Job Hunting

Top 10 Trends in Executive Job Market

A quarter of companies are expected to add executive positions in 2012, says networking group ExecuNet.
David McCannMay 21, 2012

Top corporate executives looking to switch jobs may have a more fruitful market to draw from during the next year, according to ExecuNet, a senior-executive networking group with more than 250,000 members.

In ExecuNet’s just-released annual report on the executive job market, which identifies the top 10 current trends in that arena, a new boom in employment opportunities heads the list. Despite continuing slow growth for the overall economy, 25% of companies are expected to add new executive positions in 2012. Only 2% of companies are continuing the management cutbacks that many began to institute in 2008.

Participants in ExecuNet’s survey numbered 5,733, including 4,282 executives, 539 executive-search-firm and human-resources leaders, and an additional 194 search-firm consultants from a companion global survey. Here are the rest of the 10 trends:

2. Executive recruiters are more positive than they have been in five years and are expecting an average 21% gain in executive-search assignments in 2012 compared with last year.

3. There is continuing strength in the health-care, technology, and life-sciences sectors. But major gains are also expected this year for the manufacturing, business-services, and consumer-products sectors.

4. The top regional growth areas are now the Northeast and the Southwest.

5. Sixty-seven percent of executives are going online for more digital visibility and to shape their online identities so they can be found for business and career purposes. And 66% recognize that networking is the best way to connect with new career opportunities.

6. Fifty-five percent of executive recruiters say companies are increasing executive salaries and bonuses to retain top management talent.

7. Sixty-seven percent of executives say their companies are focusing more on executive retention now than they did last year.

8. Still, 58% of executives updated their résumés in the prior three months.

9. Executives and companies are investing in peer networks to achieve their goals.

10. Expected compensation is increasing, and the balance of perks and salary is changing, too.

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