Market Intelligence

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Where the Growth in Executive Employment is Expected to be in 2017

Good news! We continue to see high levels of executive recruiter confidence as we move into March. Our exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index continues to show that over 65 percent of executive recruiters believe the executive job market will improve in the next six months. Our surveys also indicate executive recruiters are anticipating a 13-percent increase in assignments in 2017, with key industry and functional areas likely to see the greatest growth.

The chart at the right from our recent survey, shows executive recruiters picked these top 10 industry growth areas for 2017:

This clearly shows Healthcare and Technology continue to reign as the areas with the fastest executive hiring activity – while Defense/Aerospace, Software and Energy moved up sharply in the last year as growing “hot spots.”

It also shows the Internet/eCommerce and Consumer Products fell in terms of relative growth for the new year.

Clearly “rainmakers” continue to reign as the top growth areas in 2017, and Operations Management (including Supply Chain and QA) and MIS/IT made major moves, advancing into the top five fastest growing functions for 2017 and where hiring activity is picking up.

By function, the chart at the right from executive recruiters show these Top 10 Growth Areas and
“hot spots”:

Meanwhile, Engineering, General Management and Marketing fell out of the top five in terms of growth for 2017.

For executive recruiters, these industry and functional growth areas may indicate “hot spots of demand” for the coming year and opportunities for business development and candidate development activities efforts.

Our mission at ExecuNet is to keep you abreast of market trends and intelligence that will help you in your recruiting efforts. We will be regularly updating these perspectives throughout the year, so you will continue to be informed.

Recruiter Confidence Index
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Recruiter Confidence Index
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Recruiter Confidence Index:

Our exclusive Recruiter Confidence Index in June 2017 came in at 56%, ticking up ever so slightly from May at 53%.

With the index being over 50%, the majority of recruiters remain positive that the executive job market will remain positive for the next 6 months.

This indicator is generally a concurrent or leading indicator for the economy, so that is generally good news.

There are some “yellow lights appearing” however when you look more deeply into our feedback from recruiters. The number of recruiters who are “not confident” has almost doubled since April to 11.9% in June–double digit levels like this generally means certain sectors have seen a slow down in hiring. The number of recruiters that are “very confident” the market will improve has dipped from 30% in January to 18% in June.

Recruiter Confidence Index
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Job Creation Index:

Meanwhile our exclusive Executive Job Creation Index has dipped from +36 to +11 from January to June indicating that companies will not be adding as many executive positions as they have been adding in the next 6 months.


  • Our reading from this is that forward looking over the next 6 months, executive hiring is slowing as fewer companies are adding new positions and a smaller number of industry segments are seeing robust growth.
  • This doesn’t say “the party is over”, but seems to be “saying the revelers are slowing down” and less frenzied.

Job Creation Index
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