Our exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index (which measures the percent of recruiters who believe the executive job market will improve over the next six months) reached 51 percent in January – the highest it has reached in over two years. The RCI had languished throughout 2012-13 in the high 30s and low 40s. Going over 50 percent is a very significant breakthrough, as it suggests a major expansion if it holds throughout 2014.
Significantly, those who don't think the market will improve dropped below 10 percent, which suggests that this more optimistic view is fairly broad-based.
Recruiters project 15 percent growth in assignments in 2014: Recruiters we surveyed said they are, on average, looking for 15 percent positive growth in assignments in 2014, which is up from the 5 percent growth they saw in 2013.
Our exclusive Executive Job Creation Index jumped 14 points in January: Just as important, recruiters reported that 3 in 10 companies were going to be adding new positions in the next six months. This is up from 1 in 5 companies expecting to add jobs in all of 2013. This means more opportunity for executives in 2014.
Executive recruiters also report a higher "quit" rate (or voluntary resignation rate): This signals that executives are no longer as fearful about changing companies and are starting to pursue new options and opportunities on their own – something many put on hold in recent years.
Introduced in 2003, ExecuNet's Recruiter Confidence Index is based on a monthly survey of executive search firms and is a nationally recognized measure of the trend in executive hiring and is typically seen as a leading indicator for the economy. It is used by Wall Street financial analysts to value publicly traded staffing companies.