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Executive-Level Hiring is On the Rise: What 23 Percent of Employers Are Doing About It

As we move through still-uncertain economic times, it’s not a surprise that many companies are looking for new ways to main a competitive advantage. The more surprising thing to learn may be that nearly a quarter of employers (23 percent) expect to hire for executive-level positions over the next six months, according to CareerBuilder’s new nationwide executive hiring forecast of more than 2600 hiring managers and human resources professionals.

Executive hiring

Which industries plan to hire for executive-level positions most over the next six months?

  • 35 percent of IT companies
  • 25 percent of health care companies
  • 24 percent of sales companies,
  • 23 percent of professional and business services, financial services, and leisure/hospitality companies.

Many employers often look outside the office doors when looking to recruit for these executive-level positions:

  • 18 percent prefer to look externally.
  •  Half of employers place equal emphasis on internal and external candidates.
  • One-third prefer to look internally.


Management Jobs

With this increasing need in mind, CareerBuilder has launched, a job search and recruitment site dedicated to helping experienced management and executive-level professionals easily find relevant career opportunities matching their advanced skills and talent.

Employers who use HeadHunter gain the ability to:

  • Attract candidates serious about their next career move
  • Choose from prescreened resumes that fit their specific requirements
  • Enjoy an ad-free experience with no entry-level job seekers and no hassle
Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, explains why executive-level hiring is becoming more and more prevalent:

“Companies have a perpetual need to attain competent, agile senior leadership. At no time is this more important than during an uncertain economic recovery. is designed to highlight opportunities for talented professionals looking for jobs on multiple levels of an organization – from senior managers and department directors to vice presidents and C-level officers.”

To learn more about posting jobs or viewing resumes on HeadHunter, visit the employer info page, call
(877) 218-1309, or contact your CareerBuilder account representative.

What do employers want in an executive-level candidate?


It’s not only experience that’s in demand when it comes to executive-level candidates; many employers are looking just as closely at a candidate’s education (and, as seen below, sometimes more important):

  • One in five employers look for a candidate with an MBA, comparable degree, or higher level degree when recruiting executive-level positions.
  • While prior industry experience is an important asset for many employers, 47 percent would still be willing to hire a candidate without it

The executive hiring forecast confirms that, for the most part, the right experience comes with age. According to employers, the average executive is 41 or older. Forty-five percent of executives are between 41 and 50-years-old and 29 percent are older than 50. Twenty-six percent of executives are age 40 or younger.
Other leadership qualities:

  • Proven ability in addressing problems with effective solutions (74 percent)
  • Adept at motivating others (63 percent)
  • Can act with speed and agility in a changing market (55 percent)
  • Creativity (52 percent)
  • Emotional Intelligence (46 percent)
  • Experience in different areas (44 percent)
When recruiting management and executive-level candidates, what qualifications are most important to you?
Amy McDonnell

About Amy McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the creative services manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.


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