Boyden Executive Outlook Finds Increased Executive Demand Steadied by CEO Optimism
Sustained CEO confidence due to stabilising global economies and growing
digitalisation and e-commerce have resulted in an increase in talent
acquisition in key sectors, according to the latest edition of the
quarterly Boyden Executive Outlook, released today by Boyden global
“CEOs and decision makers have only recently gained enough direct
confidence to add talent and invest more in human capital growth,” said
Trina Gordon, President and CEO of Boyden World Corporation. “In a
number of markets, particularly in the US and the UK, organisations are
undertaking increased senior executive hiring in key sectors.”
“Companies of all sizes are focusing on attracting marketing and sales
leaders who have been in larger companies earlier in their careers and
have a background in data analytics,” added Gray Hollett, Chief
Marketing Officer of Boyden. “Leaders with experience in lean and
efficient organisations are also being heavily recruited.”
“Director compensation is attracting substantial negative attention this
year because it has risen considerably – the total median director
compensation at the S&P 500 is up nearly 30 percent over the past five
years -- while shareholder returns haven’t come close to that level of
performance,” said Sarah Stewart, a Managing Partner at Boyden
Pittsburgh and a board expert.
According to Tom Flannery, Board Services Practice Leader and Managing
Partner at Boyden Pittsburgh, high levels of board compensation given
largely in the form of stock grants may create other issues in the near
“In addition to potentially compromising director independence,
shareholders may also be concerned that directors will be encouraged to
stay on the board past their expiration date and that will prevent
management from bringing on additional expertise that could help
energise the business,” he said. “Directors aren’t earning a token fee
anymore. This is real money. While most directors earn their keep, an
individual director’s continued service needs to be strictly tied to his
or her continued contribution.”
“Recruitment of CEOs in the energy sector is very active,” said Jim
Hertlein, Boyden Board Member and Managing Partner of Boyden Houston.
“We’re also seeing a notable uptick in demand for CEOs of smaller
independent companies in the $50 million - $200 million range.”
Mr Hertlein added that rising demand is linked to many private equity
firms divesting, or where different leadership is needed, as companies
move to a new stage of growth.
The expansion of energy companies into sub-Saharan Africa continues at a
brisk pace, with companies that are well established seeking to improve
efficiency of operations, working capital and stakeholder relations as
top priorities. Thus, COOs, Country Managers and Supply Chain Management
roles are in demand, according to Toby Lapage-Norris, Managing Partner
of Boyden UK.
Elsewhere across the broader industrial landscape, additional common
themes are building. “In particular, COOs and operations executives who
combine manufacturing and broad commercial perspectives and skill sets
are in high demand,” said Mr Lapage-Norris. “The ‘Amazon effect’ of
delivering outstanding customer service is becoming the norm now in the
industrial sector as well. Getting closer to customers is the primary
driver and the digital platform is playing an ever increasing role in
the way industrial companies shape their commercial strategy.”
Central and Eastern Europe has become a growing hub for manufacturing
production, attracting more talent from Western Europe and the US.
Priority positions include COOs, General Managers and Supply Chain
Directors. In Poland, in particular, the growth of “Aviation Valley” is
increasing demand for top talent and the recovery of the German
industrial sector are added catalysts, according to Zbigniew Plaza,
Managing Partner of Boyden Poland.
In China, the industrial sector remains fairly robust and recruitment
remains brisk for Country Managers, Managing Directors and Senior Sales
Executives, according to William Farrell, Boyden Board Member and
Managing Partner of Boyden Greater China.
In the Middle East, infrastructure related activities remain vibrant
with oil rich countries continuing to invest in mega projects, which is
a trend that is expected to continue, explains Magdy El-Zein, Managing
Partner of Boyden Middle East.
In Latin America, hiring in the infrastructure sector looks favourable,
mainly because of the approval of new laws regarding the expansion of
ports, according to Aurea Imai, a Managing Partner at Boyden São Paulo.
“Hiring in the larger, bellwether, blue-chip Consumer Goods companies
seems to be coming back at close to pre-recession levels,” said Doug
Ehrenkranz, a Managing Partner at Boyden Houston. “Though, what these
companies are looking for has changed. In marketing recruitment, there
is now more emphasis on digital marketing and in-store shopper
marketing. On the sales management side, channel and customer-specific
experience is more important than ever.”
“For consumer/retail CFOs, the need to understand the channels of
distribution, category and product profitability are now essential,”
said Amanda Worthington, a Principal at Boyden Chicago. “In addition,
companies need sophisticated sales executives who truly understand
customer profitability and the path to a higher margin.”
Hiring activity across all management functions for both Retail and
Wholesale/Manufacturing businesses in the US has increased in the second
quarter as key decision makers feel more confident about the economy and
witness improvement in consumer spending. In particular, hiring
continues to be strong in the direct marketing functions including
internet and mobile commerce, as businesses continue to expand and
refine their channel messaging and product offerings, according to
Howard Gross, a Managing Partner of Boyden New York.
In Europe, the huge shift from traditional retail toward e-retail has
created a growing demand for talent involving Logistics, E-commerce
Marketing, Indirect Sales Management and Web-Management positions,
explained Dirk Friederich, a Managing Partner of Boyden Germany. “Hiring
activity is focused more on the optimisation of management structures
through the replacement of executives instead of hiring for new
Companies continue to push for executives who can maximise global growth
as the domestic market lags. With the rapid changes in digitalisation,
companies are further integrating digital marketing with their
traditional global businesses, creating an uptick in demand for roles
such as Global Head of Digital Innovation, Digital Marketing Directors,
Commercial Directors and Social Media Managers,” according to Anders
Lindholm, Managing Partner of Boyden Italy.
“In Latin America, marquee family owned businesses are starting to
expand beyond their local shores as ‘multi-latinas’ and adapting to
growing regionalisation and globalisation,” said Antonio Sanchez, Boyden
Board Member and Managing Partner of Boyden Colombia. “Companies are
looking for executives with strong track records and research experience
to gain more intelligence on their consumers.”
In Hong Kong and China, there is steady demand for management talent in
the consumer and retail sectors. In general, consumer goods companies
are increasing their recruiting for Heads of E-Commerce and Digital
Marketing in particular. In addition, luxury retail brands continue to
require talent at all levels, according to Ami Bhatt Hardy, a Managing
Partner with Boyden Greater China.
In India, the consumer sector has modestly expanded and increased
purchasing due to government schemes in rural India, explains Dinesh
Mirchandani, Managing Partner of Boyden India. The sector is currently
growing at 15-16 percent year over year, and is expected to continue to
increase, he added.
“Across the globe, several financial services functions have shown a
hiring uptick since the beginning of the year,” said Jeanne Branthover,
Leader of Boyden’s Global Financial Services Practice and Managing
Partner at Boyden New York. “Previously, companies were only replacing
critical talent, but now real hiring has begun.”
Wealth Management, including Private Banking, Ultra High Net Worth and
Family Offices, as well as Private Equity, Technology, Digital Marketing
and Insurance are growth areas for search in financial services. Senior
Private Bankers, Trust & Estate Specialists, Wealth Strategists and
Compliance Officers are positions with increased activity. Also, a shift
in infrastructure toward social media and digital marketing has boosted
demand for Chief Digital Officers and Heads of Online Marketing, Ms.
According to Andrew Reese, a Managing Partner of Boyden New York, as the
regulatory environment becomes more onerous, financial services
companies are on the lookout for professionals with the skills to help
navigate the increasing and constantly changing regulatory environment.
However, estimating the return-on-investment of hires in compliance
management is always a challenge because of the difficulty in estimating
the amount of investment needed.
In Latin America, the development “multi-latina” companies experiencing
growth includes the expansion of financial services companies in the
region, as demonstrated in the recent announcement of Chile’s BCI
acquiring City National Bank of Florida. With the growth of some
institutions, an increase in search assignments for positions in Trade
Finance, Investment Banking, Treasury and Wealth Management is expected,
according to John Byrne, Managing Partner of Boyden Santiago.
As Central and Eastern Europe manages through another consolidation
period, banks, in particular, are looking for new CEOs who are able to
restructure and wind down activities of their defaulted assets. Also,
the so called ‘bad banks’ are seeking interim managers for their boards
who are able to troubleshoot and reduce debt exposure in the shortest
period possible, according to Andreas Landrebe, Managing Partner of
Boyden Austria and CEE.
“There is an increasing demand for social media expertise in HR to
engage both internal and external stakeholders of companies and allow
for improved communication across organisations from the board level on
down,” said Lisa Gerhardt, Boyden Global HR Practice Leader and a
Managing Partner at Boyden UK. “In today’s age, internal and external
audiences see social media as a proactive, multidimensional tool for
companies to increase transparency, improve employer brand, raise morale
and actively communicate companies’ mission and values.”
“Companies have escalating needs for HR professionals skilled in
Organization Development/Effectiveness due to the transformation driven
by economic issues over the past five years,” said Greg Coleman, a
Managing Partner at Boyden New York.
In addition, an emerging trend is the growing interest among private
equity firms for talent management executives who are responsible for
assessing and recruiting talent in the PE concerns and their portfolio
companies, he added.
“The healthcare industry in Central and Eastern Europe is overall more
optimistic, but still very focused on the financials,” said Kerstin
Roubin, Leader of Boyden’s Global Healthcare Services Practice and a
Managing Partner of Boyden Austria. “The cost sensitivities of the
market have forced the industry to adapt and re-organise their processes
to derive more synergies but the demand for medicine and devices is
Senior level finance and scientific executives with deep industry
background and global vision have become priority recruits.
International track record and change management capabilities are
becoming increasingly important skills in hiring decisions, but the
industry is open to career changers as well,” added Ms Roubin.
The technology sector in the US is seeing a huge demand for hiring top
level talent and will remain at a record pace through the rest of 2013,
according to John Holland, a Managing Partner in Boyden San Francisco.
“Future hiring needs in all sectors of technology are expected to
continue to be robust and we are incredibly optimistic, specifically in
the San Francisco Bay Area.”
The supply of talent for many roles in digital entertainment and
multimedia companies continues to lag demand. Most of the hiring is
being seen in the interactive media space, where senior leaders who
understand the convergence of content across multiple platforms continue
to be heavily recruited and draw competitive compensation and equity
packages, according to Dan Grassi, Managing Partner of Boyden Atlanta.
In Greater China, demand for senior talent remains positive as well.
According to Jed Van Voorhis, a Managing Partner in Boyden Greater
China, “Hiring remains steady in Taiwan as electronic companies continue
building operations here. Specifically, Data Centre Management is an
area of growth as companies continue to move operations from Europe to
Taiwan,” he said.
In Singapore, the demand for senior leaders has been strong, with US and
European companies focusing their energies on Southeast Asia as the next
growth market, according to Adrian Choo, a Managing Partner in Boyden
In India, companies in e-commerce, cloud, social media and big-data
analytics are doing well, particularly due to rapid growth in mobile and
a vast young and upwardly mobile population that is not averse to
adopting newer technologies, according to Sachin Prakash, Technology
Practice Head at Boyden India. Overall, organisations are creating a
sharper differentiation in salary increases between their key talent and
the rest of the workforce, he added.
About Boyden World Corporation
Boyden is a global leader in the executive search industry with more
than 65 offices in over 40 countries. Founded in 1946, Boyden
specialises in high level executive search, interim management and human
capital consulting across a broad spectrum of industries. For further
information, visit www.boyden.com.
Copyright Business Wire 2013