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 have been saying over the last couple years, the market for new hires is not consolidating. It is adjusting by “exchanging” seats rather than eliminating seats. Firms that are hiring have become more aware of who they want to be; therefore, they are removing certain bankers that do not fit their core business and replacing them with bankers that reflect their new marketing plans. This also holds true for Bond Counsels as well as attorneys, who are finding out which firms are totally committed to the public finance space and which are not.
Your New Skills
Candidates for both public finance banking and bond counsel positions are going to have to demonstrate some new skills to be able to get hired. The days of showing up at the office of an issuer, putting down your business card and trying to get new business are probably on hold for quite a while. Relationships will be paramount going into this new phase of marketing and trying to get new business. Telephone skills, which have become somewhat laxed, are going to be extremely important. Your ability to get an issuer on the phone is going to be tested like none other. Firms that are hiring will be looking to the strength of your past relationships in order for them to feel comfortable that you can move your business. Demonstrating that you can get someone to take your call is going to become critical as companies start looking to fill their open positions again.
Got Skills? Prove It To Firms That Are Hiring.
How do you prove that you can bring over new business through a phone call, get on somebody’s calendar, and meet to have a comprehensive conversation? Everyone is going to have to think about how they can show that new skill strength to a new prospective firm. This should be an area that you concentrate on while preparing for your interview. Why? You need firms that are hiring to become confident in your ability to pull this off. During your video interview, the stories that you share along with your accomplishments must now include your communication style. Showcase your ability to be persuasive by getting issuers to set phone appointments. Issuers are going to be more selective than ever before. Their time as the world re-opens is going to be in high demand.
Self-Discipline & Working Remote
Another new skill of great importance is your ability to work independently of corporate headquarters. Candidates that can clearly demonstrate their ability to work from a remote location are in higher demand than candidates that need constant attention and/or hand holding (in this case, analytical support for the professional public finance professionals and administrative assistance for the bond counsels). This is not to say that firms will never offer this anymore. However, the day-to-day “hand holding” by sitting next to each other working on deals will probably be a thing of the past for some time. The more that candidates can demonstrate their ability to be independent and still get the job done, the more that candidate will be in demand to firms that are hiring.
As you prepare for your next career move, you will need to be able to adjust the way you have done business in the past. Practice and strengthen your new way of securing clients by not necessarily being face to face with them. Communicating these concepts will be the key to future firms that are hiring in the balance of 2020 and possibly even 21.
About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.