Top 3 Trends & Predictions For Executive Job Search In 2022

Vaibhav Agarwal

As the executive search market becomes more competitive and the labor market becomes more stagnant, there are major changes that will characterize the job market at large this year. The global unemployment rate in 2021 was 6.3 percent which, if sustained, will be the highest level in decades. 

The number of available openings is also a key indicator of unemployment. The Bureau of labor statistics reported that open job listings have reached an all-time high with 6.04 million openings available.

Many have seized the moment to quit their jobs and pursue new roles or careers that are better for them and more suited to their needs, values and desired lifestyle, aka joining the “The Great Resignation” movement.

While employees at lower levels and middle managers have been leaving their jobs in greater numbers in this tight labor market, this had not necessarily been true for CEOs prior to 2021. The first half of 2021 saw CEO’s around the world joining this movement.

Let’s have a look at some of the key predictions and trends for executives who are wishing to engage in a new job search.

Diversity and Inclusion

According to research from McKinsey, “companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have financial returns above their national industry medians.” 

The opposite is true of companies in the bottom quartile, with McKinsey going on to suggest that “diversity is probably a competitive differentiator that shifts market share toward more diverse companies over time.” 

While “the most qualified” candidate is often touted as the ideal choice to lead a company, new data show that it’s usually not necessarily who you think it should be. The percentage of women receiving top management jobs globally declined 5% from 2015 through 2020, but grew 13% for men.

A CNBC report says that companies are looking for more diversity in hiring. Testing the water for this transformation is an underrepresented group, people of color and women. They note that companies are having more success when they hire people outside their networks, which underscores an executive job seeker’s need to aggressively sell themselves to prospective employers.

Technology Reshaping the Business Culture

Technology has created a huge impact on the whole world. This has become more significantly prominent since the lockdown has restricted people to meet face to face. Perhaps the most dynamic technology in the executive search market, however, is the growing usage of artificial intelligence (AI) to augment and support the expertise of the consultant. 

AI technologies enable consultants to interpret larger data sets at speed, which in turn informs hiring decisions and allows leaders to predict business outcomes. Crucially, AI also helps remove human bias from the decision-making process. The inflection point for many upcoming job searches will be digital transformation initiatives and new technologies like robotics & additive manufacturing – because whoever organizes these technologies will be in charge of the future of global businesses.

Salary Reviews

The ‘Great Resignation’ has resulted in employees having the leverage in the employee-employer relationship for a change. The reason is that the demand-supply gap is tilted in favour of the employees.

Demand for talent is high while supply is limited at a time when businesses are looking to resume their operations full-scale. As a result, employees have the leverage when it comes to negotiating for salary and benefits.

Final Thoughts

Executive search has evolved. With innovation in business, the economy, and globalization dramatically altering the workforce, employers are not keen to hire uninspiring candidates who will not make an impact on their business, and more interested in recruiting people who are passionate about their mission. 

The profile of the executive job seeker has changed as well. Recruiters are scouting for aspirational people with traits like resourcefulness, leadership potential, and motivating potential. Yet recruiters say that one thing is still the most important quality they look for – integrity. 

But what kind of role should you target? It’s all about what market opportunities are available locally. Expansion for larger manufacturing firms is expected because of the increase in international trade.

The trend for smaller manufacturing firms will be toward production shortening or just-checking-quality than mass production, which will result in fewer vacancies. 

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