Blog

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...

It’s Never Too Late

As many of my loyal readers know, I like to share experiences that are prevalent in the week that occurred, but more importantly relevant to my readers. This week I was fortunate enough to get to collaborate with a candidate that I had not worked with for quite a while. ...

Don’t Let Fear Drive Your Career: Guide It To Make Impactful Choices

As we've remained in this candidate-driven market, I want to address an area that seems to be more prevalent. I have recently seen a greater reluctance to finally pull the trigger in making a move. Due diligence is done, client visits have been completed, and verbal offers have been extended;...

Background Checks: Where Everything Comes To Light

I want to address the whole issue of background checks. This will pertain to both public finance bankers, bond counsels, and other people outside of our cottage industry. Since we are dealing with money, assets, and fiduciary relationships, the background check that all the firms do is paramount for someone...

Your Happiness At Work Now Matters

It's rare that I have to contradict something that I wrote a couple of years ago, but there is definitely a new trend I feel obligated to share. I used to say that being a “job jumper” was extremely detrimental to your future. And I still stand by that as...

The Effects Of Pacing On The Hiring Process

I truly believe that because of COVID all industries across the board have changed drastically. We used to be able to make a phone call to make an appointment and maybe wait on hold for a minute (maybe two at the most). Why now is it almost 25 to 45...

You Never Know When You’ll Need That Trusted Recruiter

As I sat down today to write, I started thinking about all the people that I've worked with over the last 12 years. The one thing I would say to each candidate after they moved was, “This is not the end of our relationship but rather the beginning of our...

Where’s Waldo? The Hidden Answers In An Interview

When we were kids or played with our own children, I am sure most of you played some version of “Where’s Waldo?” For those veterans, do you remember the comic strip where you had to find the name of the artist, which was always included in the strip somewhere? I...

There Are No A, B, or C Firms When It Comes To Your Career

I must be honest with you; I've written about 150 of these blogs and sometimes the subject matter comes easily while other times it can take a while to percolate. This is one of those that had to percolate. The title itself may seem nonsensical at first. I can hear...

You Have A Signed Offer – Now Get Them Through The Door!

As I mentioned in our last blog, we are now in a candidate-driven market. Since I discussed at length what a candidate-driven market is, now let’s only address the employer’s perspective and what they can do to ensure a new candidate does walk through the door. Today is not necessarily...

Learn The Basics: What A Candidate-Driven Market Means For You

You have heard the expression “a candidate-driven market” or “an employer-driven market”. What is actually being referenced when they use those terms? First, what we are experiencing now is clearly a candidate-driven market, and we have been in this scenario for about two to three years. COVID certainly helped extend...

 An Open Letter To All Hiring Managers: Is A Sweatshirt Enough? Part 2

As a continuation of yesterday’s blog, let’s fast forward through the resignation process now that you know more communication daily is needed.  Regarding my daughter’s situation, they accept her resignation, and she gives her two weeks’ notice. As many of you know my dad passed away last week. My daughter’s...

An Open Letter To All Hiring Managers: Is A Sweatshirt Enough?

Hopefully, this topic will be eye-opening for anyone who has employees working for them in a remote environment. It does not matter if you are leading a team of two or leading a team of 5,000. The information I want to share with you is extremely valuable. I usually write...

Changes In the Hiring Process Due To COVID: Are They Here To Stay?

As we head into year three of the “pandemic” (a word I hate saying almost as much as “unprecedented” as it relates to COVID), we have learned many things about the hiring process.  This blog will attempt to identify what I consider to be the major changes in the hiring...

It’s Never A Perfect Fit

It’s never a perfect fit. Whether it's with your current firm or even potential next firm. A strange way to start a blog that's supposed to be optimistic and forward thinking, huh? If you've been a regular reader of mine, you know I tend to take the “high road” when...

Do Preconceived Notions Ruin New Opportunities For You?

As 2022 is unfolding there are a plethora of new opportunities being created. As I mentioned in a previous blog, now is the time to be in public finance. However, you must put aside your preconceived notions about the firm or management. It’s time to realize that the aging of...

It’s A Great Time To Be In Public Finance, Right?

“What a great time to be in public finance!” This is probably not a sentence you would expect to hear when looking around our field.  Most people would be sharing that the industry is consolidating and that there are fewer opportunities than in the past. Or they will be saying...

Finding The Right Recruiter For You: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we started to explore the relationship between candidates, clients, and recruiters. Now we are going to conclude by delving deeper into the type of recruiter that you would want to represent you, and the questions that you should ask to determine which potential recruiter...

Your U5 Form: How It Can Affect Your Next Move

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog “Finding The Right Recruiter For You: Part 2” to share with you this particularly important information. There is a major difference between a clean Broker Check as appears on the FINRA site and your U5 form when it comes to being hired. I am...

Finding The Right Recruiter For You: Part 1

Today we are going to address the issues of finding the right recruiter for you and how to deal effectively with them for your optimal results. On the face of it, this should be an extremely easy topic to address; however, it is much more complicated than you may think....

3 Things To Know & Share For A Great Opportunistic Interview

In my last few writings, I have been accentuating my process of opportunistic hiring and the benefits to both you (the candidate) as well as the hiring managers. It is the best of both worlds. But I do not want to be laborious. Now I want to share with you...

How Opportunistic Hiring In 2022 Creates Career Leaps & Bounds

As I mentioned in my previous two blogs, this year is going to be a prolific year for both issuers as well as movement of both bond counsel and public finance professionals. Last year everyone was busy working on existing deals and figuring out how to work within this COVID...

Our Final Blog Of 2021 & Survey Results For 2022

Fifty-two blogs are done, which means that the year is now concluding. This year has certainly been one for the books. I am not necessarily referring to only our industry but more so to the entire hiring community throughout the United States. As we headed into the last six months...

7 Questions

I want to hear from YOU! What are your predictions for 2022? Do you think issuance in 2022 will be greater, lesser or the same as 2021?Do you see more or less taxable transactions than in 2021? Do you see more or less firms in the industry as of the...

Happy Thanksgiving!

First of all, I want to thank my trusted and loyal readers of this blog for close to five years now.  I also want to thank everyone I have had the pleasure of working with this year so far.  Whether we had a brief conversation or one that went on and...

Get The Inside Scoop: Focus On The Story, Not The Name Of The Firm

I want to share another trend that I am becoming aware of way too often. I hope you do not see this blog as too self-serving, that is not the intent of it. It is to open both candidates and hiring managers perspectives. If you really believe that recruiters in...

Don’t Be Surprised: Have An Established Relationship With A Recruiter

Imagine my surprise when I checked my email and received the following message, “We are deeply sorry, but after 10 years of operation we have to shut down our fitness center.” At first this may not seem important or life changing; however, it’s difficult when you have developed a habit...

Times Have Changed: What You Should Know

This year I had the opportunity to share Halloween with my children and grandchildren. It has been over two years since we have been able to do that. The only masks that we saw last night were Halloween masks. As my son reflected at the conclusion of the evening he...

The Ultimate Portal: Timing Ensures Hiring Success

In the past we have discussed timing about when to make a move, but this blog is not about that at all.  Before I share the contents of today’s blog, I want to ask a question.  Have you watched the Lost Symbol on Amazon Prime? It’s the next portion of...

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” – Rolling Stones

As my wife often reminds me, I'm stuck in a music time warp. It's the 60s and the 70s for me.  Recently I was listening to a classic from The Rolling Stones, “You Can't Always Get What You Want.”. It made me think of certain individuals that I’ve worked with...

Prep For The First Interview To Get The Second

Now that we covered all the concerns over the last three weeks, you've made the decision to start the process, and we arrive at the interview phase.  Much has been written in the general media on interviews. In my humble opinion, I do not believe they apply as much to...

Concerns Of A Candidate Considering Making A Move: Part 3

If you have been following along over the last two weeks, we have been evaluating and discussing concerns of the candidate. Specifically, any concern that you may be facing while considering making a move.  You are at the point where you are serious about making a move, but that little...

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...