Market Update: Executive Hiring

CareerBuilder survey shows that 3 in 10 companies plan to fill executive positions in the next 6 months.

executive-hiringThe hiring landscape for executives is experiencing improvements alongside the rest of the labor market, according to new survey from CareerBuilder and Approximately 30 percent of employers are planning to hire for executive-level positions over the next six months – a significant increase from 23 percent in October’s forecast.

Executive Hiring Outlook

Employers are recruiting senior leadership for a range of business functions. However, certain areas will clearly receive more attention than others. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of employers seeking execs will hire in business development, followed by information technology (23 percent), sales (22 percent), marketing (19 percent) and accounting/finance (19 percent).

“Hiring trends for executive-level management mirror what we’re seeing in the labor market for all workers,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “As companies look to expand their sales force, develop new products and improve their tech infrastructure, the need for diverse, experienced leadership grows along with these initiatives.”

Demographic Profile of Executive-level Employees

When asked about the demographic makeup of their executive employees, many hiring managers revealed that they are still lacking diverse leadership at their organizations. More than one in five (22 percent) companies still do not have female executives, and two-in-five companies (41 percent) do not have executive-level employees in any of the following demographics: African American, Hispanic, Asian, LGBT, Disabled, etc.

However, with the emergence of digital, mobile and IT as high-growth sectors, more Millennials are climbing their way to the top. Twenty percent of employers say they have executives under the age of 30.

Qualities Employers are Looking for in Executive Candidates

Prior experience in the industry is a crucial requisite for landing a top job, according to most hiring managers, but 35 percent say they’ll consider candidates who don’t have background in the industry.

Prior accomplishments and leadership ability trumps industry expertise. The following are qualities employers look for most in executive level candidates:

  • Proven ability in addressing problems with effective solutions (62 percent)
  • Adept at motivating others (54 percent)
  • Can act with speed and agility in a changing market (47 percent)
  • Is creative (43 percent)
  • Has emotional intelligence (38 percent)
  • Experience in different areas (37 percent)

Only one-in-five (20 percent) look for an MBA, comparable, or higher-level degree, when evaluating executive candidates.


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