Global Trends in the Executive Job Market

BlueSteps, the executive career management service by AESC, released their 2017 Executive Career Outlook Report offering insights on global executive-level career trends. The new report collects feedback from management-level professionals, from Director-level through C-suite, on their outlook for executive job opportunities across industries, functions and geographies in the year ahead. 

Based on predictions by 1,219 senior management professionals worldwide, the mood among global management professionals is more optimistic about the global executive job market in 2017 compared to the same time last year. Executives worldwide understand there is fierce competition for top executive-level jobs, and today’s successful candidates for the C-suite must bring much more than relevant skills, but also learning agility and demonstrated thought leadership in their industries.


There are a few key trends influencing the mood among global management-level professionals related to their career prospects in 2017. Of those who are feeling more optimistic, the highest percentage cited the global economy as the number one reason why, with 38% feeling that a more positive economic climate in 2017 was contributing to a stronger job market. When asked what additional education or services could help them stay competitive in the job market, 52% cited executive coaching, followed by 49% who expressed further digital training as a competitive advantage.

Outlook by Function

Board Directors, Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) and Chief Operations Officers (COOs) are the functional roles of those who participated in the survey who cast the greatest positive shift in attitude about the job market in 2017 compared to 2016. Fifty-two percent of  CFOs feel optimistic about the executive job market this year compared to only 35% of CFOs last year, a 49% year-on-year increase among finance executives. Chief Technology and Information Officers (CTOs/CIOs) cast the greatest negative shift in attitude about the executive job market with only 29% of CTOs/CIOs optimistic this year compared to 48% last year, a 40% year-on-year decline.

Outlook by Region

Among management-level professionals worldwide, those in Latin America are feeling the most optimistic, with 55% casting an optimistic outlook for the executive job market in 2017 compared to only 24% last year, a 129% year-on-year increase. Latin America is experiencing strong signals of a return to growth and that is reflected in the outlook for the year ahead by management-level professionals in Latin America. Management-level professionals across all regions cast a more optimistic forecast for the executive job market in 2017 compared to the year before, with the exception of Europe. The future of the European Union and geopolitical events, including increased terrorism across the continent, is impacting the mood among Europe-based management-level professionals.

Solutions for Business Leaders and Executive Candidates 

CEOs, CHROs and Board Directors are invited to download a 2017 Summary Report for further insights.  

Access the Executive Career Outlook Report

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