CHICAGO – 20/20 Foresight Executive Search, a retained executive search firm specializing in the real estate, financial and service industries, was ranked #15 by Forbes on its list of “America's Best Executive Recruitment Firms 2018.”

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to rank the top 250 executive search firms out of more than 14,000 firms in the United States. Within the list of executive search firms that specialize in real estate and finance, 20/20 Foresight remains at #1.

“We are honored to have been named as one of the nation’s top 15 executive recruiting firms,” said Bob Cavoto, managing principal and founder. “Throughout our 20-year history, we have continuously striven to ensure we exceed our client’s expectations. Based on the belief that a strong recruiter supported by a firm with the right systems, processes, expertise, and fee structures can have a powerful impact for clients, we have carefully and deliberately built and nurtured the teams and resources needed to deliver for our clients.”

According to Cavoto, the factors that set 20/20 Foresight apart are:

·       Consultants that have extensive experience in recruiting as well as several years of experience in the industries they serve

·       A proven executive search evaluation process designed to source several qualified candidates, which is documented by consultants at every step and shared with clients

·       An online database, among the best in the industry, with more than 50,000 companies and 200,000 candidates

·       As “hybrid retainer” search firm, they require only a small retainer upfront with the remainder of the fee due only when a candidate is hired by the client

·       A one-year guarantee for all candidates and a two-year guarantee for “C” level searches, reflective of their pride and confidence in the search process

Company Rankings

The broad field of recruitment firms was divided into two main categories, Executive Search, which includes firms that place executives in positions with more than $100,000 per year in income, and Professional Search, representing firms who work filling professional and specialist positions that pay up to $100,000 income per year.

According to Statista, the ranking in these categories were based on two surveys:

·       A client survey including 4,500 candidates and HR-managers who were clients of recruitment firms within the last three years; and

·       A survey of 30,000 external recruiters from recruiting firms who were invited, as experts, to share their market insights.

The surveys took place between mid-December 2017 and mid-February 2018. Each respondent could name up to ten recruiting firms per category. An auto-complete function helped the respondent select a recruiting firm. Respondents also were able to recommend any recruiting firm which did not appear in the auto-complete list, but providing a recommendation was not mandatory. In total, 6,500 respondents took this year’s surveys with more than 14,500 nominations of recruiting firms.

To learn more about the Forbes Lists of America's Best Recruiting Firms 2017, click here.

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The hiring process can be very fast or frustratingly slow depending on the firm looking to add professionals.  This article outlines the typical steps in the hiring process as well as tips for job candidates.  If you need professional input and guidance in your job search, consider working with one of our career experts.  Step one is to fill out the form to the right and our career experts will be in touch.   

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Reid Behrens, Senior Principal, 20/20 Foresight

People who share their personal lives, opinions and random thoughts on social media may want to consider how it can affect their professional life and career path.  After all, seemingly bright futures have flickered to darkness because of incivility in tweets or posts on social media platforms. 

High-profile individuals who recently saw their career prospects dim because of offensive posts are Roseanne Barr and Donte DiVincenzo, the Villanova basketball player who came off the bench and played the game of his life helping his team win a national title and, for himself, MVP of the Final Four. 

But accolades quickly turned to accusations when his teenaged tweets, including those containing racist, sexually explicit and homophobic language, were discovered and spread rapidly via social media.  He, and the Villanova PR team, had to work quickly -- and believably -- to restore the lost luster if he hoped to go high in the NBA draft.  Perhaps because they were the tweets of 14-year-old, and as NBA players have been accused of and admitted to more egregious behavior, the brushfire burned itself out and DiVincenzo was drafted 17th by the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Survey Says…

According to a survey in 2017 by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers review social media presence to screen candidates before hiring. That’s a jump from 60 percent in 2016 and a mere 11 percent in 2006.

While most job seekers aren’t as high profile as Barr or DiVincenzo, social media musings can come back to haunt even the most qualified job candidate.  We counsel job candidates to review what’s on their social media sites and delete anything that could be deemed problematic and to post only positive or good news during the hiring process. 

Because going completely dark by deleting accounts will raise red flags with employers, we advise candidates to keep a presence, but make sure nothing written could reflect poorly on him or her.  Our counsel is backed up by that CareerBuilder survey which also revealed that 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate if he or she has no online presence.

In today’s politically polarized and increasingly uncivil atmosphere, any post or comment perceived to be offensive, be it political, religious or racial in nature, can derail an otherwise positive job candidate’s trajectory.

Benefit vs. Risks of Social Media

With hundreds of thousands of resumes posted online from which employers can choose, any negativity on social media can land a job candidate’s resume in the circular file.  With this in mind, we ask candidates to weigh the benefits vs. risk of moving up the career ladder for the pleasure of debating politics with far-flung “friends” they haven’t seen since 6th grade or have never met in person.

The CareerBuilder survey also showed that concerns raised as a result of reviewing social media caused 54 percent of employers to decide not to go forward with a job candidate.  The three most cited reasons were:

·       Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information;

·       Disclosures about the candidate drinking or using drugs; and

·       Discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion.

People published a real life example of a candidate getting fired before being hired. According to the magazine, a job candidate was informed that he’d been hired pending a drug test.  Within 20 minutes of getting the good news, an employee at the hiring company saw this post on Facebook from the new “hire”: “S***! Anyone know how to pass a drug test in 24 hours?!”

Just as employers use background checks to get a fuller assessment of a job candidate than what is revealed through a resume or interviews, social media screening is another tool to determine whether a candidate should be hired.  And, unlike criminal background checks, employers can research a job applicant’s social media profile without making the applicant aware

According to the results of a 2016 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the top four reasons why HR professionals said they use social media screening in evaluating job candidates were:

·       The ability to gather more information on a candidate than would be provided by a traditional resume and cover letter;

·       To verify information in a resume and cover letter;

·       Social media sites were included in the resume; and

·       The time and effort expended is outweighed by the information gained.

On a positive note, if done right, cultivating an online presence also can lead to an offer if a candidate posts with the intention of getting a job she or he wants in mind. The CareerBuilder survey showed 44 percent of HR professionals have found posts or comments on a candidate’s social media site that resulted in them hiring the candidate. What was on social media that had a positive influence?  The top four were:

·       A candidate's background information supported their professional qualifications;

·       Great communication skills

·       A professional image; and

·       Creativity.

In addition to counseling job seekers to review their social media presence, we also tell them to do internet searches of their name using two or more search engines.  We do that because candidates might be unaware of a social media site that was created as a practical joke or personal attack and could contain entirely false information.  There also is the chance that there is more than one person with the same name in the same industry whose background might not be as positive.  Better to know that going in, so it can be handled proactively.

If you're interested in more personalized counsel as you consider a job change, schedule a conversation today with one of our Executive Marketing experts by calling 708.246.2100 or fill out the form to the right and we'll be in touch.

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There is no singular way that the hiring process works.  As this article points out, “It depends on the company and what methods the company uses to find applicants for employment. However, most large and some small employers have a formal process that it follows to recruit and hire new employees.”  Our career experts know the ins and outs of the hiring process and stand ready to assist job candidates.  Learn more about how they can help by filling out the form to the right and our career experts will be in touch.   

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As much as we might try, it's impossible to map out every aspect of our lives. As this article points out, "no matter how carefully you plan, you’ll find yourself on some detours. This is especially true when it comes to your professional journey. With so much unexpected—and, many times, unwanted—change, it can be tempting to toss out the road map and simply go wherever the wind blows you."  Our career experts can help make sure you're on the right path.  Learn more about how we can assist you by filling out the form to the right and our career experts will be in touch.

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Will Salary Disclosure Laws Close the Pay Gap or Bring Unintended Consequences?

Stephanie Cook, Senior Principal, 20/20 Foresight

That question that job candidates like you hate and struggle with -- how much do you make? -- may no longer be asked in many places across the nation as states and municipalities are passing laws prohibiting employers from asking prospective employees their salary history. 

Employers in New York City lost their ability to ask candidates about their salary history with a law that went into effect in November 2017.  If found in violation, New York City employers can be fined can be as much as $250,000. San Francisco’s "Parity In Pay" ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2018 with employers in the City by the Bay facing penalties of $100 to $500 per offense starting July 1, 2019. 

In addition to those mentioned above, the states and cities that have already enacted the restriction on salary history are:

·       California (in effect);

·       Delaware (in effect);

·       Puerto Rico (in effect);

·       New Jersey (in effect for state agencies only);

·       New York (in effect for state agencies only);

·       Chicago (in effect for city agencies only);

·       Louisville (in effect for city agencies only);

·       New Orleans (in effect for city agencies and employees of contractors who work for the city only);

·       Pittsburgh (in effect for city agencies only);

·       Albany County, NY (in effect);

·       Westchester County (in effect);

·       Connecticut (takes effect Jan 1, 2019);

·       Massachusetts (takes effect in July 2018);

·       Oregon (takes effect in January 2019);

·       Vermont (takes effect July 1, 2018); and

·       Philadelphia (passed, but being fought in court by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia)

Meanwhile, legislatures in Michigan and Wisconsin passed measures prohibiting local jurisdictions from banning pay history inquiries and the governors of Illinois and Minnesota vetoed bills that banned the questions from being asked by employers in their states. 

Amazon Weighs In

Preemption language laws brought forward in Washington and Mississippi were voted down.  But, tackling the issue head-on, Amazon, one of the largest employers in Washington, announced in January that recruiters and interviewers working on its behalf can no longer ask interviewees what they made at their last job or consider their past pay.  With 30,000 employees in California where the law is in effect and thousands in other jurisdictions nationwide,  Amazon’s company-wide policy makes sense for them and was reflected in a statement released by the company that said the move is "in response" to changes in city and state law.

 Salary Inequity

Advocates behind the new laws believe that because of historical salary inequity between the sexes, demanding a salary history keeps women locked in a cycle of lower pay than men.  According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, in 2017 the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.8 percent.  Interestingly, the Harvard Business Review published a study in 2017 that found that women who were asked and refused to give information about their salary history were offered less than women who did disclose it. Conversely, men received a higher salary when they refused to answer the question than did the candidates who provided salary history.

As legislatures and local governments have been considering laws, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit determined that considering prior compensation when setting a worker’s pay perpetuates gender disparities and defies the spirit of the Equal Pay Act.  The opinion says, “Before this decision, our law was unclear whether an employer could consider prior salary, either alone or in combination with other factors, when setting its employees’ salaries.  We now hold that prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential.”

Some human resources and recruiting professionals believe that with the need for employees to continually add new competencies to their skill sets, going on past history alone is unfair to candidates and their skills.  There also is the fact that we are seeing many more job seekers who see salary as just one part of the compensation equation and are willing to sacrifice pay for more-flexible schedules, the opportunity to work remotely, an easier commute or other benefits they find key to job satisfaction.

Offering a bit of leeway, while the laws block employers from asking applicants about salary history in interviews or on applications, as a job applicant you are not prohibited from providing salary history.  Also, in some jurisdictions, employers still are allowed to ask applicants the salary range they expect for the roles and responsibilities of the position there are seeking.

Amid all this activity, we have found that the patchwork of regulations is confusing and complicates the hiring process.  But, whether passed piecemeal across the nation or if a federal law is enacted, the primary question remains: Will eliminating salary history questions assist in solving the pay inequity between men and women?   

Unintended Consequences?

As a senior principal in an executive marketing and job finding firm who deals with salary issues on a daily basis while counseling job candidates, I have concerns on unintended consequences of these laws and how they will affect the hiring process: 

·       When a prospective employer cannot determine a candidate’s current salary, will the initial offer be lower than it might have been had it been revealed? 

·       If they can’t ask about previous pay levels, will this cause an employer to ultimately pay less, rather than more had they had the knowledge? 

·       Could it be possible that these laws will diminish, not enhance, the chances for parity in pay between the sexes?

Answers to those questions are speculative and debatable at this point as the laws are recent and most haven’t been implemented. 

Know that with or without the provision of salary history data, on behalf of our clients we will continue to conduct respectful salary negotiations with both parties having full knowledge of the salary offer and the salary request.

Meet our Placement of the Month: Skills and Experience Allow a CFO to Become a COO

Our Client

Our client featured in May's Placement of the month had been the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a publicly held REIT who was casually looking for another senior executive role.  Based on his two long tenures as a CFO for public hospitality companies, he felt that he was ready for a much broader role in operations, asset management or perhaps finance.  

Our Solution

When we drilled down on his skills and experience, we discovered that he had competencies in accounting, finance, analysis, management, property asset management and real estate investments.  We collectively determined that he could easily be marketed as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or a Chief Operating Officer (COO) to a multitude of real estate investment and operating companies.  


Able to cast a wider net in terms of the C-Suite position, we found our client a Chief Operating Officer position that was local for him in the Mid-Atlantic states. His new position is with a major North American privately-held hospitality real estate investment company.

Whether in the US or the world, 20/20 Foresight Executive Marketing & Job Finding has been successful in representing and placing 500+ executives in the last ten years with our unique program of marketing and finding jobs for our clients.It's outsourcing almost every aspect of your job search to us! Experts in the field of career coaching and job finding

You could be our next success story. Schedule a conversation today with one of our Executive Marketing experts by calling 708.246.2100 or fill out the form to the right and we'll be in touch. 

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