Cleary Consultants Cleary Consultants

January 14, 2002
Mary Cleary, President and CEO of
Cleary Consultants discusses the benefits of using search firms and gives job hunting advice.

09:43:48: Moderator
Good morning. Mary Cleary, President and CEO of Cleary Consultants, will discuss the benefits of using search firms and to give advice to job hunters.

09:55:47: Mary Cleary
Good Morning - I welcome any and all applicable questions.

10:01:43: Smallman
Can I use a search firm to "raid" specific employees of competitors?

10:06:53: Mary Cleary
Smallman: yes, in certain instances we are given the names of specific employees to approach

10:01:54: southernyankee
I am in South Carolina trying to get back to Boston. Would a search firm help me find a job? I've been trying "Online" without much success

10:06:53: Mary Cleary
Southernyankee: Yes, most of our applicants and corporate accounts are national. We feel that direct contact with a search firm can be much more productive for applicants than simply by conducting online searches.

10:04:46: mitmmartin
Hi Mary. How effective are search firms for executive level positions? Is it worth my time talking with a search firm or should I stick with networking to find an appropriate position?

10:09:14: Mary Cleary
Mitmmartin: by all means continue to network on your own but realize that we have stronger partnership relationships with major accounts and in most instances these relationships can facilitate quicker interviews/hires. .

10:06:55: Bina
Hi Mary,Can you please tell me how long your firm has been in business?

10:09:59: Mary Cleary
Bina: we just celebrated our 20 year anniversary.

10:08:57: Disappointed Techie
Are sign-on bonuses a thing of the past???I remember the good, old says when I could command a salary, lots o' options, and a hefty sign-on bonus.

10:11:25: Mary Cleary
Disappointed Techie: by no means are they a thing of the past. We have many firms that include substantial sign-on bonuses and incentives.

10:13:30: nwellesley
I am looking into recruiting a real estate property manager in the Boston area. What's the most effective way to find the right recruiter?

10:16:45: Mary Cleary
nwellesley: call us! Real estate is one of our specialty areas and we have several viable candidates in our database.

10:10:56: ann from andover
do you think the internet is impacting your business?

10:14:56: Mary Cleary
Ann from Andover: no, companies and applicants still rely on us for confidentiality and personalized service. Increasingly companies find themselves overwhelmed with large amounts of resumes, many of which from candidates unsuited for the jobs.

10:11:49: Mr. Andover
Mary, what kind of research, and by whom, is being done to match your candidates with an appropraite/available job(s)?

10:12:55: Mary Cleary
Mr. Andover: We have an in-house Director of Research who is a Harvard graduate and quite competent in conducting difficult searches for candidates as well as qualifying future employers.

10:12:48: search"is"on
Is it appropriate to work with several search firms simultaneously? Beginning the search process, Financial Services Sales, would not want to alienate in my attempt to build relationships.

10:24:30: Mary Cleary
Search "is" on: You can work with more than one firm simultaneously but working with one firm exclusively has many advantages for an applicant. There could be conflicts if two search firms refer your resume to the same company at the same time.

10:13:33: Steve
Hi Mary - I wanted to ask your opinion about having an opportunity for International travel and work with my current company and how valuable that could be viewed for resume purposes?

10:22:43: Mary Cleary
Steve: with the global market, anything with international travel is desirable.

10:14:11: new to the game
If I am interested in a company, how do I find out the search firm(s) used by the company

10:18:22: Mary Cleary
new to the game: there really isn't any reliable way as most of client relationships are of a confidential nature. You can always try word of mouth within an industry.

10:14:52: Maynard
Good Morning Mary, Is a lengthy resume still hold the stigma that it once did? The job market of the mid to late ninety's afforded employees many opportunities to move around and make a better deal. How are employer's viewing this situation?

10:21:04: Mary Cleary
Maynard: Lengthy resumes are not advisable. Obviously the job environment has changed and people find themselves with more jobs lasting shorter time periods. But it is still best to find some way to keep the actual resume short. Employers are aware of the realities.

10:15:49: Bina -
I would also like to know how your firm survived through numerous recessions, considering that your firm has been in business for 20 years? (just curious)

10:17:04: Mary Cleary
By learning to take calculated risks and diversifying into new specialty areas that are emerging.

10:18:52: Disappointed Techie
Cool - I'm clicking over to right now!

10:18:06: paperback writer
Are search firms productive for someone in fields like writing/journalism/creative markets? I know these jobs must be out there, but I don't know where to find them

10:25:45: Mary Cleary
paperback writer: they are if the search firm you are dealing with specializes strictly in that market.

10:21:12: j dunlea from Newton
what are some of the current hot markets that you are working on?

10:31:15: Mary Cleary
J Dunlea from Newton: The hot markets are biotechnology, medical, legal, accounting and certain areas of finance.

10:21:17: southernyankee
Do you work with the Hospitality Industry as well?

10:24:15: Mary Cleary
We do work in the Hospitality Industry however, after the events of September 11th the travel market decreased substantially.

10:23:10: Ken
I was laid off in October from a high tech company and have been trying all the traditional routes to find a job (classifieds, networking, etc). To this day, I have yet to get an interview. What are the chances of a company like yours helping me to find a job?

10:29:38: Mary Cleary
Ken: I understand that the technical market has been affected with major layoffs and downsizing, however your skills may well be transferable to one of the hot, growing markets. High tech will be coming back anyway if you choose to stay within your field.

10:26:50: Mr. Curious
Do you search through Web site databases for good candidates?

10:40:49: Mary Cleary
Mr. Curious: sometimes, but we find the most desirable candidates are already employed and we aggressively seek them out even though they are not actively looking.

10:25:41: steve_reeves
I have had very bad experiences with search firms. They were not matching me to the appropriate jobs and didn't seem to understand what kind of job I am looking for.

10:27:33: Mary Cleary
steve_reeves: obviously you have not dealt with us. Perhaps these firms do not specialize in your employment area and have a hard time understanding your needs.

10:27:34: Amanda
Hi Mary! I just read the Sunday Globe article that featured you in it. I was wondering if you could better describe the differences between retained and contingency searches and does your firm handle both?

10:35:06: Mary Cleary
Amanda: Yes, we conduct both retained and contingency searches. Both are paid by the companies that hire them, not by the job seeker, but they differ in methods and sometimes the salary level. If conducting a "retained" search the recruting firm has an "exclusive" on the job and often is paid a fee regardless of whether it brings in the hire, acting largely as a consultant. Salary levels for retained searches range from 100K to 800K. Contingency is for mid-level to upper-level positions and the fees are paid at the conclusion of the assignment or "contingent upon" the successful placement.

10:43:26: Mark
How can I look for a job without having my current employer find out. My job requires having many contacts at many firms, and I'm afraid that the fact that I am looking my get back to my boss and effect my adversly. Help!

10:42:55: Mary Cleary
Mark: any search we conduct is strictly confidential on the applicant side and the employer side. We would never identify your present employer. Most of our applicants are gainfully employed and seeking better career opportunities.

10:30:54: Mike
I am working with a recruiter and had one interview for my dream job and was told that I am the leading candidate. Now nothing, how do I move the process along?

10:37:16: Mary Cleary
Mike: obviously they have probably chosen another candidate. I encourage you to continue your search - perhaps your recruiter should be more up front with you in terms of your status.

10:31:52: HelenO
Hello again:What's your view of how employers view functional resumes? Especially for workers with excellent but dated experience, who want to refocus on an area that would otherwise come at the bottom ( or would drop off)of a chronological resume?

10:53:26: Mary Cleary
HelenO: I would highly recommend that you contact a professional resume service. A resume can be targeted to a particular area that the candidate is interested in.

10:35:38: HelenO
Mary: Could you clarify what areas of finance are hot? Do you think someone looking for mortgage processors would consider someone with a coeporate finance background?

10:38:06: Mary Cleary
HelenO: Every employer is different. Some employers are more flexible and would consider transferable skills.

10:38:34: Denise
Hello, Mary!! Happy 2k2 to you and CC. Hope to see you around Fanueil Hall again.Cheers and best wishes! (your old assistant) Denise LaCarubba

10:39:18: nomoretech
Mary - My experience with search firms has been consistantly poor. They have always found me (or my wife) a good job, but because they continually place their interestes (commission) over ours, they exert pressure to take jobs that may not be the right fit, or exaggerate/lie about benefits at some of the firms. Any thoughts about this?

10:46:17: Mary Cleary
Nomoretech: this is not our philosophy. We are staffed by a growing number of seasoned professionals. Their experience range is exceptionally high by comparison. We would never pressure a candidate to accept a job that might not be a long-term fit. It never works out in the long run and alienates long-term partner relationships with major corporations.

10:44:43: Seeking Dena
Hi Mary. I was laid off due to lack of work a few months ago while living in Ohio. My family and I decided to re-locate back to the east coast. I am a pretty young and still have a lot of growth potential. However, I was a VP at the last company becuase of my experience within the co. and it's size. I feel that I am being skipped over because it looks as though I am over qualified for director or equivelent type marketing positions. I have not even been offered one interviw. Is there ways I can overcome this when I do not even have an opportunity for an interview.

10:48:48: Mary Cleary
Seeking Dena: this is a perfect example of a situation where a recruiter can be of great assistance in coaching you and marketing your skills and accomplishments to employers who might not otherwise give your resume attention.

10:46:20: mark
I have eight years experience in design and production (web but mostly print) but all my experience is at internet companies, so I'm often confused with programmers. How do I get into other industries where my skills would still be applicable?

10:50:30: Mary Cleary
Mark: given the close relationships we have with client companies - we would ensure that no confusion would arise about your background or technical expertise

10:52:39: Tom
Hi Mary - In today's employers market I am told that companies are not willing to pay recruiters commissions. With that said, I also understand the value a recruiter brings to an employer on targeted searches. It seems like it really depends on each employer’s preference. I would appreciate your thoughts. Also, if I want to get into a specific company, would I be better leveraged using a recruiter or cold calling the company directly?

10:59:06: Mary Cleary
Tom: I'm a little biased considering I've been in business for 20 years. I have survived three recessions, one in 1981-82, the other in 1989 and the one we are coming out of now. First and foremost I believe in maintaining high standards and providing quality service. Reliability, integrity and thoroughness should not be sacrificed even in a down economy. I have also learned to diversify into new specialty areas and hire the best within those markets. In today's market employers need our professional services even more so. The top candidates for jobs are still in demand and companies will pay for the services provided for finding them. I would highly recommend forming a relationship with a search firm that specializes in your area of expertise

10:55:37: Dr. N -
Hello again Mary, One of your responses stated that the medical market is "hot". What fields do you find employers want? Thank you.

11:00:27: Mary Cleary
Dr. N: biotechnical research, nursing, case management, intellectual property and physicians.
11:02:21: Moderator
We have time for a few more questions.

11:03:24: Anonymous
I am currently a contractor. Would my compensation change if I chose to seek a permanent job. Is there a way to determine approximate compensations that I could expect for my specialty?

11:05:15: Mary Cleary -
Anonymous: obviously as a contractor your rate is considerably higher. When accepting a permanent position the compensation will be lower but the total package would include benefits and incentives that you probably don't have as a contractor. There are computer databases that can provide you with compensation ranges for your specialty.

11:12:12: Moderator
That's all the time we have everyone. Thanks to all who posted questions and thanks to Mary Cleary for taking the time to chat this morning.

11:15:32: Mary Cleary
I would like to thank everyone who joined us today. Due to the high volume of responses we may have missed some questions. If I could be of further assistance or if you want to learn more about our professional services please visit our web site at: or e-mail us at or call us at 617-367-7189 or fax 617-367-3202. We are currently expanding and looking for individuals that have an entrepreneurial spirit, a proven track record and above all a team player. Let's not forget creativity. I strongly believe that each person has their own way of selling, their own creativity which should be cultivated and channeled by management.