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Contract Workers

Why Contract Workers Are Appealing in Banking

Contract Workers

With the market as hot as it is, we need to talk about contractors. Most banks don’t think about using contractors for those urgent or critical roles. It is not at the forefront of the minds of hiring managers and HR professionals like it is in other industries, such as Healthcare. Hospitals and healthcare providers are continuously using contractors to fill their most critical positions. However, in this tight market, more and more banks are utilizing contract workers.

In fact, I placed two contract positions last week for two different banks. If you think banking institutions aren’t interested in contract workers, you are definitely mistaken. So, when can or should you use a contractor for a role?

Critical Job Vacancies

For any role that’s vacant and is vital to your organization. For example, the operations side of the bank is an area that makes perfect sense to utilize a contractor. A recent study claims that over one-third of workers are considering quitting their jobs to take advantage of today’s market and find a new job opportunity. So, hiring a contract worker is ideal when you lose that critical person on your team, and you need someone to fill in immediately. Plus, it will help ensure you don’t burn out your other staff that is going to have to fill in for them until you find the person to replace the loss.

My team and I can fill those contract roles incredibly fast. I just filled a Mortgage Closer/Funder role for a bank in less than 24 hours. They lost a critical member of their team and needed someone that could handle those closings within a day of starting. We were able to get this bank a great professional contractor to fill in until they can find the right person. And if the contractor continues to do a fantastic job, they may get converted into a permanent employee.

Leave of Absences or Vacation

Another great reason is for Leave of Absences (LOAs) or extended vacations. With the laws changing with LOAs to offer more freedom for new parents, banks are in a pinch as they let their employee take the time they need with their new child. Or when someone needs to take an extended vacation but has essential tasks that still need to be done while they are gone. This is a natural place for a contractor.

You may not be looking to replace all of what that person does daily, but the bulk of what they do. You need to prioritize what that person does, and which tasks/responsibilities are essential to the organization. After you determine that, your team now knows what to look for in a contractor.

To put this in perspective, one of my top clients called me last week needing a senior accountant. One of their accountants is going on an extended leave, and they need a contractor to fill their place temporarily. We discussed the most critical responsibilities they required the contractor to be able to handle. We received this job order on a Tuesday, and we had a great accounting contractor in the next afternoon. She covered the must-haves and had some additional skills that will help cover the role of the employee on leave.

Hiring for a project

A common need for a contract employee is for project work. We do a ton of this in many areas of banking, including IT, Risk/Quant, HR, and BSA/Compliance. Our team has placed many people in these areas. When your project needs a subject matter expert or a regulatory requirement change, this is where we can help you get contractors in place. You will save money on the contract, and you don’t have to figure out how to utilize that person after the project if you decide not to bring them on in a perm capacity.

Plus, we handle everything for you; they just show up, work on their assignment, and move on to the next project. Many of our clients see the value of contract workers and consistently utilize Johnson Search Group to fulfill their temporary hiring needs. In fact, we just filled a role for a massive technology conversion with one of our banking clients. The contractor we placed with them has helped multiple banks convert to this new technology and knew the hurdles, pain points, and shortcuts to help make their project go smoothly.

Work with us to find your next contractor

So, when your next perm employee quits without notice, think about calling us to fill the role on a contract/temporary basis. Or, if one of your employees goes on an LOA, think about utilizing a contractor to perform the critical aspects of their job. Johnson Search Group’s banking team can get the bulk of the workload off your other employees’ shoulders, so you don’t lose them too due to work overload. If your organization needs someone now, give us a call and let us help you find your next contractor.

SBA BDO, Banking, California

The Booming SBA BDO Market In California

SBA BDO, Banking, California

At Johnson Search Group, one of the areas we specialize in recruiting for is SBA Business Development Officers. As we talk with our clients and candidates, we understand the vital importance of small businesses within the California market. In 2015, California small businesses employed 7.0 million people or 48.8 percent of the private workforce. Since then, the labor market has only continued to grow!

Today, small businesses make up 99.8 percent of all companies in the state. And California’s GDP grew at a rate of 3.5 percent through the third quarter of 2018, outpacing the U.S. national growth rate of 3.4 percent. It’s no coincidence that San Jose, CA was named the 2nd top city for small businesses in 2019! While this growth is incredible for small business, it’s putting a strain on the SBA BDO talent market. And it’s causing fierce competition to hire qualified Business Development professionals. But what exactly is driving this growth?

Rapidly Advancing Technology

With the advancement of technology like virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing, many small businesses are innovating how they work. Along with new technology comes lower barriers to entry. This makes it easier than ever for people to achieve their dream of starting a small business. High-tech companies make up nearly 12 percent of private-sector companies in San Jose, the highest concentration in the U.S., and almost three times higher than the national average. Just in the greater San Jose area, there are more than 6,600 technology-focused companies.

Diverse Workforce

In 2018, the top state for loan applications from women-owned businesses was California, with 13 percent. Nationwide, 1,821 new women-owned businesses were launched every day, with optimism the highest on record. Furthermore, women of color founded 64 percent of those businesses.

As of 2015, California boasted 1.6 million minority businesses. “California, Texas, New York, and Florida, the nation’s most populous states and home to nearly half of all minority residents, had the largest number of minority-owned businesses.”

Competition For Talent

While the entire U.S. is in a candidate-driven market right now, the competition is even more fierce in California. In a labor market this competitive, it requires more time and effort to fill critical positions with qualified talent. “Some entrepreneurs view the competitive labor market as an opportunity to improve their internal processes and position themselves advantageously for the future.” And while small businesses are forced to compete with large public companies, partnering with a recruiter can make a world of difference.

The recruiters at Johnson Search Group understand the markets you work in every day. In the SBA BDO space, we sympathize with your efforts to find great Business Development Officers. However, we also go a step further to immerse ourselves in the clients we partner with. So as your team hustles to keep up with the growing demand, we’ll be by your side providing the qualified talent you need to continue driving business.

banking industry trends

Mid-Year Banking Industry Overview

banking industry trends

Here at Johnson Search Group, we have a team of recruiters that specialize solely in banking and finance. They have hundreds of conversations with industry professionals every day, and through their recruiting efforts, they get a great pulse on the market and hiring trends. We sat down with Tracy Isakson, our Banking Division Manager, to gain some insight into the inner workings of the banking and finance industries, here’s what he had to say:

What were the main areas of growth in the banking industry throughout the 1st half of 2019?

This has been an interesting year so far. Right out of the gates, we saw a huge hiccup with the government shutdown, which affected the SBA & Mortgage divisions.

2018 was a stellar year for SBA growth, however, it slowed significantly as the year went on. That stunted growth was then compounded with the government shutdown and the banks and lenders not being able to close on those deals. As a result, the amount of money in the economy slowed significantly, immediately affecting the hiring trends in SBA. Most organizations are not going to be able to recover completely from that during this calendar year.

As organizations are trying to handle current business development production, hiring on the sales/BDO side have slowed. So, in the SBA and mortgage space, teams are focusing their recruiting efforts on operations and support roles in the second half of the year.

On the other hand, we are seeing strong growth in the conventional Commercial Lending space again after a bit of a slowdown in 2018. Banks are looking for strong tenured RMs to bring books and produce right away. And in order to secure these top producers, they are willing to pay top dollar.

How do you foresee recruiting efforts going for the 2nd half of 2019 in the banking industry?

By all indications, we are going to continue to move RMs to new banks. Both in the C&I and CRE space in commercial lending. Additionally, I’ve noticed more core banking operations roles coming onboard this year. IT, Risk, Compliance & Accounting are seeing growth as well.

M&A activity in the banking space is shaping up to be as busy as ever for the remainder of 2019. There are a number of banks in the market poising themselves to purchase or sell. It is pretty fun to watch banks taking advantage of this market. From four projected rate hikes to now holding, the FED has changed their tune and as a result of inflation concerns, a rate cut is likely forthcoming later this year. Banking professionals are doing everything they possibly can to capitalize on that. Utilizing M&A activity, growth in real estate lending, and the cash savings, they are preparing for a strong finish to the year.

Why should banks use your recruiting firm?

Throughout the Johnson Search Group recruiting team, we have experts that specialize in working with banks and some that partner solely with Credit Unions. We know who our target clients are, and we focus our efforts on our strengths throughout the banking and finance industries.

We work primarily with banks and credit unions that are under $40B in assets. The only exception to that is in the Risk/Quant space. We successfully partner with a few banks that are larger in size to recruit these specialized roles.

In the end, we are passionate about what we do, and we will go out of our way to help you fill the urgent needs on your team! If you are in need of some talent, reach out to my team and let’s work together to navigate this tight market.

contract staffing

Contract Staffing: The Key Hiring Strategy Your Bank Is Missing Out On

contract staffing

The current hiring market for the banking industry is extremely competitive. One of the best ways to get a leg up on your competition? Incorporate contract staffing into your hiring strategy! There are many benefits to hiring contractors, for both you and contractors. Moreover, contract staffing can be utilized in almost every department of your organization. Having partnered with several top credit unions and banks in the Pacific Northwest, I can attest that the need for contract staffing will only continue to drastically increase.

Contract staffing is everywhere

According to the American Staffing Association, America’s staffing agencies and companies employ 17 million contractors each year. Additionally, one-third of those contract employees end up receiving a permanent job offer from the company they are on assignment with.

Almost half of employers utilize contract staffing for IT positions

The need for contract staffing in financial services and banking covers a range of positions; from administrative duties to the mortgage department and even one of my specialties, IT. For example, according to Interactive Business Systems, 48% of companies have used a staffing agency for IT-related job functions. The era of digital banking is here and the need for talent in those areas is increasing.

According to Ernst & Young, “A recent study found that 62% of senior leaders in the banking industry believe that the digital talent gap, or the disparity between the supply of qualified people with digital expertise and the demand for those candidates, has been widening in recent years. As the needs of banks change, they will sharpen their focus on recruiting people with specific technology expertise.” In other words, there is a talent gap in the banking industry for exceptional IT professionals.

Mortgage loan professionals are great for contract staffing

My clients find that their need to hire support staff increases as the number of mortgage loan applications fluctuates throughout the year. Typically, I recruit very heavily for banks and credit unions at the beginning of the year to beef up their mortgage support teams. These contracts range anywhere from 6 months to one year. Thus, these assignments are just long enough to get them through their busy season. Fortunately, I have a large network of mortgage talent that I’ve built up over the years. This allows me to service the same clients year-over-year in accordance with their busy seasons.

Whether it’s a short-term contract or a long-term project you’re looking to hire for, I am happy to help! I understand the need for top-talent and the shortage of qualified candidates on the market today. Let me help you source contractors that are not only qualified but also excited about contract assignments!

Banking Trends

Banking Trends to Watch in 2019

Banking Trends

The Banking industry is transforming quickly to accommodate the needs and wants of consumers. Consumers are driving the market by changing how they interact with banking organizations. Users, especially Millennials and their younger Generation Z counterparts, want quick and easy access to banking services. And this revolution isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. As we near the mid-way point of 2019, here are a few banking trends to watch out for.

Privacy is becoming a priority

Security and privacy are a BIG concern with customers. In just the first quarter of 2018, nearly 1.5 billion records were compromised. As banking organizations continue to digitalize their products and services, it’s becoming extremely important for them to be transparent and honest with how they use consumer data. Banks will have no choice but to invest in their security tools and grow their IT teams to better protect their customers’ data from cyber attacks and leaks.

A shift in culture

By 2022, the primary channel to access banking services will be mobile devices, with 90 percent of consumers using their phones or tablets to access their bank accounts. In other words, traditional banking models are becoming increasingly irrelevant. In fact, only 49 percent of millennials prefer to bank with access to branches. Thus, banks must change how they engage with consumers because less and less of them are physically walking into branches to access banking services.

Brand loyalty is diminishing

Brand loyalty is also becoming less important for consumers. Gone are the days of sticking with the “family bank” and using them for all of your banking needs. Rather, the younger generations are more concerned with costs and ease of use. 28 percent of Millennials prefer to bank online for better rates as opposed to just 11 percent of Boomers. Customers want the best rates and lowest fees they can find. As a result, they are shopping online instead of walking into the neighborhood branch when it comes to securing a loan or opening up a new line of credit.

Get the talent you need to meet these changes

The Banking industry is ever-changing. It’s constantly implementing new strategies and services as demands from consumers develop. If your team needs help finding the right talent to help accommodate these banking trends, let’s work together. Our team at Johnson Search Group can help you find the candidates you need to adjust to the growing demands from your customers.

job market

How Good is Today’s Job Market?

job market

You’ve read the news and seen the reports. The labor market is competitive. But is today’s job market really as strong as people think it is? The short answer is yes! Here’s a brief overview of today’s job market and how to navigate it if you’re an employer.

According to LinkedIn’s May Workforce Report, gross hiring in the United States was 7.4 percent higher in April 2019 than in the year prior. And we are also experiencing an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent, which is a near 50-year low.

The labor market is really strong, and some industries are more competitive than others. To put this in perspective, the three industries Johnson Search Group specializes in (Mining & Heavy Industrial, Banking, and Healthcare) have all seen tremendous growth over the last 12 months.

Mining

The Mining & Energy industry has come back to life in recent years. Over the last year alone, the number of unemployed mining professionals has been cut in half from 39,000 to roughly 17,000 people. Moreover, year-over-year growth in the Mining & Energy industry is 4.9 percent. And over the last two months, the growth has been 2.2 percent, from April to May. In April 2019, the unemployment rate in Mining was just 2.4 percent, well below the nation’s average.

Banking & Finance

In April 2019, there were 12,000 Banking & Finance jobs created. And over the last 12 months, 110,000 jobs were generated in the industry. Average hourly earnings in the industry have also risen over the past year from $34.46 an hour to $35.53. The unemployment rate in this sector is well below the national average at 2.1 percent. The Banking & Finance industry has a 7.7 percent growth year-over-year.

Healthcare

263,000 Healthcare jobs were added in April 2019, overshadowing the average monthly gains of 213,000 for the last 12 months. Not surprisingly, the Healthcare industry has continued to grow rapidly over the year. The industry experienced year-over-year growth of 7.5 percent over the last 12 months. And this growth will keep climbing. Healthcare became the largest U.S. employer in 2018, and by 2026, the industry will add nearly 4.0 million jobs.

How to navigate this market

With how competitive the market is, it can be difficult to find the talent your team needs. It’s a candidate’s market and employers cannot afford to drag their feet when making hiring decisions. You must move quickly to ensure you secure top talent.

Have you ever thought of the costs incurred from a vacancy on your team? There are several hidden costs associated with unfilled positions at your organization. According to SHRM, the average open position takes 42 days to fill at a cost of $4,129. The cost of vacancies can certainly add up as good employees take advantage of this hot job market and move onto other opportunities. Many of our clients are incurring these indirect costs and don’t even realize the financial impact of unfilled positions.

If you find yourself in this same boat, have you thought of partnering with a recruiter? A recruiting company, like Johnson Search Group, will help you find the qualified talent your team needs quickly and help you mitigate these costs. We have a huge network of great candidates ready to make a move and make an immediate impact on your organization. Let’s have a conversation and help you fill some of those vacant positions.

Millennials

Financial Institutions Must Change to Attract Millennials

Millennials

Millennials make up the largest portion of the workforce today. Banks and credit unions must change the way they attract and retain talent, especially when it comes to Millennials. Many Baby Boomers are reaching the retirement age. In fact, 10,000 Baby Boomers are retiring per day. Millennials are stepping in to fill that void. By 2025, it’s expected that Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce. With Millennials responsible for such a large percentage of the workforce, banks and credit unions must change to accommodate them.

The 2018 Bank Director Compensation Survey shows that about 83 percent of banks have changed their approach to attracting and retaining young talent. Those who haven’t adapted to the change have attributed this to one single issue: Millennials consider the culture of financial institutions to be too traditional.

Ask your Millennial employees for input

Millennials are looking for employers who share the same social values as they do. In other words, they are looking for companies that add value to society and positively impact the lives of others. The best way to understand how to transform a company culture to be more “meaningful” is to ask your Millennial employees for their thoughts and ideas.

What better way to understand what appeals to Millennials than asking them directly? The younger generation loves to be involved in the decision-making process in their workplaces. They keep a pulse on social activities, charitable causes, and events that will help their local communities prosper.

How to reach this generation

It’s no secret: most Millennials can be found at any point of the day with some sort of digital device within arm’s length. Social media has changed the way financial institutions market to consumers as well as the way they operate. In order to be competitive in the marketplace, being up-to-date with technology and digital resources are going to be a huge factor in attracting and retaining Millennials.

The Millennial stereotypes

Over the last decade, you’ve heard the negative stereotypes of Millennials. For example, they’re lazy, disloyal, entitled, and expect a trophy for everything they do. However, instead of having a negative perception, think of how their mindset can change the way you do business and the opportunity to adapt to this ever-changing digital age. Look at them as collaborative employees, eager to learn new skills; they’re typically extremely adaptable to change and open to new ideas. These are qualities that most Millennials possess in today’s workforce.

This change is inevitable

If companies can change their mindset about the younger generation and showcase a culture that adds value to society, they’re on the right track to attract the younger generation. And like it or not, Millennials are the dominant member of America’s workforce. So, if your organization can make the changes to attract this generation, you’ll be ahead of the competition!

SBA

Are You Struggling to Attract All-Star SBA BDOs?

SBA

The new year is upon us already. Man, 2018 sure flew by, didn’t it? SBA had another great year. All indicators two months ago were that 2019 is going to continue to be a great year as well. However, in the last couple of months, some things changed and it appears that SBA lending will slow a little.

Because the economy is still strong, business is exchanging hands and people are still willing to venture out on their own to open their own shingle. Those things will help the SBA space for 2019. I just read a couple headlines and predictions that by the end of 2019, we will be back in a recession. Now is the time to find the best shop that will continue to lend during a recession in the event that we are heading in that direction.

Finish your deals while you can

Many BDOs are looking for safer shops that are large and don’t have to sell the loans on the secondary. Most BDOs are trying to find the fit that can get their deals done. As I always tell all the BDOs and Managers, that if you’re at a shop that gets your deals done, you need to stay put. Unless there are other circumstances that are forcing you to leave.

If your bank is being bought by an institution that doesn’t really do SBA lending now, you probably need to find a new home before the deal finalizes or you might be holding a bag of deals that can’t get done at the new bank. As a recruiter, SBA is such a passion for me! Even though I’m not a lender, SBA is the backbone of the U.S., it’s fascinating to me. They drive growth, change, and innovation in the larger companies and support local economies immensely.

Ensure the deals are getting done

As a company, if you’re looking to retain your best talent, you need to make sure the credit side is great and the deals are getting done. If you are saying no too often, you will start losing your top producers and will only be able to capture C-quality talent. These producers talk a big game but don’t produce all that much. You want someone that talks to so many other banks that can help you with ideas on how to make things better for your BDOs without increasing the expense side of your budget.

I just worked with a new shop and helped them build an SBA program. They had some ideas but were way behind on deals and compensation structure. I worked with them and now they have a competitive structure. With this new structure, they captured a huge hitter that is getting SBA deals done. I also just worked with a Director of SBA for a top 100 7a shop in the nation. We worked together to change the incentive plan to be competitive, even if they decide to hold the loans.

Let’s work together

If you’re struggling to retain or capture talented BDO professionals, let’s have a conversation. I will work with you and your team to make your shop recruit your next all-star lender. Or if you are a BDO looking for your next home, reach out to me and let’s find you a shop where you can get your deals done efficiently.

resume

The Must-Haves on a Resume in the Banking/Credit Union Industry

resume

The financial services industry is ever-changing and so are the needs/requirements for the talent the institutions typically seek. Sure, there are some positions within financial services that require past banking experience. However, we’re going to take a look BEYOND experience and discuss the other details that you must include on your resume.

Education

This may seem like a no-brainer; however including GPA, Cum Laude, or Dean’s list info can be very beneficial. Especially for those that have recently graduated. If you’re well into your career, this rule does not apply to you because your experience will speak for itself. Banks and Credit Unions also love to see any Banking-related certifications or degrees.

Certifications/Awards

Listing your certifications or awards from either prior jobs or from school is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates that may be under consideration for the same role. There are a ton of certifications that are very desirable in the banking/financial services industry, such as CFA, FRM, CISA, or CRCM. Certifications illustrate your knowledge of the industry and show your dedication to the financial industry.

Volunteer Experience/Extra Curricular Activities

Many banks and credit unions have heavy community involvement. According to Her Campus Media, “Volunteerism can equip a student with ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills including technical, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership, to name a few. Most people who volunteer are devoted to a cause and can easily convey their enthusiasm via a natural narrative.” These qualities that you’ve gained from volunteering—communication, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and enthusiasm—are superb skills to have listed on your resume, cover letter, and other applications materials.

Specific Accomplishments

Accomplishments are important because it illustrates your contributions to your previous employer. When you’re detailing your accomplishments, make sure to be complete and precise in what you say. Use exact numbers or any sort of quantitative result when you can. These statements are very impactful as it shows the potential value you may add to the institution you’re applying with.

Banks and Credit Unions, obviously, are driven by numbers, most of the time. Whether it’s a dollar amount, a percentage of growth, money saved or decrease in error ratio, these are all great ways to make your resume stand out.

banking

Now’s the Time for a Change in the Banking Industry

banking

Now that the elections are done, we can get back to somewhat normalcy in our lives. Thank goodness! Those ads were getting really annoying on every radio station, billboard, and tv station constantly.

So, how is the banking industry going you ask? Great question. The recruiting in the banking/credit union space is fantastic, but not on all fronts. Overall, banks are hiring like crazy. They are expanding divisions, growing departments, and of course, replacing those that leave. Right now is the best time to be looking if you have been with your bank for some years and you are ready to grow even more in your career.

The banking industry is hot

This is fantastic for candidates that are looking to make a move before January 1st. The unemployment rate is at a 48-year low and the number of unemployed persons has declined by 449,000 workers. If you are in the banking industry, your options are abundant. But for hiring managers, this is a different story. Employers are struggling to find qualified candidates as the market gets tighter and tighter.

I wouldn’t recommend looking if you have been with your current organization for less than two years unless there are extenuating circumstances (bank changes credit box, leadership changes, bank selling, etc). 2018 was such a great year for growth. Banks are needing more people then they can find. Your skills are wanted and needed and you get to decide what you want to do.

Get the help you need before the new year

2019 will allow you to grow the way you want and put you in the place you need to be to grow into the next phase of your career. I have never been so excited about what lies ahead for the banking industry. As you are looking, answer that call from the recruiter; they might just have the opportunity that you are looking for. Reach out to me if you are looking for a change of scenery in 2019. I can help you find the next step in your career.

And if you’re a hiring manager and having a difficult time finding the candidates your organization needs, let’s have a conversation. I want to work with you to fill some of those vacant roles before the new year begins.