Riskon in the News

January 9, 2002
The Newark Star-Ledger
“Industry Insider - Small Business:  Burning Questions”
By Beth Fitzgerald

Barry Honig is president of Riskon in Tenafly, an executive search firm specializing in financial services and technology.

Q. Are small and mid-sized companies doing much hiring?

A. Some of the smaller, venture-capital-funded companies are looking for talent, and now they can pick it up more easily.  And some of the mid-tier players in the financial sector are using the economic downturn as an opportunity to hire people they couldn't get before.

Q. How are smaller companies faring in the competition for talent with big companies?

A. Small firms are usually at a disadvantage.  Traditionally, a big company can outbid them.  But today, a smaller company with a good balance sheet that can project a sense of stability is going to be successful in getting talent.

Q. Are large companies taking a different approach to hiring than small firms?

A. The big companies have a hiring freeze, and while we do place people there, you have to move heaven and earth to get them through the signing process.  A small technology company can interview a candidate and hire in one day.  They can move faster than a big company and that is to their advantage.

Q. What does the job market look like going forward?

A. There is a tremendous amount of talent on the street (finance, technology, investment banking, sales.  This year will be better; a lot of companies overfired and they will have to rectify that.

Q. Are executives trading down in salary?

A. As a general rule, salaries are down 20 to 25 percent compared to 2000.  A very senior technology executive on Wall Street who used to make $800,000 is now looking at $550,000 to $800,000.   Someone at the lower level who makes $170,000 may be down to $150,000.  Companies have really taken more away from the senior people and left the junior people intact.