Executive Search Market Update Q1, 2020

January 10

Year in Review

The Executive Search market has grown modestly in 2019, and we expect further growth in 2020, despite the uncertainty in the global economy next year. Driving forces for activity at a C-suite level continue to be a buoyant jobs market; a skilled and growing population; investment in technology by business and government, which has proved attractive for foreign investment; and an active and growing indigenous sector. However, salaries remained relatively flat in 2019, with real wage growth of c. 2–3 per cent.

Dublin, predictably,  has been the largest market, driven by population and its service-driven economy, but regional activity was steady, and confidence remains positive in many sectors. Given the global changing business environment and uncertainty around market conditions going into 2020, we do not see markedly upward salary movements. However, given the low unemployment forecast, we foresee some pressure to increase salaries. The sectors in which we foresee continued growth in 2020 would include Financial and Business Services, Technology, which is a constantly important part of the Irish economy,  Pharmaceutical and MedTech, and Healthcare.

Generally, given the steady market, many C-level candidates have become passive searchers for new opportunities. Given the buy-out jobs market in the past 3 years, this has led many to reduce the need for an active approach. Coupled with a job market at capacity, this has made the search for talent harder and increased the necessity for strong employer branding and purpose-led propositions. Communication ability, while not a new concept, is increasingly being stressed in C-level hires. This is partly internally focused and partly adapting to changing consumer needs, demands, and expectations. 

Another development in 2019 that will continue into 2020 is the ever-growing mandate for women on boards and senior leadership positions, but this has grown to a desire for a more diverse and inclusive workforce generally. This is being seen at C-level hiring, but more so as an agenda point to be driven by C-level in their hiring patterns. There is a steady but continued investment in Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, including Talent Analytics, and in addition, the blend of staffing is continuing to reflect an increase in short-term contractors and “gig economy” workers, but still predominately full-time employees.

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About the Author

Shay Dalton

Shay Dalton

Managing Director

sdalton@lincoln.ie+ 353 ( 1 ) 661 0444

Shay Dalton is the Managing Director of Lincoln Recruitment Group. Shay is a qualified ACCA Accountant with over 20 years’ experience specialising in the placement of senior positions across a broad spectrum of Accountancy and Finance positions within the industrial and financial services sectors. Having been involved in the establishment of some of the most respected financial recruitment brands in the Irish market, Shay subsequently set up Lincoln Recruitment Specialists in 2008. He also hold’s an MSc in Organisational Management and is a member of BPS, qualified to conduct and interpret psychometric testing as well an EQi testing.

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