New Year inspiration: What 2018 can teach us about the 2019 job market

As one year comes to a close and another kicks off with fresh energy, ideas and inspiration, it’s instinctive to evaluate the lessons of the last 12 months and assess what will bring us professional and personal advancement in the future. 2018 was full of highlights both for our clients and our company, and before we focus on the anticipation of the new year, we’d like to celebrate some of our collective successes.

2018 achievements

The 20/20 Foresight Executive Search team was thrilled to once again be named to the Forbes’ list of “America’s Best Executive Recruiting Firms” for the second consecutive year. With a #15 overall ranking and the #1 spot as the nation’s top real estate executive search firm, 20/20 Foresight is honored to be recognized in this prestigious compilation for our highly specialized approach to recruitment.

Our ongoing collaborations with our clients to achieve their executive search goals are our main cause for celebration. In 2018, the 20/20 Foresight team:

  • Successfully completed 36 C-Suite searches

  • Realized a 94 percent success rate of searches within 6 months and a 99 percent placement rate within 9 months of the beginning of a search

  • Sustained an average 4-month search time for a C-Suite placement and 2.5-month search time for a mid-level Executive placement

  • Maintained a “stick rate” of higher than 92 percent on all placements since the beginning of 2017

These accomplishments set a high bar for our work throughout the new year and beyond.

As we enter 2019 with renewed drive and motivation, what industry insights and job market trends should we keep top of mind?

2019 employment trends and predictions

As we are all aware from the headlines, 2018 saw one of the strongest job markets in decades, continuing a surge of steady growth for the past nine years. The national unemployment rate hovered at 3.7 percent — the lowest it has been since 1969. This is all encouraging news, but how will the ever-changing job market fare in 2019? What will be the disruptors we should look out for?

We predict that heading into the 1st and 2nd quarters of the new year, hiring executive-level talent will remain hyper intensive, with the areas of finance/accounting and construction/development serving as bellwethers of these employment trends. However, as the year progresses, we do anticipate an overall slow down in the employment sector for the remainder of 2019, most notably for upper-level executives.

While the economy doesn’t seem to be slowing down as of yet, cracks are beginning to show. As a recent Forbes article explains, recessions are oftentimes unexpected and tend to be preceded by economic strength. The author notes that watching indicators such as retail sales, industrial production and the unemployment rate can help predict if and when a recession might hit.

Your 2019 to-do list

Armed with the learnings of the past year and the prospects of the new, what will your team’s success story be in 2019?

Prepare for your hiring needs in the new year by partnering with knowledgeable experts who specialize in your field. We call our approach the 20/20 Difference, and it means that you’ll have the industry’s best database, next-level search technologies, an extensive candidate evaluation process and a one-of-a-kind hybrid fee structure to bolster your searches and bring your company the nation’s top talent.

The 20/20 Foresight Executive Search team wishes you all the best in 2019. We look forward to working with you as the year unfolds and opportunities arise to add to your team.

This Month's Featured Search

This month, we completed a Vice President of Operations search for a leading commercial real estate company in Atlanta, GA.

Our client specializes in commercial office spaces and is expanding their business in the Southern US with several new acquisitions. The company was looking for a VP to oversee these new properties and handle day-to-day as well as big picture operations.

Per the client’s request, we first identified candidates in the Atlanta area that worked for similar companies in similar roles and produced a very impressive list of prospects. To ensure we are presenting a list of the most qualified candidates, we also launched a strategic marketing campaign, which involved tapping into our global database of over 100,000 professionals to identify strong candidates further out of the targeted location. Our client spoke to the three strongest candidates and narrowed it down to two finalists. In the end, they extended an offer to a senior executive, who is excited to play a larger role within a growing company.

The candidate is a senior operations executive with over 20 years of experience in managing large commercial office spaces. He is responsible for coordinating due diligence for all new acquisitions, onboarding of new property management, and all aspects of accounting. The search was completed less than 30 days after we were retained.

For more information on our nationally recognized executive search process, fill out the form to the right or contact our Atlanta location:

Wren Castle, Senior Principal

wcastle@2020-4.com | 678.537.6928


Featured Search of the Week

A leading, private commercial real estate firm has retained our services to fill a Vice President of Development role in their Los Angeles area office.

This senior candidate will be responsible for managing development and construction activities in and throughout Northern and Southern California, in addition to all other stages of the project life cycle. The ideal candidate will have at least 10 years of experience with commercial or industrial real estate developments and an advanced degree in Architecture, Construction Management, or Civil Engineering.

For almost 20 years, our client has successfully acquired and developed over 25 million square feet of commercial buildings and projects valued at more than $2 billion across North America.

For more information about this role and others in the Los Angeles area, fill out the form to the right or contact our Los Angeles Managing Principal:

Robert Peck

310.616.5020

rpeck@2020-4.com


Why Your New Employees are Leaving and How We Can Help

Reid Behrens, Senior Principal, 20/20 Foresight

20/20 Foresight Executive Search is a premier retained executive search firm that specializes in recruiting executives in the Real Estate and Financial Services industries. We work with your company to identify your unique needs and connect you with the most qualified candidates in the market!

A common problem most companies face is investing time and resources in finding, then training employees only to have them leave after a short time. Due to record-low unemployment and faster wage increases, employees are now even more emboldened to leave jobs or companies with which they are not completely satisfied. Research shows that several factors contribute to employees leaving their jobs, but a driving force for why new employees leave is company culture.

Cultural fit is a subjective metric and hard to estimate. Most employers rely on the traditional method: meeting the candidate face to face through rounds of rigorous interviews or through a more informal setting like dinner or coffee. The most obvious limitation with this method is that employers are spending a short amount of time with the candidate. They are only able to evaluate the candidate within a certain scope where key aspects of their personality or values may not be evident, especially since candidates often display the best versions of themselves when being evaluated. In this candidate-driven market, it is even more important for companies to conduct a more thorough candidate evaluation process in order to avoid wasting time and resources on someone who will end up not being a fit.

At 20/20 Foresight, every candidate is screened, interviewed, and evaluated through numerous aptitude and personality tests. Our recruiters also have decades of experience working with executives at every level and are therefore able to dissect all different forms of personalities and values to see if they are a match for your company. Since we make it a priority to build relationships with executives in addition to our clients, we are able to gather sensitive information that they might not readily divulge but could be a key trait that makes them not compatible with your company’s culture.

As of 2018, 89% of our executive placements are still employed at the same company--much higher than the 48% national industry average. We also offer several candidate guarantees, such as a 1-year guarantee on all positions and a 2-year replacement guarantee for C-level executives. To top it off, we have a 95% success rate, with the majority of our searches completed in under 100 days.

20/20 Foresight Executive Search offers extensive candidate vetting and, because we are so confident in our processes, an executive guarantee. With our services, you can be sure that our recruiters will find the right executive for your team!

With offices located across the U.S. and globally, our recruiters are ready to work with you in your desired area. Speak to one of our recruiters today by calling 708.246.2100 or fill out the form to the right.


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By the end of the year, Chicago will outpace the national average in hotel performance, boasting a 4.1% increase in RevPAR or "revenue per available room". Outside the Midwest, forecasts still show that hotels generally will experience a 10th consecutive year of growth.

For more market updates or information about our nationally recognized executive search process, fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to speak with one of our recruiters today.

Chicago Hotels Outpacing National Growth in RevPAR | GlobeSt.com

Featured Search of the Week

A large commercial real estate company is seeking a Director of Property Management to oversee its multi-family, commercial, and industrial investments in Chicago, IL.

This candidate will be responsible for day to day management of the properties, which include supervising all building employees, proactively communicating with tenants to address any operational concerns or property issues, developing and adhering to an annual budget, and ensuring that the buildings are running efficiently and safely.

The ideal candidate will have extensive experience in real estate management, with experience in leasing and construction a plus. A high-level understanding of financial and accounting principles are essential. A real estate license to practice in Illinois is recommended.

For more information, fill out the form to the right or contact our Chicago Senior Principal:

Reid Behrens
rbehrens@2020-4.com
708.246.2100 ext. 707


This Month's Closed Search

This month, we completed an Executive Vice President of Construction position for a public commercial real estate firm in the Phoenix, AZ area.

Our client is experiencing immediate growth due to new capital and was looking for an EVP to take on a managerial, but also hands-on role in overseeing new developments as well as renovations.

As part of our executive search process, our recruiters tapped into their extensive real estate network as well as our global database of over 100,000+ professionals to cast a wide, nationwide net for candidates with the right development background. Per our client’s request, we zeroed in on candidates with experience in overseeing all stages of the development process in addition to previous experience developing large, multi-million dollar healthcare projects. After rounds of screening, interviews, and assessments, we found a local executive ready to start a new opportunity with a growing company.

The candidate is a senior Construction Executive with 25+ years of experience in construction management in both commercial and healthcare developments. He accepted the offer, less than 100 days after he was presented, and is now responsible for managing several regional offices in addition to handling all the company’s development projects from urgent care centers to full hospitals.

For more information on our nationally recognized executive search process, fill out the form to the right or contact our West Coast leadership:

Jim McGuffin, Senior Principal

jmcguffin@2020-4.com | 214.414.2820


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In October, condo sales in South Florida continue to significantly outpace single-family sales in several categories including sales volume and price increases. Heightened demand for multi-family investments and rising interest rates are contributing to the trend.

How is your company tackling this fast-changing market? Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to find out how our executive search services can connect you with the top candidates in the industry.

Condos Winning South Florida Housing Race | GlobeSt.com

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Despite a dip in brick-and-mortar retail interest, investors continue to seek out stand-alone grocery stores due to their stable customer base. Chicagoland grocery stores, in particular, are getting attention from national and international investors.

In this rapidly changing market, is your team looking to make a change? Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.7100 to speak to one of our experienced recruiters today.

Investors Continue Going After Chicagoland Groceries | GlobeSt.com

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E-consumerism and the growing trend of fast delivery is pushing a wave of industrial investment interests in high-growth cities. According to this article, distribution warehousing to fulfill e-commerce demand is driving cap rates down in high-growth areas such as Phoenix, Denver, and Nashville.

In this rapidly changing market, is your team looking to make a change? Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.7100 to speak to one of our experienced recruiters today.

High-Growth Cities Join Traditional Locales in Industrial Peak | GlobeSt.com

Featured Search of the Week

A large, leading real estate firm focused in both residential and commercial markets is seeking a CFO for their New York office.

This candidate will be responsible for accounting operations, budgets, compliance, and financial reporting. This includes corporate accounting, regulatory reporting, risk management, forecasting, in addition to the development of internal control policies and procedures.

The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s in Finance, Accounting, Real Estate, or a related field. CPA highly desired, with 7+ years of experience in accounting for a real estate company. Continuously growing, this enterprise needs a leader who can handle all finance and administration as a member of the Executive Leadership team.

For more information, fill out the form to the right or contact our New York leadership:

Bob Cavoto, Managing Principal

bcavoto@2020-4.com | 646.873.6890 ext. 700

Bobbi Dahlstrom, Senior Principal

bdahlstrom@2020-4.com | 646.873.6890 ext. 716


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In October, companies added the highest number of workers in 8 months. The demand for labor continues to increase, which puts candidates at an advantage. Companies are more apt to present competitive offers, providing candidates an array of opportunities and options.

How is your company tackling this candidate-driven market? Fill out the firm to the right or call 708.246.2100 to find out how our executive search services can connect you with the top candidates in the industry.

Companies in U.S. Add More Workers Than Forecast | The Washington Post

Featured Search of the Week

A prominent, private industrial real estate investment firm has enlisted our services to fill a Vice President of Development position in its Los Angeles office.

This candidate will be responsible for entitlement, development, and construction activities across Southern and Northern California as well as all other aspects of the project life cycle. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s in Architecture, Construction Management, or Civil Engineering as well as professional experience with industrial real estate development projects.

For over 15 years, our client has successfully acquired and developed over 20 million square feet of industrial buildings and projects valued at more than $2.5 billion in core markets across the US.

For more information, fill out the form to the right or contact our Los Angeles Managing Director, Robert Peck, at 310.616.5020.

This Month's Closed Search

This month, we completed a CFO search for a large private investment and development firm in New York City.

Our client was seeking a CFO to relieve the COO of financial responsibilities. The ideal executive had to have significant experience in finance, investment management, and real estate development.

As part of our extensive executive search process, we conducted a nationwide search for candidates with the right technical fit. On behalf of our client, our recruiters evaluated candidates through rigorous rounds of interviews and tests that measure aptitude and personality. After strategically targeting immediate and surrounding areas, we found an executive in Washington, D.C who was willing to relocate to New York.

The candidate is a senior finance executive with 20+ years of experience in the financial sector. She accepted the offer and is now responsible for the development of the company’s financial management strategy and contribute to the development of the organization’s strategic financial goals.

For more information on our nationally recognized executive search process, fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to speak with one of our recruiters today.

Has Hiring Become too Reliant on Technology?

Bob CavotoManaging Principal, 20/20 Foresight

20/20 Foresight Executive Search is a hybrid retained executive search firm that specializes in the Real Estate and Financial Services industries. We collaborate with your company to identify your unique needs and connect you with some of the most qualified candidates in the market!

Recent advancements in automated technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are quickly seeping into HR and recruiting practices. According to studies, about 40% of large to mid-sized companies in the United States use some sort of automated system for traditional HR practices such as payroll. As it is further developed, many companies are starting to apply this technology towards more people-oriented tasks such as recruiting. The reliance on automated HR technology continues to grow, and many are wondering whether this helps or hurts the hiring industry.

One of the major incentives of implementing new technology is, of course, convenience; automated screening processes eliminate the tedious job of weeding through unqualified resumes, which allows recruiters to spend more time on other time-consuming parts of the process such as face-to-face interviews. Overall, this technology offers the potential for a more streamlined recruiting process.

However, there are arguments that, while technology does promote efficiency, it decreases accuracy. Are applicant tracking systems (ATS) able to point out qualified candidates better than humans? For example, ATS are matching softwares and only select candidates that match the specific requirements of a job. This excludes non-traditional candidates, such as career switchers or those who have been out of the workforce for a period of time, which arguably diminishes the potential of the candidate pool. Further, ATS are not capable of evaluating subjective qualities such as personality or organizational fit. If a qualified applicant is eliminated too early in the process due to lack of one requirement, the company could be missing out on that potential.

With 20/20 Foresight, our executive search process can help companies reduce their reliance on these automated systems without sacrificing efficiency. Our team of recruiters will work with your company to target executives that fit your needs by using the most sophisticated resources in the market as well as an extensive candidate evaluation process.

Using software to automate screening certainly does increase efficiency, however the candidate pool can be limited. With 20/20 Foresight, we can connect your company with candidates that meet every requirement and much more. Our recruiters can accommodate your company’s unique needs by tapping into our global proprietary database of C-suite, executive, and HR contacts and reach out to them on your behalf. For over 20 years, our team of in-house researchers has worked to build, update, and maintain our database of over 100,000 contacts from over 20,000 companies. We narrow down your geographic and skills preferences to produce a pool of highly qualified and interested candidates.

Once we have narrowed down a pool of candidates, we conduct an extensive candidate evaluation process. Automated systems are not capable of measuring subjective qualities like organizational fit, at least not yet. As part of our search process, we administer personality and intelligence tests to evaluate these qualities on measurable metrics. Our recruiters take on this evaluation process on behalf of your company, providing you the time-saving advantages of an automated system without the risk of limiting the candidate pool.

Our recruiters are ready to help you find the right executive for your team!

With offices located across the U.S. and globally, our recruiters are ready to work with you in your desired area. Speak to one of our recruiters today by calling 708.246.2100 or fill out the form to the right.

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Technology start-ups have been challenging several industries, with taxis and hotels being the most notable ones. Now these companies have turned their sights onto real estate. These start-ups in the "proptech" category are venturing into areas such as appraisals, building management, financing, co-working, co-living, building amenities and empty retail space.

Is your team prepared to tackle these new challenges in real estate? Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to learn more about how our executive search program can connect you with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced candidates in the industry.

The hot property that's next on tech's agenda: real estate | CNBC

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Fast-rising home prices and higher mortgage rates prompt experts to say it's better to rent than buy in this housing market. The monthly cost of buying a home has increased by 14% over the last year while the cost of renting has remained almost stagnant at 4%. The trend is likely to contribute to greater interest in multifamily investments.

Is your team looking to expand? Fill out the form to the right or call 708. 246.2100 to learn more about our nationally recognized executive search service.

It's better to rent than to buy in today's housing market | CNBC

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Rising interest rates, and the expectation that they will continue to increase, has lowered the amount of debt issued to fund affordable housing deals. Affordable housing projects make up about 25% of all new apartment construction nationwide, and this disruption has already started to affect the construction industry as well.

Is your team looking to expand? Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to find out more about our executive search services.

Rising Interest Rates Are Another Blow to Affordable Housing Market | WSJ

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While the majority of property investors today are drawn away from retail-based interests, there are some who see this downturn as an opportunity for a bargain deal. These investors are looking to address seemingly fixable issues and turn the struggling properties around.

Are you looking to invest in expanding your team? Our industry-experienced recruiters will work with you and your company to find executives that meet your unique requirements. Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to find out more.

Property Investors Scrounge Through Retail Ruins | WSJ

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With increasing wages and record low unemployment rates, job-hopping is on the rise. Employees are presented with more opportunities and are more inclined to leave jobs where they are not fully satisfied. How can managers keep employees happy and create an environment where they want to stay?

How is your company tackling this tight labor market? Fill out the form to the right or call 708.246.2100 to find out how our executive search services can connect you with the top candidates in the industry.

With job openings at record highs, here's how to keep employees from quitting | CNBC