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World – Executive search firms more confident

29 January 2014

The 2014 Global Executive Outlook Report just released by the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) and online career management service BlueSteps shows that 51% of senior executives worldwide hold a positive outlook for the global executive job market for 2014, an increase of +15% compared to the same time last year. The remaining 36% of senior executives shared a neutral outlook for the year ahead, while only 13% harboured a negative view for this year.

The AESC BlueSteps survey of 508 executives was conducted in December 2013 and included responses from senior-level executives in Technology, Healthcare, Energy and Natural Resources, Manufacturing and Industrial, and other sectors worldwide.

Half of the responses came from the Americas, 37% from EMEA, and 13% from Asia/Pacific. Additional findings of the report include:

  • Many executives consider themselves mobile again compared to the same time last year, with 74% of executives more willing to make a career move this year compared to 2013.
  • 87% of executives plan to look for a new role this year. 
  • 92% of executives in Canada feel positive about the executive job market for this year, followed by executives in China (78% positive outlook) and Germany (70% positive outlook).

Peter Felix, AESC President, commented: “After five years of moribund compensation growth and cost cutting pressures, many executives will consider themselves to be ‘mobile’ once again and interested in a change of environment and opportunity. Greater economic certainty will encourage them to take career risk and this mobility factor may well usher in a new phase in a ‘War for Talent’ which has been less visible during the financial crisis. Added factors will be the megatrends of the demand from new markets around the world, the major demographic shifts now biting to an unprecedented extent as the baby boomers finally want, and can afford, to retire and the desire by many corporations to feed their succession pipelines.”

The outlook among executive search firms aligns with the more positive forecast by global executives, with a similar AESC survey of executive search consultants revealing that outlook among executive search consultants reaching a 42-month high. Almost two-thirds (64%) of retained search consultants feel positive about the industry for the first six months of 2014, compared to 29% this time last year and 35% in July 2013.


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