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 either been let go or in fear of being eliminated due to COVID-19. This is a mistake; I cannot be clearer about this. Firms want to and are hiring as I have consistently said over the last couple months. Let us examine why your reluctance may be hurting you rather than helping you.
The Reality Of Our Public Finance Industry
Reluctance must deal with the perception of what is happening in the field of public finance. As a recruiter specializing only in the public finance industry for over 10 years, I have never seen a more elastic job market for public finance professionals. I chose the word “elastic” because we are not necessarily seeing an increase in positions. We are seeing an exchanging of seats and stretching of responsibilities as I have said time and time again. The old adage of, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it” is not the environment we are in. The environment is, “Fix it for today, so that it runs well in the future.” Firms are looking at their current professionals, analyzing how well they are performing in the marketplace, looking at how close they are to retirement, and looking at what their needs are today. Many of them are coming to the determination that they need to change their current roster to fill in some of the voids that are apparent as well as those not so apparent but will become over the years.
Your Abilities With Reluctance
As firms look to fill these voids, they’re looking for employed professionals with a good book of business. They’re also searching for those with an active database of issuers, bond counsels, financial advisors, or other professionals within the public finance industry that can assist and bring in new deals. If you’re a public finance banker or a bond counsel that can demonstrate that your business will follow you, and you have the ability to get anybody on the phone to take your call – you should not be reluctant to have a conversation regarding your career objectives and trajectory. If on the converse you are not comfortable with what I just suggested, then you should be reluctant to make any sort of move. However, you also should be carefully looking at your current firm as they evaluate you.
Reluctance Can Harm Firms, Hiring Managers And Candidates Alike
All you must do is pick up the Bond Buyer and read about the consolidation of our industry. Firms are merging, some are leaving the public finance industry in general, and other firms (ones we represent) are building up their public finance practice as they see the value proposition in this business. You must determine if you believe in your firm and their commitment to public finance.
If you do not believe they are committed to the public finance industry for the long run, you should not be reluctant to have any sort of conversation should an executive recruiter reach out to you. If you happen to be the hiring manager, you should be talking to us as we have high-level individuals that are looking for new opportunities. Finally, if a recruiter happens to call, e-mail or text you, it makes sense to schedule a call to listen to what they have to say and not be reluctant because of the COVID-19 environment that we are in today.
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.