2012 AESC Outlook Report

Worldwide Demand for Senior Executives Still Expected in 2012

Strong in the US but weaker in Europe and Asia

Releasing the results of their 2012 retained executive search industry outlook the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC) announced today that demand for senior executives is still expected in the major markets of the world, but with less optimism than at the beginning of 2011.

Forty-three percent of industry professionals surveyed predict that executive search activity will increase in 2012 over 2011, with the greatest sector rise expected in Energy/Natural Resources followed by Health Care/Life sciences and then Manufacturing.

When asked about their general outlook for 2012, global results showed that 37% held a positive view while 49% were neutral – though with more optimism in the US when singling out regional data.

Peter Felix, AESC President, commented:  “It is no surprise that the outlook for this year in terms of demand for senior executives should be less optimistic than at the same time last year, given the economic turbulence of the past six months and the continued pessimism surrounding growth rates in China and the EU. Nevertheless it is most encouraging to see strong demand expected in the United States and in sectors such as Energy, Health Care and Manufacturing, which have remained positive throughout the past several years.”

The emerging markets continue to show the strongest need for executive talent with China set to witness the greatest shortage in 2012, followed by Brazil and then India.

Felix continued: “At any given point in the coming years we can expect to see a serious gap between the demand for executives in emerging markets and their supply, based upon any sensible evaluation of the practical issues involved. Any one of the major emerging markets could consume available surpluses of interested executives from the developed countries if they were ready to both motivate their interest and organize themselves so as to exploit the potential of these executives and be able to integrate them into their own cultures and organizations. However, this is not going to take place overnight and considerable skill and foresight will be needed to help bridge the talent gap. We continue to be optimistic that our profession will be called upon to help find solutions to these very demanding recruitment and leadership development challenges.”

Read the full report.


Thought leadership category