22% don’t have female execs; 20% have execs under 30

New survey from CareerBuilder and HeadHunter.com

(Chicago, May 3 ’12)

The hiring landscape for executives is improving along with the rest of the labor market, according to new survey from CareerBuilder and HeadHunter.com. Thirty-one percent of employers expect to hire for executive-level positions over the next six months, up from 23 percent in October’s forecast.

The study also looks at the number of Millennials* who are in executive positions today and explores the deficits in diverse workers and women in executive roles. The survey was conducted by Harris Interactive© from February 9 to March 2, 2012, among more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

Executive Hiring Outlook

Employers are recruiting senior leadership for a range of business functions, but certain areas will see the most focus. Of employers hiring executives, nearly a quarter (24 percent) will hire in business development, followed by information technology (23 percent), sales (22 percent), marketing (19 percent) and accounting/finance (19 percent).

“Hiring trends for executive-level management mirror what we’re seeing in the labor market for all workers,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “As companies look to expand their sales force, develop new products and improve their tech infrastructure, the need for diverse, experienced leadership grows along with these initiatives.”

Demographic Profile of Executive-level Employees When asked about the demographic makeup of their executive employees, many hiring managers revealed that they are still lacking diverse leadership at their organizations. More than one-in-five (22 percent) companies still do not have female executives, and two-in-five companies (41 percent) do not have executive-level employees in any of the following demographics: African American, Hispanic, Asian, LGBT, Disabled, etc.

However, with the emergence of digital, mobile and IT as high-growth sectors, more Millennials are climbing their way to the top. Twenty percent of employers say they have executives under the age of 30.

Qualities Employers are Looking for in Executive Candidates
Prior experience in the industry is a crucial requisite for landing a top job, according to most hiring managers, but 35 percent say they’ll consider candidates who don’t have background in the industry.

Often times, prior accomplishments and leadership ability trumps industry expertise. The following are qualities employers look for most in executive level candidates:

  • Proven ability in addressing problems with effective solutions (62 percent)
  • Adept at motivating others (54 percent)
  • Can act with speed and agility in a changing market (47 percent)
  • Is creative (43 percent)
  • Has emotional intelligence (38 percent)
  • Experience in different areas (37 percent)

Only one-in-five (20 percent) look for an MBA, comparable, or higher-level degree, when evaluating executive candidates.

*Millennial Generation – born 1980 to 1999

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,303 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between February 9 and March 2, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,303, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 2.04 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About HeadHunter.com
HeadHunter.com is a recruitment site for management and executive level talent. Founded in partnership with CareerBuilder.com, HeadHunter.com is a targeted approach for connecting high-level, experienced professionals with their ideal career opportunity. For more information, visit www.HeadHunter.com.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 40 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to recruitment support. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.