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Blog: http://www.challengergray.com/press/blog

March CEO Report: 366 Q1 Exits, Most Since Q3 2008

Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers rose 9.8 percent in March, as 123 CEOs left their posts during the month. Last month’s departures brings the first-quarter total to 366, the most in a single quarter since 408 left their posts in the third quarter of 2008, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The quarterly total was 18.4 percent higher than the same period a year ago when 309 CEO exits were announced, and 23.4 percent higher than the previous quarter, when 297 CEO changes took place.

Healthcare was the leading sector in CEO changes last quarter with 86, 31 of which occurred in March. Government/Non-Profit entities announced 50 CEO departures last quarter, and computer firms followed with 40.

Get the full report here.

34,399 March Cuts Close Lowest Q1 in Nearly 20 Years

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New figures released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. show employers announced the fewest first-quarter job cuts in 19 years, providing further evidence that the economy continues to gain strength as it enters the sixth year of recovery. 

The first quarter closed with 34,399 March job cuts, the second lowest monthly total since January 2013.  The only month to see fewer cuts during that period was December, when just 30,623 job cuts were announced.  The March total was 18 percent lower than the 41,835 planned job cuts reported in February and 30 percent lower than a year ago when March job cuts totaled 49,255.

Get the full report here.

There May Be Hope for Long-Term Job Seekers

Read the full analysis here.

Re-ignite and re-connect with your network

There may be a large portion of your network with whom you have not spoken to in several months.  Now is the time to re-connect with and expand your network.  If you have not joined online networking communities like LinkedIn, do so now and start connecting with former colleagues, classmates and other acquaintances.  If are on LinkedIn, revisit your list of contacts, because chances are good that their professional or personal situation has changed in recent months.  So, not only do you have a reason to check in with them (to congratulate or otherwise acknowledge their changed circumstances), but that change could put them in a better position to help your job search.  From each existing contact in your network that you reconnect with, make a goal to get the names of two to five new contacts they know who might be able to help with your employment search.

Remain positive

Don’t be defensive or take on the role of the victim when it comes to your prolonged unemployment.  Avoid phrases like, “no one is hiring” and “nobody wanted me.”  Focus only on the positive attributes you possess, what you have done to keep your skills fresh.  If the topic of your prolonged unemployment comes up, don’t dwell on it.  Move past it quickly with a statement like, “There have been many opportunities, but a mutual fit has been difficult to achieve.  During this time, however, I have had the opportunity to round out my experience through education, professional development, volunteer work, etc.”

Move away from resume-centric job-search strategy

Most Americans take the traditional approach to job search: scour the help wanted ads and send out resumes by the hundreds.  The only difference is that the help wanted ads have moved from the print newspaper to the Internet.  The biggest problem with this approach is that the resume is really just a way to weed out candidates.  A long employment gap on the resume is going to stand out and not in a good way.  Even without the red flag of prolonged joblessness, relying on a resume to get your foot in the door is a numbers game that favors the employer.  You might as well be playing the lottery.  In today’s market, employers posting a job opening will receive hundreds if not thousands of resumes.  They will maybe find 10 to bring in for face-to-face interviews.  Do you think they will go through every resume to find those 10?  No.  The initial key-word screening might narrow the field to 100 that a hiring manager will go through.  He or she will only go through enough to get the 10 for interviews.  Maybe that’s 50.  If you are number 51 in that stack, you are out of luck.

Uncover the hidden job market 

The other problem with relying too heavily on help wanted ads — whether online or in print — is that these represent a small fraction of the available jobs.  We estimate that as few as 20 percent of the available jobs are ever advertised.  The other 80 percent will be filled through employee referrals, personal connections and other backdoor channels.  This is why expanding and staying connected to one’s professional and personal network is critical.  It increases the chances of being in the right place, at the right time, when one of these hidden opportunities arise.  The other way to uncover these opportunities is to simply start contacting companies where your skills would be a good fit.  Your goal is to make contact with key managers in the department(s) where you would work.  Avoid going through the human resources department (unless that is your profession), as their goal is to screen you out. 

Reset expectations

You may need to consider working for less money than you imagined, working in a different industry or accepting a job title that differs from your aspirations.  However, your primary objective at this point needs to be getting back on the payroll so you can start filling in the experience gap.

Step outside of your comfort zone

An aggressive job-search strategy often requires you to do something that makes you uncomfortable.  Telling people you have not seen in ten years that you lost your job; cold-calling employers about job opportunities; asking a friend or former business associate for the names of five people who might be able to help with your job search, and then calling those people to request a meeting; and engaging in conversation with complete strangers at a networking event.  These are difficult activities for the most confident among us, but you must abandon any misgivings you might have in order to find a position.

February CEO Turnover Report: 112 CEOs Out

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Turnover among the nation’s chief executive officers declined 14.5 percent in February, as 112 CEOs left their posts during the month. While last month’s total was down from 131 CEO departures in January, it was the heaviest February turnover since 2010 when 132 changes were recorded, according to a report released Wednesday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The February total was 1.8 percent higher than the same month a year ago when 110 CEO exits were announced.  To date, 243 CEO changes have been announced in 2014, which is nine percent more than the 223 tracked in the first two months of 2013.

See the full report.

February Cuts Fall To 41,835

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The pace of downsizing declined slightly in the second month of the new year, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to cut payrolls by 41,835 in February. The February total was 7.3 percent lower than the 45,107 job cuts employers announced to kick off 2014, according to the report Thursday from global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

February job cuts were down 24 percent from the same month a year ago, when 55,356 planned layoffs were recorded. It was, in fact, the lowest February total since 35,415 job cuts were announced in 2000.

Get the full report here.

Relocation Rises as Housing Stabilizes

The percentage of job seekers relocating for new positions climbed to its highest level since 2009, as rising home values and the improving job market made it easier to pull up stakes.  Increased mobility among job seekers could help accelerate the recovery and provide relief to some employers struggling to find local talent, according to global outplacement and coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., which released the report on relocation Thursday.

Get the full report here.