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Executives Reconsider Taking Jobs in Shaky Southern California

October 8, 1987

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Executives weighing job offers in Southern California have a new factor to contend with - earthquake hazards.

Local executive search firms say that since the 6.1-magnitude temblor struck last week, many potential recruits are reconsidering decisions to relocate.

Among them are three Northern Californians who withdrew from placements in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties due to the Oct. 1 quake and its aftershock Sunday, according to Erik Kempinski, president of Real Estate Executive Search in Napa.

″Their wives said, ’No way,‴ Kempinski said. ″When one part of the family has concerns about it, that doesn’t make for a comfortable lifestyle.″

Some recruiters said even native Angelenos are checking out job offers in other parts of the country that they wouldn’t have previously considered.

Gene Phelps, of the search firm Spencer Stuart, said one executive, who turned down a job in Arizona two months ago, took his family to Phoenix last weekend for a second look.

″They’re all upset about earthquakes. And he had earthquake damage in his house,″ Phelps said. ″Now he’s very interested and he’s entertaining a job offer.″

Meanwhile, shakes, rattles and rolls are the hot topic of conversation with non-Californians here on job interviews.

″Every single person I’ve talked to on the phone in the last week from out of town has brought up the issue of how bad was the quake, what are the predictions in the mid-term, is it as bad as we’ve seen on the national news,″ said Barry Deutsch, manager of the local office of Cunningham Jacob Adler & Associates, which specializes in placing financial managers.

″People are obsessed with it,″ he said.

Parker Prout, a personnel director who joined Security Pacific bank in August, said he has some explaining to do to his wife and children, who are still in New Jersey.

″She said, ’Are you coming home now?‴ Prout recalled of his wife’s first reaction to the earthquake. ″ Have you had your fun?‴

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