Experiencing only a -0.2% change from 2008 to 2009 GDP, Brazil has become a bright star amongst troubled markets around the world. So how is this reflected in the executive search market and hiring for senior executive positions in Brazil? To find out, we asked Adriana Prates from Dasein Executive Search to comment on the effects of the recession upon hiring, the present recovery, and what we can expect for the future. Read on to see how executive job opportunities have been affected:


What happened to the executive search market during the global crisis of 2008 - 2009?

Adriana Prates: With the global crisis, the demand for hiring senior executives in Brazil declined. Many commodities are produced in Brazil and the global decline in demand affected the entire raw material industry. With the downturn of the markets a number of high valued executives lost their jobs, large projects were canceled and companies had to focus only on critical projects with immediate relevance.

Before the crisis, the executive recruitment market was maturing quickly and salaries dramatically increased in a number of segments. However, when the global financial crisis hit these professionals became too expensive for many organizations and the layoffs started to occur; those who were fired had to find new executive opportunities, but those still hiring could not equal previous salary levels. On the other hand, the executives who remained employed had to assume more responsibilities, while their compensation level stayed the same or even decreased. As a consequence, these professionals are now less confident in considering new executive positions.

During the crisis period some companies realized they needed to change the profile of their finance and sales executives. They started working with executive search firms on new search assignments for finance and sales positions according to the new skills required to survive the recession. Hiring managers were looking for finance executives that could manage revenue with maximum efficiency, assume control of the risk management analysis and monitor all investments with profit and loss responsibility. At the same time, highly skilled sales executives become a crucial component to business strategies during the recession. Overall, organizations were focused on recovering revenues by retaining current client relationships, by starting new sales and marketing projects to avoid losing market share, and by diversifying their customer base.

In addition, many organizations chose to outsource work to specialized consultants instead of hiring new executives, since it was necessary to count on their expertise to have a rapid response and a more effective action for recovery.

How is the Brazilian executive recruitment market performing today?

AP: The number of new executive search assignments is soaring in the post-crisis executive recruitment market in Brazil. Organizations that had suspended hiring for executive positions are beginning to fill the gaps in talent left by the recession, and the demand to fill executive management positions is rapidly increasing across many industries.

Culturally, Brazilian executives have a great ability to adapt to fluctuations in global and local markets, demonstrating great flexibility in times of crisis. The experience of working in a rapidly developing, and in the past, fluctuating economy has created a privileged position for Brazilian senior executives. As the global economy continues to recover, the demand for Brazilian executives will only increase and organizations around the world will begin seeking talented executives with this unique background.

The action of the Brazilian government to reduce the IPI (Tax on Industrialized Products) is continuing to stimulate consumption in Brazil, directly influencing the policies of the companies operating in our marketplace.

What is the executive job outlook for the second half of 2010?

AP: Historically, the second half of the year sees activity increase and hiring for senior executive jobs matches the upward climb of the markets. However, with the gap left in the labor market after the recession, organizations should anticipate a talent shortage and begin putting hiring plans in place. This is beginning to have an effect on the executive recruitment market as recent surveys have found that the demand for executives in Brazil has risen by 57%. The data confirms the expected growth of the Brazilian economy. Companies are hiring more senior executives due to favorable market prospects. There is an emphasis on the following sectors - consumer products and retail, electronics, and the food and beverages industry.

After the crisis the criteria and process of hiring an executive has become increasingly demanding; companies are continuing efforts to streamline their management teams and laws surrounding executive search have become stricter. Despite these new difficulties, it has been a year of investment, primarily in construction, basic infrastructure and the acquisition of capital goods. 2010 is a year of transformation and is promising in many areas, the same stands for executive search firms and professionals exploring new executive career opportunities.

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AESC Member Guest Author
Adriana Prates, Dasein Executive Search

PratesAdriana Prates is founder and President of Dasein, a company with outstanding performance in Executive Search, Assessment and Coaching and is a member of the AESC - Association of Executive Search Consultants, present in 70 countries.

Adriana Prates specializes in Psychodrama Business and co-author of Bridges of Psychodrama. To speak with Adriana Prates, send an email to: adriana@dasein.com.br.



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