Executive Talent Hits a Supply Crunch

April 12, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - An executive talent crunch is poised to challenge companies in the year ahead, particularly in the high-tech, health care, and business services sectors, a new study indicated.

A news release from ExecuNet, an executive recruiting research firm, about its Executive Job Market Intelligence 2007, said that a tight employment market is generating more opportunities, bigger paychecks and some unique challenges for the market’s most active participants.

“Three consecutive years of double-digit growth in search assignments has created a greater sense of urgency among both executives and corporations,” said Dave Opton, CEO and Founder of ExecuNet, in the news release. “Retention plans are clearly going to be put to the test in 2007. However, for many companies it may be a case of too little, too late.”

According to the research, 67% of executives believe there is a shortage of qualified talent in the market – up from 53% a year ago; 67% of search firms and 62% of corporate recruiters agree. Despite this shared sentiment, one in three executives (33%) believes their company is working harder today to retain top talent than they were one year ago and only half (51%) of Human Resource executives believe their company’s current leadership team will still be in place in one year.

Highlights from the study include:

  • Search firms are forecasting a 27% increase in 2007 executive search assignments.
  • The industries expected to generate the highest growth in the number of executive-level jobs include high-tech, health care, business services, pharmaceuticals/biotech, and financial services/banking.
  • Amid increased competition for talent, more companies are turning to compensation incentives, including stock options, which are included in 47% of all new executive pay packages – up from 36% one year ago.
  • Looking to capitalize on the war for talent, employed executives are expecting a 17.5% increase in compensation when they land their next job.
  • Nearly one in two executives (48%) is dissatisfied with their current job and, of those who are currently unhappy at work, 52% are preparing to leave within the next 12 months.
  • Limited advancement opportunities and lack of personal growth are the most common reasons why executives are not satisfied with their jobs.
  • 21% of 41 to 50-year old executives feel they have been subjected to age bias in a job search, compared to 63% of 51-60 year olds, and an overwhelming 89% of those over age 60.
  • Search firms believe age isn’t a significant factor for candidates in a job search until they reach 55.

This year’s report was based on simultaneous national surveys of 2,149 executives and 378 search firms and corporate recruiters. For more information, go to http://www.execunet.com/executive-jobs-report.cfm .