2020: towards a new record for executive recruitment

executive search consultants recruitment services

260,000. This is the record number of recruitments expected in 2020, compared to 255,000 in 2019 and 251,000 in 2018. This is despite the erosion of economic growth. The increase in executive recruitment, which has been underway for several years, “is structural in nature”. It is mainly driven by the IT, R&D engineering and consulting sectors, which account for more than 4 out of 10 executive hires.

IT, engineering R&D and consulting

According to the study, these three sectors are “at the heart of the emergence of new professions and new skills needs, particularly in connection with the digital transformation that is more or less affecting all activities in all sectors combined.

On the other hand, the marked improvement in the economic environment, which in 2017 had benefited almost all industrial sectors (mechanical engineering, metallurgy, electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc.) and construction, could be less marked. And, in this context, “the future increase in the overall volume of executive recruitment could be slightly less intense but could reach new heights.

Difficulties in recruiting, scarcity of profiles

In this context, where the 3 areas mentioned are just-in-time (IT, R&D engineering and consulting), companies will find it increasingly difficult to recruit. Because there is a decline in the pool of candidates for recruiters: “these tensions are particularly acute for positions in IT, R&D engineering and industrial production. For recruiters, the difficulty in attracting IT candidates is primarily due to the scarcity of certain profiles, exacerbated by competition between digital services companies and those in other sectors, in a context of technological transformations throughout the production system.”

Recruitment difficulties in the industrial production professions are, for their part, mainly linked to the lack of attractiveness of the territories in which the production units are located, as well as to the “shortage of foreign language skills” that recruiters want!

Companies work on their attractiveness

As a result, companies are obliged to work on their attractiveness, just like the territories, to attract this talent which is becoming scarce. Recruiters activate several channels, such as social networks. In total, “an average of five different channels are used to recruit executives in companies with 50 or more employees”. The job offer remains the most used channel, ahead of unsolicited applications and the recruiter’s networks.

As for the use of social networks, their growth is accelerating: “in these sectors as in others, companies are increasingly convinced of the effectiveness of social networks for executive recruitment, and the use of these tools should continue to grow in the coming years. For example, 36% of companies believe that social networks provide the most relevant applications for their executive recruitment, ranking second only to job offers as the most relevant sourcing method, and on a par with the recruiter’s personal network.

Published by Dave John

Decade of work experience in leadership consulting with strong focus on talent acquisition & assessment across different industries and geographies.

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