Accelerating Economy Means Good News for Jobs Recovery

Hiring an executive search can be one of the most important decisions a company can make as we emerge from the global pandemic. Terri Naughtin of Naughtin Group weighs in on what to consider!

May 20, 2021 – The Labor Department reported that 444,000 Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 5,000 from 473,000 to 478,000. The four-week moving average was 504,750, a decrease of 30,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 534,000 to 535,250.

Economist surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 452,000 new claims as the jobs picture continues to improve thanks to an accelerated economic reopening across the country. “The overall trend in labor market conditions remains positive, even though it is unclear how that will translate quantitatively into next month’s employment data,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP.

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During the week, 51 states reported 6,605,416 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 5,141,311 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. The highest insured unemployment rates were in Nevada (6.1), Connecticut (4.6), Puerto Rico (4.6), Alaska (4.3), Rhode Island (4.3), Vermont (4.3), New York (4.1), Pennsylvania (4.0), the Virgin Islands (4.0), and Illinois (3.9). The largest increases in initial claims for the week were in Georgia (+7,404), Washington (+6,111), Illinois (+3,221), Pennsylvania (+2,156), and Ohio (+1,371), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-13,990), New York (-8,106), Vermont (-5,835), Nevada (-2,835), and Florida (-2,210).

Recruiting in Today’s Environment

Terri Naughtin is the CEO of Naughtin Group, a woman-owned national executive search firm based in Minneapolis, MN. The firm’s partners have expertise in the recruitment of C-level, board directors and other senior-level executives across multiple functional areas (including finance, HR, IT, sales/marketing, supply chain, communications, R&D, etc.) with a focus in the consumer, retail, hospitality, healthcare/life science and manufacturing sectors.

Ms. Naughtin has led and managed hundreds of executive search assignments across multiple industries throughout North America, Europe, and Asia during her career of more than 30 years. Representing Fortune 500 companies as well as small to mid-sized organizations, she has worked closely with a diverse selection of companies and their boards, CEOs and CHROs and search committees.

Ms. Naughtin recently sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media to discuss what companies need to consider when retaining an executive search firm. Following are excerpts from that discussion.

Terri Naughtin

Terri, what are the first things organizations should consider when retaining an executive search firm?  

One of the most important questions to ask is, can this search firm deliver the highest performing talent to our organization – talent that I can’t reach on my own? A search firm’s ability to deliver top executive leaders who are fully employed and successfully driving business results today is key. We at Naughtin Group take great pride in the power of both our network and our custom research capabilities to fulfill these expectations for our clients.

Discuss the importance of selecting a search firm with a commitment to diversity and inclusion? 

Diversity and inclusion have been priorities of the top companies for many years. A commitment to these ideals is one sign that paints these organizations as appealing for all candidates, not just those who are diverse. We share these values and welcome the opportunity to work with organizations who demand diversity and inclusion within their corporate culture.

A search firm’s ability to deliver top executive leaders who are fully employed and successfully driving business results today is key.”

How important is it to gauge how long positions take to be filled by the search firm? 

It is an important consideration. We typically complete our searches in under 100 days. The occasional search that requires more time is often driven by the client vetting process and the reality of scheduling challenges.

How has the global pandemic impacted how you conduct searches? 

The primary difference is the use of video technology for the interview process versus face-to-face meetings. The pandemic has greatly limited face-to-face interactions to the point where a number of candidates we have placed did not meet the client until after they were hired. Another difference has been the increased access to executive candidates due to their day-to-day work from their home office. These candidates have also been more reluctant to consider relocation due to their success experienced working remotely.

Related: 12 Reasons Why Companies Hire Executive Search Firms

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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