Thirty-one percent of employers say they are planning to hire executive-level positions over the next six months, an increase of 23 percent from October's forecast, according to a recent survey by CareerBuilder and HeadHunter.com.
Among the respondents looking to hire executives, they expect to hire in business development at 24 percent, information technology at 23 percent, sales at 22 percent, marketing at 19 percent, and accounting and finance at 19 percent.
"Hiring trends for executive-level management mirror what we're seeing in the labor market for all workers," says Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. "As companies look to expand their sales force, develop new products and improve their tech infrastructure, the need for diverse, experienced leadership grows along with these initiatives."
Respondents also say they still lack diverse leadership at their organizations. In fact, 22 percent of respondents do not employ female executives while 41 percent do not have black, Hispanic, Asian or disabled executive-level employees. As digital, mobile and information technology are becoming high-growth sectors, however, more millennials are advancing, and 20 percent of respondents say they have executives under the age of 30.
To land an executive-level job, prior experience in the industry is an important requisite, respondents say, but 35 percent say they would consider candidates who don't have background in the industry. Earlier accomplishments and leadership ability can even help candidates overcome industry expertise.
According to respondents, some of these qualities are having the proven ability in addressing problems with effective solutions at 62 percent, adept at motivating others at 54 percent, acting with speed and agility in a changing market at 47 percent, being creative at 43 percent, having emotional intelligence at 38 percent and having experience in different areas at 37 percent. Only 20 percent of respondents look for an MBA or higher-level degree when evaluating executive candidates.