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Boyden Executive Outlook Finds Increased Executive Demand Steadied by CEO Optimism

Boyden Executive Outlook Finds Increased Executive Demand Steadied by CEO Optimism

– Top global executive search firm reveals senior executive retention is expected across multiple sectors due to improving economy and advancements in IT, digitalisation and e-commerce –

Sustained CEO confidence due to stabilising global economies and growing digitalisation and e-commerce have resulted in an increase in talent acquisition in key sectors, according to the latest edition of the quarterly Boyden Executive Outlook, released today by Boyden global executive search.

“In today’s age, internal and external audiences see social media as a proactive, multidimensional tool for companies to increase transparency, improve employer brand, raise morale and actively communicate companies’ mission and values.”

“CEOs and decision makers have only recently gained enough direct confidence to add talent and invest more in human capital growth,” said Trina Gordon, President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation. “In a number of markets, particularly in the US and the UK, organisations are undertaking increased senior executive hiring in key sectors.”

“Companies of all sizes are focusing on attracting marketing and sales leaders who have been in larger companies earlier in their careers and have a background in data analytics,” added Gray Hollett, Chief Marketing Officer of Boyden. “Leaders with experience in lean and efficient organisations are also being heavily recruited.”

Board Services

“Director compensation is attracting substantial negative attention this year because it has risen considerably – the total median director compensation at the S&P 500 is up nearly 30 percent over the past five years -- while shareholder returns haven’t come close to that level of performance,” said Sarah Stewart, a Managing Partner at Boyden Pittsburgh and a board expert.

According to Tom Flannery, Board Services Practice Leader and Managing Partner at Boyden Pittsburgh, high levels of board compensation given largely in the form of stock grants may create other issues in the near future.

“In addition to potentially compromising director independence, shareholders may also be concerned that directors will be encouraged to stay on the board past their expiration date and that will prevent management from bringing on additional expertise that could help energise the business,” he said. “Directors aren’t earning a token fee anymore. This is real money. While most directors earn their keep, an individual director’s continued service needs to be strictly tied to his or her continued contribution.”


“Recruitment of CEOs in the energy sector is very active,” said Jim Hertlein, Boyden Board Member and Managing Partner of Boyden Houston. “We’re also seeing a notable uptick in demand for CEOs of smaller independent companies in the $50 million - $200 million range.”

Mr Hertlein added that rising demand is linked to many private equity firms divesting, or where different leadership is needed, as companies move to a new stage of growth.

The expansion of energy companies into sub-Saharan Africa continues at a brisk pace, with companies that are well established seeking to improve efficiency of operations, working capital and stakeholder relations as top priorities. Thus, COOs, Country Managers and Supply Chain Management roles are in demand, according to Toby Lapage-Norris, Managing Partner of Boyden UK.

Elsewhere across the broader industrial landscape, additional common themes are building. “In particular, COOs and operations executives who combine manufacturing and broad commercial perspectives and skill sets are in high demand,” said Mr Lapage-Norris. “The & lsquo;Amazon effect’ of delivering outstanding customer service is becoming the norm now in the industrial sector as well. Getting closer to customers is the primary driver and the digital platform is playing an ever increasing role in the way industrial companies shape their commercial strategy.”

Central and Eastern Europe has become a growing hub for manufacturing production, attracting more talent from Western Europe and the US. Priority positions include COOs, General Managers and Supply Chain Directors. In Poland, in particular, the growth of “Aviation Valley” is increasing demand for top talent and the recovery of the German industrial sector are added catalysts, according to Zbigniew Plaza, Managing Partner of Boyden Poland.

In China, the industrial sector remains fairly robust and recruitment remains brisk for Country Managers, Managing Directors and Senior Sales Executives, according to William Farrell, Boyden Board Member and Managing Partner of Boyden Greater China.

In the Middle East, infrastructure related activities remain vibrant with oil rich countries continuing to invest in mega projects, which is a trend that is expected to continue, explains Magdy El-Zein, Managing Partner of Boyden Middle East.

In Latin America, hiring in the infrastructure sector looks favourable, mainly because of the approval of new laws regarding the expansion of ports, according to Aurea Imai, a Managing Partner at Boyden S&atildeo Paulo.


“Hiring in the larger, bellwether, blue-chip Consumer Goods companies seems to be coming back at close to pre-recession levels,” said Doug Ehrenkranz, a Managing Partner at Boyden Houston. “Though, what these companies are looking for has changed. In marketing recruitment, there is now more emphasis on digital marketing and in-store shopper marketing. On the sales management side, channel and customer-specific experience is more important than ever.”

“For consumer/retail CFOs, the need to understand the channels of distribution, category and product profitability are now essential,” said Amanda Worthington, a Principal at Boyden Chicago. “In addition, companies need sophisticated sales executives who truly understand customer profitability and the path to a higher margin.”

Hiring activity across all management functions for both Retail and Wholesale/Manufacturing businesses in the US has increased in the second quarter as key decision makers feel more confident about the economy and witness improvement in consumer spending. In particular, hiring continues to be strong in the direct marketing functions including internet and mobile commerce, as businesses continue to expand and refine their channel messaging and product offerings, according to Howard Gross, a Managing Partner of Boyden New York.

In Europe, the huge shift from traditional retail toward e-retail has created a growing demand for talent involving Logistics, E-commerce Marketing, Indirect Sales Management and Web-Management positions, explained Dirk Friederich, a Managing Partner of Boyden Germany. “Hiring activity is focused more on the optimisation of management structures through the replacement of executives instead of hiring for new positions altogether.”

Companies continue to push for executives who can maximise global growth as the domestic market lags. With the rapid changes in digitalisation, companies are further integrating digital marketing with their traditional global businesses, creating an uptick in demand for roles such as Global Head of Digital Innovation, Digital Marketing Directors, Commercial Directors and Social Media Managers,” according to Anders Lindholm, Managing Partner of Boyden Italy.

“In Latin America, marquee family owned businesses are starting to expand beyond their local shores as & lsquo;multi-latinas’ and adapting to growing regionalisation and globalisation,” said Antonio Sanchez, Boyden Board Member and Managing Partner of Boyden Colombia. “Companies are looking for executives with strong track records and research experience to gain more intelligence on their consumers.”

In Hong Kong and China, there is steady demand for management talent in the consumer and retail sectors. In general, consumer goods companies are increasing their recruiting for Heads of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing in particular. In addition, luxury retail brands continue to require talent at all levels, according to Ami Bhatt Hardy, a Managing Partner with Boyden Greater China.

In India, the consumer sector has modestly expanded and increased purchasing due to government schemes in rural India, explains Dinesh Mirchandani, Managing Partner of Boyden India. The sector is currently growing at 15-16 percent year over year, and is expected to continue to increase, he added.

Financial Services

“Across the globe, several financial services functions have shown a hiring uptick since the beginning of the year,” said Jeanne Branthover, Leader of Boyden’s Global Financial Services Practice and Managing Partner at Boyden New York. “Previously, companies were only replacing critical talent, but now real hiring has begun.”

Wealth Management, including Private Banking, Ultra High Net Worth and Family Offices, as well as Private Equity, Technology, Digital Marketing and Insurance are growth areas for search in financial services. Senior Private Bankers, Trust & Estate Specialists, Wealth Strategists and Compliance Officers are positions with increased activity. Also, a shift in infrastructure toward social media and digital marketing has boosted demand for Chief Digital Officers and Heads of Online Marketing, Ms. Branthover added.

According to Andrew Reese, a Managing Partner of Boyden New York, as the regulatory environment becomes more onerous, financial services companies are on the lookout for professionals with the skills to help navigate the increasing and constantly changing regulatory environment. However, estimating the return-on-investment of hires in compliance management is always a challenge because of the difficulty in estimating the amount of investment needed.

In Latin America, the development “multi-latina” companies experiencing growth includes the expansion of financial services companies in the region, as demonstrated in the recent announcement of Chile’s BCI acquiring City National Bank of Florida. With the growth of some institutions, an increase in search assignments for positions in Trade Finance, Investment Banking, Treasury and Wealth Management is expected, according to John Byrne, Managing Partner of Boyden Santiago.

As Central and Eastern Europe manages through another consolidation period, banks, in particular, are looking for new CEOs who are able to restructure and wind down activities of their defaulted assets. Also, the so called & lsquo;bad banks’ are seeking interim managers for their boards who are able to troubleshoot and reduce debt exposure in the shortest period possible, according to Andreas Landrebe, Managing Partner of Boyden Austria and CEE.

Human Resources

“There is an increasing demand for social media expertise in HR to engage both internal and external stakeholders of companies and allow for improved communication across organisations from the board level on down,” said Lisa Gerhardt, Boyden Global HR Practice Leader and a Managing Partner at Boyden UK. “In today’s age, internal and external audiences see social media as a proactive, multidimensional tool for companies to increase transparency, improve employer brand, raise morale and actively communicate companies’ mission and values.”

“Companies have escalating needs for HR professionals skilled in Organization Development/Effectiveness due to the transformation driven by economic issues over the past five years,” said Greg Coleman, a Managing Partner at Boyden New York.

In addition, an emerging trend is the growing interest among private equity firms for talent management executives who are responsible for assessing and recruiting talent in the PE concerns and their portfolio companies, he added.


“The healthcare industry in Central and Eastern Europe is overall more optimistic, but still very focused on the financials,” said Kerstin Roubin, Leader of Boyden’s Global Healthcare Services Practice and a Managing Partner of Boyden Austria. “The cost sensitivities of the market have forced the industry to adapt and re-organise their processes to derive more synergies but the demand for medicine and devices is still growing.”

Senior level finance and scientific executives with deep industry background and global vision have become priority recruits. International track record and change management capabilities are becoming increasingly important skills in hiring decisions, but the industry is open to career changers as well,” added Ms Roubin.


The technology sector in the US is seeing a huge demand for hiring top level talent and will remain at a record pace through the rest of 2013, according to John Holland, a Managing Partner in Boyden San Francisco. “Future hiring needs in all sectors of technology are expected to continue to be robust and we are incredibly optimistic, specifically in the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The supply of talent for many roles in digital entertainment and multimedia companies continues to lag demand. Most of the hiring is being seen in the interactive media space, where senior leaders who understand the convergence of content across multiple platforms continue to be heavily recruited and draw competitive compensation and equity packages, according to Dan Grassi, Managing Partner of Boyden Atlanta.

In Greater China, demand for senior talent remains positive as well. According to Jed Van Voorhis, a Managing Partner in Boyden Greater China, “Hiring remains steady in Taiwan as electronic companies continue building operations here. Specifically, Data Centre Management is an area of growth as companies continue to move operations from Europe to Taiwan,” he said.

In Singapore, the demand for senior leaders has been strong, with US and European companies focusing their energies on Southeast Asia as the next growth market, according to Adrian Choo, a Managing Partner in Boyden Singapore.

In India, companies in e-commerce, cloud, social media and big-data analytics are doing well, particularly due to rapid growth in mobile and a vast young and upwardly mobile population that is not averse to adopting newer technologies, according to Sachin Prakash, Technology Practice Head at Boyden India. Overall, organisations are creating a sharper differentiation in salary increases between their key talent and the rest of the workforce, he added.


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