• Confidence Among Executive Recruiters Reaches 18-Month High

    At last – a bit of positive news…

    From ExecuNet’s February 1st, “Executive Insider” newsletter:

    Mark Anderson, president and chief economist of ExecuNet, the private membership network for senior business executives and those who recruit them reports, “We’ve been signaling this growth since recruiter confidence began to improve mid-year, but the good news today is that the economic recovery is happening and companies are starting to add jobs.”

    A growing number of companies are adding new executive jobs, fewer are eliminating them, leading executive recruiters to confirm economic recovery is beginning to take hold, according to ExecuNet’s latest Recruiter Confidence Index (RCI) data. (Introduced in May 2003, ExecuNet’s Recruiter Confidence Index is based on a monthly survey of executive search firms and recognized as a leading indicator for the economy and the executive job market.) A reading above 50 percent indicates recruiters expect the number of search assignments in the next six months will increase.

    Based on January’s [2010] survey of 214 executive recruiters, 64 percent are “confident” or “very confident” the executive employment market will improve during the next six months, up 10 points from December 2009 and the highest confidence registered since May 2008. Moreover, almost four-in-10 recruiters say hiring will improve by the end of the first quarter.

    Executive recruiters point to signs that more companies are focusing on growth in the next six months, reporting:

    • Companies will be adding new executive jobs (21 percent up from 14 percent in December)
    • Fifty-six percent indicated they expect employers to leverage the current economic climate by “trading up” with new hires for existing management roles
    • Only 3 percent still see companies eliminating senior-management jobs
    • Executive search firms themselves will increase hiring to meet new assignment growth — 33 percent report hiring in contrast to massive layoffs in January 2009

    Anderson cautions, however, that, “Despite this good news, the speed of the rebound seems slower than coming out of past recessions, so executives and recruiters should be prepared for a slow and steady rise in opportunity, not a rapid upswing.”

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