Tuesday, March 13, 2007


My colleague Robyn Greenspan reminded me that today marks two years that she coerced me into doing a blog. Given that my normal attention span is something short of a nano second, I found it hard to believe that I have actually stuck with it, mostly because I still have an uncomfortable feeling in putting my thoughts on electronic paper when no one has asked for them. Just seems a bit presumptuous. I am much more comfortable when people ask me for my opinion rather than my just putting it out there as if it was too important not to.

Still, it has been and continues to me an interesting experience for me, and I have to admit, there are times when I feel better for having written some things down.

Anyway, Robyn, who in addition to heading up the publication of one of our bi-weekly newsletters called the Career Smart Advisor, also gets "rewarded" by being the author of our annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report survey which she is just finishing up as we speak.

In addition to my blog, Robyn also reminded me that this year's EJMIR as we call it, also has an anniversary. Specifically its 15th. Hardly seems possible, but for sure it's true, and in preparing this year's report, Robyn shared a few interesting stats that have developed over the years.

While it won't be published in its final form for another few weeks, for those who are interested, here are a few early headlines:

Back in early 90s, healthcare, medical/pharmaceutical, high tech, environmental and manufacturing were identified by recruiters as the top five growth areas in executive hiring. In this latest 2007 report, three of the frontrunners have shifted positions, and environmental and manufacturing didn’t even make the top five list.

On the other hand, some of the issues that were at the forefront of executives’ job search journeys in 1992 are the same concerns they have today. Age discrimination and the length of time to find a new job are two issues that have been most prominent over the last 15 years. We’re happy to note considerable improvement since 1992.

In 1992 (remember that recession?) a 41- to 50-year old executive could expect a search time of roughly 14 months, but in 2007 this has shortened to 9 months for this age group. Fifteen years ago, executives aged 51 to 60 could expect a 16 to 22 month job search. Now, those in this age range report that it should take under 11 months before they land a new position.

The biggest — and most encouraging — progress lies in what we’ve learned about the 60+ executive. In 1992, this group of senior leaders expected it to take 27 months to find a new position — more than twice as long as what the 60+ group is now reporting on average about their expected time in job search.
I know there are some who would wonder why one would even comment on someone over 60 or even 55 for that matter in terms of making a career change thinking that over 60 and jobs is an oxymoron. Maybe it was close to that 15 years ago, but it isn't now, and certainly isn't given the current dearth of talent in many sectors. It isn't just about "adult supervision", it's about the retention of 'know how' and the passing of knowledge in order to remain competitive both domestically and globally.

If this were not the case, you would not be seeing the surfacing of such sites as: Retirementjobs; Jeff Taylor's new gig Eons, Senior Job Bank or Jobs4.0 which is the most recent of which I have become aware.

And from the more things change the more they remain the same department, every year in the survey we have asked the search world how long it takes them to fill an assignment. Interestingly enough, the answer has not changed over the course of the entire survey. The answer then and now is 3-4 months on average, technology notwithstanding.


The Edge said...

Let me tell the 14 readers of Six-Figure Learnings about the Dave I've known for 15 years and why having him blog actually makes sense...

Dave is the quite lurker type, the person who prefers to survey an entire room from the periphery much in the way a shark swims the ocean, silently registering electrical impulses from seals frolicking miles away. When the shark is hungry enough, it hones in on the one seal that will live the shark sated. At times, that one seal is enough for a few days; at other times, the shark will wait just offshore to pounce on any tasty morsel that swims its way.

Same with Dave and blogging: Dave doesn't blog every day or on a fixed scheduled. He surveys and tracks whats out there and when his body tells him to blog, he does. Just like the shark is the classic example of a primordial killing machine, Dave is the classic example of the primordial blogger.

Just when it's necessary to drive home a critical point.

Dave Opton said...

As usual, The Edge is right on point, which is why it has the outstanding reputation it does in the blogsaphere.

For my part, my next posting may be delayed a bit more than usual while I consider that I have finally reached that point in life where "primordial" is an accurate description of both my personality as well as my age.

Steve said...

Sorry Dave but when you've been preaching and providing environments for social networking and insightful POVs about careers and recruiting longer than most recruiters these days have been in business, you're lucky I didn't use the word prehistoric.

But then again, AARP is catching up on me so who am I to talk...