Construction Executive Report

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Subject: Construction Executive Report
From: Thomas Heffernan (
Date: Wed Nov 26 2003 - 01:42:14 EET




"Leadership Development & Career News for A/E/C Executives"

In this issue:

1) Feature Story: Being No. 2 - the unseen hero
2) Employer Insights: Employers talk about their hiring strategies
3) Compensation Poll: Do construction executives want more pay or benefits?
4) Executive Strategies: Job hunting during the holidays
5) Executive Appointment: Duke Realty announces leadership transition
6) Resource Review: offers free job posting for holidays
7) Member Resources: What you'll find inside

Being No. 2 - the unseen hero

Being a construction COO or Executive Vice President (No. 2) is a challenging and often heroic role. Inside of the firm, the No. 2 role is an esteemed position with the power and authority to get things done. However, outside of the firm, the No. 2 role is often invisible.

No. 2 is typically the unseen hero responsible for delivering promises made by the CEO. The No. 2 role is focused on the day-to-day details of operations while working behind the scenes to make the firm run smoothly. No. 2 plays the first lieutenant role - taking the goals and plans from the CEO and mapping them out so that they can be implemented. No. 2 is all about execution.

Being No. 2 also involves protecting and making the CEO successful. Internally, it involves making the CEO look good to employees and the Board of Directors. Externally, it involves making the CEO look good to shareholders, clients, suppliers, competitors and the general marketplace.

Unfortunately, as corporate boards place increasing pressure on CEO’s to reduce overhead and push the CEO role down into Operations, the highly paid role of No. 2 becomes threatened. Displaced No. 2’s face heavy unemployment consequences in the external market if they have not made a public name or public track record for themselves.

Click here to read more on this article.

Employers talk about their hiring strategies

In October 2003, Construction Executive, LLC interviewed 47 HR Directors who worked for construction employers (contractors), which resulted in the following 6 hiring insights for executive job seekers:

  1. Most contractors are receptive to direct, unsolicited resumes.
  2. Many contractors support the idea of receiving resumes from relevant job seekers regardless of whether or not they have active positions to fill. Submitting a resume to an employer without initial permission may seem like an unprofessional act, but many contractors feel that it is acceptable. However, contractors prefer that resumes get submitted through the proper channels (online application forms, or mailed into the corporate head of recruitment.

  3. When reading a resume, most contractors will look at an executive’s "Work Experience" first.
  4. Regardless of resume style or layout (chronological, creative profile or functional style), HR Directors head first to where a candidate has worked, for how long, what titles have been held, and what achievements have been accomplished. Resumes that make it difficult to determine an executive’s work experience and accomplishments usually don’t make it past the initial screening.

  5. Most contractors are always looking for "good people."
  6. If a company is not advertising any hiring needs, or if it is currently downsizing or maintaining a hiring freeze, executives should still consider them as a potential employer if their experience and culture are a good fit. If the match between an executive job seeker and contractor is a good one, hiring can still take place since many employers will create a position for the right person.

  7. Most contractors want executives who know the job position (title) that they seek.
  8. In a cover letter, resume or any correspondence with a contractor, executive job seekers should make it clear what job position they are seeking. A resume that is too broad is ineffective because contractors don’t want to guess what position the executive is seeking or where to categorize the resume in their ATS system.

Click here to read more on this article.

Do construction executives want more pay or benefits?

In a recent poll ending October 22, 2003, over 214 construction executives were asked to determine whether or not they would prefer more pay or benefits if offered an increase in compensation. The results showed that 74% of respondents stated that they would prefer more salary, 18% preferred more bonus earnings, and 8% preferred more benefits. Of the benefits mentioned, 4% responded with paid time off, 3% responded with health insurance, and 1% responded with pension and other benefits.

Job hunting peaks during the holidays

Nobody wants to be unemployed during the holiday season. But the good news is, the holidays can be a great time to find an executive-level job. January is typically the peak hiring month for most contractors, making December the right month to get your resume in the hands of potential employers.

Because many job seekers assume the holidays are a barren period for finding new employment, they may face less competition for job openings. In addition, many CEOs and human resources directors aren't as busy this time of year which makes them easier to reach. The holidays also are also a good time to speak to employers since employers are usually working on their 2004 budgets and making decisions about their 2004 staffing needs.

Executive job seekers should also keep in mind that in some companies, division managers may be scrambling at year's end to fill positions so that they can maintain their budget funding for 2003. For employers in this position, meeting the right candidate can be a holiday blessing.

Click here to read more on this article.

Duke Realty Announces Leadership Transition

Tom Hefner will step down as Chief Executive Officer effective April 30, 2004. The Board of Directors has unanimously agreed to name Denny Oklak, Duke's President and Chief Operating Officer, to the Chief Executive Officer position. Tom Hefner will remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors through April of 2005, at which time he plans to leave the Board. Bill Cavanaugh, Chair of Duke's Corporate Governance Committee and Lead Director, stated, "Today's announcements are the result of an extensive succession planning process. The Board is pleased with its results, assuring a smooth leadership transition."

Click here to read more on this article.

6) RESOURCE REVIEW: offers free job posting for holidays
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- is a premium online job board and resume database for A/E/C professionals that is currently offering a free holiday job posting for employers.

Traditionally there are more construction job seekers online during the holiday season than any other time of the year. The holidays are an ideal time for employers to reach out online with their 2004 job opportunities. To encourage employers to take advantage of the online traffic from holiday job seekers, is offering one free job posting per employer on its public job board ($175.00 value) if posted before November, 27, 2003.

The job posting will run active from the day of posting and expire on December 31st, 2003. Interested employers should log into their existing account at either or and click the link titled "Post a new professional-level job listing at" under the section heading PROFESSIONAL LEVEL JOB LISTINGS. Non-registered employers can register at no cost. All postings must contain the code AEC4023 in the job posting’s Job Code field to avoid billing.

To register for a free professional level job posting, click here.

What you'll find inside Construction Executive

Construction Executive, LLC is the nations leading career management and human capital consulting firm for CEO’s and executives in construction. Currently we service over 185,000 registered executive members throughout the United States and over 250,000 subscriptions to the Construction Executive Report. Construction Executive also maintains the largest Offline Private Profiles database of construction executives available anywhere, and is a leading information provider of executive salary surveys, career polls, demographics and employment data.

If you haven't visited our web site recently, here are some resources that you may find helpful:


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