Executive Hiring Outlook 2009

The media is relentless with their ‘sky is falling’ reporting.

The good folks at AESC (Association of Executive Search Consultants), a global association of executive search firms, paints a more optimistic picture with their latest membership survey report.  Some of the key findings:

  • 45% expect the economy to rebound in the second half of 2009, while 40% expect it will be the first half of 2010.
  • Healthcare, Government, natural resources and pharmaceuticals/biotech sectors will continue to hire.
  • Finance/accounting/CFO functions expected to see the greatest scarcity of talent in 2009, followed by general management/board of directors.
  • The majority of firms plan to maintain the same number of consultants in 2009.
  • 52% believes “ In spite of the apparent availability of executives, clients cannot easily determine the quality that they need”

Sure the global economy is in a downturn mode, but the collective panic seems to be worse than the reality. Executive search firms are maintaining headcount levels. That should count for something. I take more comfort listening to those who are at the forefront of talent acquisition. 

The report is available here.

PS: If you wish to engage a search firm, the AESC members list is a good place to start.  If you wanted to advertise your senior roles check out Sixfigures, BigChair, SEEK Executive or eFinancialCareers.

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