Recent reports revealing a slide in consumer spending and corporate profits appear to be tempering expectations for a mid-year turnaround in the executive employment market, as ExecuNet's Recruiter Confidence Index (RCI) decreased for the second consecutive month.
According to February’s survey of 164 executive recruiters, 28% are confident or very confident the executive employment market will improve in the next six months, down from 36% last month. This decline in confidence was driven by a shift from "very confident and confident" to "somewhat confident," indicating that new assignments have slowed as companies put hiring plans on hold.
"A growing number of executive recruiters believe a turnaround in the employment market will occur closer to the end of 2009," says Mark Anderson, president of ExecuNet. "While recruiters’ outlook for the first half of the year has become more bearish, the jobs posted in our membership in non-cyclical industries including consumer staples, medical devices, healthcare and government are generating more new opportunities this year than in 2008."
Recruiters don't see their business prospects changing in the next few months, as their short-term confidence also slipped. In February, just 12% of recruiters reported being confident or very confident the executive employment market will improve during the next three months, down from 16% in January.