Job Market Insights & Trends for 2019

Job Market Insights & Trends for 2019
Job Market Insights & Trends for 2019

The Tight Job Market

Why is the job market tight?

46% of employers in the U.S. report difficulty recruiting talent. If job searchers or career changers were not successful in their search to date, how did they position themselves? Did prospects hear any of the talent shortage drivers below as reasons why they were not hired?

Relevant drivers of Talent Shortage:

  • Lack of experience
  • Applicants lack required hard skills
  • Applicants lack required soft skills
  • Applicants expect higher pay than offered
  • Applicants expecting better benefits than offered man

“The first quarter of 2019 will continue to be tight labor market; it is strong despite uncertainty with Tariffs and trade.”

President of Manpower Group North America. 

These trends are sometimes overlooked, hidden in the unemployment figures.

  • The Baby Boomers will continue to work. They’ve been told for 30 years that Social Security will fail, and they’ve seen the values of their 401(k)’s plummet overnight several times, along with property values.
  • The Millennials (and now Gen Z) are radically changing the definition of jobs in general, and are ignoring traditional employment, as well as owning cars or houses, or marrying and having children.

So how does this affect those in pursuit of a career or job change?

It’s somewhat counterintuitive: The media tells them there are millions of jobs waiting to be filled, but many career or job changers were either rejected as “not qualified,” or they didn’t want the jobs as advertised.

The Executive Job Market

The executive level jobs in corporate America are either already held by someone who refuses to move on, or, when they do, they are not replaced, as the 40-hour workweek, salaried executive position no longer fits the fixed costs averse, bottom line operational mentality.

Opportunities for executive career or job changers are not that common; but there is hope: The Barrett Group has an excellent track record of finding them.

As the executive job market is a rarified target, those looking for a job will need to “be everywhere at once, all the time, in order to be in the right place at the right time.” That is part of the service The Barrett Group provides.

The Bureau of Labor lists these Fastest Growing Management Occupations from now to 2026, growing at an 8% rate with average median wage of $102,590:

  • Administrative Management (Plan, Direct & Coordinate)
  • Marketing Management
  • Compensation / Benefits Management
  • Computer Information Systems Management
  • Construction Managers
  • Emergency Management 
  • Financial Managers
  • Food Service Managers
  • Human Resources Managers
  • Sales Managers
  • Top Executives

With the “Top Executives” growing at 8%, it seems unlikely that there are enough qualified people ready to move into these emerging opportunities – which is good news for executive career or job changers.

Good news for executive career or job changers
Good news for executive career or job changers

Fast Growth Regions

The area with highest job growth continues to be the Sunshine State of Florida.  The strongest growth industries are Hospitality, Transportation and Utilities.

The fastest growing job regions in 2018:

  • Reno Nevada 5.9% increase
  • Midland, Texas 5.7% increase
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado 5% increase
  • Orlando, Kissimmee Florida 4.8% increase
  • Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale Arizona 4.2% increase

Bureau of Labor 2018 Past Data

Occupations employment & Wages for Executives

  • General & Operations Managers is one of the top ten leading employment categories
  • General & Operations Managers wages increased to: $123,460 on average

Alternative worker arrangements

  • Out of the four major alternative to W2 employment (Independent Contractors, On-Call Workers, Temporary help agency workers and Workers by provided by contract firms)
  • Independent Contractors is the largest category with 10.6 million of them which is 6.9% of the workforce

Bureau of Labor 2019 Outlook

The top occupations projected new jobs by numbers and median salary are:

Software Developers / Applications225,000 New Jobs $101,790 Median Salary
General & Operations Managers 205,200 New Jobs $100,410 Median Salary
Accountants / Auditors139,900 New Jobs $69,350 Median Salary
Marketing Analysts / Specialists138,300 New Jobs $63,230 Median Salary
Management Analysts112,500 New Jobs $37,630 Median Salary

References: ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey United States, Q1 2019, U.S. Bureau of Labor

The Barrett Group is a boutique career management firm for executives with a basic service philosophy focused on serving each unique client employee uniquely.  We do not believe in a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.  Our service delivery is designed around this belief.

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How To Prepare For Interviews

By Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at The Barrett Group

Most job seekers are concerned with finding out about the company, opportunity, the compensation and individuals with whom they will work. All interviewers are concerned with finding the most qualified candidate.

The most important strategy when preparing for interviews is to focus on qualifying yourself for the opportunity.  Any concerns about the company, opportunity, compensation and the team should always be deferred until you receive an offer.

It may seem odd, but it is critically important to focus the limited about of time you have during the interview to ensure the interviewer feels that you are expertly qualified. Even when they ask you for any questions you may have.

When asked for their questions, most job seekers will ask questions related to the company’s plans for growth. Some will ask questions about how employees are treated.

Many people ask about the culture of the company, the opportunity for advancement, tools they will have at their disposal or even dive into questions about salary or compensation. This is a BAD strategy.

Remember the famous quote from John F. Kennedy?

Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

By asking questions that prove to the interviewer that you are concerned with their needs, you will uniquely qualify yourself as the only job seeker who is on the same page as the company.

Considering you have approximately 35-60 minutes to prove you are a perfect fit, you should instead ask the following questions:

  • What are the major challenges my department is facing?
  • Are there any burning issues that need to be addressed?
  • What will be my #1 priority?
  • What are the successes that my department is most proud of?
  • What are the department’s weaknesses?
  • If you were in my shoes, what would you focus on for the first 30 days?
  • Which liaison partnerships are the most important for success in this position?
  • Given the makeup of the team and individuals I will be working with, what type of management style would you suggest as being most effective?
  • What is the “customers” expectation?
  • What is the most important area that you will view when judging my success?
  • Ask your boss: “Let’s say that you hired me 6 months ago and you feel that I am the best hire you have ever made. What would I have had to accomplish during that time to make you feel that way?

AND… FINALLY, THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION:

  • Do you feel my background and experience are a good fit for your needs?

Asking the last question above is critically important.  “Do you feel my background and experience are a good fit for your needs?”, allows you to know where you stand and offers the opportunity for you to correct any misperceptions as well as providing additional critical information.

You will be able to clearly define next steps and timing. You will always end the interview knowing how well you did.

If asked, “Don’t you have any questions about the company, the pay or the people with whom you will work?” You can simply state, “Sure, but I am more interested in qualifying myself for the job.”

Once the top candidate has been selected, then the timing for questions about what is in it for you would be appropriate.

The Barrett Group is a boutique career management firm for executives with a basic service philosophy focused on serving each unique client employee uniquely.  We do not believe in a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach.  Our service delivery is designed around this belief.

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How To Succeed In Finding A Job In 2019

How To Succeed In Finding A Job
How To Succeed In Finding A Job

The job market is conducive to finding a job. The unemployment rate is down, there are more jobs open than potential candidates available to fill those roles. If you have been job searching for a while and with limited success, it is reasonable to ask yourself why that is, and what you can do to succeed in finding a job in 2019.

With many online job search tools available today, it is easy and convenient to find job postings and apply. It is a surefire way to keep busy. Some people believe it is a numbers game – you submit so many applications, one will eventually lead to an interview, possibly to an offer and a new job. But there is a better way!

Have you ever considered going about your job search strategically?

Treating it as a work project? If not, why not? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” (Albert Einstein)

If you want different results in your job search than what you’re currently getting, you may need to try different approaches.

Some of these techniques include networking, job fairs, research, cold calling, informal interviews and working with recruiters, headhunters, and a personal career management consultant.

Networking as part of your job search – think outside the box!

Of course, you want to include your family and friends, neighbors, college alumni, co-members of associations, co-board members and your professional connections… in addition to asking them for support, also ask whether they have relevant contacts in your desired job role, industry, company, or geographic area and whether they would introduce you. Then add new contacts to your network, either by attending events, researching and connecting with contacts at companies you admire, or networking sites like LinkedIn.

Why attend career fairs?

Networking as part of your job search
  1. They offer an excellent opportunity to network, much like industry-association meetings. At job fairs, everyone talks about the job market – you can find out which companies are hiring, laying people off, or looking for specific skill sets.
  2. Recruiters attend career fairs – a great way to mingle with the recruiting community and practice interviewing skills.
  3. Save time by attending online job fairs. Always research job fairs, attend those that are most relevant for your skill set and prepare well before you show up.

Research should be a cornerstone of your job search!

Research all companies you would like to work for, visit their websites. Review the job roles you would like to apply for and find out who at those organizations works in your areas of interest and reach out to them. Continue with national, regional and local professional organizations in your field, connect with peer professionals and find field-specific job listings on their websites or printed publications. Apply out-of-the-box thinking to your job search and be strategic about how you invest your time.

Cold calling

Once you know where you want to work and found out who may be in a position to hire you, reach out to them. When calling, be prepared and have your pitch ready to launch.

This will give you the chance to make yourself known to the employer, make a connection, build a relationship and inquire about what skills and qualities are required to work within the company.

Informal interviews

Make informal interviews or exploratory sessions part of your job search strategy – they are a great way to get to know and learn more about a potential employer – keep in mind, of course, that this is a two-way street! Come prepared with research about the company and your contact, be ready to discuss your career path and goals, as well as ideas on how and on which level you could fit within the company. Working with a personal career consultant can help you with all types of scenarios you encounter during your job search.

Work with recruiters and/or head hunters

First, understand that recruiters, etc. are paid by their corporate client companies, either by retainer, contingency – or salary, in case of internal recruiters. In all cases, the service they provide is filling open job orders. Accordingly, a great deal of their effort is expended on obtaining these job orders and winning favor with the HR department and hiring executives so the stream of job orders continues. They do not get paid to get people jobs; indeed, a private individual can’t “hire” a recruiter, as they only work for companies, not job seekers. For more information on how to effectively work with the recruiting community, click the button below.

The Unpublished Market

Keep in mind that 60%-80% of all jobs are never advertised. Tapping into the unpublished market is completely different than working through job postings, creating job feeds, dealing with 3rd party recruiters and head hunters. It takes about two to three months to successfully market your reputation and leverage your value/social capital to targeted companies. This approach requires more personal investment and you may need to step out of your comfort zone, but it supplements every job search and possibly offers greater rewards in a shorter time span.

Career Management by The Barrett Group

The Barrett Group is a professional career management firm that specializes is helping clients land at their dream jobs faster and at a higher compensation package than they would be able to achieve without our team of career management specialists by their side.

We’re proud of our 90% success rate and invite you to introduce yourself to our team and tell us about your background and where you want to go next.

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Pretty Soon, Old People Will Have All The Jobs

Pretty Soon, Old People Will Have All The Jobs
Pretty Soon, Old People Will Have All The Jobs

By Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at The Barrett Group

The U.S. workforce isn’t expected to age particularly well over the next decade. Though much ado has been made over the millennial generation sweeping into the labor market and supplanting both those in Generation X and baby boomers as the largest active age demographic in the domestic workforce, the average U.S. employee is still getting older, and what that means for the future of American employment is complicated.

The Pew Research Center earlier this year estimated the labor force held nearly 54 million millennials, or individuals who in 2015 were between the ages of 18 and 34 years old. That number for the first time eclipsed the pool of workers from Generation X, or those between 35 and 50 years old. Millennials were also expected to unseat baby boomers as the largest living generation in the general population at some point before year’s end.

But while it would be easy to assume that millennials’ meteoric rise would naturally drag down the median age of American workers, that’s not exactly how the last several years have played out. It’s also not a trend that’s likely to crop up in the foreseeable future. Back in 1996, the median age of U.S. employees was 38.3 years old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That metric climbed to 40.8 years old by 2006 and to 42.0 years by 2016. By 2026, the median age of U.S. workers is expected to be 42.3 years old.

So why is it that America’s workforce isn’t getting younger as millennials reach working age? Part of the reason is that a greater share of older Americans are bucking traditional retirement and staying in the labor force longer than has historically been the case. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of Americans at least 55 years old who were active in the civilian labor force ballooned by 47.1 percent, according to the BLS. And that number is expected to grow nearly 20 percent over the next 10 years. 

“The labor force will continue to age, with the average annual growth rate of the 55-years-and-older group projected to be 1.8 percent, more than three times the rate of growth of the overall labor force,” a BLS report released earlier this month said. “The group’s share of the labor force is anticipated to increase from 21.7 percent in 2016 to nearly 25 percent in 2026.”

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Career Change Lessons

Career Change Lessons
Career Change Lessons

by Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at The Barrett Group

The vast majority (around 80%) of our clients each year are unhappily employed, the rest are out of work for one reason or another.

Most clients are looking to leave their current job… but many are looking for relief in their current situation: the boss from hell; political negativities; uncertainty resulting from a merger or acquisition; glass ceiling with zero room for advancement; lack of raises beyond cost of living adjustments; feeling under utilized or undervalued; looking to telecommute when it is not the norm; and various unsustainable challenges with no relief in sight.

Those who are out of work, feel quite alone in their search. They may feel embarrassed due to their situation and lack of financial contribution to their families. Many are sitting home applying to endless jobs on the internet and getting nowhere. They reach to 3rd party recruiters who treat them terribly or feel totally ignored.

About 25% of The Barrett Group’s (TBG) clients achieve success by doing a better job of dealing with third party recruiters and job postings.

The truth is that recruiters get pounded every day with dozens of job seekers (yes dozens) who want to take them out for coffee or expect them to spend their time helping them to find a job. Those job seekers mistakenly think it is the recruiter’s job to place them. As many TBG employees are former recruiters or executives who have hired recruiters in the past to fill open positions. This allows us to expertly coach our clients on how to motivate a recruiter to work set up interviews on your behalf.

Many individuals spend hours applying to job postings. Not only is it frustrating, but is ineffective. We know how to make sure your application is read by an actual human being and not just a computer. We know how to customize each resume and cover letter so the system or person in charge of screening applications will be highly motivated to speak with each and every client. We help our clients to build a library of different resume and cover letter versions so that the reader will perceive each client as deserving of an interview.

Some 25% of our clients achieve success by leveraging their reputation to gain advocacy, political referrals and nomination for unpublished opportunities through their LinkedIn social networks.

Most new clients have LinkedIn profile, but severely lack understanding on how to tap into the unpublished market via LinkedIn.

Most new clients also spend the majority of their time on LinkedIn’s job board. They fail to realize that 90% of the hiring on LinkedIn is done covertly by people who leverage their reputation and people looking to hire them do not post jobs, they search for individuals with the background and skills they need.

Every year we have dozens of client who land the perfect job due to the learnings we provide. It is amazing.

Another 25% of our clients achieve success because we help them to grow their network with very little effort on their part.

We know our clients are busy so we identify and send introductions to individuals working at specific companies in targeted geographic areas and industries.

We do all the work: We research and identify the individuals, author the introductions, print, sign and process introductions. We pay for postage, we send a confidential packet to each approved recipient. We coach our clients on the nuances of how to make a 2 minute phone call to inquire about the recipients interest in networking or employment. Even the busiest person has time for a short phone call.

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Preparing for Your Job Interview

Preparing for Your Job Interview
Preparing for Your Job Interview

Make it a two-way interview

The modern day interview has evolved tremendously from what it used to be. Gone are the days of sitting on the other side of an imposing interviewer sitting behind a huge desk with a significantly-raised chair. Nowadays, candidates are interviewing the companies just as much as they themselves are being interviewed. And why not?

“Nowadays, candidates are interviewing the companies just as much as they themselves are being interviewed.”

Greg Emslie, Business Coach

The hiring process is a two way street. Both sides need to be engaged in the process and be equally excited to work with the other. Next time you find yourself interviewing for a new position, be sure you make it a two-way interview.

Here are forty questions to help you figure out if the company will be right for you.

Questions about the position

You want to understand exactly what will be expected of you and whether or not this aligns with your skills and ambitions. Be sure to have a full understanding of the position and your role in it before leaving your interview.

  1. Why is this position open?
  2. Is this an existing or newly created position?
  3. If someone was in this position before me, why did he or she leave?
  4. Beyond what I see in the job description, what will make someone successful in this role?
  5. When coming into this position, what are the top 3 things the new employee must do?
  6. How will you measure the success of someone in this role?
  7. What keeps you awake at night? How can this role help you to sleep better?

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Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership

Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership
Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership

by Mark Steinke, Chief Strategy Officer at The Barrett Group

To be a great leader, you must first master the art of Personal Leadership. This is the first of four topics on how to increase, develop and demonstrate your Personal Leadership so you and your business skyrockets to the heights you deserve!

It all Starts with YOU! How you handle stress is critical to your personal success and business success. You see it is not the issue you are facing that is causing your stress. It is YOUR reaction to that issue that is causing your stress. Let that sink in for a minute…

“85% of what people worry about never happened…”

Don Joseph Goewey

Leadership requires consistent high performance coupled with a calm, clear mind and the ability to maintain a high degree of objectivity toward yourself and your business. Stress is rampant. An important step toward becoming an authentic leader, then, is to learn to successfully and gracefully manage the inevitable stress that will come your way. Let’s look at the sources of stress.

Worry

worry

According to Don Joseph Goewey, author of the book, “The end of Stress, four steps to rewire your brain” states “85% of what people worry about never happened and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning.

This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.”

A simple four step process can help you dealing with your stress:

  1. Clearly define your worry in writing
  2. Determine the worst thing that could happen if this worry comes true
  3. Having defined the worst result, resolve to accept it
  4. Set about doing your best to ensure this worry will not occur now that you have a clear mind

Lack of Meaning

When stress arrives, typically our minds go to what is going on with my life… Why is this happening to me? This resonates if one does not have a clearly defined meaning and purpose. You see when you are confident and know what you are and why you are, then mapping this worry against it allows you to define it, determine an antidote and vanquish your worry.

The “Incomplete Action”

A job or task not done or an employee of yours not doing what they should correctly for a client can be a source of enormous stress. It is time to employ the four steps in the worry section so you show self-discipline and keep a clear mind. Do not let not completing tasks or doing the tasks “incorrectly” drive your stress. Coach, teach and show Personal Leadership.

Fear of Failure

Some of us allow a fear of failure to cause us stress. Fear is a great emotion. It is powerful, can be very healthy if we take it as a motivator to focus, concentrate, remove distractions, and act in a way that we know we can. Whatever the results of your proactive actions, they very probably better for you than the paralyzing result of no action or action motivated by fear. Affirm to yourself that you can do what needs to be done, do it, and then adjust based on the outcome.

Fear of Rejection

The need for approval to some is so strong that fear of rejection is scary. As a leader sometimes you need to be on the island by yourself. That is not a bad thing. It is a temporary state until the team, clients, and/or partners start to understand. When they do, they will slowly move over to your island. Stay in the belief that rejection is not permanent and worst case only temporary.

Denial

Probably the biggest stress source to overcome is denial. Refusing to acknowledge and face unpleasant reality is a sign of weakness. Do not let embarrassment, loss of face or even pain be the driver for you or anyone else to deny what is or could be happening. Victory over this starts with acknowledgement!

Anger

The most powerful and damaging emotion is anger. This negative emotion destroys relationships and cultures in companies. Anger comes from within. Henry David Thoreau, a noted poet, wrote: “No one can make you feel bad unless you let them.”

You cannot control the people and circumstances in your life. You can only control how you respond to them.

When your anger flares up, put a trigger in your head that will remind you to stop, pause, think and resolve without anger. This is very hard… but very important.

In all honesty, the issue making you angry most likely is NOT a 911, end-of-the-world issue. Put it in perspective.

Personal Leadership is the most important skill you need to develop, and demonstrate in your business. Over the next few articles we will identify the other three behaviors to develop so you can show your truly great Leadership.

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Anxiety… isn’t Good for You!

Anxiety... isn't Good for You!
Anxiety… isn’t Good for You!

by Mark Steinke, Chief Strategy Officer at The Barrett Group

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, “Those who are unemployed are feeling anxious and stressed as they search for work in a struggling market. The pressure to find and keep a job, in addition to everyday work-related stress, can take a toll on mental health.”

This feeling of Desperation is very common among job seekers be they men or women, technical or professional, entry level or executives. It is this last group, the executives, we work with at The Barrett Group to assist them in finding that next level of employment.

How clear are you on why you work so hard and whether you are earning the recognition you deserve? Our Clarity Program helps Executives answer this question in three to four sessions.

You see, stress during the job search process brings up a significant amount of Desperation, panic, poor judgment and reactions. Studies conducted by “A team of researchers led by the psychologists and neuroscientists Prof. Markus Heinrichs and Dr. Bernadette von Dawans at the University of Freiburg, Germany, examined in a study how men react in stressful situations – such as job searching.”

Let me clarify that this study focused on men only. women’s reaction to stress has been studied and the results according to Heinrichs and Von Dawans is: “that women show an alternate “tend-and-befriend” response to stress — in other words, a protective (“tend”) and friendship-offering (“befriend”) reaction.” Whereas “men, in contrast, were still assumed to become aggressive under stress.”

The study goes on to say that “”Apparently men also show social approach behavior as a direct consequence of stress. With this study, the research team experimentally investigated male social behavior under stress for the first time. The results are published in the journal Psychological Science.”

So with executives (men / women) experience stress in job searching and both genders are moving toward a “tend & friendship – offering”, their minds are focused on obtaining guidance, assistance and coaching in finding that next job. A wise, lower-stress decision.

The Barrett Group offers executives the opportunity to reduce their stress even more with a solution that expedites the next career option for these executives.

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Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go?
Should I stay or should I go?

Respondents to our on-going job satisfaction survey come from many different industries. About 90% of the respondents are currently employed. Their titles range from C-level officer to SVP, VP, GM, and on down the organizational hierarchy with a fair amount involved in sales, finance, and legal professions.

On balance they are surprisingly satisfied with their jobs and can give specific reasons why, but they can also imagine how their professional lives could be better.

How would you rate your job satisfaction?

This ability to imagine that things could be better is actually hardwired into much of life on earth and certainly into homo sapiens. Daniel Goleman (“Emotional Intelligence”) describes the workings of the limbic brain that allegedly only has three basic urges: safety, dominance and adventure.

In other words, in any situation requiring a choice we will generally operate from one of those nodes of motivation: safety, for example, might require us to freeze and stay where we are even if we are uncomfortable or it might require that we run for our lives, depending on the situation.

Dominance may require that we rise to the challenge and fight back. Adventure might dictate that we try something new because we are bored.

All of these motivations can be seen in the workplace, of course, but the question is how conscious are we of why we do what we do. Self-awareness is supposedly what sets humans apart but it is not always switched on.

On-going Job Satisfaction Survey Results

Dan Resendes, Chief Consulting Officer at the Barrett Group tells us that often career changers are fleeing a negative situation with the boss.

Interestingly, our on-going job satisfaction survey indicates that this is one of the most negative aspects respondents cited: the statement “I admire the executive management’s ethical and commercial values” attracted more disagreement than agreement.

At the Barrett Group we help career changers reflect on whether they are running away from something or running toward something better.

Part of our Clarity Program includes a Personal Strategic Plan that helps clients define in some detail the situation they would like to be in professionally in two to five years. This clarity of vision is critical to achieving success professionally as well as in life in general.

Asked about what they would change, respondents to our on-going job satisfaction survey gave an interesting mix of answers that can be qualified as negative or positive as well as more emotional or rational in character.

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Salary and Cost of Living Comparison

Salary and Cost of Living Comparison
Salary and Cost of Living Comparison

Career changers face many barriers and constraints along the way. Helping you to manage these challenges is what we at the Barrett Group do. Consider the information below, and then contact us to evaluate your own specific situation. We’ve helped more than 2,000 executives change careers over 28 years… why not you?

It seems to us that there is often too much focus on CEOs and too little on the legions of capable managers who report to them who also add value. Therefore our report today will look at four unsung heroes or heroines: the positions VP of Sales, VP of Operations, CFO, and VP / Director of Human Resources.

There are numerous sources for compensation data, of course. We will use an index derived from want ads via Indeed.com.

The good news is that this data will be quite recent, stemming from March 19, 2018 and reaching back for up to 36 months. The bad news is that want ads often reflect what the would-be employer would like to pay, but not necessarily what they actually pay. In other words, actual salaries are likely to be higher.

Let’s start with the VP of Sales position

With more than 200,000 positions or ads as its data source, this is certainly a representative sample. The average US salary for these positions lies at about $141,000 per annum with a low of $75,000 and a high end of $233,000. The market varies no doubt across industries but also across major cities, as we see in Figure 1 where the national average equals 100%.

Driven perhaps by the frothing tech market, San Francisco comes in at 118% of the national average, while Atlanta lies at 102%. Naturally, the cost of living also plays a role in this differential as does the relative supply and demand situation.

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

Figure 2 takes this somewhat into account by factoring in the relative cost of living according to Money/CNN.

Index for Cost of Living

In our sample of major cities, we have set the lowest cost of living (St. Louis) equal to 100% (Figure 3).

That means that although you might earn 118% of the national average in salary in San Francisco, for example, your cost of living would be about 95% higher than St. Louis, so, at least at the reported average salary level, you would actually be worse off.

Now let’s consider the VP of Operations position

The universe is also large here at 127,000 positions or ads in this data set. The average salary lies at $129,000 or so with a reported low of $77,000 and a high of $262,000.

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

In this case, Philadelphia actually tops the average salary chart at 133% of the national average while Atlanta (-4%) and Boston (-2%) come in on the low end (Figure 4).

When we take an index of the cost of living into account, however, Tampa really shines because of the relatively high salaries for this function and the relatively low cost of living (Figure 5).

What about Chief Financial Officers?

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

Yes, we could have chosen VPs of Finance, but these are relatively rare birds while CFOs are more common, so we focused on them although the number of CFO positions or ads was much lower in the sample (circa 16,500) versus the two previous positions.

In straight financial terms, New York City and San Francisco come off very well at 29% and 25% above the national average on salary, while Philadelphia (-6%) and Denver (-2%) come in on the low end at least within our selection of major cities. (Figure 6).

When we take an index of the cost of living into account, however, the picture changes, and St. Louis actually comes out on top followed by Tampa (Figure 7).

Please remember, this is a simplified comparison. If you want to consider relocating or negotiating a salary, ask an expert.

Lastly, let’s look at Human Resource responsibles

There is probably considerable latitude in the definition of these jobs from hiring managers all the way up to Chief Human Resource Officers and the like. In this sample, we have added them all together (all 106,000 of them) and considered the average salary.

Annual Salary vs. the National Averag and Adjusted for Cost of Living

In straight salary terms, Boston (+27%) and New York City (+23%) come in at the top versus the national average salary for this position of $94,000 (Figure 8).

The picture changes, though when we take location into account and again, St. Louis, Tampa and now Houston emerge as relatively attractive from a salary and cost of living point of view based on this data set (Figure 9).

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