The August 2011 Career Conference & The Economy

The Cameron-Brooks Team and the August 2011 Career Conference JMO candidates will arrive in Charlotte, NC this Friday to kick off our fourth Conference of the year.  As we head into this conference I wanted to share a few thoughts and observations as to how this conference is shaping up and how the recent economic activities have impacted career opportunities for our candidates.

First, I’m sure everyone is aware of the roller coaster ride that has been the stock market these past several weeks.  Additionally, the S&P downgraded the United States’credit rating from AAA to AA+.  Now, neither of these are good things but let’s keep a few things in perspective.  First, the stock market is not the economy.  It represents the valuation of stocks of companies and I think we are seeing that there are quite a few stock prices that have been overvalued.  But that does not mean these companies are in poor financial health.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite in many cases.  When I discuss our client companies with Rene’ Brooks and Chuck Alvarez, who manage those relationships, what I’m hearing is that our companies have strong balance sheets, good cash flow and are looking for more opportunities to invest that cash.  This is the biggest difference between now and back in 2008-09 when companies had a different financial situation.

Overall, unemployment remains at 9.1%, down a tenth from the previous Bureau of Labor and Statistics report. For JMOs, the more relevant number is 4.3% which is the unemployment rate for those 25 years or older and who have a college degree.  This is much lower and more positive than 9.1%.  Another telling statistic is job creation.  In June, the net job creation was 18,000 jobs with commercial business creating 57,000 jobs and the government cutting 39,000.  However, in July we saw an increase in job creation with a total net of 117,000 jobs and 154,000 coming from the private sector and government cutting 37,000 jobs.  So, while there is still uncertainty in the market, you have to peel back the onion to determine what is really going on and what it means to you as a JMO.

We have a great Career Conference lined up this weekend for both the companies and the candidates.  Sample industries for the August conference include: Logistics, Medical Device, Biopharmaceutical, Semiconductor, Telecommunications, Mining and Materials, Oil & Gas Exploration, Consumer Products, and more.  It’s a broad list of companies from Fortune 500 type companies, to those not on the Fortune 500 because they are either privately held (the second largest privately held company in the US  measured by revenues will attend this Conference), internationally based or small rapidly growing (less than approximately $4.3 billion in revenue). Sample positions include: Program Management, District Manager, Field Clinical Representative, Project Engineer, Pricing Marketing Engineer, Commercial Procurement Manager, Manufacturing Leader, Six Sigma Black Belt, Business Analyst, and more.

The bottom line is that despite what is on the news, radio or in the newspapers, the opportunities available with Cameron-Brooks remain strong. Cameron-Brooks’ clients continue to demand Development Candidates and as a result, the interviewing/hiring bar is high.  A Development Candidate is someone who has the ability and desire to be a top leader in the company. This means when  they interview the Cameron-Brooks JMO candidate, they not only want to hire someone who can be successful in the original position BUT ALSO, and most importantly, possess the potential for at least two major promotions up. This is both good and a challenge. The “good” is that our clients bring opportunities for growth and advancement. The “challenge” is that the candidates are evaluated against a very high standard.

Continue to follow the blog. Next week I will write a post on the results from our August Career Conference.

Rob Davis