Macroeconomic Mischief and the Market for Executives

Macroeconomic Mischief and the Market for Executives. Frankly, it’s hard not to notice a significant drop in a major stock index—like a sudden descent in an elevator—it provokes dizziness, fear, panic and perhaps a tendency to freeze. It’s easy to become like the proverbial deer in the headlights.

If that’s how you feel, you’re normal.

Economists, however, are not normal. They tend to dig a little deeper and explore. Economists strive to learn why it is they feel this fear and whether it is rational or not. One such body is the Conference Board which focuses on the US economy. Indeed, they see some storm clouds on the horizon, but their outlook also suggests this storm will be brief.

Some of the underlying trends include:

  • GDP growth hits bottom in Q4 2022 before picking back up again.
  • Disposable income increases steadily throughout the forecast period.
  • Inventory destocking to correct the Covid 19 hangover through Q4 and then steadying.
  • Unemployment continues to drop steadily.
  • Inflation peaking in Q2 2022 before dropping off.

Here is how the Conference Board summarized their outlook:

“Due to the weak headline GDP growth reported in Q1 2022, we lowered our forecast for the full year – from 3.0 percent to 2.3 percent. However, we do not presently forecast a recession in 2022 or in 2023.” (Emphasis added. See Source.)

The stock markets may well overreact to expectations of future interest rate changes as central bankers modulate their message on how quickly interest rates will rise…

But you don’t have to panic.

The Barrett Group is not a job board. And we are not an executive recruiter with pre-defined openings that need to be filled. Of course, our clients also benefit from recruiter opportunities. But fully 75% of our clients land through positions that are not even advertised—the so-called “unpublished market.”

Think about it.

Before any position is advertised, it has to be conceived by some executive as the solution to an issue. It needs to be a response to an opportunity in the market. Or perhaps the job plugs a gap in the current organization. It is exactly at this stage when the new role is still merely a concept, our clients are there. They learn through our methodology to present themselves as a solution. They are therefore able to land the job with little or no competition. And, because the compensation is not pre-defined, our clients land with a better total compensation package—because we can virtually always add tens of thousands of dollars to any first proposal.

Let’s consider an example.

Let’s say you are an underemployed executive who could imagine a better work/life balance, more interesting job, perhaps a different industry, and certainly more income… like most of our clients. History demonstrates that the Barrett Group can help clients to clarify their goals and find that better job faster than they can on their own—for clients willing to do the work, typically within six months versus a year or more for executives searching on their own.

Another advantage of the unpublished market is that regardless of macroeconomic conditions it is always active. Again, think about it. Even if things are not going well at a company, the management needs to respond… to restructure, to divest, to do something… and that often requires new talent with a different skill set. Our clients learn how to present themselves as a solution, not a job seeker.

The efficacy of our program is underlined by the fact that Forbes magazine has again cited the Barrett Group as being in the top 0.5% of the firms in the US who help executives land jobs—even though we are not an executive recruiter. The proof is in our results: more than 150 executive clients have landed through May in 2022. Of course, these clients succeeded because they decided to proactively invest in their careers.

So what does that investment look like? What is the return on investment? And is there a difference if someone is continuously employed versus someone that is currently unemployed?

CB 127_The Benefit of Investing in Your Career_Employed


CB 127_The Benefit of Investing in Your Career_Unemployed

In the first example* (“Continuously Employed”) clients invest in themselves by contracting our services. Typically, this investment has already paid for itself by month 10, and then goes on to produce a significant 200% return by month 24 (the “Delta” in the Continuously Employed example).

The benefit is even more pronounced in the “Currently Unemployed” example*. Because an unemployed executive incurs an opportunity cost disadvantage for every month he or she remains unemployed. So the advantage of being employed sooner is that much more profound. In this case, the investment in our services typically pays back in six months and the 24-month return exceeds 1400% (again, the “Delta” in the graphic explanation).

You can therefore perhaps understand that when a prospect says “I cannot afford to invest in myself at the moment…” we politely disagree.

We believe that such clients (as long as they are prepared to put in the necessary effort) can really not afford not to invest in themselves.

Let’s discuss your situation and see how we can help you mitigate the effects of any macroeconomic mischief the future may portend while realizing your full economic potential.

Peter Irish, CEO
The Barrett Group

*Explanatory Note:

Please recognize that The Barrett Group cannot guarantee any client a job because other factors are in play. For example, whether the client actually does the work required to successfully implement our career change program. On average over the last 12-18 months, clients who put in the effort usually received offers and/or interviews in three to six months and landed within six months. In these examples, we have assumed that through our process, clients will on average land six months faster and will earn at least 20% more in total compensation than they would on their own because this is what our 30 years of experience have demonstrated. Please see for myriad testimonials, success stories, and other evidence of our efficacy.

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