Executive recruiters optimistic about trends

 
  
Two-thirds of executive recruiters believe that companies will hire more management talent over the next six months despite continued pressure to contain corporate headcount.
  
With fewer companies slashing executive-level jobs and more of them identifying skill set needs and gaps in talent that could prevent them from achieving corporate objectives in 2011, recruiters expect companies to do more management hiring if only to replace underperforming leaders with those more qualified to tackle shifting job responsibilities.
  
 In December, ExecuNet’s benchmark Recruiter Confidence Index revealed that 66 percent of 144 responding executive recruiters are “confident” or “very confident” the executive employment market will improve over the next six months, up five points from November and the highest confidence registered since the second quarter of 2008.
 
“Business leaders continue to realize that in order to improve the performance of certain functions and business units they need to recruit strategically and selectively in 2011 to upgrade talent and drive better results,” says Mark Anderson, President and Chief Economist of ExecuNet, the private membership network for senior business executives and those who recruit them.
 
“Executive recruiters are poised to enter the new year with new and ongoing search assignments in hand, and since only about one-quarter of executive roles are mandated to external search, we believe this upward trend in confidence speaks to a broader corporate hiring agenda as well,” Anderson adds. The December ExecuNet data reveals that confidence levels in projected hiring in industries such as high technology and manufacturing and for management functions in marketing and IT continue to rise, as do forecasts for hiring by companies with $50 to $500 million in annual sales revenue.