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 consolidate? All great questions I have no idea what the answers are going to be. We will just have to wait and see. However, what I do know is that remote positions are here to stay. Firms have decided that employees can and will continue to work remotely in the field of public finance whether as bankers or now even bond counsels. This blog is going to explore the current trends much more thoroughly.
Pandemic And Priority Shifts
I am going to list what I see are the current needs of both candidates and clients when it comes to those who work remotely and their conditions. First a brief explanation of what occurred. The pandemic brought terrible things to all of us. The one thing, if any, that it did help was that firms and candidates realized for the first time that they did not have to be in the footprint of where they were being hired and working. Firms also found out that their costs for brick and mortar were not necessarily as important as they thought in years prior. They did not have to have fancy offices to impress their clients, and thus downsizing has occurred across all disciplines. They found that employees could be more effective when they did not have to spend their non-productive time on the road traveling to and from offices and meetings when they could be done virtually. But any astute person knows all of this from living what we all went through.
Here are the needs of companies and candidates going forward in 2023 with the options and/or abilities to work remotely. Both candidates and hiring managers should be aware of these trends and plan accordingly.
1. Candidates have determined that they can indeed work from home. Most are opting now to have an executive suite where they can go – not necessarily the corporate offices, but a place where they can work effectively close to their home.
2. Candidates also have realized that they want the option to work remotely, so many candidates that are working with us want us to broach the subject of working remotely at least for a couple of days per week.
3. Candidates are now making remote working a part of their contract negotiations and asking for a specific time to work remotely before committing to making a move permanently; thus, opening the opportunities for candidates to look elsewhere for new companies to be associated with, not the firms that are already in their marketplace. Therefore, providing the opportunity to build a brand for a new firm.
4. Candidates are also willing to take pay cuts to work remotely and to have more control over the hours they work and are opting to do more work than they had in the past to justify the remote conditions.
5. Firms are understanding that their employees can be more effective and are more available for meetings, etc., as they do not have to count on traveling time.
6. Firms are finding out they can use shared space in corporate headquarters, thus causing them to downsize and even re-negotiate their current leases.
7. Many firms are going to a completely remote working model for senior producing bankers and bond counsels. However, junior employees are not getting this freedom as they need to be in an office environment to “learn the business.”
8. Firms are putting into their contracts their expectations of when a candidate that works remotely may have to move to a more permanent location closer to the home office. From experience, I am finding that when a candidate takes a remote position and they show they are more than adept at working remotely, these conditions of timing are tending to be extended, sometimes even indefinitely.
The above is not to say that everyone wants to work remotely, or that they feel comfortable working remotely. This is clearly an individual and/or firm decision, but it is one that needs to be addressed on all sides in 2023.
If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected] He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”
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 levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.