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Rising demand for top executives

September 14 2006 - A new report by Rick Slayton from Chicago-based Slayton Search Partners examines factors that have created a sellers' market in the executive search game. Slayton analyzes both sides of the recruiting equation and offers insights into strategies that are working both for companies and executives in transition. Slayton Search Partners has a 20-year track record of helping key industries fill crucial positions across all management disciplines.

Rick Slayton said:

"The supply and demand dynamics have given high performing executives more career options than they've had in years, and from that perspective, it's beginning to smack of 1999 all over again. The A Players are much more selective about pursuing transition options, but they're also pouncing on the opportunity to get what they want."

Slayton points to recent studies documenting an increase in executive job transitions and moves by employers to change their pay practices to match a more competitive job market. For example, a study from Liberum Research found a nearly 60 per cent increase in executive turnover in 2006. ExecuNet reports a surge in hiring at executive search firms, and a Mercer Human Resources Consulting report reveals companies' plans to boost executive compensation.

Rick Slayton comments:

"Candidates, as a general rule, have more power today. For much of the past five years, employers were holding the cards in the executive employment market, because new opportunities were scarce. But today, it's clear that the pendulum of the executive employment market has moved way over to the candidate or seller side. The bargaining advantage has shifted substantially beyond equilibrium in favor of the top candidates."

The author predicts no foreseeable downturn in the current situation and suggests that the 2006 recruiting season will keep corporate recruiters and executive search firms extremely busy trying to market compelling opportunities to top management talent. He expects corporate employers will continue to place a premium on the right mix of professional experience, advanced education, a track record of consistent performance and successive promotions, and intangibles he describes as 'executive presence'. Slayton also believes leading employers will continue to create more opportunities for women and minority executives.

Slayton notes an increasing number of executive job candidates are rejecting any company rumoured to have a tyrannical CEO, high executive turnover, and/or business practices that might remotely evolve into corporate scandal. He advises employers not to underestimate the importance of their reputation, their brand, and their overall workplace experience and corporate mission, because top calibre management candidates are usually motivated by the challenge of a new job with a growth-oriented employer.

Rick Slayton says:

"Any company that can't effectively articulate its vision for the future and a compelling employment proposition for world-class management executives will find its ability to recruit diminished or hampered until that changes."

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