By Katie Merritt, Senior Research and Data Manager, Robert Half Job growth in the United States has been slowing slightly amid lingering economic uncertainty, but it is still exceeding many analysts’ expectations. And according to research for Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report, well over half of U.S. executives (69%) plan to expand their organization’s permanent headcount this year. That includes new hires in the C-suite. Robert Half’s workplace research also shows that company growth and employee turnover are top drivers for hiring in the current environment. Both factors can spur executive hiring, of course. But the motivation for an executive search is often rooted in other needs. For example, companies may opt to replace a leader who isn’t meeting performance — and investors’ — expectations. Sometimes, a business will seek to install a new top executive with specific skills or experience who can help guide the business through a period growth of growth or other changes, such as expanding into international markets or adopting a different business model. Retirements are, of course, another common reason for changes at a company’s leadership level. What dynamics are helping to fuel executive search recruitment in 2024? This post provides an overview of three executive hiring trends, based on our research for the Demand for Skilled Talent. The report highlights the latest data from Robert Half’s surveys of hiring managers and our analysis of more than a million job postings. It is intended to help hiring managers at all levels of a company to make informed hiring decisions, including those who are contemplating an executive search.
First, if you’re wondering what the executive search outlook is for 2024, our data indicates that recruiters in the executive search industry are likely to be busy helping firms to staff many types of leadership roles. Here is a look at the demand for C-suite executives by position, based on Robert Half’s analysis of recent search engagements: - Chief information security officer (CISO): +8,900 jobs - General counsel/chief legal officer (CLO): +8,500 jobs - Chief financial officer (CFO): +6,400 jobs - Chief marketing officer (CMO): +3,900 jobs - Chief technology officer (CTO): +2,700 jobs - Chief information officer (CIO): +2,400 jobs Given the pressure many companies face today to shore up their cybersecurity, keep up with legal compliance requirements and corporate sustainability expectations, and run an optimal finance function, it is not surprising to see that the top three roles in demand are CISOs, CLOs and CFOs. Need to source top executive talent for your business in 2024? Learn why working with a retained executive search firm can make the process easier.
Research for Robert Half’s Demand for Skilled Talent report found that 93% of executives in the United States are having difficulty finding skilled talent available for hire, and over a third (37%) report that it’s very challenging. Considering those findings, many companies are no doubt looking to hire leaders who can help the business navigate this challenging labor market more effectively. Other data suggests most executives recognize that overcoming hiring challenges will be a top focus for them this year, especially since it creates business risk. In a Robert Half survey, more than half (57%) of executives said they anticipate staffing restraints will impact their priority projects in 2024. This worry was most pronounced among executives at large companies, with 66% citing this issue as a key concern. Also, we learned that 87% of executives saw a top candidate they had hoped to hire take a job with another company in the last year. Thus, it’s a fair bet that most leaders are motivated to make changes in 2024 that can help their business gain an edge on the competition for top talent. Boosting compensation and providing flexible work options are two strategies many will likely institute, as our research shows these are the most common reasons for candidates to turn down a job offer.
Many businesses have experienced tremendous change and disruption in recent years, and uncertain economic conditions continue to leave company leaders feeling unsettled. Ninety-two percent of executives responding to a Robert Half survey said they are concerned about navigating economic cycles. Leaders at small and midsize businesses (SMBs) expressed slightly more concern about this issue than their counterparts at larger companies. Uncertainty always complicates executives’ decision-making and responsibilities. But it also offers an opportunity to reinvigorate teams and bring renewed focus on innovation and building a competitive advantage. With that in mind, another executive search trend to watch out for this year is companies taking extra care to assemble leadership teams that can keep the business moving steadily in a positive direction despite challenging conditions. Having the right C-level and senior management talent in place to seize new opportunities regardless of the economic climate is critical for any business, no matter what happens in 2024 — and beyond. For tips on how leaders can successfully navigate economic cycles, check out Robert Half’s e-book, The Manager’s Guide to Uncertain Economic Times.
The executive search industry exists to help businesses find the C-suite and senior management professionals they need to succeed. If you want to expedite and streamline your search for executive talent, Robet Half’s Forbes-recognized executive search consultants can help. Our executive recruiters work with public, private and nonprofit organizations across industries to hire for roles at the director level and above. Contact us today to find out how we can assist your business with its executive search needs in 2024.
The Demand for Skilled Talent report by Robert Half is an authoritative source providing essential insights into employment trends. This report has offered a deep dive into the U.S. hiring landscape for over a decade, spotlighting challenges and strategies to attract and retain talent. It explores what employees seek in their careers, identifies common recruitment errors and suggests solutions. The report spans finance and accounting, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support, and human resources, proving crucial for business leaders and managers.
Surveys were developed by Robert Half and conducted by independent research firms. Respondents included executives from small (20-99 employees), medium (100-999 employees) and large (1,000+ employees) businesses in private, publicly listed and public sector organizations across the United States. Job postings provided by Textkernel and TalentNeuron and categorized into more than 450 job titles within Robert Half’s 2024 Salary Guide using a proprietary mapping methodology that employs state-of-the-art large language models. This dataset includes roles across the finance and accounting, technology, marketing and creative, legal, administrative and customer support, human resources, and healthcare support professions.