Top Recruiter Finds Adaptable Executives in High Demand

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One area of the job market is growing far beyond the others – executive and senior management roles with proven track records of adapting to new technologies, advice with health care, buy more about financial services and technology taking the lead.

The WSJ recently interviewed  Clarke Murphy, head of the global CEO and board-services practice for search firm Russell Reynolds Associates Inc., about the trends scene around searches for the C-level.

WSJ: When did searches for senior management pick up?

Mr. Murphy: Somebody turned on a switch in the beginning of the year. For Russell Reynolds, every month has been busier in 2010 than the month before.

The level of executive hiring is back to where it was in 2007, before the recession began. Companies are trying to embrace new strategies, business lines and geographies.

And private-equity companies are starting to buy companies again. You see executives being recruited to maximize those businesses.

WSJ: Do those industries prefer certain management expertise?

High-tech firms need executives who can anticipate the next wave in the digital media world.

WSJ: Looking across all industries, which leadership skills do directors now seek in a new chief executive?

Mr. Murphy: Boards want a decisive leader who’s able to change quickly, when necessary. Large industrial corporations have got to be more assertive about product launches, product development and going into a new geography.

Boards want to know someone will take charge, but not be dictatorial. The time for grand vision isn’t allowed right now. It is about strong operators who can adapt quickly and gain the confidence of employees and shareholders.

Read the full article on Russell Reynolds Associates site.

We are seeing the same growth and trends at levels beyond the C-level. Small to mid-sized firms are seeking directors to C-level with a strong background in adapting to new technologies and business models.

While the overall job market is still slow, this has created a real opportunity for those that shine. The positions are not always published, but we are seeing more and more companies aggressively seeking the top performers in other firms. It’s not about titles; it’s about the skills and experiences that will help companies grow and adapt to changing business models.

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Southern Technology Leaders (So.Tech) was created with the over-arching goal to showcase the South’s vibrant technology sector, connect its people, and deliver the resources necessary to establish the South as the leader in technology innovation and growth in the U.S.

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