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Executive Employment Market Stabilizing

With improving corporate profits underscoring signs of increased economic growth, recruiters are forecasting an increase in hiring activity at the executive-level, according to the latest ExecuNet Recruiter Confidence Index (RCI) data released today.

According to October’s survey of 172 executive recruiters, 56 percent are confident or very confident the executive employment market will improve during the next six months – unchanged from last month. Those who are not confident conditions will improve during this period of time dropped from 8 percent in September to 6 percent in October, which marks the lowest not confident reading since May 2008.

“Recent hiring activity indicates the recovery will be based on business re-investment and global economic growth,” says Mark Anderson, President and Chief Economist of ExecuNet. “While we expect the executive employment market to rebound at a slower rate when compared to the recovery that occurred after the last recession in 2001, fewer companies are planning to trim leadership staffs in 2010 and many are using the opportunity to get talent on board that will help them come out of this downturn profitably.”

Recruiters’ short-term confidence remained stable, as 24 percent are confident or very confident the executive employment market will improve during the next three months – down slightly from a 12-month high of 27 percent in September.

The industries recruiters expect will generate the greatest growth in executive-level job opportunities through the end of 2009 include: Healthcare, Clean/Green Technology, Energy/Utilities, Pharmaceuticals/Medical Devices/ Biotech and Environmental Products/Services.

The survey also revealed that recruiters see more companies beginning to position themselves for a recovery, as 46 percent say assignments are coming from organizations seeking to leverage the current economic climate by “trading up” with new hires for existing positions – up from 26 percent in February 2009.

“While there may be more opportunities available in the months ahead, this growth will go largely unnoticed by executives who limit their search to job board advertisements,” adds Anderson. “Given the current supply of talent, companies are posting fewer executive-level searches on public websites and turning to their direct connections and networks for referrals.”

Search Consult Online, November 2009

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