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Discussions with Dan-Summer 2009
What are your thoughts on this hiring market?

Over the last 2 weeks our firm has added 14 new job searches. This flurry of activity marks a clear departure from the recent recessionary trend. Particularly exciting is the wide diversity of salary, company size, and industry. Certainly as a firm, we are thrilled to see this new business. But, even more thrilling is the hope that this increase in demand is an indicator that the overall economy of our country is improving.

Are we seeing signs that the tide is turning? Will economists note August 2009 as the beginning of the end of the worst economic crisis since the great depression? Have we weathered the storm? I sure hope so.

Several of the customers responsible for the 14 new searches are long-term friends of the firm. I had the opportunity to ask them what motivated their call to us. I questioned, “Why? Why right now and not last week or the week after? Why did you pick up the phone and decide to hire today?”

Each response was nearly identical. First, business is slowly picking up. There are new orders on the books -- demand is up -- not significantly, but enough to warrant a call and justify a recruiting fee. Second, each of our clients does not want to miss the ability to take advantage of this market -- from a talent standpoint as well as a proactive desire to have a team in place that can effectively manage an upswing market.

So, I’d like to believe that business is on the upswing for us because business is on the upswing for others.

The good news is that people are hiring. We continue to be engaged on exclusive executive level hires ($100K+) at a rate seemingly unaffected by these economic times. This trend is supported by companies willing to take advantage of this market to upgrade their staff.

These are great times if you are the hiring manager with a budget – bad times if you are looking for work. Today’s Hiring Managers continue to be more than demanding in their search for the “perfect” candidate. Even as we come out of the recession, the trend continues to be that clients don’t want to interview unless the candidate has 12 of the 10 job requirements.

On the contract / temporary front – we are very excited to see projects re-emerging. Key decision makers are seeing this as an excellent opportunity to address staffing projects. The quality of the contract pool is at an all-time high, and the costs for quality contractual candidates are at an all-time low. Companies who find themselves in position to take advantage of this market are doing so.

What types of roles have proven to be hot in this market?

Without doubt, the hottest job in Atlanta over the past few weeks has been the Controller. From a $500M public company upgrading their Corporate Controller role to a $10M family business adding their first Controller, the demand for this position is back.

Other hot roles include the Senior and Staff Accountant.

What industries remain hot in this market?

Service
– Many companies in the Service arena have remained strong during these economic times. In most cases, our customers have been those companies offering either value-add or a low-cost service. However, in the past month we have begun to see activity across all levels of service.

Healthcare
– Healthcare has proven to be semi-recession proof. With only a few exceptions, we have continued to serve this industry at all levels – from Office Professionals, to Clerical Accounting, to upper level Project Work, to Direct Hire Placements.

Technology
– Technology companies who offer value driven products or software companies with a relatively low price point have negotiated these times most effectively.

Any golden linings to this market?

Contractors!

I have worked in this industry for 11 years and I have never seen a more qualified / less expensive group of contractors in our candidate pool.

I am never a fan of taking advantage of people; however, this market has many talented people that see the ability to work (even if it is below market) as an opportunity to stay fresh. Further, these candidates see contracting as an opportunity to position themselves with a company that may need to hire in this upswing market.

Even companies looking for help one or two days a week are finding exceptional talent that is ready to serve their need. For example a superb CFO who retired a few years ago, is currently working on a 2 day a week project. By plugging into this candidate rich market, the company is upgrading their financial function without adding the cost of a full-time CFO.

By utilizing this approach, companies can achieve their business objectives more efficiently and without breaking the bank. Because of the economic conditions we currently we have highly trained Financial Professionals who are very willing to work in this Creative Staffing model.

The WATERS Organization is your sister company, specializing in administrative office professionals, what trends have you seen there?

We are very excited about The WATERS Organization. Melanie Davis and Holly Monaghan have maintained an exceptional standard of excellence for Accountants One for many years. In celebration of their loyalty and dedication, ownership of The WATERS Organization was offered and accepted.

The result of this new structure is a company run by exceptional women. Melanie and Holly are currently running the day-to-day operations of WATERS. They will continue to staff Accounting and Financial Professionals, but the addition of WATERS allows them to further assist you in all areas of Office Professionals. From a one-day receptionist to a large data-entry project, WATERS can assist you in your staffing needs.

Ivie Hall rounds out the WATERS team.

How about the Raleigh office?

Brad Barbour, CPA continues to serve Raleigh with great success. The office has been opened for over a year and Brad has done a great job in filling jobs in the Raleigh area and identifying candidates who are open to opportunities in the Atlanta market.

Because of business demand, the Raleigh office recently added a new member to the team. Jeff Turk brings many years of both agency and corporate recruiting to the table. Jeff has already made an impact on the team due to his established network of clients and candidates.

Jeff is working closely with Brad to serve all your Accounting and Financial Recruiting and Staffing needs in the Raleigh area.

Anything new with Mission Critical Hiring?

“Mission Critical Hiring”
is a collection of 11 years of hiring “best practices.” I began this work as a document for my internal team, but the interest in the approach has encouraged me to share this proven process-driven approach on a wider scale.

You can learn more about the process at :www.danerling.com. This site outlines the Mission Critical Hiring process through a series of white board videos as well as a blog.

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