What’s Top of Mind for CEOs

Fortune Magazine and Deloitte have partnered to track the perspectives and actions of CEOs from the world’s largest and most influential companies. Every 4 months, the duo gathers key insights into CEOs’ priorities, challenges, and expectations across 15 industries, including finance, health care, and technology.

At the end of last month, Fortune/Deloitte shared the results of their latest survey that revealed that a growing number of chief executives expect pandemic disruptions to continue. Additionally, they remain bullish about growth while they are focused on talent, and taking action on climate change.

Our key takeaway from the latest survey?

Talent remains a top priority for CEOs.

Nearly three-quarters of CEOs say they expect labor and skills shortages to in influence or disrupt their strategy over the next 12 months. When asked about the biggest challenge they face, nearly 50% of CEOs name challenges related to talent – up from a 25% in the Fortune/Deloitte summer survey.

Asked separately about the top three challenges to their organization’s talent and workforce goals, the major of CEOs named attracting and recruiting talent (57%), designing a post-pandemic workplace (53%), and retaining talent (51%). Building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce is also high on the list of challenges for 43% of CEOs.

Click here to read the full report.


McKinsey & Company: Women in the Workplace 2021 Survey

Women in the Workplace is the largest comprehensive study on the state of women in corporate America, with data from 423 companies employing 12M people. Following are a few key take-aways from the study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org.

Women are now significantly more burned out than they were last year, and increasingly more so than men. Women are, however, rising to the challenge as stronger leaders and taking on the extra work to support the wellbeing of all employees while also advancing DE&I efforts. That being said, companies are not recognizing and rewarding their efforts, and they are at risk of losing the very leaders they need right now.

While companies are embracing flexibility and not anticipating going back to pre-pandemic norms, the one thing most are missing is clear boundaries so that employees don’t have to feel like they need to be “always on” 24/7. Only 1 in 5 employees stated that they received guidelines for responding to non-urgent requests after traditional work hours. Establishing or reinforcing boundaries will go a long way in addressing burnout.

Representation by women at all levels of leadership has increased modestly, but women of color remain underrepresented, face more challenges and get less support. Allyship is critical in the workplace, and when employees have strong allies, they are more likely to have positive work experiences and less likely to be burned out and consider leaving their company.

To learn more, read the full study: Women in the Workplace 2021


We Have a Passion for Purple!

In addition to sharing a mutual passion for consulting, our three senior leaders (Patti Weber, Grace Lynch, and Mark Weber) are known for their passion for creating awareness for pancreatic cancer.

Purple is the official color that represents pancreatic cancer, and the trio is known across the greater Charlotte region and beyond for their long-term advocacy for the the disease. In fact, their passion runs so deep that Patti, Grace, and Mark launched the nonprofit Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Alliance community group last year to amplify their voices.

Shortly after forming the group, the trio wasted no time in joining the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition, a consortium of nearly 100 advocacy groups from 33 countries on 6 continents.

The World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition spotlighted the work of Patti, Grace and Mark in the October 2021 issue of its global newsletter. Learn more here.


Know How Your Resume Differs From Your LinkedIn Profile

Your resume and LinkedIn profile are two foundational tools that support your personal brand.  While each plays a role in communicating your professional background and expertise, they serve slightly different purposes.  And because of this fact, your resume and LinkedIn profile should be different.

So just how should they be different?

We leveraged the expertise from the team at Vault to answer this question.

  • Customization. Many experts recommend that you customize your resume for each job to meet the relevant needs of a specific position and the hiring manager.  Your LinkedIn profile, on the other hand, does the broad job of presenting your professional persona.  While it may require some tweaking, you typically don’t tailor it to the same degree as your resume to fit the requirements of a role.
  • Length & Level of Detail. You don’t have the luxury of space with your resume.  The document is designed to be scanned so that recruiters and hiring managers can quickly understand your career narrative and qualifications.  Your LinkedIn profile offers the luxury of space to communicate a full and colorful story.  Use it to your advantage and be certain to include information about involvement with professional associations, nonprofit organizations, etc.
  • Supplementary Proof. Your resume is typically a 1-2 page stand alone document.  LinkedIn offers features for you to add attachments, hyperlinks, videos, skill endorsements, recommendations and more.  We recommend that you take full advantage of these features to shape your colorful story on LinkedIn.
  • Privacy. Since LinkedIn is a public platform, you need to be careful about listing confidential business metrics or sensitive personal information.  Since your resume is a private document to be selectively shared, there is more opportunity to include specific facts and figures that build a strong case for you to be hired.
  • Tone of Voice. While professionalism is a must on both your resume and LinkedIn, your tone can differ.  Your resume should prioritize formal wording over colloquial phrasings, and you should avoid using first-person pronouns.  Since LinkedIn exists as a networking site and social platform, a degree of informality is allowed to the extent that you should feel at liberty to showcase your personality (within the boundaries of professionalism, of course). 
  • Imagery. For the vast majority of job seekers, your resume should never include your photo.  On LinkedIn, a professional profile picture is essential to sharing the story of you.  

Click here to learn more


Personal Branding & Job Seeking Tips for Older Professionals

Last week the folks at outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas issued a press release to promote the benefits of companies hiring workers over the age of 55.  Having recently conducted a national survey where 81% of respondents cited difficulty in filling roles, the outplacement firm is wisely touting the advantages of hiring experience.

That said, employers continue to deal with the misguided bias in perceiving that the over 55 age group can’t use technology well or work remotely.  As a consulting firm built squarely on the foundation of highly experienced professionals, the Croixstone team appreciates the following tips that Challenger, Gray & Christmas shared to combat this issue. 

  • Update your resume. Be sure your resume is up to date and emphasizes the accomplishments you achieved in your most recent positions. Do not go into great detail about things you did more than 10 or 15 years ago. Let your expertise shine, but trim the resume to keep it to two or three pages. Consider leaving off your earliest positions if they are no longer relevant. 
  • Don’t apologize for your age. Never be untruthful about how old you are and don’t apologize for it. Be confident and have a positive attitude about all you have to offer. Your age reflects years of valuable experience that can translate into impactful contributions to a company.
  • Stay current. Make sure technology has not passed you by. Do you know what software is being used in your field? Are you comfortable using video platforms for interviews or meetings? If not, learn. Take courses. Seek out tutoring. Practice. Gain new credentials and list them on your resume. Read job descriptions to find out what employers are seeking. Get a new personal, professional email address (e.g.,xxxjones@gmail.com versus ChessAce1@aol.com).
  • Embrace LinkedIn. Once you update your resume, be sure to put the same information on your LinkedIn profile. Learn how to use LinkedIn to network and to learn about job opportunities. Add a professional headshot.
  • Check your attitude. Even if you have to stifle it, do not come across as annoyed by being interviewed by someone half your age. Do not be condescending. 
  • Be active on social media. Your social media presence will be checked by recruiters and potential employers. Being active on social media shows you are current. This is a way to market your brand. You may be “older,” but if your online presence shows you as active, vibrant, and healthy (cycling on Facebook, running a 5K on Instagram), it helps counteract any preconceived negative notions of how “older” is defined.
  • Network. Reach out to your relationships you have spent a career building. Let them help spread the word that you are ready, willing, and able to find a new role.
  • Be open and be positive. Explore positions that may offer less money and a lower title than in your past. Think about safer roles during the pandemic, such as jobs you can do online from your home. It may take time to find the position for you, but with over 10 million open positions in June, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, there are plenty available.

Click here to learn more.


Consulting Industry Factoids

How is the consulting industry faring amidst the global pandemic?

Thanks to the hard work of our talented consultants, Croixstone Consulting celebrated a record revenue year in 2020 (and 2021 is proving to be even better)!  In light of our firm’s success, we decided to dive into Statista’s latest published consulting industry research over the weekend to see how the rest of the industry is faring.

Here are 5 fast facts about the management consulting industry.

  • Industry Size:  The global consulting market delivers $132B in annual revenues while the USA market produces $64.4B.  The USA is the world’s largest management consulting market.
  • COVID Impact:  After experiencing continuous growth between 2015 and 2019, the consulting industry saw a significant revenue loss (-12.5%) across all markets and segments in 2020.
  • Number of Businesses:  In 2020, the number of consulting businesses in the USA reached 831,621, a slight increase over 2019.  It is estimated that this number will increase by 30,000 units in 2021.
  • Number of Consultants:  Since 2012, the number of management consultants in the USA has increased every year, reaching 734,000 consultants in 2020.
  • Revenue Per Consultant:  The average annual revenue per consultant of management consultancies worldwide decreased overall between 2015 and 2020.  During a 2020 survey, respondents reported an average annual revenue per consultant of $208K.

Click here to read more highlights from Statista’s latest research on the consulting services industry.


Seeking Your Next Role? Avoid These 6 Common Mistakes!

We get it.

It is easy to roll your eyes when seeing yet another list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to landing your next role – whether it be in consulting or a traditional employment role.  That being said, the reason these lists continue to prosper is because job seekers, regardless of the tenure in their careers, continue to make critical mistakes during the hunting process.

Here are the most common mistakes and issues that the leaders in Croixstone’s consulting and search practices see on a frequent basis. 

  • The Skeleton LinkedIn Profile:  The calendar reads 2021.  Every modern hiring professional is using LinkedIn today to learn more about you.  The perfect resume isn’t anywhere close to perfect if your LinkedIn profile is incomplete.  If your LinkedIn profile is simply a shell, take action today to build it out.
  • The Resume/LinkedIn Mismatch:  See above.  Every hiring professional is using LinkedIn and is comparing your resume to your LinkedIn profile.  It is a huge problem when your dates, company names, roles, etc. don’t match.
  • The Missing Role:  So you accepted a role for what appeared to be a dream opportunity only to leave after one year to save your sanity.  Don’t kid yourself that it is ok to leave it off your resume.  Keep your information, and integrity, real and be prepared like a pro to explain it away.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Email Addresses:  In the early days of email, many households used one email address.  While you may still love that legacy email address that combines you and your significant other in a clever way, never use it for business purposes.  The same goes for other “cutesy” type of email addresses.  Just don’t.
  • Legacy Email Addresses:  Don’t shoot the messenger, but it is time to ditch the AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other early internet email addresses.  Keeping current with technology is important in any professional role today, and using one of the legacies can send the wrong message.
  • The Full VoiceMail Box:  It may sound like common sense, but never let a recruiter or hiring professional reach out to you during your search only to find that your voicemail box is full and is unable to accept messages.

Finally, here are some general job search strategies for highly experienced professionals from the folks at The Balance Careers.


Know Charlotte: 2021 Quarter 2 Growth Report

The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance has published its latest Growth Report for 2021 Quarter 2.  Although Croixstone Consulting serves clients across the United States, we remain exceptionally invested in the economic growth of the Charlotte Region where our firm is based.

Following are our 5 key takeaways from the latest Growth Report.

  • COVID Job Losses:  The Charlotte Region has 43,700 fewer jobs than pre-pandemic (-3.1%), outperforming the nation (-4.4%).
  • Job Gains:  June 2021 showed the most jobs gained since October 2020 (and more than 2x any previous month in 2021).
  • Economic Development Projects:  30 economic development projects were announced in Q2, the highest of any quarter since the CLT Alliance created the Growth Report in 2019.
  • Capital Investments:  These 30 projects represent $1.2B in capital investments (the 3rd highest amount in the history of the Growth Report).
  • Labor Market:  The Charlotte Region is experiencing the lowest ratio of job seekers to job openings since at least 2006.

Read the 2021 Quarter 2 Growth Report here.


Croixstone Recommends: 2Q 2021 Middle Market Indicator Overview Webinar

When we are seeking information on the Middle Market, one of our first “go to” places is the National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM).  This organization is a collaboration between The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and Chubb, and is a leading source of knowledge, leadership, and innovative research on the middle market economy.

Every quarter the NCMM publishes the Middle Market Indicator (MMI) that provides valuable insights into 5 KPIs including:  1) Revenue, 2) Employment, 3) Economic Confidence, 4) Capital Investment, and 5) Expansion.  NCMM recently published the MMI for Q2 2021, and we invite you to join us for an exclusive webinar being held Wednesday, August 11 at 1PM EDT where NCMM’s Managing Director, Doug Farren, will be detailing the results of the latest MMI.

Register for the webinar here.


Croixstone Recommends: The Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte’s “Management Development Program”

It’s that time of year again when registration has opened for one of the Charlotte region’s best professional development and networking programs – the Harvard Business School Club of Charlotte’s “Management Development Program.”

Croixstone’s co-founders, Patti Weber and Mark Weber, are both graduates of this mini-MBA course that is conducted “Harvard style.”  Taught by 26 Harvard Business School alumni from the Charlotte region, the course curriculum utilizes Harvard’s famous case study method and Harvard publications.  Croixstone’s leaders especially enjoyed the rigorous debate of real-world business challenges that are embedded in the program.

The Management Development Program classes begin September 21 for 13 consecutive Monday nights and are open to the public (space is limited).  And new for 2021, you have the option of participating in person at Queens University in Charlotte or remotely.

Learn more here.