Year End Blog Post-Thank You, and the Look Ahead


As we wrap up year end of one of the most difficult years most will ever encounter, we wanted to extend a simple thank you and a look ahead to a brighter year, and future:

We had great plans as we sat here one year ago in our new office in Wilmington, North Carolina. The year started out strong with new hires, and an incredible demand for talent management, and HR consulting services. There is not a roller coaster anywhere in the world that would come close to the highs and lows we all experience as the pandemic took hold in early spring. We made a gut-wrenching decision to close our office and move to a remote setup. Our office was closed for over 6 months.

With details of the first PPP program emerging, we transitioned our focus to health, safety, and welfare of our clients and candidates. Nearly all of our work went into a holding pattern as our bank clients focused on the PPP program. We continued calling and contacting long term relationships to simply ask about their health, safety, and welfare. We were not calling to pitch a job, or the best candidate ever; we simply called or emailed to say, “we are worried about you”.

Thankfully, everyone on our team has a great family support network that helped during the transition. When we returned to the office the week after Labor Day, our clients were wrapping up their PPP programs and looking at what was left to the year and what needed to be done. The good news is PPP added a bump in net income and many of our clients used this to bolster Loan Loss reserves. The bad news-there will be an explosion in Special Assets and Workout loans in the coming months, and a huge reduction in retail banking locations. This is a stark reminder that there is not any government program and aid that will prevent these losses from coming. We have to get back to the business of being in business.

Since coming back to the office in September, we have seen an explosion in talent demand across many areas in banking. We started two significant projects in the Great State of Ohio and Michigan to build out a new Consumer lending platform for a $500 mm financial services company, and to expand a mortgage operation in Central Ohio for a $15B bank. Between these two projects alone, we added 35 new positions to an already growing number of C-level retained searches from Operations Manager to CIO.

Now the good news-we expect this trend to continue well into 2021, and beyond. There will be an unprecedented demand for top talent in Commercial Lending, Special Assets, Digital, Technology, Training, and Strategy. There has never been a more important time to focus on Employee Retention and recruiting.

This is the first blog post launching our new Topics Schedule for the new year to keep you better informed as a hiring manager and as a candidate. Each month we will share new or revised content tailored to a client and candidate perspective. For example, we have content planned on how to convert a commercial lender to special assets, and for the candidate what to consider if asked to make that transition. We have a dedicated week to address the most pressing issues facing our industry today-Succession Planning, M&A, Outplacement, and D&I, Pandemic Pressure, and finally Career Management for both leadership and all levels of bank employees. We are launching a new series called Rhonemus Group MRA (matter requiring attention) to keep you informed of the most important developments across the banking industry.

A special thanks to everyone on our team that has stayed the course and excelled in so many ways in the most difficult of times. To anyone we talked to, connected with, or exchanged emails with, we thank you for trusting us as your sounding board for all things Talent management.

We are charging into 2021 with incredible momentum and can’t wait to see the success of our candidates and clients.


Happy Holiday and Happy New Year