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Sector trends highlighted particular growth in the number of new searches started within the Industrial sector, up 15% between quarter one and quarter two, and 6% year-on-year. Industrial is currently the largest sector for retained search activity, commanding 26% of the global industry.


Kevin Logterman, Executive Vice President, Slayton Search Partners, says:
The Industrial sector has experienced a resurgence in the past few years, we believe due to increased financial performance coupled with pent-up demand for executive talent.  The increased demand for talent is particularly evident in two main functional areas: commercial (sales/marketing) and finance.


From the beginning of the “great recession” to just recently, industrial companies focused on driving costs out of the business in the face of declining or lackluster sales growth.  Recently there has been a significant shift as more companies are now investing in strengthening their commercial leadership teams.  The numbers of searches have increased in the area of sales, marketing and product management.


Chief Financial Officer searches continue to grow in number, especially in the private equity sector.  Within the portfolio companies there is an increased demand for experience leading the divestiture process, providing evidence that the industrial portfolio companies are growing their earnings and market value.  This indicates that private equity owners are increasingly looking to near term liquidity events for their portfolios.


Bruce Walton, Partner, Battalia Winston, says:
Industrial production has always been a core driver of our economy.  Off-Shoring chased cheap labor, but we are beginning to see industrial manufacturing move back to the US, driven largely by increasing foreign wages and freight costs.  The importance of delivery speed and customer responsiveness has also played a role. And we are adding technology (software, controls, etc.) to almost every industrial product we make.


To date, the economic recovery has largely been about capital efficiency, not creating jobs. That is still the case.  But as the economy improves, and more manufacturing comes back on-shore, we’re seeing a growing demand for executive search.  We think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

To read the full feature in Search, The Global Executive Talent Quarterly from the AESC, click here.

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