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In two separate worldwide studies, the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) and career management service BlueStep report that the outlook among executive search consultants became more positive during the first half of 2013.
The 2013 Mid-Year Executive Search Industry Global Outlook Report, by (AESC), shows that 88% of executive search consultants hold a neutral to positive outlook at mid-year 2013 for the year ahead. Only 12% of search consultants harbor a negative view for July-December 2013. The regional breakdown of the findings highlight that search consultants in the Americas have the most positive outlook for the search industry going into the second half of 2013, with a greater number of executive search professionals there (46%) holding a positive outlook for the second half of 2013, compared to the only 23% in EMEA and 38% in Asia Pacific feeling positive about the industry for the second half of 2013.
Peter Felix, AESC president commented: "The AESC’s mid-year outlook is encouraging for the executive search profession and for senior executives who are considering career change. Optimism among our member firms is at its highest level for almost two years and is indicating an upward trend, even though still far short of the mood in 2010 when the industry bounced back after the shock of 2009. It is clear that the American economy is on the move again and with more encouraging indicators from parts of Europe and the developing world it is likely that organizations will ramp up their senior recruiting efforts. The talent shortage has not gone away during the downturn and retained search firms are responding to new requirements from their clients, especially in areas such as digital transformation."
The top three sectors expected to experience the greatest demand for senior executive talent in the second half of the year include Healthcare/Life Sciences, Energy/Natural Resources, followed by Manufacturing. Executive search consultants expect China, Africa and Brazil to see the greatest shortage of executive talent in the second half of 2013.
In their separate survey, BlueSteps, the career management service of AESC, reported that 80% of global executives share a neutral to positive attitude about the executive job market for the second half of 2013 (42% neutral; 38% positive).
Due to the improved business climate in some markets, 45% of global executives expect their total compensation to increase in the next 6 months. The majority of those expecting increases expect to see a 6-10% increase, which is higher than the expected compensation increases of 1-5% from the beginning of 2013.
Regardless of the improved executive job and compensation outlook, 82% plan to look for a new executive opportunity in the next 6 months, while 64% report being more willing to make a career move in the second half of 2013 compared to the first half of the year.
Peter Felix, AESC and BlueSteps President commented: “These results show gradually improving sentiment amongst the senior executive community, no doubt reflecting the gradual pick up in major parts of the world economy. Inevitably the mood varies from region to region and sector to sector, but there is no doubt that there is greater optimism today than 12 months ago matched by a high degree of restlessness amongst executives as they seek out new opportunities. This long awaited improvement in outlook will inevitably spill over into executive mobility and fuel the latent talent shortage.”
Executives worldwide predict the greatest executive talent shortages this year to occur in the General Management/CEO/COO functions, followed by Engineering and Business Development.