Executive Search Outlook

Recently the Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) released their 2018 Executive Career Outlook Report. With recent fiscal policies and economic indicators, they are bullish on their executive search outlook, with more than half (54%) of respondents optimistic and only 13% pessimistic for the coming year.

According to the report, “Executives cite an improved global economy and its positive impact on business as a reason for their more optimistic outlook. Over sixty-four percent attribute their optimism to a renewed economy and/or fiscal policies that have been put into place to support larger corporations. More opportunities are also expected to be created by organizations taking on new challenges to compete globally and the Baby Boomer generation retiring, allowing younger executive leaders to move up the corporate ladder.”

The minority group that are pessimistic also cite the economy as their top reason for their outlook, believing the gains of 2017 are not sustainable in 2018. Other factors that concern this segment are the job market, the political climate, and corporate restructuring.

When asked about the key traits required for successful leadership, four traits were mentioned by a majority of the respondents: strategic thinking (69%), inspiring and engaging (63%), emotional intelligence (61%), and adaptability (60%). “Respondents believe strong leadership skills and being comfortable in an ever-changing business environment are key to succeeding as a leader. With how transformative today’s business climate is, executives believe it is important to have a vision of where the organization needs to be and the technological understanding to take it there.”

Of executives expecting to make a career change, only 10% expect it to happen in less than 90 days. The majority is split equally between 3-6 months (40%) and 6-12 months (40%). When asked why they were considering a change, the number one reason is a lack of internal growth opportunities (46%). The second most cited reason is one we talk about at Sheer Velocity a lot, culture, at 23%. Additional reasons include leadership, salary, and lack of organizational focus.

No surprise that technology and healthcare again lead as the industries with the strongest expected growth at 75% and 57% respectively. While Board Directors and CFO’s are the most optimistic about the executive job market, CIOs/CTOs doubled in their positive outlook from last year, jumping from 29% to 58%. Across executive ranks, there is a shared belief that the job market is strong, “The number of executive-level respondents who said they are less optimistic about the current year’s executive job market than the previous year’s market decreased across every functional role….”

To learn more about the executive search outlook for this year and beyond, send us a note. We can help you understand and navigate the changes in the market.