Announcing U.S. Job Trend Projections for 2nd Quarter 2014

According to CareerBuilder’s Q2 2014 Job Forecast Report, U.S. companies planning to hire full-time, permanent workers will increase 3% this quarter, a full 7% more than the forecasted national average. That’s good news, even with other more subtle economic trends factoring in to job searches.

With the economy expanding and improvements to the housing market, consumer confidence is on the rise, which means that we could see significant job growth over the next two quarters.

Here are the top 5 industries expected to exceed the national average for hiring permanent staff:

full-time-staffJob openings for financial and accounting positions are the most challenging to fill.  “Accounting and finance is having a very difficult time finding candidates. Hiring managers need to adjust their expectations as far as what they can get skill wise and how much they need to compensate. It’s no longer a buyer’s market.” Executive placement firm, Stewart, Cooper & Coon, offers a variety of services for financial and accounting executives to conduct job search campaigns and discover open positions.

Many candidates are turning down offers. About 3/4 of employers state that 10% of candidates actually end up turning down job offers. The most frequent reasons were as follows:


Due to the highly competitive nature of the current job market, candidates will often have several offers on the table at once. Better prospects and unrealistic salary expectations were the most common cause for refusal. A full 71% of candidates felt the hiring company’s compensation was under par with their expectations and only 25% considered the offer they were given to be what they had in mind – and that number is declining.

compensationFor more insights and trends in U.S. jobs, check out CareerBuilder’s latest Staffing & Recruitment Pulse Survey. For more information about trends in U.S. jobs, contact Fred Coon of Stewart, Cooper & Coon.

From the Interview Room to the Board Room: The Importance of Having Integrity

Integrity is the foundation upon which strong leaders are able to find and retain followers. Without integrity, managers with leadership abilities create a company culture that lacks a core value system, which often spills onto the brand itself. Integrity can be developed, and developed it must be if leaders are to have a hand in truly supporting their company’s mission and building their team. It is also one of the top 10 trait employers value most! Stewart, Cooper & Coon trains and develops leaders for many organizations. They provide assessments and strategies to develop a strong leadership team.

What Integrity is Not

The old adage holds true that you cannot give what you do not have. You cannot lead with integrity if you do not personally possess or understand integrity. Integrity is a word that is often misused and woefully misunderstood. The confusion usually comes in when we use integrity to mean discipline. For instance, a common definition for integrity is to do what is right even when no one is looking. The truth is the willingness to do what is right is an act of discipline. Integrity is a much deeper issue.

What Integrity Is

To have integrity is a state of being. It is all of who you are. Yes, when you have integrity you will have the discipline to do what is right even when no one is looking; however, integrity is not just based on actions. Integrity is, first and foremost, the inner standard and values system from which your convictions, thoughts, feelings and actions flow. Second, that inner standard drives you to act. In short, it is the wholeness of your being.

How to Develop Integrity

In his book, Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality, Dr. Henry Cloud identifies six leadership traits that are present in someone with integrity:

  1. He is able to maintain trust in relationships.
  2. He makes it a point to face reality and get rid of known blind spots.
  3. He produces consistent results that make him dependable.
  4. He embraces negative experiences. He does not hide from them.
  5. He consistently strives to grow and get better.
  6. He is rooted in transcendent values that are bigger than himself like faith, God, the company mission, family.

First, let it be said that you either have integrity or you do not. Integrity is not a trait that only manifests at home, then in business it’s every man for himself. When integrity is present, it remains. Integrity is not easy to develop. It takes an enormous amount personal strength. The courage to develop your integrity takes careful and frequent introspection and the kind of transparency that most people – including many leaders – are unwilling to provide.

It takes an honest assessment of your assets and liabilities and the painstaking scrutiny of your own intentions and motives. No easy task. Developing integrity is a constant exercise in personal growth and often the result of painful experiences.

integrity2The Value of Integrity for Leaders

When you are in a position of leadership, integrity makes it easier for you to acquire and retain the talent and support you need to grow your organization. Without integrity, you oppose your own efforts and stagger your own professional growth. The tricky thing about integrity is it is often developed (or undeveloped) by the seemingly insignificant decisions.

You can do the right thing and be honest and disciplined in the things you do as a matter of habit. However, if you do those things and you lack integrity, it can still contaminate your team’s image of you (integrity is an integral part of teamwork).

It will manifest as a nagging feeling that you cannot be trusted. “I don’t know what it is about that guy, but I’d watch him if I were you.” The beauty of this natural ability for humans to perceive guile in others is what keeps us alive. But it can also be what keeps you from soaring as a leader, as most people are wise enough not follow someone they do not trust.

So what can you do right now to begin developing integrity? Identify what it is you believe. If you do not have a structured moral code, you cannot live by one. Your moral code is that list of non-negotiables. Second, line up your thoughts, feelings, decisions and actions with that code. Third, keep at it. Sometimes it takes a while to get the hang of it.

“You do not wake up one morning a bad person. It happens by a thousand tiny surrenders of self-respect to self-interest.”
– Robert Brault, American writer

Credit Scores: Can They Kill Your Job Prospects?

credit-card1As an Executive you know that a credit score impacts hiring decisions… or does it? Why are employers using credit scores in their evaluation processes? States across the country have all of the information on your balances, credit accounts and your debts. All one has to do is send in a form and get the report.

Companies and Credit Checks

According to one Society for Human Resource Management survey, there is a 47% chance an employer will look at your credit reports before they hire you, and could be the deciding factor in the hiring decision. It’s not unreasonable for a hiring company to ask an applicant to explain their personal finance decisions because those decisions will have a bearing on the way in which a possible executive will handle situations.

Any position having to do with money or management requires a second glance at your credit making decisions. Employers want to know that as an executive, you understand how to handle finances. This is also important in any human resource position where you may be creating and working with payroll.

Companies require a signature to even begin the check, and for many, the stigma that applies with saying “no” is like denying the option to take a vision exam or a breathalyzer test. It’s hard to sabotage yourself though, as long as you are honest with what the employer may find; bring it up with them before they complete the paperwork and send it off.

2013-08-20_1502The credit score has made an even larger impact in recent times in relation to the trending financial slump that millions are facing due to a recession that is sure to make the history books. Credit scores have lost a little of their once tried and true luster considering the rash loss of income for many hard working white and blue collar professionals. But regardless, you must be upfront with an employer about why there are issues on your report.

Improve Your Credit Score

You have many options to create a better debt free tomorrow:

  • Take all of your debt and consolidate them into one payment.
  • Call debtors and talk with them about arranging a payment scale.
  • And the obvious fix: pay off your debts.

These points are possible and are worked into many people’s daily lives all of the time. It’s easy to create a debt-free existence when you have a good job, but if your credit history is suppressing your possibilities, be sure to explain to your potential supervisor or coworker why they may see a red flag or two on the report.

According to a variety of responses on a recent WorkBuzz survey, many believe that credit checks are unfair. “I think that [it] is a disapproving move that an employer can check your credit and use it to decide if they want to hire you or not. There are many things in life that can cause one to have bad credit. What about companies that go bankrupt and go under a different name when they open back up? The person that has a bad credit history should be able to go under a different name and reestablish their credit

Perhaps, or perhaps we should take it in stride, realize that the company is looking for the best possible people to work with them, and deal with it. If you are worried about your credit history, bring it up and make them aware. They will see your true capability shine when you admit your flaws. For more strategies about interviewing, see Stewart, Cooper & Coon, an executive placement firm that specializes in assisting individual executives find employment and organizations find and develop top-level leadership teams.