Blog

Beyond the Obvious

Unlike most blogs we write, today's blog is addressed to all the hiring managers in the area of Public Finance. It does not matter if you are a manager at a Bank or a Bond Counsel firm, I have a question for you. Do you really know what an executive...

Career Satisfaction – Is Happiness Enough?

Do you know what the number one response recruiters get when they ask anyone about their desire to hear about new opportunities? Yup, “I'm happy here.” So, I must assume that everyone that we speak to - as recruiters - is experiencing perfect career satisfaction in their current position, but...

The Key to Getting Hired – Ease of Doing Business

What do Nordstrom and Amazon have in common? The simple answer is the ease of doing business with these two great companies.  Nordstrom, a famous department store on the West Coast, is known for their ability to take returns back with no questions asked, a philosophy the owners began with...

Employment opportunity and the road not taken

This week I want you to think about a deceptively simple question:  Why are people reluctant to talk to a recruiter about an employment opportunity?  It’s a straightforward question, but the answer can be quite complex.  I am very fortunate to be recognized as an expert in the field of...

Time is on my Side

For all of us old rockers, this title may ring a bell. And for those too young to remember Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones, this is one of their most well-known songs and I’ll bet you’ve heard it referenced somewhere. My wife and I recently had the pleasure of...

Don’t Miss Your Next Opportunity Because of First Impressions

This week, as I sail the high seas on vacation, I was contemplating different scenarios that have occurred over the year where people, and now even my daughter, have or would potentially lose out on great opportunities because of first impressions. First impressions are ones that you should be aware...

What A Thank You Note Can Do For You

This may be a dry topic, but it is so important and many job seekers are overlooking it. I cannot stress the importance of a well-crafted, meaningful thank-you note to everyone you have interacted with at the company you are currently interviewing with. Why?  Because it’s your calling card that...

Is Public Finance In Your Blood?

As we approach the middle of the second quarter, I find myself asking if there is a litmus test I can apply to my candidates.  Is there one thing they each have in common, so that when I am talking to someone I know I can help them?  Is there...

You Can’t Replace The Human Factor: Technology & The Role Of The Recruiter

It’s time to explore the changing role of the recruiter with the advent of technology.  Everywhere we turn, AI (artificial intelligence) is being applied to make everyone’s job a bit easier.  From the blog writer to the medical profession, AI is being utilized.  Most blogs written now are being written...

Tick Tock Goes The Public Finance Firms Hiring Clock

Hopefully, today’s blog can reassure candidates who are waiting for some action from the hiring managers. There seems to be a common pattern among public finance firms, whether they be investment banks, regional banks, boutiques, or large and small law firms.  What’s the pattern?  The common thread is no one...

Are You Really Ready To Hang Up Your Dancing Shoes?

This question came to me after I reviewed the calls I had last week.  I had been given an assignment to fill an underwriter position, a rare task as most of my recruiting is opportunistic.  It was a very specific assignment in this case and one that I felt I...

Pain Vs. Pleasure: Which Is Your Motivation?

Why does someone make a move to anything?  Generally speaking, a person or a group of people are either motivated by pain or pleasure. Let me explain: you are either motivated by the prospect of moving towards pleasure or improving your current situation, or you are driven by pain and...

Firm Flexibility, Revenue & Ramp-Ups: New Candidate Tips

One of the new trends I am seeing across all sectors (i.e., public finance bankers as well as bond counsels) is the flexibility we used to have to show and hire bankers or counsel that were different from the firm’s initial sector focus.  Firms were willing to take chances and...

How Long Is Too Long? Waiting For The Senior Associates To Retire

As a child, I got the pleasure of visiting San Simeon, the location of the famous Hearst Castle.  If you’ve ever been to this landmark iconic location in California, you have been struck by the decadence from the gold inlaid pools to the vast flowing gardens, the indoor pool house...

The Perfect Fit: Does It Exist?

“There is no such thing as a perfect fit.” This is an interesting and hopefully thought-provoking sentence. In today’s world, there is no such thing as a “perfect fit” anymore. As we all know, the days of going to work for one company and retiring are gone forever. What does...

High-Quality Candidates: What They Look For In A New Company

We are back on track with sharing insights into the public finance and bond counsel recruiting world.  I want to share a part of an interview that just occurred when a new firm reached out to us to recruit for them.  After the typical questions of who we are, how...

Further Clarifications About Harlan’s Role

I want to address questions I have received after making the announcement of our new affiliation with Core Wealth Search, in which I was hired as the President of this new and exciting recruiting company.  In this week’s blog, I will be a bit off base from the instructional content...

“I Know Everyone”: Where Does That Get You?

“I Know Everyone!” It is a very simple phrase, to say the least, but what does it refer to exactly?  It can mean one of two things when dealing with recruiting.  It can be a hiring manager saying, “I know everyone, so there is no need for your services.” It...

Does Your Book Move With You To The New Firm?

Is Your Book Moveable?  You have been through the preliminary conversations with a hiring manager, whether in your head or in actuality.  As mentioned in previous blogs, this is the question that most people ask themselves in earnest when they begin the interview process.  Over these last years of blogs,...

How To Avoid Career Complacency

What Is Holding You Back? It is a relatively simple question.  The question should not take much thought process on your part, but it is really such a simple question.  These four words can convey so much about yourself.  Everybody has a reason to show some resistance to change in...

Your Cohesive Team Can Move Together

Man has been and always will be a social animal.  We like to be around people.  The recluse of society is shunned, but the social ones are enamored.  As 2024 has started, individual bond counsels and public finance bankers don’t want to make a move themselves.  However, they would readily...

It’s Only A Shifting Of Seats – Again!

Welcome to 2024! I trust this will be another great year for all of us. I am wishing you a very healthy and prosperous New Year. If you’re old enough to remember Chicken Little, he was the character who said, “The Sky is falling down, the sky is falling down.”...

The Adequate Offer: Final Thoughts For 2023

As we conclude the recruiter tips for the hiring manager and candidate series of 2023, I want to end on the importance of conveying an adequate offer and having it accepted.  Without an offer being acknowledged and signed, everything that you both have worked hard to accomplish will be a...

Finding Each Other’s True Professional Commitment Level 

As we continue with both tips for a candidate and a client company’s hiring manager, I want to discuss how to test for the actual commitment level of either.  I have found that a multitude of firms and candidates want to explore as many options as possible to determine who...

Inside Tips From A Professional Recruiter: Timing

Timing: Your Worst Enemy Or Your Best Friend  As we continue with recruiter tips to make your 2024 even stronger, I thought about the total concept of timing and how it reflects on hiring.  As time dictates, timing can be your best friend or your worst enemy.  I am not...

Inside Tips From A Professional Recruiter: Counteroffers

How Do You Avoid A Counteroffer? As we start to wrap up the end of the year, starting today I will be sharing brief but poignant inside tips to help from a professional recruiter. Whether you are a candidate looking for a position, a hiring manager, or internal HR, all...

Everyone’s Story Is Unique…Or Is It?

Insight From A Recruiter...That Affects Your Hiring Managers Too. I have thought long and hard if I wanted to write this one.  It’s one that has been circulating in my head over the last few months, but I have been hesitant to share this information for fear of offending anyone. ...

Who Will Be Getting Hired In 2024?

Who’s getting hired in 2024? This question makes it sound like a continuing theme as we wrap up the year.  However, this is a question I am consistently getting asked.  Is there going to be hiring in public finance next year? Are they going to add more positions or are...

Where Do The Flying Rumors Leave You?

As you likely know, last week a major bank came out and said they are seriously looking at their current stand on their role in the field of public finance. This comes on the heels of another major investment bank announcing they are out of negotiated public finance but will...

The Past Is Not The Past

Last week we discussed if you can still make a move in 2023.  Today I want to explore the parts of the move process that many are starting to overlook as the anxiety to get a new position increases. What area exactly? The crucial area of the background check.  ...

Can I Still Make A Move This Year?

Questions start coming in this time every year regarding the timing to make a move.  With bonus season looming right around the corner, candidates ask me, “Can I still make a move this year?”  The answer of course depends on where you want to move.  This blog is going to...

Learn Lessons In Public Finance Industry…

Firm Transitions We’re all talking about it!  Why not explore the topic more thoroughly and what it really means to the public finance industry in general?  If we must be to the point, it means very little.  What’s the topic exactly?  Firms are in transition again.  Now, there are no...

Can You Move Forward While At A Holding Pattern?

A holding pattern could become a real nuisance, especially if you are flying in an airplane and expect to land at a certain time.  You’re now late and everything that you had planned for the day is completely off schedule.  It’s the same when you are expecting to be moving...

To Hiring Managers: Why Partner With A Recruiter?

As I got to sit down and write this week’s blog, I could not stop thinking, “It’s been a while since I wrote a blog that is directly written to the hiring manager.”  Most, if not all, of my blogs always address the needs of the candidate; however, today we...

Know Your Priorities: Continue On A Strong Career Trajectory

How can you be the most effective to yourself when you decide it's time to kick the tires of a new opportunity at least?  You may wonder why you are even looking for a new opportunity.  Is this in line with your ideal career trajectory?  Was it the persuasiveness of...

A Call Today Opens A Door Tomorrow

As I sat down to write this week’s blog, I was reflecting on where all of my contacts and leads came from the previous week.  Was there a trend to the candidates that I was now talking to?  Were they all from bulge brackets or small regional firms?  Were they...

Circumstances Have Changed: Is It Too Late To Say Yes?

We’ve discussed the proper way to say no, but how and when to say yes is just as important.  It becomes even more critical if you are saying yes after turning down the offer previously or if you want to re-engage in the offer discussions after saying no. Saying yes...

How Do You Properly Say No?

We all know how to say yes to a job offer, but how do you say no?  Saying no the right way leaves the door open and shows respect to the hiring manager and the firm that you said no to.  Doing it incorrectly leaves a bad taste all around. ...

A Milestone I Am Grateful For

“We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you a special announcement.”  I think I had too much of Hurricane Hilary these past few days. It is affecting my writing style.  In truth, our thoughts go out to those on the West Coast who were hit way worse than we...

Skeletons In Your Closet?

We live in an information age.  Today anybody can find out anything about everyone with just a few quick clicks properly placed.  The internet has made the world your stage, and as such there is no longer the gap between the people that know and the people that want to...

What Makes You Different Makes Your Interview Stronger

As I like to do in these blogs, I will bring to your attention trends that I am seeing from candidates interviewing and hiring managers presenting offers.  The trend that is now showing its face is differentiating yourself; and I am not necessarily talking about diversity and inclusion topics, though...

How Much Proper Words During An Interview Matter

Words can have lots of different meanings. For example, the word for “snow” has over fifty different lexicons for the Eskimo in Iceland.  “Snow” does not just mean snow there; however, in the lower forty-eight, there is only one word for snow.  The way you use words is critical in...

What Has Changed In Public Finance Since June 1st?

There was nothing magical about June 1st. It was just an ordinary day, and I’m not even sure what day of the week it was. However, something in the world of public finance changed.  Firms were ready to move again.  I had noticed a hiatus in the hiring process up...

Your 1st Interview: Phone, Zoom, Or In-Person?

I would have thought by now that COVID has come under control, and the fascination with Zoom or Teams would have died down.  Instead, it appears that these video conference call interviews are here to stay.  A lot has been written on the tactics to apply when doing a Zoom...

7 Important Items To Consider When Contemplating A Move

What Candidates And Clients Should Consider... I trust everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July - now onto today’s blog!  In today’s blog, I am going to look at the areas that over the last twelve years seem to be the most significant for both candidates and clients...

Why Your Mindset Matters For A First Interview

One of the things that I am continually asked is, “What is the right mindset for that first interview?”  Everyone knows that mindset is the key to what behaviors you display. Like the saying “As you think, so you are.”  So, what is the mindset for that first interview?  Most...

Does The Changed Culture Of The Firm Make You Feel Alone?

Humankind has been and always will be a social animal; however, what about in a work environment?  When you first interviewed for your current position, you would not have gone over there unless you felt a true connection.  It’s not the platform that you went over there for but for...

Why Would You Not Talk To A Recruiter?

At the risk of maybe some redundancy over the last year, I think this is an important question you need to ask yourself.  If a recruiter is reaching out to you, is there any harm in talking to one?  The answer, like many answers in life, depends.  “What does it...

The Need To Sell The Vision Of The Firm…And Yourself!

Why aren’t people getting hired?  Why aren’t firms hiring? Two very important questions and both are answered the same way.  No vision.  What do I mean by no vision?  We are still in a candidate-driven market, so it’s up to the hiring firms to sell the vision of the firm. ...

What To Do When There Are Rumblings In The Street

Anyone who has been a student of the industry of public finance for years can feel it.  Issuance is down, interest rates are rising, and the FED is still increasing interest rates which makes it more expensive for borrowing.  Under economic monetary planning, traditionally that makes it more expensive to...

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

What Are The Common Factors? Are There Any For Entry-Level And Seasoned Professional Candidates? It’s time to get a bit nostalgic. I am a follower of Napoleon Hill and have been for many years.  Many of you may know his classic book Think And Grow Rich.  Well, I re-read this...

Q1 Reflections: Passive Candidates, Timelines & More

The following blog will differ from most other formats that you have gotten used to.  With the advent of Chat GPT – I am making this disclaimer: these are the thoughts and words of Harlan Friedman, and they only reflect what I as a Senior Recruiter in the space of...

What’s The Graying Of Public Finance Really Mean?

You would think a blanket statement like the “graying of public finance” would be a negative statement. And no matter how old you are, it’s a positive statement for the field of public finance.  As the two top political leaders plan their ascent to the White House again, both contenders...

Traditional Networking: A Blessing Or A Curse For Your Job Search?

The old adage was: When you lose a job, you tell everyone.  You share that you are back in the market with everyone that you know in all industries. As the expression goes with traditional networking, “You are only one step away from someone who can introduce you to the...

What Dating Can Teach You About Recruiting

Over the years many people have associated being recruited with going out on a first date.  The similarities between recruiting and dating are significant and by examining these we can help you become a better recruit.  On your first date, everyone puts their best foot forward. As the process continues,...

The Reality Of Your Resume Process

Today’s blog is going to address the truth about resumes; but, more specifically the question, “Do I even need a resume?”  The answer is: It depends on the level of candidate you are.  If you are a highly proficient senior-level attorney or banker, then you may not need a resume...

The Counteroffer: What You Should Know

Today more than ever there is a new trend that is increasing every day: the counteroffer. Now you may be thinking, “Harlan, this is not a new trend. There have always been counteroffers,” I would tend to agree with you wholeheartedly. However, there is a statistic that should make you...

A New Era: The Team Approach

What Does The Team Approach Look Like? As many of you are aware, over the last couple of weeks I have been helping my wife recover from a spinal fusion.  Not an easy surgery to say the least, but she is doing great.  The surgery was on the 27th of...

Is There Ever A Right Time To Move?

As we head into the last month of the first quarter, more and more companies are announcing bonuses and planning for the rest of the year.  With the reduction in force occurring at the major bulge bracket firms (and just being that time of the year when professionals like yourself...

What Does A Garden Leave Provision Really Mean?

In the past, we have explored the essential questions that you must be prepared to address and the manager's responsibility. We are going to jump ahead before following up next week with more essential points to cover.  Today we are going to explore the crucial topic of garden leave.  Even...

Back To Basics: Best Practices For A Successful Interview

Each year when the UCLA Bruins would begin their new season, whether you were a rookie or a returning senior, everyone got the same lesson.  To quote Coach John Wooden, “This is a basketball…” followed by a lengthy discussion of how to put on your socks.  Why did Coach Wooden...

What The Opportunistic Approach Entails: Part 2

This week we conclude the two-part series about what opportunistic hiring really entails.  We left off with the first interview being completed, now let’s address the conclusion of the process.  Once again, we will demonstrate the effectiveness of the opportunistic hiring process compared to traditional job hunting with or without...

What The Opportunistic Approach Entails

I shared last week that hiring managers are being inundated with a plethora of unsolicited candidates for one reason or another.  With the advent of a reduction in force and disappointment in bonuses, it's no surprise that managers are being inundated with applications.  However, as I shared last week, our...

Current Hiring Managers Problem: An Influx Of Candidates

2023 is in full force now. Everyone is back from their long holiday retreats, and current hiring managers are being inundated with unsolicited calls by bankers that are now looking at reality - their actual bonus checks.  Most bankers at this time have either received their actual check or at...

Your Reputation Within The Industry Proceeds You…Really

Even as we head into 2023, your reputation within the industry is the key.  What people and your colleagues think about you is important but sometimes what your competitors think about you is even more important.  As the field of public finance professionals narrows and the competition for great players...

10 Ways To Know You Are In Demand

Unfortunately, this week we laid my mother-in-law who lived to the ripe old age of 94 to rest.  She left a family of ten grandchildren, and as the designated two grandchildren got up to speak and share their thoughts about their loving grandmother Ethel, they decided to build a theme...

Hesitant About Recruiters? Let’s Talk About Why

As 2023 heads into the second full week bonus thinking are prevalent.  Everyone starts to wonder if their bonus is going to be what they expect or if are they going to get that dreaded surprise: it’s not what you wanted or more importantly what you deserve.  I have to...

Invest In Your Future: Know These 2023 Hiring Trends

As we ring in the New Year, calls are starting to come in again wondering how 2023 is going to change the public finance outlook as it relates to hiring trends.  I was pondering this exact question when I got my first call from an experienced banker and here were...

Reflect On 2022, Ring In 2023 The Right Way

52 weeks of blogs. I trust that you have learned a lot this year from these.  I enjoy writing them since they are a way for me to share what is going on in the recruiting world as it relates to public finance professionals.  Most of my blogs come from...

Working With Relational Recruiters Will Make A Difference In 2023

As we get ready to wind down the year, I want to offer a few final suggestions for 2023 regarding the significance of relational recruiters: To The Candidate: Do Not Hesitate To Reach Out To Relational Recruiters First, if you have ever started with a relational recruiter and you did...

4 Steps On How To Use LinkedIn Properly

I am going to try, and I mean try, to tackle the questions of how to use LinkedIn properly in a job search.  This may be counterintuitive to what a recruiter would share with a candidate or even a company that is looking to increase its personnel. However, what I...

Specialist Vs. Generalist: What Public Finance Firms Desire

As we continue with hiring trends for 2023, there is one trend that is just beginning.  Public finance firms are looking for bankers that are out of the ordinary, primarily traditional municipal bankers once coveted by firms are now being shunned for specialists.  That is not to say that if...

Public Finance In 2023: What’s The Hiring Picture Look Like?

What’s the hiring picture look like for 2023 in public finance?   If I was the Great Kreskin, I could answer that; however, I also know the Great Kreskin had the ability to read the signs.  Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent was a portrayal of the amazing Kreskin and was able...

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we get ready to sit down and enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with family and friends, I cannot help but think about how grateful I am for allowing me to help so many people and companies with their hiring needs over the last twelve years.  Because of the trust...

What Opportunistic Hiring Can Mean For YOU

Throughout the many years of these blogs, I have referred consistently to the term and world of opportunistic hiring.  In this week's blog, we are going to dive deep into the term and what it can mean for your future.  Not only are we going to talk about the term...

Top Misperceptions About The Use Of A Recruiter

As the year winds down, more and more firms are deciding to trim their excess fat going into 2023 whereas other firms are trying to add to their personnel roster, now the need for recruiters is continuing to grow.  However, some people are reluctant to use the services of a...

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… Or Should You?

We have all heard the expression, “Don’t sweat the little things,” and I believe that is excellent advice in general.  If you let yourself get bogged down on all the little petty annoyances that we all face day to day, nothing would ever get accomplished; would it?  But if you...

For The Prospective Candidate: Be Aware Of These Little Tricks

Today I am going to share with you the little unknown secrets that a recruiter will use in determining if they want to (a) work with you as a prospective candidate, or (b) if a hiring manager representing a company wants to interview you as a candidate.  Like all industries,...

To Enter, Re-enter, Or Leave Entirely: Transferable Skills

Today's blog is going to look at a question that is looming in everyone’s mind as we get closer to the end of the year and start to look with anticipation of next year.  So many times during the last quarter of the year I get the same type of...

Trends In 2023 & Working Remotely

As 2022 slowly ebbs to its conclusion, candidates and hiring managers are asking me what the trends are for 2023.  Will we see more issuance or less?  Are firms going to continue to hire or are we going to see less movement in the industry as more and more firms...

The Cost Of A Hiring Mistake For Candidates & Hiring Managers: Part 2

Last week we discussed the cost of hiring the wrong person from the company’s perspective and how important that was.  In this week’s blog, we continue with the cost to the candidate of choosing the wrong new employment situation.  This is such a significant question and one that should not...

The Cost Of A Hiring Mistake For Candidates & Hiring Managers: Part 1

This is such a significant question and one that should not be glossed over.  It’s one we have never addressed in all of our blogs, so today I get an opportunity to really stress this point to both candidates and hiring managers.  The cost of making a mistake in the...

Having The Debrief: Why It’s Significant

In this week’s blog, I want to address the technical area of the debrief.  This will only apply to those candidates that choose to use a recruiter.  The debrief is after the interview conversation where you share your interview with your recruiter.  Not only does a candidate have a debrief,...

Ask Yourself First…

Continuing with the theme of the last three weeks with the 10 most asked questions of a recruiter, I wanted to share some additional questions that you need to ask yourself as you begin to prepare for your opportunistic interview. I want to emphasize the word opportunistic because the way...

Top 10 Questions To Ask Recruiters: Part 3

As we wrap up this series, I cannot stop thinking about all the other questions that are asked of me during the year.  Yes, these are the top 10 questions, but more importantly, there are many more questions that each individual candidate or prospective candidate wants to be answered in...

Top 10 Questions To Ask Recruiters: Part 2

This week we continue with number five of our questions that are the most frequently asked questions of recruiters. The answers that I’m going to provide once again are going to be skewed towards my methodology of recruiting, which are truly opportunistic hiring scenarios. Just to reiterate, opportunistic hiring is...

Top 10 Questions To Ask Recruiters

Over the next couple of weeks, I want to address the 10 most popular questions that I am asked about working with a recruiter.  By understanding these questions and answers, the goal is that you become much more comfortable working with any recruiter no matter what industry you are in. ...

We Need To Talk About It: Bonus Compensation & Incentives

While on vacation the last couple of weeks, I received a series of emails talking about bonus incentives, how they work, whether they are consistent across the industry, claw back questions, etc.  Today I want to demystify the conversation about bonuses in general and be more specific as to the...

The Benefits Of Using A Recruiter: Part 2

Last week we discussed the benefits that a candidate would receive by working closely with a recruiter. We shared numerous reasons why a candidate should always be talking to a recruiter; the main one being that you never know what's going to happen, and you want to have that ongoing...

The Benefits Of Using A Recruiter: Part 1

In the next two weeks, we are going to be a little bit self-serving, which I tend not to be.  Today we will discuss the benefits a candidate receives by engaging the service of a recruiter.  Next week we will look at why a company would also engage a recruiter...

Why Are You Waiting To Say Yes?

It’s time to pose the question: Why it is so hard to say yes? You've had your interview, you know it's the right place to go, you've asked yourself the right questions, you know it's the right timing; and yet, you're reluctant to say yes. What is it that's holding...

It’s Not All About The Money

This week I celebrated my forty-first anniversary with my lovely wife Sharon. Celebrating 41 years today as I have been told is a major accomplishment; sad but a true statement regrettably.  I have always been one of the adages: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.  This leads to my...

You’ve Answered The Magic Question, What’s Next?

Congratulations! You've now had the first interview with the hiring manager, you've done what's been suggested, and you’re ready to answer the question: Do I want to learn more? At this point you only have two choices “yes I do” or “no I don't.” This blog will share with you...

The Most Important Question

I want to share with you what I consider to be the most important question that you should ask yourself at the conclusion of your first interview. People will have many different thoughts as they start the interview process; however, I believe by asking this question you will be more...

That Unexpected Conversation: Next Steps You Must Take

Today we're going to deal with what happens when you experience something that comes completely out of left field and leaves you with uncertainty about your future. You thought everything was going great in your current situation, and all of a sudden you get that dreaded phone call; HR wants...