Nearly one-quarter of companies expect to hire for executive-level positions

IT, health care, sales most popular areas: Survey

As caution continues to dictate the economic climate, many companies in the United States are recruiting top talent to navigate uncertainty and maintain a competitive advantage, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

Twenty-three per cent of employers expect to hire for executive-level positions over the next six months, according to a survey of 2,696 hiring managers and human resource professionals.

Consistent with hiring expectations for all workers, information technology companies are leading the way in executive hiring, with 35 per cent reporting they’ll fill top positions over the next six months. Other areas expecting to recruit executives include health care (25 per cent), sales (24 per cent), professional and business services, financial services and leisure/hospitality (23 per cent each).

“Companies have a perpetual need to attain competent, agile senior leadership. At no time is this more important than during an uncertain economic recovery,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America, which has launched, a job search and recruitment site for management and executive-level candidates.

While one-third of employers prefer to look for executive-level candidates internally, 18 per cent prefer to look externally and one-half place equal emphasis on internal and external candidates.

Twenty per cent of 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, 47 per cent of employers would still be willing to hire a candidate without it, suggesting past accomplishments and leadership style are paramount in the executive recruitment process, said CareerBuilder.

The average executive is 41 years old or older. Forty-five per cent of executives are between 41 and 50 years old and 29 per cent are older than 50. Twenty-six per cent of executives are 40 or younger, found the survey.

The following are qualities employers look for most in executive-level candidates:
•Proven ability in addressing problems with effective solutions (74 per cent)
•Adept at motivating others (63 per cent)
•Can act with speed and agility in a changing market (55 per cent)
•Creativity (52 per cent)
•Emotional intelligence (46 per cent)
•Experience in different areas (44 per cent).

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