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The Member Counseling Program instituted in 1989 is not FEI's first effort in assisting members relocate professionally. A similar program existed from 1948 to 1956. During the interim, referrals were made by FEI's Administrative Department and, later, by the Membership Department. But, as the number of mergers and restructurings increased, Membership Director Noreen Normand realized that a more structured program was needed.
The current program is far more extensive than earlier initiatives and is the first supported by staff experienced in the field of human resources. A Member Counseling Committee, with one member from each of FEI's five U.S. areas, was established last year to provide guidance to the national staff and to increase the pro, gram's visibility. A separate program operated out of the Toronto office serves Canadian members.
According to Member Counseling Committee Chairman James Hearon III, president of Commonsense Business Solutions, the committee hopes to increase the number and quality of services to FEI members in transition and to the companies of FEI members. Each of FEI's chapters has been asked to appoint a member counseling chairman to work with members and the national office. "One problem," Hearon says, "is that most of the local chairmen have a limited amount of time available to counsel members on such things as resume construction and have a difficult time helping members develop their networks with executive search firms."
Hearon and the committee are currently working with Member Counseling Manager Loretta Geis on plans that will enable chapters to give more assistance to members. "We also hope to encourage FEI members to have their companies list job openings with FEI first," states Hearon. "No matter how hard we try, without listings of open positions, we will be unable to help members."
According to Geis, over 1,000 FEI members have been registered in the program since 1989. At the present time, 600 members are on the rolls. Of those listed since the current program began, 31 percent have found employment. About 9 percent have been removed from the listings because they have not responded to letters requesting information on their status. "I assume that these members have relocated, although they have not notified us," Geis says.
How does the program work? Members who have lost their positions must register with the counseling service through the national office, and provide a resume. Once registered, they are entitled to request reduced FEI dues. Summaries of registrants' backgrounds are compiled periodically in a coded format and submitted to executive recruiters specializing in financial personnel. The recruiters may then request resumes and further information on candidates of interest.
Both executive recruiters and companies place confidential orders to fill specific openings with Member Counseling. The files are searched for candidates meeting the requested qualifications, and only their resumes are submitted to the recruiter or company. "We're being asked to conduct more confidential searches," Geis explains, "because of the large number of resumes the recruiters received when we circulated lists of positions. The recruiters said they were overwhelmed with resumes and consequently discarded them all. Confidentiality is important. A large number of the job orders we receive are top-level management positions, and the service must be kept on a highly professional level, she continues.
"We need more job listings from companies already employing FEI members when they have an opening," Geis says. "Unfortunately, some listings that we receive from recruiters or other sources are for positions at companies too small to qualify for FEI membership, or at levels below our members' expertise. We hope that all members will notify us when they hear of any open position for which an unemployed FEI member might qualify."
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|Title Annotation:||From FEI; Financial Executives Institute's Member Counseling Program|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1992|
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