom Landry who was a famous and historic coach of the Dallas Cowboys.  While reading this quote, I cannot help but be struck by the similarity between a good coach and a good...

Why Is The Resignation Process So Difficult?

Today we are going to address a rather difficult situation. You have been through the entire process where you have had all the interviews, your offer letters have gone back and forth, fingerprints are done, and a background check is complete. Everything is ready for you to walk into the...

Talk Is Cheap, Show Me The Money In The Compensation Package

The phrase “show me the money” should be familiar to most movie watchers. It comes directly out of a quote when Rod Tidwell (the unappreciated football player) states to Jerry Maguire (his sports agent), in essence, enough talk and to show him the money. We are going to address that...

25 Benefits Of Working With A Recruiter

Today's blog is going to be a little bit more self-serving than most. I am going to really delve into why everyone, no matter what your position or your company, you should be working with a recruiter. This does not matter if you are a candidate looking for a new...

What To Do When You Receive A Firm’s Counteroffer

What is the biggest fear of any recruiter or candidate that is getting ready to make a move? It is your firm’s counteroffer. Recruiters dread this phase of the hiring process. If they do not prepare their client for a counteroffer, they most likely will be surprised by this. The...

When Is Too Long Too Long?

As we begin to turn the final page of the calendar for the year, I have people asking me, “Should I make a move?” I know you have heard this question before, but today I want to focus on a different aspect of this. Typically, I will ask if the...

Is It Time To Get Back In The Game After Early Retirement?

As my regular readers know, I like to share new trends that I am seeing in the public finance space.  This one though (not earth-shattering) sheds light on the state of our industry.  We are all aware that there has been RIF’ing occurring. Additionally, we see the offering of early...

Let’s Talk About Firms Still Hiring For 2020

As we head into the final months of this year, I am repeatedly asked, “Can I still get a job for 2020 or should I wait for the new year to start my search in earnest? Are firms hiring in 2020 still?” The answer has to be determined by asking...

Insights On The Public Finance Industry (From An Executive Recruiter)

The typical information I usually write about is the hiring practices and process for both candidates and hiring managers. Generally, I will give suggestions and ideas on how best to navigate the public finance employment path. However, today will be slightly different as I share what I believe are public...

Are You A Firm That Values These 4 Themes?

I recently had a phone call with the Head of Capital Markets, and he asked me a specific question. That question was the following: Why are so many people in this strange environment that we find ourselves interested in making a move? Particularly more so than many other years past....

What Will Your Career Look Like In 2021?

Is it too early to start planning for your career path in 2021? Recently I’ve discussed client firms that are entering into formal agreements in 2020 with start dates in 2021. What happens if you are not engaged as of now? Is it too late to start the process? With...

It’s Down To The Wire – When Do I Actually Move?

It is time to address when the right time to move is. We're not going to look at if it's the right time to move or if it's the right company to make a move to; incidentally, we're going to assume that all of those concerns and questions are already...

Do You Know Your Contractual Obligations?

Today I will start by making a clear statement: I am not offering legal assistance since I am not a practicing attorney. I am only sharing ideas and situations that I have come across as a recruiter over the last 10 years. In previous articles we've addressed the issue of...

Thinking About Leaving The Finance Industry: Your Skillset & Options

Are public finance jobs for you? Yes or no? Now or later? I am not sure if it is because of the pandemic or people's lack of faith in the markets, but I get numerous phone calls from prospective candidates that are seriously considering leaving the public finance space. Let...

Is Fear Of The Unknown Crushing Your Public Finance Career?

Complacency can prevent you from making the next exciting and right move in your career.  Too many good bankers, bond counsels and those with public finance careers remain at their old firm for one reason. That one reason being they will not leave their old firm behind, even if it...

Whose “Right Time” Is It When You Make A Move?

My intent with these weekly writings is to share with you real experiences that other candidates and hiring managers are dealing with on a regular basis. Today's discussion relates to a conversation that I recently had with a candidate who will most likely be making a move by the end...

The Cost Of Working With An Executive Recruiter

“Is working with a recruiter going to affect my likelihood of getting hired?” This is a question I am asked often. I have also been asked, “Does working with a recruiter cost me any money?” Lastly, I have been asked, “Will working with a recruiter hurt my chances of getting...

How To Create A Realistic Business Plan In COVID-19

The key ingredient to get hired these days as a producing banker or public finance attorney is your business plan.  What are you going to do to grow your practice? How will you generate significant revenue to your new employer? Under normal circumstances these are rather easy questions to answer....

Your COVID-19 Compensation Model

As we continue to get our hands around COVID-19 as it relates to hiring, I want to discuss the compensation model and compensation in general. COVID-19 has caused a rise of angst throughout our entire community; however, it really has not caused a major disruption when it comes to compensation....

Can FOMO In Public Finance Professionals Exist?

Due to this pandemic I have my intelligent daughter across the hall to me.  Not something I had ever contemplated upon her completion of business school at a top university, but I digress. I am still a proud father.  As I read an article the other morning, there was the...

You Made The Wrong Move, Now What?

Recently, we've looked at the questions you should ask yourself and questions for your potential employer. Let’s say that you’ve finally made the decision to make the move; and sooner rather than later, you realized, “I made a mistake!” Maybe the firm that you thought hired you is not the...

15 Key Interview Questions To Ask Prospective Employers

We have addressed the important questions you need to ask yourself in preparation for an initial interview in a previous blog.  Now I want to address the questions that you should be prepared to ask your prospective employer to determine if this is the right place for you. If you’ve...

15 Questions For Your Initial Interview Preparation

After determining that there are definite positions in both public finance and the bond counsel world, we need to address the interview itself. Going a step further, let’s specifically look into the initial interview preparation. Most candidates that we have the pleasure of working with usually interview every five to...

5 Questions To Find The Best Recruiter For You

It still is a really good time to make a move if you have the requisite qualifications as enunciated over the last couple weeks. Now what do you do when you speak to a recruiter in finance?  First, congratulations on making that first important step. Either you were fortunate enough...

Reluctance Can Harm Your Future

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen a new trend, which I am frankly concerned to address.  Members of the public finance industry are getting more reluctant to have conversations regarding their career objectives and paths.  The calls we are having with candidates are from those who have...

The Future With COVID-19, Our Industry & You

Today's format is going to be different in comparison to my typical three to five paragraphs of insight. I have been pondering the questions that I have been asked over the last three months. Most of them come down to one or two ideas. First thought boils down to the...

An Open Letter To Hiring Managers About Our Forgotten Grads

Are you a recent college graduate? Do you have a recent college grad at home? As we lament about our missed sports seasons, read about our shortened MLB and NBA seasons, watch events with no spectators in the stands; we are completely forgetting about the missed opportunities for a recent...

Conclude Your Job With This Question

We have previously discussed the new skills that you need to convey while you are being interviewed. Let’s now shift the focus from your external approach to your internal approach. We have all heard a great deal about mindset, and that you need to be in the proper mindset before...

Don’t Sit & Settle. Get Ahead In Your Career!

A word to those in public finance and bond counsel positions: Put aside the COVID-19 dilemma we are all dealing with, and let’s look at what this market truly is like for public finance professionals. As I have mentioned in past blogs, our cottage industry is doing extremely well during...

Do You Have These New Skills?

Firms that are hiring are looking for these new set of skills. Do you have them? Are you ready to acquire them? As the country continues to re-open, I started thinking about how public finance professionals will have to evolve in order to thrive in this new environment.  As I...

Does Your Interview Process Include Reflection?

Like many of us during the last couple of months, we have had more time on our hands than usual. Last week’s blog I talked about reflecting on your current situation regarding the public finance industry. This week I want to reflect on any and all interviews that you may...

Reflecting On Your Present To Find Your Future

How are you feeling about the industry of public finance and/or your current company? The one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has given us is time. Time for us to reflect on what is important in our lives. As it relates to this article, it has also given us time...

Are You Prepared For A Video Interview?

The future of careers in public finance rely on video interviews. Can you get hired strictly by a video interview? This is a question I pondered, and the answer is yes. Recently, I had a candidate, who never had a face-to-face visit with the company or the hiring manager, get...

Public Finance Jobs & COVID-19

It has been almost a month since I have written my investment banking recruiting article, which was a deliberate hiatus on my part. First and foremost, I felt that more relevant information needed to hit your inboxes, Facebook pages, groups, and other social media outlets.  Unlike many recruiters I did...

Free Book on SBA Loan Approval Process

As many of you are aware I postponed my normal posts for a couple of weeks to let the more timely posts get your attention, I will begin next week on Thursday to resume my career transition blogs again. However, what many of you are not aware of is that...

The Price Of Being Indecisive

At one point I was going to write about the virus and how it is affecting the hiring markets, hiring managers, and candidates. Gears shifted, and I thought I should write about the markets in general and the effects on the hiring process. Then I considered just sitting back and...

It’s Possible: Move Your Team Together

Teams in 2020 are in vogue again. Financial firms want to acquire teams. It’s time to address the entire logistics of a team move.  In the past there are two schools of thought when it comes to moving a team or practice group. First, it is much more difficult to...

After You Sign, Before You Resign

Today’s blog is going to be different indeed. I am going to discuss an area that is not typically talked about in debt capital markets, bond counsel or public finance. It is, however, one that needs to be addressed. It’s the interim period between signing an offer and resigning. Congratulations!...

It’s A Win-Win-Win With A Third Party

Whether it’s a professional recruiter or someone that can represent your interests to both parties and manage the process, a third party in the recruitment process is instrumental. As mentioned in previous blogs, communication is key.  From tax exempt finance experts to entry level positions, you must be capable in...

Don’t Play The Game Where Everyone Loses

Five years ago I wrote a piece on the lack of communication between two important parties. Truthfully, I was bothered by the content. Today I choose to revisit it with five more years of public finance and bond counsel recruiting experience under my belt.  Hopefully I am wiser and can...

Empathy Infuses Work Culture & The Hiring Process

Empathy is an interesting word. It’s not a word you’d think to use in reference to capital markets recruiting or anything else related to public finance. Should it be though? What exactly does it mean? By definition, it means “to feel what someone else is feeling or concerned about.” I...

How Useful A Recruiter Is For All

Three years ago, I wrote a blog about answering the question, “Why do I need a recruiter?” The most popular response then was: “I don’t need a recruiter. I know everyone.” Do you know who says this? Both the client companies that we are privileged enough to represent and the...

Can and Should You Move Your Business?

As 2020 is underway, movement is a foot. This blog is going to address who can successfully make a move, not necessarily who wants to make a move.  “The grass is always greener on the other side,” still seems to be a philosophy that many people are holding onto strongly. ...

Don’t Let Emotions Get The Best Of Your Move

First, may I wish each of you a very Happy and Healthy New Years! I apologize for missing the first blog of the year. While on vacation, I got that dreaded text saying, “Call home.”  My dad of 92, who is very healthy, was taken into the hospital because he...

My Secret Sauce For 2020

As we enter the new year of 2020, I want to thank each and every one of you that have faithfully read my blogs every Thursday.  Why every Thursday? I had an old (and I mean an older gentleman) that I knew, and every Thursday he would send me a...

This Investment Banking Recruiter Needs Feedback

For this week's blog, I am asking a favor: Would you please respond with the answers to the following questions? This way I can determine if, as an author and investment banking recruiter, I am getting my message across correctly.  I have had the privilege of writing Investment Banking Recruiter...

Hiring Firms Expectations & Offer Timelines

In previous blogs, I have addressed the idea of "Radio Silence" or others may call it patience. Radio silence is the time that passes when you are waiting to see if a firm is going to want to move forward. But today, I want to address patience as to waiting...

The Hiring Process In The New Decade

I do not know about you, but a new decade is both nerve racking and exciting. In the world of getting hired, the game has changed drastically over the last decade or so. We are going to explore these changes. More importantly, what these changes mean to you, the candidate,...

Key Players For Your Next Move

Who is on your team? Sounds like a simple question, doesn’t it? However, there is a significant dialogue hidden in this question. Capital markets recruiters or any recruiters in the financial industry will recommend that you know your team. Knowing who is on your team is a critical element to...

2 Critical Items To Conclude Your Interview Process

Today I want to share, in my experience of executive recruitment and more, two of the most important things you can do after your interview has ended.  Both will be elaborated on in this blog.  Even when you read these two things, you may say, “I know that already.” But...

A Realistic Business Plan Goes A Long Way

In a previous article discussing what was so special about $800,000, many of my readers enjoyed and commented on extensively.  I want to pick up on the main premise of that article, which was talking about the importance of a good business plan.  This is what I believe to be...

The Big Picture: Choosing The Right Firm

“A new focus to my 2015 blog,” was a slogan that was bantered about in the early stages of the PC wars. Managers were so afraid to make a purchasing recommendation, other than IBM, that they missed out on some great technological advances. More importantly, great deals on new innovative...

The Reality of the Beloved $800,000 Projection

What’s so special about $800,000? It appears that whether you're a bond counsel, public finance banker or even a series 7 financial wealth advisor; the requested amount of business the firm wants or expects you to move is $800,000. It does not matter if it's a bulge bracket, a super-regional,...

Should You Stay Or Should You Go?

"STAY!" That’s right, you read it correctly: stay. A word that most finance recruiters do not use in their normal vocabulary. I am not saying I am the only recruiter that recommends this, but I truly believe that most finance recruiters do not recommend this option enough. Why? Recruiters are...

How To Handle Background Checks

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about time killing deals. As a public finance and bond counsel recruiter, I want to address the very serious issue of background checks.  As we are in a fiduciary relationship with our issuers, whether we are public finance bankers or bond counsels, we can be...

The Walls Have Eyes – With Or Without Staffing and Recruiting

Today's blog is going to be more instructional than most.  This is not meant as a catalyst for companies to let people go prematurely, but as a precautionary message to all job seekers with or without staffing and recruiting on their side.  There seems to be a growing trend that...

Can Time Kill ALL Deals: What To Know About The Candidate-Driven Market

In a candidate-driven market, time can still kill deals. What do I mean by candidate-driven market? Simply that candidates have multiple options when choosing their next firm. I have seen more candidates change their mind about what firm they want to go to as time goes by. The firms that...

Is The Business Fun Anymore?

One of the most prevalent questions I receive from both the Public Finance Bankers, Institutional Sales and Bond Counsels is, “Is it time to look outside of our industry?”   Followed by, “Can I go to the buy side?” Or if more appropriate to your particular expertise, “Can I go...

A Word To Those In Bond Counsel & Public Finance

As a Capital Markets recruiter exclusively for almost ten years, I am asking you to read this blog carefully. Share it with your associates on both the Public Finance as well as the Bond Counsel business. As many of you know, I had stopped writing my blog on a regular...

Keep Your Head In The Game Even After Your Interview Ends

Your interview is completed, and you asked your closing two or three questions. What’s next? The first thing you do when you leave the interview is relocate to a place where you can sit and think about the interview.  While thinking about the interview, start to write down notes of...