Vault's Careers Blog

Career advice and job search strategies for the modern careerist

Archive for the ‘Survey’ Category

Vault’ s Careers Blog is Moving

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An announcement: after almost a year on WordPress, we’re discontinuing Vault’s Careers Blog on WordPress. But don’t worry: you’ll still be able to get your fill of career information and advice on–where our blogs are going from strength to strength.

Our full blog lineup on is as follows:

Vault’s Careers Blog
Vault’s Law Blog
Consult THIS: Consulting Careers, News and Views
In Good Company: Vault’s CSR blog
In the Black: Vault’s Finance Careers Blog
Admit One: Vault’s MBA, Law School and College Blog
Insider Career Advice from SixFigureStart
Innovate with Influence: Global High Tech

Thanks for reading us on WordPress.

We hope to see you over on soon!

–The Vault Editorial Team

Where the Women Aren’t: The Banking C-Suite

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October is Carl Paladino National Diversity Month, so we decided to go back to the data we collected in our most recent Banking Survey and see if we couldn’t find a few fitting pieces to offer up in honor of these holy 31 days.

First, what we found, unsurprisingly, is a marked lack of women in the banking workplace. Somewhat surprising, though, was that this lack of women increases as you go up the banking org chart. That is, as you’ll see in the graphic below, of those bankers surveyed, 26 percent identified themselves as women. But of those surveyed who hold executive positions, only 11 percent identified themselves as women. The takeaway here is that females are still underrepresented at the top financial firms, and are severely underrepresented in the higher ranks at the top financial firms. 2010 banking diversity gender

Second we found (again unsurprisingly) that the ethnic group that accounts for most (almost three quarters) of the entire banking industry is none other than the white male. However, interestingly, we found that the white male is far better represented in the banking industry than it is in the general population—almost 10 percent greater as you can see in the graphic below. In addition, Asians, the second largest ethnic group in banking, are also far better represented in the industry than they are in the wider U.S. population—about three times greater, in fact. On the other side of this diversity story, Hispanic individuals and African-Americans are severely underrepresented in the banking industry versus their representation in the wider population. ethnic diversity of finance industry 2010

Third, we found a large lack of openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender individuals in banking. Given that banking is perhaps one of, if not the most politically conservative industries in the United States, this might not come as that much of a surprise, but still, you would think that the lack might not be as significant as the pie chart below indicates: just 1 percent of the more than 2,200 bankers surveyed had identified themselves as an openly GLBT individual. Which begs the question: are GLBT individuals not welcome into the banking industry, not interested in the industry, or both? 2010 banking diversity GLBT

–Posted by Derek Loosvelt, In The Black

What’s Keeping You From Getting Hired?

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If there was one thing that stood out from Vault’s recent Job Hunting in CSR series, it was the disconnect between candidates and employers. A recent survey by Towers Watson further indicates that this disconnect might be much more widespread because of a difference in priorities for employers and employees.

Job Skills

A survey released by TalentDrive, the team behind online resume aggregation search engine TalentFilter, now adds yet another layer to the troubling scenario. The report suggests a widening gap between current employers’ expectations and job seekers’ actual skill sets.

In a month-long survey, 79,000 job seekers (86 percent actively seeking employment) were asked to assess their personal skill set and attitude toward the current job market. Additionally, 20,000 hiring managers from Fortune 1000 companies were asked if they had noticed a change in the quality of candidates since the recession’s start.

The results of the survey are unnerving:

Almost three-quarters of the job seekers surveyed were pessimistic about their career search: that’s the number of respondents who indicated that they possessed the required skill set for positions, but were not getting hired. Little wonder, then, that 37 percent of respondents expressed no hope that things would improve.

However, 42 percent of the employers surveyed indicated that the recession had not only increased the quantity of candidates, but that they were finding more qualified candidates than in years past.

So where is the disconnect? When candidates believe they possess the required skill sets, why are they not getting hired? Take into account that 67 percent of those surveyed reported having between one and five interviews per month since the beginning of their job search, and that 75 percent of those had not received a single job offer.

Specialization or general business skills?

Since your company started hiring, how many interviewed candidates on average would you consider

Could the disconnect come down to a question of specialized vs. general business skills? According to the report, 71% percent of HR representatives reported that more than half of their open positions were specialized.

Comparatively, 61% of the job seekers’ group considered themselves to be “professionals with broad skill sets.”

Interestingly, my interviews with MBA graduates Ashley Jablow and Geet Singh reveal a flipside to the specialization picture. Having focused on CSR and sustainability at business school, both Jablow and Singh confessed that their job hunts weren’t exactly working out to be walks in the park. However, in their case, partial blame goes to a lack of demand for CSR work. For the respondents of the TalentDrive survey, specialized skills leaned toward more traditional fields like IT and technology.

Job Search Destinations

What source has recently delivered/uncovered the most quality candidates?

If there is one area where the TalentDrive survey shows job seekers and employers in agreement, it is where they are finding each other. The winner: Social Media.

An overwhelming 74% of job seekers said the most beneficial job search method was posting a resume on job boards followed by 27% picking social media, for the first time surpassing traditional methods like classified ads, professional recruiters and networking events.

Agreement was mutual with 27% of employers saying the highest response for most effective search method was social networks, followed by resume sourcing technologies.

Other highlights:

For the types of positions your company fills, what skills/activities make an applicant stand out?

Differs for each position: 55%
Longevity with past employers: 21%
Certification: 16%
Advanced degrees/MBA: 5%
Extracurricular work/Volunteer work: 3%

What category would the majority of your open positions fall under?

Mid level/management positions: 67%
Entry level: 16%
Director/Executive positions: 14%

Since beginning your active job search, how many interviews have resulted in an offer?

No offers: 75%
Less than half: 21%
More than half: 3%
All interviews resulted in an offer: 1%

Given the current job market, how willing are you to transfer fields or change your skill set to adapt to a new work environment or industry?

Not willing or interested: 11%
Somewhat willing, depending on the opportunity: 44%
Very willing: 45%

Does your experience relate to these results? Do you have a story to add to these numbers? Leave a comment, email us In Good Company or connect on Twitter @VaultCSR!

Job Seeker Sentiment Index: The Job Market is Flat

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It’s impossible not to detect the growing signs of pessimism over the state of the economy beginning to take hold in some sectors. While some commentators have been predicting a double-dip recession all along, some have only recently begun predicting disaster, after previously believing that we were on the road to recovery. Chief among this latter group, of course, is Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, whose recent New York Times column set a thoroughly depressing tone for the week. (Pun not intended.)

None of that, however, seems to have affected conditions on the ground for job seekers. The latest results from Vault’s job seeker sentiment poll show that fewer people believe the job market is getting worse than at any point since we began the poll in November 2009: just 13 percent of respondents reported a decline in the state of the market.

More worrying, perhaps, is that more respondents than ever before (38 percent) also suggested that the market is “about the same” as in previous months—suggesting that it may be leveling off. Similarly, the proportion of respondents reporting slight improvements in the state of the market declined to below 40 percent for the first time since the end of 2009.

Here are the results of the most recent poll in full:

Vault job seeker sentiment poll June 2010

And here is how the results stack up on Vault’s Job Seeker Sentiment Index:

Vault's Job Seeker Sentiment Index

As you can see, some interesting movements in sentiment—and definitely something to look for in next week’s unemployment number: will it reflect that stasis that Vault’s readers are finding out in the real world? And does it portend anything that the gap between those finding the market “about the same” or “slightly better” is closer than at any point since the significantly darker days of November?

Written by Phil Stott

June 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

Vault’s 2010 Consulting Survey: The Numbers Are In

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Well, folks, the 2010 Vault Consulting Survey has officially come to a close. After racking in close to 10,000 responses from consultants around the world, we are left with a rich pool of data, from which we can draw an interesting portrait of the consulting industry today.

While we won’t be releasing the consulting rankings until the end of the summer, below you’ll find some stats from our North American survey that will give you an idea of who participated and their general impressions of their respective firms.

Percentage of respondents who are men: 69

Percentage of respondents who are single: 57

Percentage of respondents who are non-White: 22

Percentage who said culture was the single most important factor that made them decide to accept their firm’s offer over others’: 44

Percentage who said prestige was the single most important factor that made them decide to accept their firm’s offer over others’: 14

Percentage who said that, knowing what they know now, they would make the same decision about which firm to join: 92

Percentage of respondents who worked as a summer intern at their firm: 18

Percentage of consultants who received a 2009 year-end bonus: 83

Average score on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is “inadequate” and 10 is “extremely generous”) that respondents give to their compensation: 7.43

Percentage of respondents who work 2-3 weekends per month: 24

Percentage of respondents who work over 70 hours per week: 7

Average score on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is “completely unsatisfied” and 10 is “entirely fulfilled”) that respondents give to their overall satisfaction: 8.07

Average score on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is “in a precarious position” and 10 is “well positioned to thrive”) that respondents give to their firm’s overall business outlook: 8.66

–Posted by Naomi Newman, Consult THIS

How Effective is Social Media In The Job Search?

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Before reading, I encourage everyone to take Vault’s Social Media Survey and let us know their own thoughts about using social networking tools in their job search.

The job search process has evolved a lot over the last few years. Back in the day, I would simply walk from store to store and ask if there were any jobs available.  The store clerk would have me fill out a form and I wouldn’t hear back from them.  As I graduated college, I started proactively sending out my resume to various companies with the hopes of turning my degree into a full-time career.  When I wanted a new job, I started submitting my resume online through various job boards and company websites.  Today, many are preaching about the values of social media in the job search, but are sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter really going to get you your next job?

When I was unemployed last year, the first thing I did was apply for jobs on LinkedIn.  My experience with LinkedIn was positive.  I posted my work experience and started soliciting recommendations from former colleagues who knew what kind of worker I was.  I felt that this was actually a better way to search for a job, as it provided potential employers with instant references, and it appeared that on LinkedIn, the more recommendations you had, the better your chances of being reviewed.  I even received an email to begin discussions about a potential job.  The conversation went nowhere, but I was satisfied with this tool.

I never thought Twitter could land me a job.  In fact, when I was bored between job searches, I would use Twitter with the thought that I just wanted to accrue as many followers as Ashton Kutcher.  Yes, this was my dream, and for some reason, I failed miserably.  But now that I am working again, I see a lot of potential in Twitter.  The fact that companies can instantly tweet jobs out to the public before they even go up on the site is exciting.  I would encourage anyone who is unemployed to monitor a Twitter feed dealing with employment and take advantage of the instant possibilities.

Facebook is not for the job search.  This is just my opinion, but I find it hard to believe that in the midst of people playing Farmville and sending out fake beer or hugs, they are conducting extensive searches and locating promising job leads.  I believe Facebook is just to let off steam, vent about life, and post 30 pictures of yourself that look exactly the same, albeit with different clothing.  However, in a weird way, it actually led to my most successful social media-based job search. While I was looking for work last year, I received an interview for a job as a press aide where the previous incumbent had resigned due to a backlash over inappropriate comments she had posted on her Facebook profile. On top of that, I applied as soon as I found out she had resigned, not even waiting for the position to be posted on a job board. That’s the kind of speed of action normally associated with social networks, and it certainly didn’t hurt my case.

Now, there are more social networks popping up that proclaim to help people find work.  But are they truly effective? Vault wants to know your thoughts and is conducting a survey about social media. It shouldn’t take much more than five minutes to complete, and as an incentive there are five year-long Gold memberships up for grabs.  Share your social media job hunt stories with us.

Poll Results: SEC Case Reduces Willingness to Work for Goldman Sachs

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A little perspective on what the Goldman Sachs SEC case might be doing to the company’s reputation: We recently ran this poll on our home page (and it’s still there, if you’d like to take it), and it clearly suggest that being unpopular is not the way to attract or retain staff. While the majority of responses suggested that people would overlook the company’s alleged wrongdoings at least once, fully a quarter of respondents claimed that the case would affect their willingness to work at Goldman. Prestige and reputation, it would seem, really do matter (as former employees of Madoff Securities would no doubt tell you: no-one wants a high-profile miscreant–or alleged miscreant, in Goldman’s case–on their resume).

Goldman prestige poll