Five Key Employment Trends for 2007

Did you know that the U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest level in five years?

This means a highly competitive market for talent promises to provide plenty of opportunities and challenges to both companies and candidates. According to ExecuNet, here are five key trends poised to shape the U.S. workplace in 2007:

1. New War For [Executive] Talent Yields Better Pay Packages

2. Merger and Acquisition Activity Will Be No Match for Mid-Cap Business Growth

3. Strong Job Growth for the Healthcare Sector

4. Despite Demographics, Gray Ceiling Won’t Fall

5. The Number of Job Searches Buried By Digital Dirt Will Rise

You can find more details – including some intriguing statistics to support these trends – below. Use this information as you think about finding and keeping the best talent on your teams. 

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1. New War For [Executive] Talent Yields Better Pay Packages
With executive talent in high demand for the fourth consecutive year, companies will continue to add more incentives, including bigger bonuses, to their compensation packages in an effort to lure top talent from competitors and keep key leaders from walking out the door. The use of options and equity is also likely to climb significantly in the year ahead, as recent gains for stocks increase their appeal.

2. Merger and Acquisition Activity Will Be No Match for Mid-Cap Business Growth
Despite increasing M&A activity amongst corporate giants, which often leads to layoffs as companies consolidate their payrolls to eliminate overlap, the demand for executive talent will increase to new levels as small- and medium-sized businesses continue to create a steady stream of new job opportunities across nearly all industries and functions. At the executive level, job growth could increase by as much as 12%.

3. Strong Job Growth for the Healthcare Sector
While many investors have already sold their healthcare stocks amid fears that a Democratic-majority in Congress will hurt the industry’s growth, there are approximately 76 million reasons (and baby boomers) to expect the Healthcare industry to create more six-figure job opportunities than any other. The employment markets in the Business Services, Financial Services and High Tech industries will also tighten as the war for talent heats up.

4. Despite Demographics, Gray Ceiling Won’t Fall

With many baby boomers rapidly approaching retirement, the supply of talent will shrink considerably in the years ahead. While this alarming trend should have companies rethinking their approach to attracting and retaining executive talent in 2007, for the majority, it will be business as usual. In 2006, nearly three-in-four (74%) executives over the age of 50 believed they would be discriminated against on the basis of their age and more than half (58%) believed their age had disqualified them as a candidate for opportunities in the past. "Experienced" candidates will find success exhibiting the assertiveness and technology-savvy behaviors often credited solely (and incorrectly) to their younger colleagues.

5. The Number of Job Searches Buried By Digital Dirt Will Rise
As the popularity of social networking sites, blogs and online forums increase, a growing number of hiring managers will turn to Internet search engines in an attempt to gain a more complete picture of job seekers. In 2006, ExecuNet’s exclusive research revealed that more than one-third (35%) of executive recruiters who used the Internet to research candidates eliminated someone from consideration based on information uncovered online — up from just 26% in 2005. Given the long shelf life of Internet content and the growing number of employers who are turning to the web to learn more about job candidates, ExecuNet predicts the number of job seekers who are prejudged or eliminated due to this "digital dirt" will climb even higher in 2007.

from Execunet

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Sandra Schwan

Sandra Schwan

Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

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